An airbus has landed at Birmingham Airport ahead of the planned debut of four new weekly flights to India. Hans Airways wants to begin its first UK flight between BHX and Amritsar in North India next month.
First, it must conduct a route-proving flight and obtain Civil Aviation Authority certification (CAA). Last week, the start-up airline welcomed its first Airbus A330-200 into the city, in preparation for the crucial test flight, which is scheduled for the end of the month.
Hans Airways promises to blend the ‘value for money approach’ used by low-cost airlines with the level of service anticipated from established long-haul operators, according to the carrier’s website. Officially established in the UK in October 2019, the company’s executives have been in ‘extensive conversations’ with the CAA for the past two years.
The airline claims it would be ready to fly in September if it obtains its air operator certificate and comparable accreditation from India’s DGCA. The firm has already hired and trained a complete staff of pilots and cabin personnel, who are now ready to go.
Satnam Saini, CEO of Hans, stated: “The arrival of our first widebody airbus into the UK marks a critical milestone in Hans Airways’ road to launch. We are extremely thrilled to have added a wealth of skill and experience to our leadership and management team over the last year, as well as recruited and trained a complete complement of great pilots and cabin crew who will be ready to fly as soon as the airline’s AOC is granted.”
Once flights are approved, Hans executives said they would first focus on secondary routes between the UK and India, but that other markets will be considered in the long run. The aircraft will be divided into two classes, economy plus and economy, and will have an in-flight entertainment system. A frequent flyer program will provide passengers with the benefits of being a loyal member while also allowing consumers to donate to children’s educational charity.
Hans intends to launch a four-times-weekly service from Birmingham to Amritsar. The city is a significant economic and cultural center in the heart of Punjab, as well as a spiritual and cultural hub for the Sikh religion and the location of the ‘Golden Temple,’ Harmandir Sahib. As the airline finalizes its schedule, it intends to fly charter services to aid in crew training prior to the introduction of its first scheduled passenger services.
“We are happy STS has been selected as a long-term major maintenance partner to support Hans Airways’ Airbus A330,” said STS head of sales Colby Payne. As a consequence of this collaboration, we have accepted the first aircraft for a maintenance visit at our cutting-edge wide-body aircraft MRO facility in Birmingham, and we look forward to assisting Hans Airways with future projects as it expands.”
After a comprehensive 200-hour inspection in Abu Dhabi, the airbus landed at Birmingham Airport from Palma as the newly re-registered G-KJAS. To prepare for the route-proving flight, Hans Airways has worked with Birmingham-based maintenance and repair overhaul company STS Aviation Services.