View Full Version : Starting up an airline

05-13-2006, 08:22 PM
I have identified a route which is in high demand for an air link for commuters

How do I go about starting an airline?

05-13-2006, 09:02 PM
Hi neuby,

First, a complete business plan
Second, make sure you have lots of money! :)
Third, check with your country's aviation authority (In the U.S. its the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA), do a search on their website for "Airline Certification". 8O
Fourth, buy assets while applications are being processed (spend lots of money). :?
Fifth, offer the best value and service for the money so when one of the big 3 come in next to you, you're not out of business. :roll:

Seriosly, this is a rather large undertaking, but if you have the resources...you CAN do anything. 8)

05-16-2006, 01:37 PM
You can do a search engine search on this topic:
"how to start an airline" and alot of good articles
will show up.

05-28-2006, 09:00 PM
you will certainly need LARGE amounts of capital. i would suggest consulting your local government sites for information. or organizations specialed for that type of thing. your areas aviation bureau.

06-05-2006, 04:47 AM
Setting up an airline is no easy task, the airline industry is very tightly regulated and there is a lot of beurocracy involved. In order to be granted permission to operate you need to prove that you have the cash to survive.

Its a very expensive business, you will need a lot of highly trained staff to run even a small operation, by the time you add in other overheads your expenses will be quite significant.

Also bear in mind that the US domestic market right now is extremely saturated, most of the established carriers are operating under bankruptcy protection, due to severe competition from low cost carriers.

If you really do want to go ahead and set up an airline, and you have a few million that you are prepared to blow (or have investers prepared to blow a few..) then your best bet is to contract another airline to operate the flights on your behalf.

You could apply for your own operating license, however this can take 6 months to apply for, and to gain such a certificate you will need a very experienced management team, and you will need to prove you have propper maintenance practices in place.

If you contract the work out, then you can cut your staff bill in half. The airline you award the contract to will take care of everything, from gaining landing slots, paying fuel and navigational charges, maintaining the aircraft and paying the pilots. All you need to worry about is the monthly leasing fee and selling the seats.

Im not sure what kind of permission you would need for such an arrangement, its highly dependent on your location. In the UK you would probably need an ATOL bond to cover your flights, im not sure if the US has a similar licensing scheme.

The first thing you will probably want to do is get in touch with an airline that specialises in leasing aircraft, there are different types of leases available, dry, wet and ACMI. I always get the two mixed up, but I believe dry lease is just the aircraft, wet is aircraft + flight crew, and ACMI is aircraft crew maintenance and insurance.

These are the main leases available, however I believe you need to have your own AOC (Air Operating Certificate) to use these leases. You need a contract whereby the leasing airline takes care of everything, including fuel / navigation charges etc.

Once you have a quote as to how much the lease will cost you can start to price things out and see if its going to prove profitable.

If you need any further info drop me an email

07-27-2006, 09:45 AM
Step #1: Empty your wallet, checking account, savings account, retirement account, etc. and hope you have a decent amount of capital.

01-24-2014, 12:00 PM
Hi, I wonder if you can still read this reply - but I also wonder if you are able to successfully launch your AIRLINE business? I hope you did, and you could share your story to us.

01-24-2014, 01:24 PM
Wow, that seems like a very ambitious endeavor! That will require a lot of start up capital. You probably want to create a business plan, and start seeking out investors. If it just route that you plan on flying? That doesn't seem very profitable to me, but I could be wrong. It is hard to compete with such huge competitors, like Virgin, but I hope that you are successful!

03-06-2014, 08:09 PM
I think for an airline, aside from the usual things like ensuring that you have a target route and target market, you need to make sure that you have A-level facilities. Your planes have to be really reliable and safe. Safety issues can immediately kill your airline business. Even if you are the only direct flight plane towards a certain city for example, if you are not safe, nobody will still choose you. No one would risk safety for direct flights.

Therefore, this should be your top priority. Ensure that you have the best planes ever and the best people to operate it.

03-07-2014, 03:40 AM
I think it is all about the budget. An airline will need a lot of money to start so be sure that you will really spend a lot money to get it off the ground. Then you must have a marketing team that must do a great job. If you can not market the airline well, then be sure to not get much out of it.

03-07-2014, 04:01 AM
First of all I am sorry that I couldn't provide any advice on starting an airline, as I don't get much exposure on matters relating to commercial enterprises that provide flights service for passengers. But I am pleasantly surprised that there's some regular posters who are well informed on the matter! This shows that there's a lot of knowledgeable and capable people on this very forum!

Well I wish you luck on setting up your own airline company. Hopefully you will be starting something very big in the near future!
Good luck!

03-07-2014, 08:22 AM
You really need to think this well. First take a hold of all the policies and laws on Airspace in your country and all the rules you must follow. Next establish your name along with the business plan and proposal which should be thoroughly reviewed. Next hire employees in all aspects that is needed, you will need laborers and white collared people after which buy all the aircrafts you need.

09-03-2014, 02:13 AM
Never heard such a big plan. Think what investment you really need to get. But I guess now days everything can be done. Make a cash flow or something before going to local investors. That's the first place where you need to go. Get yourself the plan secured and be sure no one will steal it. Some guys can play smart and you may lose it.

01-10-2016, 08:10 AM
I think my first step would be to find out if I was able to lease planes ans the price, so I would not have to buy from the beginning.

01-12-2016, 05:38 AM
1) call an airline for quotes on leasing a plane
2) call a bank about a loan
3) find out how you can improve the experience of people flying from ___ to ___
4) provide that
5) spread the word through social media, billboards, online ads, email blasts, etc
6) hire a pilot and a crew
7) have your first flight

congratulations, you've started an airline

09-09-2018, 08:57 AM
Well, starting an airline company is not an easy task. One has to be sure about the rules and regulations. He must have proper know how of the aviation system and laws of his and host country. He should have plenty of money for investment in this business.

07-17-2019, 01:29 PM
Every business is difficult to start. I recognize this is an old post but this is no different than any other business. You'll want to be able to tell a compelling story about the value your new route will provide for potential customers, the problems it solves for them, cost / time savings, etc, get a rough idea of the size of the market, figure out how you'll deliver your value proposition (web site only? airport kiosk? corporate accounts only?), figure out which kind of relationship your company wants to maintain with your target market (one time transactions, long term relationships), what resources you'll need to deliver your value prop (planes, crew, maintenance, insurance, legal, support, commerce (both "E-" and old fashioned), et al), who you need to partner with to provide any resources you can't for whatever reason, the costs of providing delivering your value proposition to your customers. If the business looks like it's going to be a profitability win that can grow and you've backed that up with solid research or better yet, revenue from presales from an excited potential customer base, then start telling that story to investors eager to get involved. Capitol doesn't always have to come from you. Have fun!

04-16-2021, 03:07 PM
Thanks for sharing this information