New low-cost long-haul airline set to launch from Basel

posted on 12th September 2018 by Justin Burns
New low-cost long-haul airline set to launch from Basel

A new low fare, low-cost and long-haul airline will be unveiled this week to potential investors at an exclusive investor summit in Basel, Switzerland which is set to use Airbus A321neo long-range aircraft.

The airline will connect high value secondary catchment areas in Europe direct to several international destinations, reducing travel times by up to 30 per cent.

The airline’s strategy aims to entice business and leisure travellers by using regional, uncongested, cost competitive airports to bring down travel times and costs by 30 per cent for the average traveller, as well as flying with the latest narrowbody aircraft technology, and offering personalisable digital services.

The fundraising process to raise at least $100 million is being kicked off with the aim to launch the airline in the second half of 2019, focusing initially on North American destinations and expanding from Basel to other European bases in the coming years.

The airline is projected to grow to $1.5 billion revenues within five years, to be profitable in its third year, with a fleet of 38 aircraft serving 45 destinations across five continents, and 1,900 employees.

Co-founder, Alvaro Oliveira, a Swiss national, experienced pilot and former director of flight operations for Azul Airlines said: “We aim to be a true disruptor of the airline industry. European private travel is pushing for low fare models. Low fare point to point long-haul airlines are growing while network airline capacity is levelled. There are growing constraints for network carriers in terms of airport, hub infrastructure and personnel costs.

“But added to this is a real gap in the service travellers get from the airline industry: direct long-haul flights are missing in regional areas. Several secondary catchments are only connected via major hubs. Many transfer passengers are tired of needing to connect via big hubs in Europe or USA.

“These travellers will be delighted by direct international lights from their nearest uncongested airports, cutting travel time by 30%, at substantially reduced cost, and with greater comfort.”

The airline will debut in the trinational Basel area, a region which accounts for 12 per cent of Switzerland’s GDP and where 24 of the country’s top 100 business are based (many of which are in the life sciences, chemical and medtech sector). The airline will look to create 5000 jobs in the region, of which 50 per cent will be directly related to airport-related businesses.