London set to be home of new transatlantic carrier Global as soon as next year
A team of successful investors are preparing the launch of a new transatlantic airline based out of London, City A.M. has learned, with one Airbus jumbo jet already purchased.
The investors behind Holiday Swap, the travel platform valued at more than £300m, and the firm’s founder James Asquith are thought to have as many as three further A380 planes in the pipeline.
An A380 in good condition can cost as much as £90m.
The airline, which aviation sources suggest will be called Global, would be the first British-registered carrier to be launched since the Covid-19 pandemic other than the ill-fated revival of Flybe.
City A.M. understands Global intends to operate a maiden flight from London Gatwick to New York in spring 2024, with a route to Los Angeles added later.
The airline is in advanced discussions across the industry as it ups its recruitment drive, City sources suggested.
Holiday Swap is the world’s largest ‘home exchange’ platform and now operates in 184 countries. Its current investors, many of whom are believed to be behind the Global project, include Sheikh Juma Ahmed Juma al Maktoum, a member of the ruling family of Dubai.
Other investors include Tom Stokley, the founder of OnlyFans, and William Kronenberg III, a veteran of the insurance, investment and real estate worlds based in Pennsylvania.
Global will attempt to disrupt the transatlantic flight market, currently dominated in the UK by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
A number of ventures have attempted to break the duo’s stranglehold, with Zoom and Norwegian’s attempted UK operation the latest to fail.
But sources told City A.M. that Global will attempt to push for the premium end of the market, with one insider describing the prospective in-flight offering as “Emirati service-levels,” comparable to that found on Emirates or Etihad.
All planes will be kitted out with a new bar area, with economy class intended to be a significantly more pleasant flying experience than the current big two operators.
Transatlantic travel has rebounded strongly alongside the rest of the aviation industry. Departures from the UK to the US are set to hit 99 per cent of 2019 levels this month, according to new data from the aviation analytics firm Cirium.