UK-based new entrant Hans Airways, which aims to connect Birmingham Airport (BHX) with secondary cities across India, is eager to attract brand new flyers with a hybrid model that will offer low fares whilst ensuring that onboard catering and inflight entertainment are still included as standard.
Last month, the company signed a letter of intent for a 13.5-year-old Airbus A330-200, formerly flown by Air Europa. Hans Airways will operate the aircraft with 275 economy class seats and 24 premium economy seats, offering 31” and 56” of seat pitch, respectively. Details about the hard product are expected to be announced soon.
“We see this model as similar to Norwegian’s long-haul service, offering passengers a little bit of added comfort,” explains a Hans Airways spokeswoman of the now-defunct arm of Norwegian. She notes that Hans Airways doesn’t see the low-cost model working for long-haul services, and doesn’t believe that people should be charged for water.
The British start-up also wants to differentiate itself by focusing on social responsibility and community. For instance, its loyalty programme, HAPEEI (Hans Airways Passengers Environment Education Initiative), will create opportunities to donate to children’s educational charities in India or conservation and water preservation projects, as well as provide the usual rewards for frequent flyers. A weekly lottery will allow members to select a charity of their choice to receive donations.
Company CEO Satnam Saini is committed to this initiative, says the spokeswoman, noting: “he wants to make a difference, and bring air travel to people who haven’t flown before. The airline will encourage student travel, and ensure that older people can make use of their services.”
Saini sees demand from the Indian diaspora living in the UK — a market in which he is familiar.
“The origin of Hans Airways lies in experience operating between secondary city pairs in the UK and India which established that there was a high demand for regular flights serving Indian diasporas in Europe and North America. The CEO of Hans Airways was instrumental in setting up a series of charter flights to one of these destinations with Monarch Airlines and Fly Jet Airlines,” the carrier explains in an online statement.
That’s why BHX, and its large catchment area, was selected by Hans Airways for its base of operations.
In 2020, Hans Airways submitted its application for an Air Operator’s Certificate to the UK Civil Aviation Authority. It hopes to obtain the status in time to start revenue service this summer.
Anticipating this event, the start-up airline has signed agreements for ground services with Air Logistics Group, based in nearby Derby, and has also begun recruiting crew members. It has been working with Resource Group since August 2021 to ensure it fills all roles ahead of its launch.
Exact flights have not yet been announced, but the carrier’s website lists Amritsar, India and Milan, Italy as areas to explore.
“In terms of our network, the initial focus is on secondary routes between the UK and India, but other markets feature in the long-term plan,” it says.
- Norse Atlantic Airways prepares for takeoff in 2022
- Start-ups move closer to injecting Canadian aviation with competition
- 2021: the year of clean slate startup airlines?
- Breeze Airways issues RFP to serve international markets with A220s
- US airline start-up aha! joins the pack
- For one budget airline, humor is the differentiating amenity
Featured image credited to Hans Airways