Swiss Startup Moov Airways Mulls Airbus A321XLR For Long Haul Ops

Startup airline Moov Airways is hoping to set a new benchmark for low-cost long-haul operations. Enlisting the Airbus A321XLR, Moov aims to serve point-to-point secondary markets with a forecasted launch in 2023. First, however, the carrier intends to revive regional operations at a dormant Swiss airport.

Moov is already working with Airbus to figure out the right configuration for future A321XLRs. Photo: Airbus

Unbundling long-haul services

On the pre-caption for its website, Swiss startup carrier Moov Airways says it is ‘restarting the airline industry, disrupting the frequent flyer industry, unbundling services on long-haul realistically priced flights’. According to a fresh interview with Airways Magazine, the airline’s CEO, industry veteran Nogueira De Oliveira, says he is considering Airbus’ extra long-range A321XLR narrowbody to achieve his mission.

“The versatility of the aircraft is such that it allows operating long, thin routes to secondary markets that are economically unfeasible if they are served with widebodies. We have worked closely with Airbus to find the optimal configuration for our operations,” De Oliveira said in the interview published Thursday.

Moov’s CEO still firmly believes that the long-haul low-cost model can be successful. He sees the pandemic as an opportunity to create something with leading-edge technology, lower costs, and high quality of service. In a previous interview with Routesonline, De Oliveira stated that Moov hopes to eventually fly from Europe to the US, Canada, the Caribbean, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and even India.

American Eagle E175
Moov could potentially commence operations with Embraer Ejets out of Lugano Airport. Photo: Getty Images

Setting a new benchmark

Eventually, Moov wants to serve long-haul point-to-point secondary markets, bypassing the hubs of its potential competitors. The carrier also intends to offer a route network with a balance between business and leisure destinations. It hopes to establish itself as a new benchmark for long-haul low-cost operations. Its CEO has also expressed interest in establishing partnerships with regional low-cost carriers, similar to that of Norwegian and easyJet.

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However, the airline aims to first commence regional operations out of the currently dormant Lugano Airport in 2022. Initially, Moov is looking at Dash 8 turboprops but is also weighing the option of Embraer Ejets, its CEO says. The company hopes to attract travelers in the region who will save up to two hours of travel not having to go to Bergamo, Linate, or Malpensa in Italy or further north to Zurich to journey onwards.

Lugano Airport
Lugano Airport has a steep descent due to its location. Photo: Proximo86 via Wikimedia Commons

Upgrades needed at Lugano

Lugano Airport has not seen a scheduled service since 2019. Due to its geographic location at the mouth of a valley, it has an angle of descent of 6.65°. Coupled with the airport’s Instrument Guidance System approach, this often causes diversions due to meteorological conditions. This has led to the failure of many airline attempts to serve the airport.

Meanwhile, Lugano Airport is currently transitioning from public to private management. Once completed, technology to mitigate the current challenges, such as a Performance-Based Navigation system, should be installed, the Moov CEO expects.

Have you heard of Moov before? What do you make of its long-haul low-cost ambitions? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.