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Discover 5 airlines that started their activities in the 2020 pandemic

This time may not be the best year to launch an airline but it did not stop these airlines to made their first commercial flight this year

Existing companies struggle to survive, and some of them did not make it. Flybe and Go2Sky are good examples.

Some airlines such as Breeze are still in a position to postpone their plan. The new US market entrant is still in the strategic phase. It has not yet applied for an AOC nor hired flight crew or leased jets. Initially forecasted for the end of the year, Breeze launch should happen in 2021.

OWG, the Nolinor Spin-off that will take skies in a few weeks was a project started in 2018. Its aircraft were already sourced and on their way to Montreal when the market collapsed.

However, lanching and airline takes months if not years. Cash spending does not start with the first flight. Moreover, the last steps to the first flight are the most expensive.

From charter company to international network carrier, discover which are those airlines.

Air Gotland

Gotland is a large island in the baltic sea belonging to Sweden. Over the years, it became a prime destination for high-end second homeowners.

Air Gotland started a line in July between Visby in Gotland and the Stockholm city airport of Bromma where it will face competition with two other Swedish airlines. The airline wants to be the local flight alternative adapted to the needs of the Gotland market.

Currently,  the airline has no fleet but has a wet-lease agreement for a SAAB 340 with the Polish carrier SprintAir.

AnimaWings

Located in Romania, AnimaWings stated operating charter for local tour operators. It’s two Airbus A320 are operating flights to major Mediterranean sunny destinations.

Agean Airline which owns 25% of the airline. The remaining 75% is owned by the Memento Group, which is one of the biggest travel agency networks in Romania.

flyBAIR

Following the bankruptcy of Skyworks in October 2017, the swiss airport of Bern had no home carrier and little destinations. The airport authorities and local swiss investors teamed up to created flyBAIR.

Image Credit: Flybair

As for Air Gotland, flyBAIR is a virtual airline in the sense that they do not operate aircraft. The swiss airlines signed an agreement with Helvetic Airways which perform the flights with its fleet of Embraer E190 on their behalf.

FlyBAIR initially planned to start in May. However, the COVID situation made this objective impossible, and the airline postponed the first flight in July.

Starlux Airlines

This one may be the less luckiest one. Starlux Airlines started its operations end of January just before the pandemic. At his head, no other than the former chairman of the most prominent Taiwanese private airline: EVA Air.

In March 2016, he lost his position as EVA Air chairman due to a fight in the control of the airline shareholder (Evergreen Group) following the death of his father.

He decided to start its airline with a focus on luxury and service. The airlines operated a few lines with its fleet of Airbus A321NEO. It currently struggles to find destination given the restriction in place due to the pandemic.

ZIPAIR Tokyo

This last new airline is not a startup without resources. ZIPAIR Tokyo is an attempt from Japan Air Line to dig into the long hall low-cost market. The company inherited from the two first Boeing 787 Dreamliners delivered to JAL in 2012.

Image Credit: Melvinnnnnnnn (Flikr)

The initial plan was to be a passenger airline. However, the long hall market is not the most accessible one for the moment as most countries remain closed.

Therefore the company removed seats from its Boeing 787 and now operate cargo flights to Bangkok. ZIPAIR has not yet announced the actual start of its passenger service.

The real question is which of these companies was right not to postpone more their launch? Only the future will be able to tell us.

Main image Credit: Flybair

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