Hans Airways (GKS) has completed a new round of financing, which, it said in a statement issued on the evening of November 15, “will enable it to progress plans to commence scheduled air services between Birmingham Int'l and Amritsar in India - and satisfy existing financial obligations.”

The British start-up “has satisfied the Civil Aviation Authority’s requirements for an Air Operator’s Certificate. The secured new investment will take the airline to the next stage toward satisfying the CAA of its financial viability and subsequent operating licence to provide revenue air services.”

Asked for more details about the new investors, the sums involved, and a possible date for the start of flight operations, Martin Dunn, Hans Airways’ chief commercial officer, told ch-aviation: “All that I can say for now is that we will hopefully be able to start services early next year and we’re still working closely with the CAA.”

Hans Airways’ statement divulged that Ali Legal Ltd, a London-based corporate law firm, was acting for the investors and that its team was led by managing partner Akbar Ali. Ali’s LinkedIn profile portrays him as “a legal adviser to business owners that buy and sell companies.”

Aligned to the new investment is a management restructure at Hans Airways, in which chief operating officer Nathan Burkitt, who joined the airline from Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l) in May, takes on the role of chief executive from Satnam Singh Saini, who continues as a board director. Barry Humphreys, a former head of Air Services Policy at the UK CAA and ex-director of Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow), assumes the role of interim chairman. Another member of the eight-seat board, according to Hans Airways’ website, is Peter Malanik, a former chief executive of Austrian Airlines (OS, Vienna).

“Establishing a new airline is never straightforward, and there will inevitably be hurdles along the way. Hans Airways is now well-positioned to move forward. With growing evidence of strong demand for additional air services between the UK and India, supplemented by charter opportunities, we have every expectation of being able to launch,” Humphreys commented in the new press release.

Hans Airways released its statement as local media speculation grew about its finances. It had already said it was repositioning itself as it looked for new investors and that it had postponed the start of flight operations. The airline took delivery of its first aircraft in August, Carlyle Aviation Partners-owned A330-200 G-KJAS (ex-EC-KTG) (msn 950). Last December, it said it would launch its flights linking Birmingham with destinations in India starting in early 2022. It later pushed this back to the second quarter and, later still, to by the end of 2022. According to local media, in recent months several crew members had their job offers withdrawn or their wages delayed.

Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) is currently the only airline operating between Birmingham and Amritsar, the ch-aviation capacities module shows. According to the ch-aviation schedules module, it will increase its frequencies on the route from 2x weekly to 3x weekly from November 17.