Firnas Airways (Oxford Kidlington) has revised its launch plans with it to now commence operations during the second half of the year as a short-haul operator serving UK domestic and European routes. An RFP was issued earlier this year for the dry-lease of two twin turboprop aircraft with preference given to Saab 340As and Do328-100s.

A revised investor's prospectus indicates Firnas Airways will focus on routes that are currently unserved or underserved by existing UK and European regional carriers.

"This is mainly to ensure we are not in the way of other major operators such as Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) or easyJet (London Luton) and also to ensure we maximise our commercial potentials with routes that have track record of performing with very high load factors (seat occupancy) and maximum yields (profit)," the start-up said in a statement.

Once operations have settled, the carrier intends to branch into the medium-haul market some 18-24 months after launching. There, it will focus on serving unspecified routes in Africa, Eurasia, and the Middle East.

"Taking this route will, we believe, set us on an intractable path to become a long-haul carrier that will very quickly establish itself as the third largest in the UK. Once we are at this stage we hope to serve routes in South Asia, the Middle East, and South East Asia, North America, Canada and many more."

In terms of funding, Firnas Airways will shortly launch a crowdfunding initiative aimed at raising USD1,290,506. Talks have, thus far, also taken place with HNA Group over a potential capital investment, it said.