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This New Airline is Buying Stored Airbus A380s for Transatlantic Flights

New UK-based carrier Global Airlines acquires stored Airbus A380, aiming to operate transatlantic flights from London with a touch of luxury

by Enrique Perrella

May 29, 2023

Photo: Airbus A380. Courtesy of Timo Wagner / Unsplash

Global Airlines, a new U.K.-based carrier, is making headlines for recently purchasing its first aircraft—a stored Airbus A380. This odd acquisition positions Global Airlines as the first new airline to own one of these double-decker superjumbos in eight years.

With plans to operate transatlantic flights from London starting in the spring of 2024, the airline aims to capitalize on the plane’s passenger capacity and bring “a touch of luxury to modern air travel.”

Photo: Courtesy of Global Airlines

“Our aspiration is to be the best way to fly, and the A380, with its unmatched levels of space, comfort, and service, will be absolutely central to achieving that vision,” said James Asquith, CEO and Founder of Global Airlines.

Interestingly, the aircraft in question is a former Singapore Airlines Airbus A380, which was delivered to the airline in March 2008 and flew for the world-class airline until November 2017. Since then, the plane was taken over by Hi Fly Malta and painted in special “Save the Coral Reefs” colors, flying a myriad of charter operations until its phase-out in December 2020.

The Resurgence of the A380

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous A380s worldwide were put into storage, sparking doubts about their future due to the existence of more fuel-efficient aircraft.

However, as the airline industry recovers from the disastrous effects of the global pandemic, some stored A380s found their way back to the skies.

Recently, Lufthansa returned to service four parked Airbus A380s for its transatlantic flights to its two most popular U.S. East Coast gateways.

Likewise, Etihad Airways announced the return of four of its ten A380s into service by deploying the super jumbo on its London Heathrow (LHR) route in the summer of 2023.

And Emirates—the world’s largest A380 operator—launched its first fully refurbished A380. The upgraded plane was the first of 120 aircraft that the carrier is retrofitting as part of its $2 billion upgrade campaign.

Photo: Courtesy of Etihad Airways

But Global Airlines, a new entrant in the North Atlantic market, has procured its first A380 from German aircraft finance company Doric Aviation. However, the exact purchase price remains undisclosed.

As the airline takes this significant stride forward, it also intends to acquire three additional A380s in the coming months. With a fleet of three superjumbos, Global Airlines plans to inaugurate its services from London to New York and Los Angeles next spring, providing transatlantic travel options to passengers.

On its website, Global Airlines claims that purchasing its first aircraft demonstrates its steady progress toward launching operations.

“The purchase of our first aircraft demonstrates that we are well on the way to launching Global,” added the CEO. “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. Acquiring our aircraft rather than leasing showcases our commitment to financial security and resilience from day one.”

Photo: Airbus A380. Courtesy of Robert Hrovat / Unsplash

As noted by Gary Leff, aviation expert and publisher of View from the Wing, “A used A380 might be as cheap as $30 million, but when Singapore Airlines refurbished its Airbus A380s, it cost them $61 million per aircraft, and those were in good condition to start.”The conditions of the recently acquired A380s for Global Aviation are currently uncertain.

Sibylle Paehler, Managing Partner at Doric, admitted being “delighted to have worked with James and the team on the acquisition of their first Global Airlines aircraft.”

“Contrary to popular belief, the A380 is widely recognized as the best way to fly, offering unparalleled comfort and features that lead to a unique travel experience. We are proud to have placed this beautiful modern aircraft with a new airline that will soon take to the skies. We are confident that Global Airlines will acquire more A380 aircraft in the near future,” Paehler said.


Yet Another Disruptor?

Describing itself as a disruptor and challenger brand, Global Airlines aspires to revolutionize consumer aviation worldwide, evoking the nostalgic era of golden travel while infusing it with a modern flair.

The airline claims to be a game-changing force within the industry, built by experts and designed with the input of frequent travelers.

Photo: Courtesy of Global Airlines

By offering a fresh approach to luxury, comfort, and onboard experience, Global Airlines aims to inject newfound excitement into the global aviation market, comparable to the launch of Concorde’s commercial flights in 1976.