Unusual: Red Way & Global X Launch Airline Based In Lincoln, Nebraska

Unusual: Red Way & Global X Launch Airline Based In Lincoln, Nebraska

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Well, now I’ve seen it all. The newest airline in the United States is Red Way, which will operate flights exclusively out of Lincoln, Nebraska. In reality Red Way is just a paper airline, as flights will be operated by charter carrier Global Crossing Airlines. Hmm…

Red Way & Global X launching Lincoln flights in June 2023

We hear of all kinds of airline startups, and most of them never come to fruition. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new airline has not only been announced, but has put flights on sale, for travel starting in several weeks.

Red Way is a new public charter airline that will be acting as a sales agent on behalf of GlobalX Air Tours. Then Global Crossing Airlines will be the direct air carrier. So while you’ll buy tickets with Red Way, your flight will be operated by Global Crossing Airlines aircraft.

Red Way will be based in Lincoln, Nebraska (LNK), and will initially operate flights to the following destinations:

  • 2x weekly Orlando (MCO) service starts June 8, 2023
  • 2x weekly Minneapolis (MSP) service starts June 8, 2023
  • 2x weekly Atlanta (ATL) service starts June 16, 2023
  • 2x weekly Dallas (DFW) service starts June 16, 2023
  • 2x weekly Las Vegas (LAS) service starts June 16, 2023
  • 2x weekly Austin (AUS) service starts June 24, 2023
  • 2x weekly Nashville (BNA) service starts June 24, 2023
Red Way routemap

Red Way is an ultra low cost carrier, and fares for these flights start at just $59.

Red Way introductory fares

Red Way has several fare bundles, and it’s interesting how quickly prices increase. For example, looking at a Lincoln to Las Vegas flight, fares start at $59 one-way, but the higher fare bundles cost $184, $359, and $449. Food and drinks are available for purchase onboard these flights.

Red Way pricing

Flights are already on sale directly on Red Way’s website.

Red Way is very committed to Nebraska, and describes its mission as being “to create superior air travel experiences for the people of Nebraska by offering convenience, affordability, exciting destinations, and incredible customer service.” The company’s slogan is “Fly Local and Travel Far.” The airline claims to believe in the power of community, and that this will lead the airline to succeed, as the local Nebraska market supports the airline.

For context, Lincoln currently only has air service from United Express, as the airline flies regional jets to Chicago, Denver, and Houston.

Here’s what the CEO of GlobalX had to say about choosing Lincoln (which almost sounds like something you’d expect to hear from someone running for office):

“Lincoln represents the very best of America. Hometown values, hardworking citizens and a real zest for capitalism. We’ve looked at the numbers. There’s been a lot of research and analysis that’s gone into this, and we know that this is a winner.”

What a unique business model…

Tomorrow might be April Fools’ Day, but this new airline is no joke. Logically speaking, most people are probably scratching their heads about this. So a new airline will exclusively operate flights out of Lincoln, an airport that other airlines can’t seem to operate to profitably? And on top of that, a company will essentially be selling tickets on behalf of another airline?

The first logical question is probably why the company chose Lincoln as a hub. Sure, while the CEO of Global X claims it’s all about “hometown values, hardworking citizens, and a real zest for capitalism,” there’s another major factor.

Roughly $3 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act have been put into this project, to get Red Way to launch flights from Lincoln. So that’s a pretty major incentive. I’d be curious about the terms associated with that, and for how long this service has to be maintained to secure all those subsidies.

Keep in mind that this is a really low risk startup. Global X is a charter airline that leases out its planes, either to other airlines, or for projects like this. So no additional planes have been acquired to start this service, and for that matter, no additional pilots or flight attendants need to be hired.

Rather Global X will be doing the flying here, as it currently does for other projects. This also means that it would be pretty easy to wind down this airline in the future, if need be, as these planes can just operate other missions. The planes won’t even be getting new paint jobs.

I guess the one thing I’m confused about here is what Red Way is? I get the company has a website selling tickets. Is that purely to avoid any repetitional damage for Global X if this doesn’t work out, or…?

Even with how low risk this is, I can’t imagine there’s much merit to this service beyond the incentives being offered by the community. It’s pretty telling that none of the ultra low cost point-to-point carriers in the country have attempted to touch Lincoln, from Allegiant, to Breeze, to Frontier, to Spirit. That should tell you a lot about the existing level of demand (or lack thereof).

These flights will be operated by Global X

Bottom line

Red Way is the newest paper airline in the United States, as it will launch operations out of Lincoln, Nebraska, as of June 2023. The airline will initially fly 2x weekly to seven different destinations, and flights will be operated by Global Crossing Airlines aircraft.

