Air Haifa, Israel’s Logistically Difficult Airline Startup

There’s a brand new airline in Israel with some massive gamers behind it (each when it comes to deep pockets and aviation expertise), which makes this idea all of the stranger…

Plans for a brand new airline based mostly at Haifa Airport

As flagged by DansDeals, there are plans to launch a brand new low value airline to be based mostly at Haifa Airport (HFA), within the north of Israel. On the floor it sounds thrilling to see an Israeli airline launch out of someplace apart from Tel Aviv Airport (TLV), given how busy the airport can get.

There are additionally some severe individuals behind the airline, together with the previous CEO, CCO, and VP of Operations, of EL AL. The largest shareholder of this new airline is Nir Zuk, founding father of Palo Alto Networks.

The plan is to launch passenger operations this yr, with preliminary locations to incorporate Eilat (ETM) and Bucharest (OTP). The airline can be a low value provider, so you possibly can count on low base fares, after which charges for add-ons. The plan can also be for Air Haifa to fly small plane, which brings us to the large drawback with this enterprise mannequin…

Haifa Airport has a really brief runway

Haifa Airport’s runway is just 4,324 toes lengthy, making it too brief for any business jet to land there. The largest aircraft that might land there may be the Bombardier Sprint 8 Q400. So it sounds just like the plan is for Air Haifa to function turboprop plane, which isn’t precisely splendid when it comes to per-seat working prices.

It’s one factor for those who’re working in enterprise markets the place individuals are prepared to pay a premium for frequent service, however the distinction in per-seat working prices for an A321neo vs. a Sprint 8 is important, particularly for a low value provider.

Now, there are plans for the runway at Haifa Airport to be prolonged by 1,037 toes, which means that it might ultimately be 5,361 toes lengthy. Even that’s certainly not lengthy, and touchdown a jet would nonetheless be a stretch there relying on situations.

The runway extension is meant to occur within the coming years, although there’s not but a precise timeline. That can be a major undertaking, as it should contain digging a tunnel so {that a} highway can cross beneath the runway.

On the one hand, it’s important to give the individuals behind this airline credit score for pondering outdoors the field, and attempting to do one thing that hasn’t been carried out earlier than. I suppose they’re attempting to “make investments” within the airport now, earlier than it will get its runway extension, beating different airways to it.

Then again, they positively face an uphill battle, operating a low value airline with excessive value planes.

Backside line

Air Haifa is an airline startup that can be based mostly at Israel’s Haifa Airport. Whereas the idea of an airline being based mostly out of one other airport in Israel is nice, the problem is the very brief runway, which prevents jets from flying there. The runway is meant to be prolonged within the coming years, so maybe there’s extra potential sooner or later.

What’s your tackle Air Haifa?

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