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Global Airlines appoints Hi Fly to help its A380s take off

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Things have been quiet in the past few months at Global Airlines, the UK airline start-up that wants to fly A380s between the UK and US. There is, however, a significant update.

This week, Global Airlines announced it had signed an agreement to work with Hi Fly.

You’ve probably never heard of Hi Fly, and with good reason. They are a wet lease airline, meaning they provide aircraft and crew to airlines that need it, rather than operating under their own airline or brand. (In a dry lease situation, the airline provides its own crew.)

Global AIrlines HiFly contract

This is extremely common in the industry. British Airways has been wet leasing aircraft from Avion Express, Air Belgium and Finnair this summer to fly its busy schedule.

What makes this deal interesting is that Hi Fly has experience in operating the A380. Just one A380 in fact. Hi Fly was the first (and I believe only?) operator of a second-hand A380 when it took delivery of an ex-Singapore Airlines aircraft in 2018.

Unfortunately, the aircraft wasn’t a huge success with Hi Fly. When covid arrived the aircraft was converted into a freighter with the removal of the economy cabin, allowing it to carry 68 tons of cargo on 17-hour non-stop flights around the world. That’s a lot of face masks.

Ultimately, however, the numbers didn’t work and the aircraft was retired for the second time in late 2020.

As it happens, the first of the four A380s delivered to Global Airlines is, in fact, the very same A380. According to Global Airlines,

“The short-term focus for both organisations are the EIS and Return to Service (RTS) processes for Global’s first aircraft, expected to commence in the months ahead.”

By working with Hi Fly, Global Airlines should be able to launch flights far earlier than if it had to start from scratch. After all, Hi Fly has pilots, engineers and crew that are familiar with the aircraft.

As a wet lease airline, Hi Fly is also familiar with operating flights for other airlines. It seems like a match made in heaven.

Comments (45)

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  • dougzz99 says:

    It’s interesting how many posters that want to fly east just assume the demand and profitability is there. They should bond with the Manchester crowd that feel likewise.

    • Novice says:

      Maybe, the demand is lacking in London, I wouldn’t know because my London flights need to be connected from Man but I can assure you, although I am a leisure traveller I am quite frequent (at least once a month if not twice except in school holidays) and the airport is always packed and most flight are flying east. The only time maybe there’s probably more western flights might be during school holidays when you have the plebs going to US in the masses.

      • mkcol says:

        Assuring us all & providing verifiable facts are entirely different things.

        Come back when you can provide the latter.

  • His Holyness says:

    Gong east is a good idea. There is lots of money to be made with a high density aircraft going to Pakistan and Bangladesh from BHX and MAN.

    • Chris W says:

      But Global are not planning to be a budget airline. They are planning to retain J and F on their A380s

      • His Holyness says:

        Some of the wealthiest people in those areas are from BAME (Asian) backgrounds. Having a ticket counter would be imperative.

        • Mike says:

          Having seem the check-in desks of some of the ME airlines with people check-in to fly via the ME to Indian, Pakistan and Bangladesh then I’d agree that a ticket counter would be needed and the patience of a saint as nearly everyone has a trolley with multiple suitcases and cardboard boxes possibly those laundry bag things.

          I wouldn’t say they are the wealthiest, but they are certainly flying somewhere.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Rob: just noticed the ad for QR has an expired offer (as of yesterday) so probably best to stick something else up there unless they paid for it to be up all weekend

    • Rob says:

      Thansk, Sinead seems to have forgotten to swap it. Have popped Capital On Tap in there as a quick filler.

  • Voldemort says:

    Ah so Global is a virtual airline after all. Hope HiFly have taken payment up front!!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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