New UK-US Airline Buys First Plane: A Superjumbo

New UK-US Airline Buys First Plane: A Superjumbo

DALLAS — UK startup carrier Global Airlines has bought the first of three Airbus A380 aircraft it plans to purchase, according to the new airline.

As per a report in The Independent, Global will begin operations in the spring of 2024 with the three Superjumbos. The new airline intends to operate transatlantic flights between the United States and the United Kingdom by the spring of 2024. The carrier, which plans to operate from London Gatwick (LGW), announced that it had acquired an Airbus A380, the largest passenger aircraft.

Global Airlines is the first new airline to acquire an A380 in over eight years.

“The purchase of our first aircraft demonstrates that we are well on the way to launching Global. The next step is to overhaul and refit the aircraft to our high specification, providing our customers with the best experience in the sky today,” stated the new airline.

Global Airlines A380. Render: Global Airlines

The Return of the Superjumbo?

During the pandemic, a majority of A380s were sent to storage. However, as air travel returned, the need for such a larger aircraft returned with it. Global Airlines has outright purchased the aircraft from Doric Aviation, a German aircraft finance company, which says it owns 14 Airbus A380 aircraft: 13 are with Emirates (EK), and one is up for sale. 

Next spring, Global will start flying from London to Los Angeles and New York. If the route is a reality, the new carrier will compete directly with legacy carriers such as Virgin Atlantic (VS) and British Airways (BA). The airline will also compete with low-cost carrier Norse Atlantic (N0), which serves New York and Los Angeles from London Gatwick (LGW).

Aside from the transatlantic competition, it takes time to put proper procedures in place for route planning across the ocean, A380 maintenance, crew training, and getting the relevant country to approve that certificate. Also, the startup must obtain takeoff and landing slot pairs at relevant airports for its Superjumbo operations, not to mention gate and ticket counter space.

Global has a long road ahead unless it has also purchased an airline operating certificate from a defunct airline but owning an airplane is usually the first step in establishing a new airline certification.

Global Airlines A380 tail. Photo: Global Airlines

Service Specs

According to Asquith, by 2025, the airline will have over 100 wide-body planes and offer service from other major hubs in Europe. 

Furthermore, each Global Airlines first-class cabin suit is over 12 feet long and has room for a double bed. Each suite would have a private bathroom, similar to The Residence on Etihad’s (EY) A380. In addition to the first-class cabin, the aircraft will feature business class, premium economy, economy, and a gamer class.

Passengers will have to pay a premium for this cabin, where they can play XBOX and PlayStation with other passengers in the cabin. This gamer class will have fifteen seats in a 1-3-1 configuration.

The person behind Global Airlines is James Asquith, who founded Holiday Swap and has the Guinness World Record for the youngest man to visit every country in the world.

Featured image: Global Airlines’ first A380 of four. Photo: Global Airlines

Joshua Kupietzky has a passion for aviation and deep expertise in the aviation industry. He’s been enamored with the facts and figures of the airline industry, and the details of the make and model of commercial aircraft for as long as he can remember. Based in Chicago, US. Follow him on Instagram @jbkaviation

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