If this concept seems strange, you’re not alone. You have to look no further than the $3 million in incentives being given out to make sense of this service. The question is how long it will last…

What do you make of Nebraska’s new hometown airline?

Conversations (37)
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  1. Janis Holloway Guest

    My son booked 9 tickets with Redway to take his family to Disney World for Christmas. A few days later their tickets were cancelled and he has yet to get any money back! Such a SCAM! He is out almost $3000. So unprofessional. Very poor business practice. Someone needs to be accountable. Everyone is passing the buck here. No one is being helpful or accountable! Do not use any airline associated with Redway!

  2. Christine Salisbury Guest

    Love it!!! Inaugural flight from Lincoln to Austin was the easiest flight experience ever. From booking, check-in, onboarding, flight, to baggage claim. Seamless.

  3. Mike Guest

    The hope in the business model has to be that they will be filling the Airbus A320/321 planes. That sounds like a "duh," but these are significantly larger than commercial carriers have used at LNK; and a full A320 has to be more profitable to run than a 50 passenger Bombardier regional jet. The schedule they set up is clearly designed for Nebraska tourists to go to the 7 cities, so they really did not...

    The hope in the business model has to be that they will be filling the Airbus A320/321 planes. That sounds like a "duh," but these are significantly larger than commercial carriers have used at LNK; and a full A320 has to be more profitable to run than a 50 passenger Bombardier regional jet. The schedule they set up is clearly designed for Nebraska tourists to go to the 7 cities, so they really did not set up LNK as a hub in the traditional sense, people will not be flying from Austin to Orlando via LNK. You can only fly from any of the 7 cities to Lincoln (vast majority of whom are returning to Lincoln). As mentioned, because these are technically "Charter" flights, the model can more collapsible and adjustable. Probably a couple of the routes get more frequency, while a couple probably drop within six months or so. They probably could also add in special flights for events in Lincoln should "reverse" tourism (remember, we're talking 1-2 round trip flight per week, it would NOT take a lot of reverse tourism) turn out to be marketable. (Pinnacle Bank Arena events, for example)

  4. Gray Guest

    So, two things to note:
    -First, I can't get a copy of their seatmaps on their website, and there's no indication of what "Business Seats" means. Likewise, no indication as to what the in-flight food/beverage situation is for various booking options.

    -Second, this reminds me eerily of the PEOPLExpress mess at PHF, which has all sorts of things in common with LNK both in terms of the airport (PHF is a smaller airport with...

    So, two things to note:
    -First, I can't get a copy of their seatmaps on their website, and there's no indication of what "Business Seats" means. Likewise, no indication as to what the in-flight food/beverage situation is for various booking options.

    -Second, this reminds me eerily of the PEOPLExpress mess at PHF, which has all sorts of things in common with LNK both in terms of the airport (PHF is a smaller airport with two bigger/busier airports within about an hour or so) and in terms of the business model being dependent on local grants.

    PEOPLExpress lasted about three months, but might have lasted a bit longer before the cash ran out depending on how you interpret the two incidents that led them to shut down (one plane was allegedly hit by a vendor's truck [but given the extended shutdown I never heard about any litigation vs the vendor, so I've always scratched my head on this one]; the other had "an unspecified maintenance issue" per Wikipedia).

    TL;DR: I give them six months, maybe a year depending on how the revenue guarantees are set up.

  5. Steph Guest

    Please fly to Phoenix!!!

  6. Steph Guest

    Growing up in small town Nebraska and now living in Phoenix, not everybody wants to have to drive to the far side of Omaha even for being able to catch a cheap flight on Southwest. Heck I lived in Omaha before my move and didn't like the drive from west O to the airport and it was only 10 to 15 minutes shorter than the Lincoln airport. To get a little closer to home...anybody west...

    Growing up in small town Nebraska and now living in Phoenix, not everybody wants to have to drive to the far side of Omaha even for being able to catch a cheap flight on Southwest. Heck I lived in Omaha before my move and didn't like the drive from west O to the airport and it was only 10 to 15 minutes shorter than the Lincoln airport. To get a little closer to home...anybody west of Lincoln, has to pay around 300 bucks more to fly into/ou of Lincoln. That is just too much and it's definitely too much if you are just wanting a quick get-a-way weekend or flying with a family. Flying into Grand Island is an option a couple days a week on Allegiant but those flights fill up fast. (GI is a small airport about an hour and a half west of Lincoln.) And as some have already commented, don't underestimate the power of the Big Red! If it means coming into town and getting a Lyft instead of rental car from Omaha, then heck yea! And don't think they didn't have that in mind when they named their company! GBR!!!

