One of the spaces to look out for in 2022 is the low-cost long-haul airlines taking to the skies. Not only are the Indian bigwigs such as IndiGo planning to get into this space when international travel opens up (with their A321XLR aircraft), but there are a lot of new operators also popping up all around which intend to address specific markets, such as the Tier 2 UK-India markets where a British Airways, Air India or Virgin Atlantic may not be interested in serving. One of these players has just signed on their first aircraft.
The UK’s newest airline, Hans Airways is preparing to launch scheduled flights to India in 2022. Hans Airways has applied to the UK Civil Aviation Authority for its Air Operator’s Certificate and is hopeful of obtaining the status in time to start revenue service in Summer 2022. The airline will operate in secondary cities in India from Birmingham Airport, which will be its base.
The airline has announced it has secured its first aircraft, an Airbus A330-200. The aircraft has been operating with a leading European airline since 2008, configured in a two-cabin layout, which Hans Airways will operate with 275 economy and 24 premium economy seats.
Hans Airways calls itself a hybrid, long-haul airline venture, blending value for money fares with a quality inflight service offering. Hans Airways will offer two classes of the cabin – Economy (with 31-inch seat pitch and 274 seats) and Economy Plus offering a 56” pitch and 24 seats). It will provide complimentary inflight entertainment and catering as standard.
A loyalty programme is planned. To be known as HAPEEI (Hans Airways Passengers Environment Education Initiative), it will reward passengers with all the regular benefits of a frequent flyer programme and with a strong emphasis on corporate social responsibility, create opportunities to donate to children’s educational charities in India or conservation and water preservation projects.
Hans Airways’ CEO Satnam Saini, on this occasion, said,
We are delighted to have achieved this very important milestone in our two-year journey. Our scheduled operations centre on the Airbus A330, a popular and spacious long-haul widebody, excellent for cargo too, and we are grateful to everyone who has helped us to ratify this agreement at the start of the new year.
Hans Airways’ has identified a high demand for regular secondary city air links between the UK and India, drawing on its CEO’s experience instigating a series of charter flights for Monarch Airlines and FlyJet.
Hans Airways submitted its UK AOC application in March 2020, following extensive discussions with the UK Civil Aviation Authority and Department for Transport.
In terms of slots, which is always an issue for those airlines planning flights to Heathrow, Birmingham Airport should be a breeze, with the airport itself spending some amount of money to get the marketing of the route done from their marketing dollars.
Not just that, the ability to funnel through without having to pass BOM/DEL and catch a second flight to get to their eventual destination, and also fly without having to fly via London Heathrow on the other end, might also keep the costs low, and also allow the airline to get through to the Indian diaspora which is spread through the country.
Hans Airways is one of the new airlines in the UK, which intends to fly between the UK and India on Tier 2/3 segments, and wants to launch in 2022. The airline will offer only Economy and Premium Economy service between the two countries.
What do you think of flying direct between UK and India without flying via a hub airport?
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