It looks like David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways isn’t the only new US airline in the pipeline…
Airbahn receives DOT approval
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for Interstate Air Transportation to Airbahn. This paves the way for the airline to transport people, property, and mail, within the United States and beyond.
I’m fascinated by airline startups, so I was surprised that this was the first I had heard of Airbahn, since the airline had its first DOT filing back in October 2018.
This airline isn’t a joke, as it’s actually going through the regulatory process, and it was also a business idea before the pandemic started.
Details of US airline Airbahn
Airbahn’s October 2018 filing with the DOT explains more about the plans that the airline has. First of all, Airbahn was founded in February 2018 by Tariq M. Chaudhary. He is also the CEO of Airblue, which is Pakistan’s second largest airline, with a fleet of 10 Airbus A320-family aircraft.
What are the plans for Airbahn, Chaudhary’s new US airline?
- The airline would operate flights in the Western United States region by providing scheduled service to mid-tier markets, initially from Southern California to Northern California, Nevada, and Western Canada
- Airbahn would be based out of Long Beach Airport (LGB) or Orange County Airport (SNA)
- All planes and crews would return to base every day
- The airline plans to be conservative with growth by design, and plans to lease A320s from Airblue; Airbahn would have two planes within 12 months
- Airbahn’s A320s would have 174 seats each, in a one class configuration
- At the time of the October 2018 filing, the plan was for Airbahn to launch operations in June 2019, though obviously that hasn’t happened
Airbahn has a jobs page up, and is allegedly looking for 75 flight attendants and 36 pilots, among others.
My thoughts on Airbahn
I have a few general thoughts on the airline based on what I’ve read:
- This is perhaps one of the more realistic and modest alleged US airline startups we’ve seen in a while, at least compared to Avatar Airlines, Global Ghana Airlines, etc.
- Even though the plan to launch flights out of Long Beach was devised in 2018, this might actually be a great time for that, as JetBlue has just left Long Beach altogether
- This plan was first announced in late 2018, and with DOT approval having just come through, I’ll be curious to see if the company still moves forward in light of the pandemic
Airbahn is a US airline startup that plans to operate out of Southern California, to destinations in California, Nevada, and Western Canada. The airline will get two A320s from Airblue, a Pakistani airline run by the same person.
The airline has just received its latest DOT approval, so it’ll be interesting to see if the airline moves forward with its plans, given how market conditions have changed.
What do you think — will Airbahn become a reality?
(Featured image courtesy of Konstantin von Wedelstaedt)