MIAMI – GlobalX Airlines, a Miami-based startup charter airline, received its first Airbus A320 earlier this week. The aircraft was delivered to Miami International Airport (MIA) where it was welcomed with a water cannon salute. GlobalX employees and media personnel were present to celebrate its arrival.
“We are thrilled to take delivery of our first A320 aircraft here at our base at MIA,” says Ed Wegel, GlobalX’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Today is a testament to the outstanding work of the GlobalX team as we continue to certify as a US flag carrier.”
This particular A320 (MSN 2695) is an ex-Frontier Airlines (F9) aircraft registered as N223FR. It will eventually be re-registered as N276GX once it begins operating for GlobalX. F9 retired its A319 fleet last year and is phasing out its A320 fleet in favor of newer and more fuel-efficient A320neo family aircraft. Many of its older aircraft have been bought by other carriers and will continue flying.
A New Airline is Born
GlobalX was founded by Ed Wegel, an airline Executive with over thirty years of experience in the industry. Wegel previously served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Air Lines Group (EA), which is also based out of Miami. He has launched and helped restructure multiple airlines throughout his career.
Regarding GlobalX, Wegel comments, “The need for a low-cost charter carrier is stronger than ever right now, and with the arrival of the A320, we will be able to support airlines … during need periods and bring passenger airlift to underserved destinations.”
The airline is certified under a Part 121 certificate as a Domestic and Flag carrier. It will initially do business as GlobalX before becoming Global Crossing. It plans to operate wet lease and ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance) flights for airlines, as well as charter operations for tour operators, professional and college teams, and other groups “requiring a 150 seat aircraft capable of flying up to six hours.”
Vision for the Future
Although it is a fledgling airline, GlobalX already has high hopes for its future. It aims to become the United States’ (US) leading charter airline with service eventually extending to Ecuador and Canada. It is planning to construct a “major base operation” at MIA in the form of an 80,000 square foot (7,340 square meter) hangar complex complete with Crew training facilities.
Operations will begin with the A320 and A321. The airline says it wants to place orders for the A320neo and A330neo, with deliveries slated to start in the mid-2020s. In addition to passenger services, it will expand to cargo services, and plans to use the new A321P2F converted freighter.
“We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the leadership and team at GlobalX for their trust in Airbus and our A320 aircraft family,” remarks Jeffrey Knittel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Americas. “It’s an honor to welcome a new A320 and A321 operator in North America and support them throughout their expansion. We look forward to a great relationship with GlobalX into the future.”
Featured image: GlobalX Airlines Airbus A320 at MIA. Photo: GlobalX Airlines