  7. Kris Guest

    Googled “book Red Way airlines” & couldn’t find a link.
    Had to be creative & discovered the website to book is goflyred.com.
    Who in their marketing dept. thought that was a great idea??!!

  8. Kris Guest

    Allegiant DID start in LNK 1st…then pulled it & moved to Grand Island as it was much cheaper for Allegiant,
    I tend to agree it will not last…

    1. Bernie Guest

      Kris, Allegiant went to Grand Island because LNK wouldn't accommodate them!

  9. Thomas Besett Guest

    I really want to have direct air service to a few other cities - Austin being one. OMA is not that far but it is a bigger deal, especially when the weather is iffy. I am somewhat of a skeptic and a cynic, however. And when money is offered by the feds, regardless of good intentions, there are always those with smarts, resources, and connections to take advantage.

  10. steve64 Guest

    Yea,
    Florida Express Jet tried this a few years ago.
    Pretend to be a real airline while having a charter outfit (Phoenix based Swift Air) operate your flights. Same thing, all the promo photos showed a 737 in Florida Express colors, while the lone actual aircraft was to remain in Swift's colors. At least both schemes featured purple.

    Being Florida (Tampa) raised but at the time Phoenix based, I wanted to book the...

    Yea,
    Florida Express Jet tried this a few years ago.
    Pretend to be a real airline while having a charter outfit (Phoenix based Swift Air) operate your flights. Same thing, all the promo photos showed a 737 in Florida Express colors, while the lone actual aircraft was to remain in Swift's colors. At least both schemes featured purple.

    Being Florida (Tampa) raised but at the time Phoenix based, I wanted to book the inaugural flight. Luckily, the DoT shut them down before I booked.

    What I didn't know at the time was that the FAA has a new 'chapter' of air regulations that relates to charter airlines offering the same charter flights on a regular basis (essentially, 'charter' flights that are 'scheduled').

    JSX is the only airline I know of that has successfully started a 'scheduled charter' operation.
    WONDERFUL airline by the way !!
    Where JSX differs from Red Way and Florida Express Jet is that they are both the 'marketing' and 'operating' carrier.
    IMHO:
    JSX passes DoT scrutiny because they're not just a paper airline relying on someone else to run the flights via a loophole. They're a charter outfit that happens to 'charter' the same flights themselves day after day, more in lines with the newer FAA chapter (Part 880 ?? ... off the top of my head). Indeed, once you click 'purchase' on the JSX website, you're asked to acknowledge that your booking a ('spare') seat on a charter flight.

  11. dander Guest

    3 million from the government, yet we continue to run trillion dollar deficits. I was not a President Carter fan, but at least he tried to cut off much of the gravy.

  12. dr Guest

    This concept is very similar to some college student who told me in the 1970's that Lincoln had new airport facilities and was about to be a major airport with many new routes. Another college student laughed.

  13. Bernie Guest

    As we've seen in the past, LNK has tried other airlines and destinations. As soon as the subsidies are gone so was the carrier. I give the over and under at 8 months.

  14. NedsKid Diamond

    I bought a ticket on the first flight LNK-MCO. And I have a ticket on the first Northern Pacific flight a few days prior. This shall be an interesting week for sure. Probably should book a Southwest or two as back-ups as an escape route.

  15. Jerry Diamond

    I'm thinking about booking the inaugural AUS-LNK. I've always wanted to be the only passenger on a plane.

  16. N766AN Guest

    I was able to make a booking with a test credit card number (4111 1111 1111 1111) and I got a confirmation at the end. Not sure how serious they can be if they're not even validating CC's

    1. betterbub Diamond

      Some poor accountant got really really excited to see someone book

  17. Dave Guest

    This makes SkyBus sound like a good idea.

    1. Bryan Guest

      Ha! I flew SkyBus once…made Allegiant feel like LH F. Although unlike Lincoln, Columbus was heavily serviced when SkyBus tried to make a run.

  18. Bob Guest

    Ben - so to properly understand this you need to understand the local market a bit. LNK is less than sixty miles from OMA (Omaha), and the drive from airport to airport takes about 45 minutes (freeway essentially the whole way). People from Lincoln will drive to Omaha for cheaper fares (and not even much cheaper - like $100) and the existing low-cost carriers don't want to serve LNK when they can capture LNK fliers...

    Ben - so to properly understand this you need to understand the local market a bit. LNK is less than sixty miles from OMA (Omaha), and the drive from airport to airport takes about 45 minutes (freeway essentially the whole way). People from Lincoln will drive to Omaha for cheaper fares (and not even much cheaper - like $100) and the existing low-cost carriers don't want to serve LNK when they can capture LNK fliers by serving the larger OMA market. And the legacy carriers at LNK have a hard time maintaining the fare levels they need to match their costs.

