Startup airline Global Crossing might still be awaiting FAA certification for its one-A320 operation, but that has not stopped it from signing an airport use agreement with Atlantic City. The newcomer, recently merged with stalled Canadian carrier Jetlines, intends to operate charter flights and scheduled services, growing its fleet of narrowbodies, and even adding an A330 along the way.
While this may seem like a strange time to be talking about startups and newcomers in commercial aviation, there are still some airlines hoping to ride the rebound wave of demand when it comes around.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
One such company is Global Crossing, a new entrant airline currently awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Subject to FAA and Department of Transportation (DOT) approval, Global Crossing intends to operate as an ACMI and wet lease charter airline, catering to tour companies, other airlines, sports teams, and clients requiring 150-seat aircraft for transportation.
A week ago, Global Crossing signed an airport and terminal use agreement with Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) in New Jersey, which it said was “ideally located as a northern charter base of operations.”
It will initially do business as Global X, operating one single A320-200. However, it has plans to raise capital to grow a fleet of ten to 15 of the narrowbodies. It also intends to add a widebody A330 to its certificate, about two years after gaining approval for A320 operations.
Support agreements in place
Global Crossings has already signed agreements with Airbus for a full range of support, such as cockpit, cabin crew, maintenance, and initial operations training. It has also agreed with Airbus subsidiary NavBlue on complete software solutions for its operations.
While originally setting up shop in the US, future Global Crossing operations are planned for Ecuador and Canada. These include scheduled services from the latter’s Toronto Pearson and Montreal Trudeau to leisure destinations in the Caribbean and its new base at ACY.
Canadian operations legacy of merger
The Canadian enterprise is most likely a consequence of the recently completed merger with stalled Canadian ultra-low-cost-carrier Jetlines. The latter, founded in 2013, was to be headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was to follow the business models of European low-cost airlines such as Ryanair, operating out of smaller secondary airports where available. However, the venture never took off, neither figuratively nor literally.
The team behind Global X have distinguished resumes. Its Director of Maintenance was the co-founder and Director of Maintenance for the certification of Virgin America, and the Director of Safety was the FAA’s subject matter expert. The Director of Quality has also served with the FAA as a Principal Inspector over the past ten years and previously held the same position with Delta Air Lines.
Global Crossing’s Chief Pilot has operated many aircraft types, including the 747 in global charter operations, and the Director of Operations has flown narrowbody planes for over 20 years.
While all these qualifications would be a marvelous starting point for any airline attempting to make its way onto the market under normal circumstances, to do so in a post-pandemic world may require more business guile and agility than at any other point in history. Let’s hope that it is there, along with the technical expertise.