Global Airlines, Hi Fly Team On A380 Development, Maintenance

Global Airlines CEO James Asquith

 James Asquith, founder and CEO of Global Airlines, boards a Global aircraft. 

Credit: Global Airlines

UK startup Global Airlines and wet lease specialist Hi Fly have signed an agreement to develop and maintain four Airbus A380s the carrier has agreed to acquire.

Under the agreement, Hi Fly, which was the first in the secondary market to operate an A380, will work with Global on preparing the aircraft for the carrier’s planned launch of operations service in summer 2024.

While both companies will focus on the entry-into-service and return-to-service processes for the first aircraft, they will explore further ways to broaden their collaboration.

“I place no limits on the potential of this collaboration,” Global Airlines CEO and founder James Asquith says. “The great news for us is that the team at Hi Fly knows the A380 inside and out and will be invaluable in helping us with their industry knowledge around the maintenance and technical acceptance required for our first aircraft.”

Hi Fly operates around 35,000 flights per year for 140 airlines and governments around the world. “We are delighted to be part of the continued A380 revival,” Hi Fly CEO Antonios Efthymiou says. “[Global’s] passion for the A380, and belief in its potential to transform the passenger flying experience, is shared across our organization.”

In July, Asquith said Global should receive its air operator certificate later this year. He says one of the airline’s A380s is an early-production aircraft previously operated by Singapore Airlines, while the other three have been in storage in the U.S.

The four aircraft will have two seating configurations: one with around 470 seats and the other with around 450.  

The Global launch announcement earlier this year made a splash at a time of mixed fortunes for the global fleet of A380s. Some carriers including Air France-KLM have removed all A380s from their fleets, but others such as Lufthansa are bringing the double-decker widebodies back. 

Helen Massy-Beresford

Based in Paris, Helen Massy-Beresford covers European and Middle Eastern airlines, the European Commission’s air transport policy and the air cargo industry for Aviation Week & Space Technology and Aviation Daily.