    The LNK airport used to also have DL service until recently - which even DL said was profitable, but they pulled out primarily due to regional airline staffing issues.

    So the airport is trying something creative. We'll see - I'm skeptical (think this will undercut their ability to attract real carriers). But I give them credit for thinking differently.

    (born and raised in Lincoln)

    1. larz_honeyt New Member

      GBR. Great breakdown, LNK can cover 1.5 million within an hours drive. A few of these routes aren't covered by OMA year around as well. To me the demand will be there, more of a question of will this be a competent airline

    2. Dlace Guest

      Maybe if you live on the very northeast side of town it’s 45 or 50 minutes. For 75% of Lincoln that is easily over 1 hour drive without factoring traffic.

  19. betterbub Diamond

    This is a sign from the higher powers that Nebraska has finally struck gold on what seems like their 5th "can't miss" football head coach hire

  20. JasonB Gold

    It is strange. As hinted at in the article, LNK used to have more service, including Delta, but is now down to just United. The Omaha airport (OMA) is only an hour away, has been growing consistently, and is served by the 4 big domestics, plus Alaska and Frontier. There used to be an Air Canada flight to Toronto, but I don't see today. Maybe seasonal?
    The Red Way destinations don't make sense for university sports purposes, but seem aimed at leisure travel.

  21. D3kingg Guest

    No one on OMAAT knows the response to this but here it goes ;

    Goooooooo! Biiiiiiiiiig ! Reeeeeeeeeeed!

    1. Robert Member

      Didn't know Cornell was in Nebraska

  22. vic Guest

    Big bucks in transporting 'pre shucked' corn.

    A 1 airplane airline running 2 r/t a day needs what? 4 pilots, 5 FAs?, 2-4 ground staff, and a few IT/customer support people? Even if the planes are half empty, that 3MM subsidy is probably plenty to make it 'profitable'.

  23. Stuart Guest

    This may well be (especially given the name) of providing more seamless flights to Lincoln given the home of University of Nebraska, the huge alumni population that fly there for sporting events etc, and serving the growing population of Lincoln. It's a surprisingly ok small city. The name, Red Way, is clearly a play on appealing to Huskers fans. Honestly, many there find themselves driving to Omaha to fly anywhere so providing better non-stops to...

    This may well be (especially given the name) of providing more seamless flights to Lincoln given the home of University of Nebraska, the huge alumni population that fly there for sporting events etc, and serving the growing population of Lincoln. It's a surprisingly ok small city. The name, Red Way, is clearly a play on appealing to Huskers fans. Honestly, many there find themselves driving to Omaha to fly anywhere so providing better non-stops to key markets, even twice a week, may not be a bad idea.

    1. Kinn Guest

      We had the same thought! That makes me feel better about this being potentially right. I wonder if the university will have skin in the game...

    2. Steph Guest

      I agree! Two biggest, Vegas and Nashville for bday and bachelor/ette parties and if they can throw in extra routes for away games, they could make it! Grand Island flights are always full so those that can't get one there can book for Lincoln.

  24. Kinn Guest

    On the name and business model, I imagine that this is geared towards the University of Nebraska, located in Lincoln. Nebraska's sports teams are affectionally known as "Big Red", hence the branding, and the low prices would be very appealing to students. I could be very wrong, but it all fits together well enough.

  25. Jason Guest

    You'd be surprised how quickly $3M can be burned through, especially for mainline

  26. HT Guest

    We obviously need a review ASAP before it shuts down!!!

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Bob Guest

Ben - so to properly understand this you need to understand the local market a bit. LNK is less than sixty miles from OMA (Omaha), and the drive from airport to airport takes about 45 minutes (freeway essentially the whole way). People from Lincoln will drive to Omaha for cheaper fares (and not even much cheaper - like $100) and the existing low-cost carriers don't want to serve LNK when they can capture LNK fliers by serving the larger OMA market. And the legacy carriers at LNK have a hard time maintaining the fare levels they need to match their costs. The LNK airport used to also have DL service until recently - which even DL said was profitable, but they pulled out primarily due to regional airline staffing issues. So the airport is trying something creative. We'll see - I'm skeptical (think this will undercut their ability to attract real carriers). But I give them credit for thinking differently. (born and raised in Lincoln)

2
D3kingg Guest

No one on OMAAT knows the response to this but here it goes ; Goooooooo! Biiiiiiiiiig ! Reeeeeeeeeeed!

2
Derek D Guest

wayyy under

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