“Hans Airways is not just another airline, transporting people from point A to point B but a vision, which aims to serve the needs of its passengers, safely and comfortably,” said Mr. Satnam Singh Saini, CEO Hans Airways.
In a brief discussion with Mr. Satnam Singh Saini, during his recent visit to Amritsar, about Hans Airways and its upcoming launch of non-stop flights between Birmingham, UK (BHX) and Amritsar, India (ATQ), Ravreet Singh summarises the idea behind Hans Airways, it’s principle values, vision and its ambitious plans for the near future.
The Idea Behind Hans Airways:
The state of Punjab in Northern India with a population of over 30 million, has one of the largest Non-Resident Indian’s (NRI’s) settled across the globe, mainly in the regions including, Europe, North America and Australia.
Hans Airways wants to connect and serve the needs of the Punjabi diaspora across India, Europe & North America, and aims to become the “Punjabi’s carrier of choice”. The airline wants to be a British Airline but with an Indian flair.
When it is awarded its operating licence (Air Operator’s Certificate) from the UK Civil Aviation Authority and India’s DGCA, Hans Airways will be the UK’s third interbational long haul airline – following British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
The Meaning And Significance of “Hans”
Reading the name “Hans Airways”, you may find it to be unusual name for an airline. So, what exactly does it mean? What is it’s significance?
The word “Hans”, in the Punjabi language means a Swan. As a Swan symbolizes, grace, beauty, love, trust and loyalty, these are the core principles of Hans Airways, which reflects the ethos of the airline.
The love for its passengers, emphasis on customer service inflight and on the ground to deliver a safe and comfortable flight. The fulfilment of commitments made by the airline, to earn the trust and loyalty of the passengers.
The moral duty of Hans Airways will be to provide its passengers with the highest safety and inflight comfort services on their journeys, rather then to simply ‘fly them’ on their aircraft.
Turning Hans Airways Into A Reality
The preparation work realising Hans Airways originally began in October 2019 and from the start the process of getting this project off the paperwork went smoothly, until the global pandemic stuck.
In March 2020, with the onset of COVID-19, international borders began to close and there was a dramatic slump in international traffic demand.
On one hand, while it delayed the process of getting Hans Airways off the ground, it was rather a perfect storm in that Hans was able to benefit from various opportunities including choice of aircraft and other issues.
The airline had to make a significant number of changes to its business plan over the course of time, but it embraced all its turbulence and continued on its path. Now it is has just a couple of steps to go and it can fully launch and make preparations for its scheduled services from Birmingham Airport, UK.
Ready For Takeoff
In July, the airline received its first Airbus A330-200 aircraft at its base, Birmingham Airport, UK (BHX). The airline has been successfully moving forward in obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. Once achieved it will be applying corporate livery to its aircraft and launching ticket sales. Hopefully, commercial services will commence from October, start of the winter season.
As per Mr. Saini, the Hans Airways team, including the management and operations are fully prepared and are excited for the near future.
Amritsar: The Focus Destination For Hans
Hans Airways, wants to begin its operations with Amritsar, the heart and soul of the state of Punjab, and home to the one of the World’s most visited religious site, Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple). It will be its debut route from Birmingham, UK.
The Birmingham-Amritsar route is not new route, but a tried & tested, and proven route. In 1982, the then national carrier of India, Air India, launched direct flights between Amritsar and Birmingham via Moscow. However, the airline had to suspend this route in 1984, due to various security reasons.
After over 2 decades, in 2005, Air India, relaunched this route, non-stop with it’s newly inducted B777 aircraft. It also connected Amritsar to Toronto via Birmingham. This route was feted as one of the most profitable routes for the airline in its history.
However, Air India had to reroute this route via London Heathrow in the year 2008, in order to save its slots at the airport.
During the mid-2000s, there used to be over 14x weekly flights between Birmingham and Amritsar, including both scheduled and charters, by Air India, Turkmenistan Airlines, Air Slovakia, Monarch Airlines, etc. The latter Satnam Saini sold – for Monarch. These charter flights were operated specifically in the winter season, as the demand was higher then.
Hans Airways Vs Air India?
With the entry of Hans Airways in this market, it would break the long-lasting monopoly of the Indian Full-Service Carrier, Air India, on the Amritsar-Birmingham route.
Air India, which plans to expand its services on this route to over 4x weekly in the upcoming months, would it have any impact on the plans of Hans Airways?
Well, it may not have much impact on the plans of the ambitious airline at all. Hans Airways is fully confident in Amritsar as its initial route. The market is now an even developed market in terms of yield and premium traffic. There is huge demand and space for more airlines.
Hans Airways would stimulate the traffic demand and is hopeful of capturing a strong share of this market. With Hans Airways, passengers would also be able to benefit from choice of options for travel and it will also promote a healthy competition among both Hans Airways and Air India.
Hans Airways’ Ambitious Plans
Amritsar is not just the largest market for Birmingham in India, but a number of other cities, including, Toronto & Vancouver in Canada.
Hans Airways doesn’t wants to limit itself to the Birmingham-Amritsar route, but it wants to capture the other large markets of the Amritsar, including, Canada, as well.
Amritsar is the largest market for Toronto & Vancouver in Canada, in India, but yet it doesn’t have any direct connectivity with both the cities. According to an estimate over 500,000 people annually travel between Punjab and Canada via Delhi Airport.
By serving the markets of UK, India and Canada, Hans Airways would virtually be catering to the market of over 3 million Punjabi diaspora across all the above countries. These figures would go up by over 1.2 million, when the airline decides to enter North America.
With the vision to be “Punjabi’s carrier of choice”, Hans Airways plans to connect Amritsar directly with Toronto (YYZ) via Birmingham by the year 2023. The airline could also focus on other routes including, Vancouver and New York in the future
All eyes are set for the formal launch of operations by Hans Airways, in the upcoming weeks.
About The Author
Ravreet Singh is a young blogger with an avid interest in aviation business. His ultimate goal is to become an Airline Business Professional.
Ravreet possess good research, analytical and strategy skills, along with knowledge about various aspects of commercial aviation.
He is also the team member of FlyAmritsar Initiative, a public advocacy campaign for better air connectivity & sustainable development of Amritsar.