The United Kingdom has a new British cargo airline with the launch of Boeing 747-400 freighter operator, One Air.
The new airline has been awarded its Air Operators’ Certificate by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). After successfully completing its proving flight in July 2022 and following a rigorous application process for an Operating Licence, the new airline is now fully approved to commence operations. One Air expects initial demand for flights from the UK to Europe, the Middle East and Asia regions. It will also ultimately offer freighter services to China and the US.
One Air has dry leased its first B747 freighter and is now the only UK operator of the B747. Its business model calls for the addition of a second B747-400 during 2023. Headquartered in Kingston, close to London Heathrow, One Air has recruited a team of 90 air cargo and aviation professionals for its launch, including ground operations, engineering and maintenance, crew training, crew management, finance and HR specialists, and a 40-strong air crew with pilots recruited from Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airline, Norwegian Airlines, and other major carriers.
One Air is majority-owned by CEO, Paul Bennett, who stated: “The important role freighter services played in supporting the UK economy and the public throughout the pandemic demonstrated the level of demand which exists for a British cargo airline. We are proud to be meeting this need and to have the opportunity to leverage longstanding business relationships with freight forwarders, logistics providers, and charter brokers serving the UK market. We expect to add our second 747F later this year and have the financial resources to grow in line with the level of demand we see.”
The airline will review its fleet plans, including the potential for other aircraft types, later in the year.
Chris Hope has joined the Board of One Air as Chief Operating Officer and Accountable Manager, bringing 35 years’ previous experience with the forerunners to TUI as well as easyJet and Flybe. During his time with easyJet, Chris had executive responsibility for the entire easyJet operation at Gatwick and was business lead preparing for the UK’s exit from the EU, which involved establishing new AOCs in the UK and EU. He also served as a non-executive director of National Air Traffic Services (NATS) during this period. Prior to joining One Air, Chris spent two years as Chief Operating Officer for Flybe.
“I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to join the leadership team behind this exciting new venture. One Air has a forward-thinking and customer-centric approach and we will use our entrepreneurial spirit and resources to grow sustainably. We will be supporting British businesses and the UK economy, starting with the 90 direct jobs in our own organisation and the countless secondary jobs we are creating with our partners and suppliers. Over the past two years, the cargo market in the UK has clearly shown resilience in the face of unprecedented disruption to the aviation industry. Now the industry is entering a new phase of recovery and growth and we look forward to being at the heart of this,” Hope said.
Jon Hartley and David Tattersall have also been recruited as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Technical Officer respectively. Jon has over 25 years’ experience in financial management roles and extensive experience across several business sectors, including previous aviation experience with TAG Maintenance Services and FR Aviation. David Tattersall has over 40 years’ experience in aviation engineering, maintenance, overhaul, and repair. During his career, David has held senior executive roles at director level at major airlines including British Airways, Brymon Airways, and Flybe.
One Air has appointed Air One Aviation as its first Global Sales Agency, while Dnata will act as the airline’s handling agent in London Heathrow. One Air has also partnered with ESP to provide software and helpdesk support, Leon for its crew training and rostering, CHAMP for its weight and balance system, and PPS for flight planning. Aero People and Altitude Global will provide line maintenance at London Heathrow, with Hangar 901 acting at One Air’s partner for hangar maintenance.