Airline Startup Of The Week: Sky Palace Airways

The award for being this week’s airline startup of the week goes to Tampa based Sky Palace Airways.

Sky Palace Airways files with the US D.O.T. Photo: Wikipedia

On Thursday, August 1st, Sky Palace Airways became the newest airline to file with the US Department of Transportation for a certificate of public convenience and necessity. According to the company’s filing with the D.O.T., they want to start operations in January of 2020 as a charter company operating flights on behalf of other airlines.

Aviation website One Mile at a Time says Sky Palace Airways plans to purchase two Boeing 777-200s for $11.5 million per plane. They say that the carrier has already found the aircraft and negotiated a deal. The filing also states that the triple sevens will have a maximum of 400 seats.

Sky Palace Airways believes that its low-cost structure will enable them to offer competitive charter rates and lucrative long term deals with airlines.

Sky Palace Airways to put down 20% and pay the aircraft off over 10 years

Sky Palace Airways plans to finance its purchase of the two 777-200s over ten years after having put down $4.6 million. This leaves it with an estimated loan payment of $102,000 per aircraft each month.

Air France 777-200
 Sky Palace Airways wants to finance two 777-200s Photo: Wikipedia

As for the aircraft’s time in the air each month, the carrier has calculated that each plane will have 240 hours of revenue flying time. However, it has submitted a conservative estimate of only 150 revenue flying hours per month.

For the charter of the aircraft, it is planning to charge $7,500 per hour. This does not include fuel and ground handling as this will be the responsibility of the charterer. As far as staffing goes, Sky Palace Airways wants to have three crews per plane, which equates to six captains, six first officers, and 27 cabin staff.

The new startup thinks that it will be able to generate a profit of $5 million during its first year of operations.

Sky Palace Airways! “Really George?”

When I first saw the name Sky Palace Airways, I thought it must be a joke and then even more so when I read that they want to put 400 seats in a 777-200.

The first thing that popped into my head was the Nespresso commercial where George Clooney spills a drop of coffee on “Game of Thrones” Natalie Dormer’s royal robes. She just looks at him in disbelief and says “Really George?”

In case you have no idea what I am talking about I have included the short 33-second commercial.

I mean, come on! Who would name an airline Sky Palace Airways other than some rich sheik who is fed up with his super-yacht? If it was a rich sheik, I can guarantee it would not have 400 seats in each plane.

But this dubious honor actually goes to a group of investors that includes an insurance executive, a surgeon, and a philanthropist. Now without the word airways at the end of the name, “Sky Palace” would be quite a suitable name for an Asian restaurant, which has me guessing whether this name was well thought out.

Sky Palace Airways want to charter the planes for the Hajj

In the filing with the D.O.T., they mention charter flights to Mecca, Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj.

Sky Palace Airways wants to fly pilgrims to Mecca. Photo: Wikipedia

Considered as being one of the five pillars of Islam, all adult Muslims, if they are physically able and can afford to do so, are required to visit Mecca at least once in their lives. Hajj takes place each year during the last month of the Islamic calendar, attracting as many as three million people to the pilgrimage.

Now there is a need for a 400 seat 777-200 if I ever saw one!

The rest of the year I am left scratching my head. One solution could be ferrying cruise ship passengers to their ships or, better still, chartering the planes to the Military. Anyway, I am sure Sky Palace Airways know exactly what they are doing and wish them every success with their new venture.

Where do you think Sky Palace Airways will charter the planes?