Financial requirements by the UK Civil Aviation Authority are delaying the start of commercial operations at Hans Airways (GKS, Birmingham, GB), which is now considering letting go of its first aircraft and approaching new investors, says Chief Executive Officer Nathan Burkitt.

This follows confirmation from the UK CAA that it has opened a case for the deregistration of Hans Airways' first aircraft, an A330-200, G-KJAS (msn 950), leased from Carlyle Aviation Partners, which is currently stored at Birmingham, GB, according to the ch-aviation fleets module. A UK CAA spokesman confirmed, "We have a case open, but it does not mean it is de-registered yet." Asked what this meant for the airline, he referred ch-aviation back to Hans Airways.

Burkitt said the Birmingham-based startup remained solvent and had fulfilled all the technical requirements for starting long-haul operations to India. He was responding to a recent news report which suggested the impending deregistration of its aircraft indicated that Hans Airways' low-cost long-haul ambitions had been cut short.

"Fulfilling the rightly stringent financial criteria required by the UK CAA to commence scheduled operations continues to hinder our launch plans. This is despite satisfying all technical (Air Operator's Certificate) aspects of long-haul airline operations and maintaining a solvent startup business since our inception in 2019. In light of this, we are pursuing a number of options. This includes relinquishing our first aircraft and stepped-up dialogue with prospective new investors and lessors," Burkitt said in a statement shared with ch-aviation.

"We maintain close and cordial dialogue with the CAA. We are most grateful to our board, dedicated team and partners for their unwavering patience and support," he added.

In November, Hans Airways concluded an investment roundup, hoping to fulfil the UK CAA's financial viability requirements and subsequently secure an operating licence. The nascent airline, which wants to connect Birmingham, GB with Amritsar in India, already postponed its debut once before to early 2022 while canvassing for more investors. Its business model targets the large Indian diaspora, estimated to be around 1.5 million people, in the United Kingdom.