New long-haul, low-cost airline to launch from Basel Airport

A new low fare, low-cost, long-haul airline will be unveiled this week to potential investors at an exclusive investor summit in Basel.

The airline will connect high value secondary catchment areas in Europe direct to several international destinations, reducing travel times by up to 30%.

The airline’s strategy aims to entice business and leisure travellers by using regional, uncongested, cost competitive airports to bring down travel times and costs by 30% for the average traveller, as well as flying with the latest narrow body aircraft technology, and offering personalisable digital services.

The fundraising process to raise at least $100m is being kicked off with the aim to launch the airline in the second half of 2019, focusing initially on North American destinations and expanding from Basel to other European bases in the coming years.

The airline is projected to grow to $1.5bn revenues within five years, to be profitable in its third year, with a fleet of 38 aircraft serving 45 destinations across five continents, and 1,900 employees.

Co-founder, Alvaro Oliveira, a Swiss national, experienced pilot and former director of Flight Operations for Azul Airlines; commented: “We aim to be a true disruptor of the airline industry. European private travel is pushing for low fare models.

Low fare point to point long-haul airlines are growing while network airline capacity is levelled. There are growing constraints for network carriers in terms of airport, hub infrastructure and personnel costs.

But added to this is a real gap in the service travellers get from the airline industry: direct long-haul flights are missing in regional areas.

Several secondary catchments are only connected via major hubs. Many transfer passengers are tired of needing to connect via big hubs in Europe or USA.

These travellers will be delighted by direct international lights from their nearest uncongested airports, cutting travel time by 30%, at substantially reduced cost, and with greater comfort.”

The airline will use Airbus A321neo long range aircrafts which offer unrivalled cost efficiency for long-haul secondary markets.

The Airbus offers around 190 seats. The airline will debut in the trinational Basel area, a region which accounts for 12% of Switzerland’s GDP and where 24 of the country’s top 100 business are based (many of which are in the life sciences, chemical and medtech sector).

The airline will create 5000 jobs in the region, of which 50% will be directly related to airport-related businesses.