As longtime OMAAT readers know, I love covering airline startups, regardless of how realistic they are. Well, the newest airline startup is a UK-based company named Himalaya Jet, and my goodness…
The basics of Himalaya Jet
Himalaya Jet is a new premium long haul carrier that intends to connect cities of Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia, with point-to-point flights.
While the company is based in the UK, the investors are of Nepalese descent, and want to connect Nepal and India to the rest of the world. Specifically, the airline hopes to fly from Kathmandu, Delhi, and Mumbai, to London, Paris, and Sydney. The airline also hopes to fly to additional long haul destinations, including New York, Washington, Toronto, Zurich, Frankfurt, Madrid, Rome and Vienna.
The airline claims that it will launch in September 2023 (yep, in around four months) using leased Boeing 787s.
British businessman Dipendra Gurung is behind the airline. He reportedly owns many luxury cinemas, as well as the Miss World pageant. Gurung describes himself as an entrepreneur, angel investor, philanthropist, former UN consultant, diplomat, and socialite.
The Gurung family met with Boeing in Seattle recently, to discuss plans for the airline to launch. The company claims that it will lease two Boeing 787-8s for a period of three years, and hopes to operate 18 jets by its third year of service.
For what it’s worth, the company has been registered in the UK with 800 million ordinary shares, valued at £2 each.
What can I even say about this concept?
There are different kinds of “airline startups,” ranging from legitimate airline startups founded by experienced industry executives, to fraudsters just looking to steal money from investors, without any plans to actually launch an airline.
Where does Himalaya Jet fall? My initial read is that the people behind the airline are serious, and I don’t think this is a scam. Even so, this just seems like such an unrealistic business model.
As much as I’m a huge avgeek, I can never wrap my head around why investors want to start new airlines. Could the industry use some innovation? Absolutely! Will an airline give you the highest ROI, compared to other investment options? If you ask me, you’d be better off going to a casino and putting all your money on a roulette table, as you have better odds of leaving rich.
Point-to-point long haul airline startups almost never succeed, and that’s for good reason. The people behind them generally see that there’s a certain amount of demand between some markets, and then figure they can capture a big percentage of that. But that approach fails to consider just how hard it is to gain market share, especially profitably.
Lastly, I just can’t understand why most airline startups seem to have such unrealistic launch timelines. The company expects to go from not even having signed a contract for planes, to launching operations, in just four months? That’s not how that works!
Himalaya Jet is the latest airline startup, which hopes to operate premium point-to-point long haul routes. While the company is based in the UK, it hopes to focus on the Himalayas (including India and Nepal), by operating service to everywhere from Asia, to Europe, to the United States, to Australia.
Himalaya Jet claims it will launch operations in September 2023 using Boeing 787s. If we’re taking bets, I’m just going to go ahead and say I think that’s pretty unlikely…
What do you make of Himalaya Jet?
(Tip of the hat to Klaus)
As an aviation enthusiast, keeping eye on their website updates, it’s fascinating destinations for long haul Carrier
All I can say is what happened to the fanfare around six years back when an airline supposedly going to contribute profits to charity never took off and also Hahn Airways which was going to satisfy the UK to India market, all pipe dreams.
I looked at their website. If the intend to lease and operate Boeing 787-8s, why do they get presented with a Boeing 777 painting and taken in front of a Triple Seven backdrop. Something not quite right there.
Airline announces they'll be starting out with several leased widebody Boeing 787s..
...proceed to launch a website with a narrowbody Airbus as main photo.
One major issue is the pricing of these types of airlines and that they do not have enough history to have partners
Just the Airline's name would scare me away.
OK, it's not going to happen.
But the question where the answer is less obvious to me (as for several of these "airlines" is "Why are they doing it?"
Which might be connected to "Who are they trying to scam?"
New investors, existing investors (they already have somebody signed up), a government agency E.g. for subsidies, putative passengers, other?
How can someone write this in a startup article and about an airline jet "Where does Himalaya Jet fall?" :)
I could see them doing a code share with BALTIA to get more traffic onto their planes from the east coast US.
Prive Cinema Ltd incorporated 9th February 2021 with last filed accounts as a dormant company for month end February 2022.
I'll place Himalaya Jet as one which will not take flight.
I can see some the math might look tempting at first. You can contract employees from other airline service companies at stations. The real issue is that an airline starting small and focused on long haul will end up with meltdown situations with 12-24 hours delays, that is a public relations nightmare.
Another PPT Carrier?
I don’t think they’re going to fly to PPT. Not enough demand between Tahiti and the Himalayas. Great way to light money on fire.
Nepal's civil aviation authority is on the European Union’s bad actors list to the point where airlines operating with one of their certificates are not allowed in EU airspace. There could be a certain logic that an airline from that region operating with an Indian certification might gain business from folks who wouldn’t fly an airline on the EU list at a time (and a lot of businesses won’t put employees on an airline not...
Nepal's civil aviation authority is on the European Union’s bad actors list to the point where airlines operating with one of their certificates are not allowed in EU airspace. There could be a certain logic that an airline from that region operating with an Indian certification might gain business from folks who wouldn’t fly an airline on the EU list at a time (and a lot of businesses won’t put employees on an airline not allowed in the EU for insurance reasons) when there’s a big interest in tourism in Nepal.
An advertisement for a LONG HAUL airline with SHORT HAUL airplane....
Sure, 18 planes by 2026. That will be a great year. Kanye will be president, and it will also be the first time in 76 years that Lucy doesn't remove the football when Charlie Brown runs to kick it.
They say that Richard Branson once said "If you want to be a Millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline". This sounds like exactly that.
Actually, if Branson ever said that, he was simply appropriating a very old joke about aviation in general, not just airlines:
"If you want to make a small fortune in the aviation business, start with large fortune."
Would love to see it succeed, but if they cannot produce more than a very basic website, showing a completely different plane type than a Boeing 787, it is hard to take seriously. The company head office at LHR Terminal 2 appears a little unlikely.