Sky Palace Airways (Tampa Int'l) has confirmed it is planning to launch operations in January 2020 and will target the passenger ACMI/charter niche, an application to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity covering interstate and international charter flights using large aircraft said.

According to the filing, the Florida-based start-up was established in 2018 by Floridian investors led by Hitesh (John) Adhia and Kiran Patel and is currently pursuing an Air Carrier's Certificate (ACC) from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which it hopes to secure in December.

"The carrier's purpose is to bring much-needed lift to the passenger charter and ACMI sectors of the industry, at extremely reasonable costs," it said adding that it will also target the Hajj/Umrah market as well as European charters.

Sky Palace said it intends to acquire two B777-200(ER)s at a cost of USD11.5 million each (net, and post-conversion) during its first 12 months of operations. To that end, the company is raising USD15.35 million from private investors. It will then provide a 20% down payment for the jets and expects to finance the remaining 80% via a 10-year loan at 6% interest. Loan repayments are expected to be around USD102,139 monthly.

The first of jets will be purchased in October ahead of its planned January 2020 induction while the second is due in May 2020 with EIS scheduled for the following month.

"The carrier expects that it will secure contracts guaranteeing 240 hours of revenue flying per month for each aircraft. In order to ensure that its forecasts are conservative, only 150 monthly hours of charter service per aircraft are assumed, which excludes the anticipated Hajj charters" it said.

Additional aircraft will be brought into the fleet in subsequent years.