UK start-up Hans Airways (GKS) has announced the completion of its second round of equity financing, which it said, now moved the airline “significantly closer to being able to launch routes between the United Kingdom and the Indian sub-continent”.

Focused on the Indian market from the UK, current plans envisaged a start date in early autumn 2021, upon completion of regulatory procedures and the opening up of relevant markets pending COVID-19 conditions, the company said in a statement. “While the COVID epidemic has delayed the start of services, there is ample evidence of substantial pent-up demand once travel is possible," it said.

Director, Chief Executive Officer, and Accountable Manager, Satnam S. Saini, told ch-aviation Hans Airways had applied for an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) on March 31, 2020, covering areas of Europe, the Middle East, and the Indian Sub-Continent. UK CAA documents reflect that Hans Air on July 21, 2020, applied for a Type A operating license for scheduled and charter flights using aircraft with 20 or more seats.

“Our flight operations and safety team is working very closely with the UK CAA on the AOC approval process. All of the required operations manuals have been written and formally submitted to the UK CAA team and we are in the final stages of gaining approval for these documents. Once the manuals have been approved, we will continue to work with the UK CAA and move to the next, and final, phase of the AOC issue process,” the company said.

It said it had identified two A330 family aircraft as the most suitable for its plans. “We have also moved to the final stages of identifying and engaging with potential suppliers to provide us with the operational support required for our exciting operation and with aircraft leasing companies for the lease/purchase of two A330s.”

Its senior leadership team was now in place and applications for flight operations, cabin safety, and service teams would be invited soon.

Its management and board comprised of industry veterans, it said. Prominent aviation professionals listed on the company website as the airline's advisors, include Barry Humphreys, of BKH Aviation, whose credentials include former positions as Head of Air Services Policy at the UK CAA; ex-director at Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow); former Chairman of the British Air Transport Association; and ex non-executive director of the UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS). Another advisor named is Peter Malanik, former Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operations Officer of Austrian Airlines (OS, Vienna) and current president of the Austrian Aviation Association.

Saini lists amongst his experience the organising of charter flights by Flyjet (United Kingdom) (London Gatwick) and Monarch Airlines (London Luton) from the UK to India.