German Startup Green Airlines Hopes To Take Off This Year

A German domestic airline startup is not letting COVID throw it off its stride. Despite the challenges facing the industry right now, Green Airlines has already announced its first base and routes and has set its launch date for the end of October. Targeting business traffic, the airline believes its commitment to the environment will put it head and shoulders above the competition.

Green Airlines Alsie Express
Green Airlines will start operating in October. Photo: Green Airlines

Green Airlines to take off in October

There’s yet another airline keen to prove that, even in the middle of a pandemic, starting a new business can work. In the same week we’ve heard about Canadian startup OWG and Miami-based Global X, there’s another airline gearing up for launch, this time from the other side of the pond.

Green Airlines is planning a launch by October 2020. However, this is not a traditional airline with its own planes and crew. Green Airlines is going to be a virtual airline, meaning it won’t have its own aircraft, personnel, or even an air operators’ certificate (AOC).

Green Airlines’ flights themselves will be operated by Danish Alsie Express, using its modest fleet of two ATR 72-500s. The slick, matt black turboprops are ideally suited to operating shorter routes more efficiently, with the perfect level of capacity for these domestic trips.

Alsie Express
Alsie Express will perform the flights for Green Airlines with its two ATR turboprops. Photo: Alsie Express

Interestingly, Alsie Express is also considered a ‘virtual airline,’ as it does not have its own AOC. Flights are operated through its parent airline Air Alsie, a business jet company that also happens to fly the black ATRs. If it sounds confusing, it probably is, but hopefully, Green Airlines knows how it will all work in practice.

The startup airline sees no threat from the COVID crisis, as it was always planning to offer domestic flights for the first year, at least. And it believes that demand will be healthy for its services, thanks to a solid focus on eco-friendly operations.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.

First routes

Revealed recently are the first operational goals for the airline, including its first base and routes. From October 31st this year, the airline’s first base at Karlsruhe will be established. The company says it was chosen for its proximity to other airports and to key industrial setups.

Green Airlines routes
Green Airlines will start from Karlsruhe. Photo: Green Airlines

From Karlsruhe, the airline will fly to Berlin and Hamburg. It says that both destinations will be served several times per week, and sometimes multiple times per day. Green Airlines is targeting business traffic and could see a healthy take-up given the low-carbon focus of its business model.

Coming later is a second base at Paderborn Lippstadt airport, although discussions here are still ongoing. The airline says it is seeking partner airports that uphold its concept of environmental protection and sustainability.

Green by name…

Fundamental to the eco-conscious business model of this airline is its approach to climate protection. It calls this ‘climate positive’ flying. The website states that every flight hour will be carbon offset, although it doesn’t name the scheme(s) tasked with this. However, rather than going ‘carbon neutral,’ Green Airlines wants to go a step further.

The airline says 50% of the emissions from its flights will be overcompensated for – that is, more offsetting will be done than is necessary. In addition to this, passengers will be encouraged to add even more overcompensation for their flight when they buy their ticket, thereby achieving the goal of carbon positive flying.

Alsie Express
Green Airlines will overcompensate for its flights. Photo: Alsie Express

The payments for carbon offsetting will go towards a number of projects, including reforestation and planting, renewable energy projects, and regional initiatives.

Aside from emissions from jet fuel itself, the airline is promising to be the best it can be on the operational side as well. It promises CO2 neutral IT operations, digital processes to avoid wasting paper, and the reduction of plastic waste in all areas of its business.

Will you fly with Green Airlines? Is it good to see such a startup right now? Let us know in the comments.