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Who would start a new airline these days? More than you might imagine!

2020 was a historially bad year for the aviation industry and many airlines had to close down their operation. Because of this it is hard to imagine that there would be anyone ready to take the risk to start a new airline. However, there are susrpisingly many new airlines being started or being plannned to start up soon. Here are a few examples for new airlines to look out for:

In the U.S. the new Avelo Airlines started operations in late April. Their strategy is a traditional low-cost one, i.e. to connect major destinations via secondary airports and thus be able to offer competitive ticket prices. The start up fleet will consist of three 737-800 aircraft. While offering a low-cost proposition for passengers, it also aims to be a bit more customer friendly than some of its competitors, with a free sealed package of a bottle of water, a cookie and some hand sanitizers as an example of this.

Another upstart in the U.S. that has received a lot of attention is Breeze Airways. The commencement of operations is planned for June. Like Avelo and other LCCs the plan is to focus on point-to-point traffic between secondary airports. However, Breeze seems to go all in on this strategy and as per recent reporting they will have no competition on 80% of their summer routes (link). This business model is a response to the fact that the U.S. domestic airline capacity remained stagnant from 2007 to 2017 while the economy expanded by 34%, meaning that there may be a lot of underserved niche demand in the market.

This Norwegian new airline aims to start operations in June this year. The airline will fly B 7373-800s A routework incuding major cities in Norway as well as some Mediterranean destinations have been revealed. And as if one new airline from a small country was not enough another one is on its way – Norse Atlantic Airways. This one has the same man behind it as the previously fast-expanding LCC Norwegian, now a shadow of its former self.

Shifting to national airlines, the country of Montenegro re-started its own national airline. After Montenegro Airlines went out of business in December last year, a replacement in the form of Air Montenegro is planned to start operations after some troubled times getting up and running. The route network was recently presented (link) and a first aircraft, an Embraer E195, being painted in the livery for the new airline.

In South America an expected newcomer to the market is Ecuatoriana Airlines. The airline will be focused on the domestic market in Ecuador; I aims to operate Boeing B717s, i.e. MD80s, which is a type that has been phased out in many markets, and Bombardier Dash 8 Q 400s. The planned launch in October this year still seems far away and a bit tentative, but livery as in the picture above was recently presented (link).

There are many other examples of airlines that has started recently, or plan to do so soon. The Lund University School of Aviation blog will continue to follow new entrants of the market. Give us a tip on interesting ones, or even better – write a post for the blog and we will publish it!

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