Global Airlines Acquires Airbus A380 from China Southern Airlines
British startup carrier Global Airlines announced on Friday its acquisition of an Airbus A380 jet previously owned by China Southern Airlines. The 11-year-old plane, known as MSN 120, has been sitting in storage in the Mojave Desert since December 2022.
Return-to-Service Work and Re-Registration
Global Airlines disclosed that the aircraft completed the necessary return-to-service work and was re-registered in Malta under 9H-GLOBL. The company did not disclose the price of the acquisition.
Unconventional Move for a Startup
The purchase of an aircraft is an unconventional move for Global Airlines, as airlines, especially startups, typically don’t go after used A380s. However, the company’s founder and CEO, James Asquith, expressed his excitement about giving MSN 120 a second lease of life.
Future Plans and Expansion
Following the acquisition of MSN 120, Global Airlines aims to acquire three more A380s and hopes to launch commercial flights later this year. The airline plans to fly transatlantic routes between the US and the UK, starting with London to New York and Los Angeles.
Portuguese charter airline HiFly, with the support of Airbus, will operate the planes on behalf of Global Airlines while the startup pursues its own aircraft operator’s certificate.
Criticism and Challenges
Despite Asquith’s optimism, Global Airlines has faced criticism regarding its proposed business plan, particularly since the A380 was not the commercial success Airbus had hoped. Experts have highlighted challenges such as the aircraft’s fuel inefficiency and the difficulty of filling the giant plane on heavily trafficked transatlantic routes.
As Global Airlines prepares to embark on its ambitious venture, the aviation industry will be closely watching its progress and the success of its unconventional approach to commercial air travel.