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New US-Based Airline 'Airbahn' Debuting In 2022 With West Coast Service
Airbahn is poised to become the fourth new U.S. airline to launch this year. According to Business Insider, the California-based airline will join Avelo Airlines, Breeze Airways, and Aha!, all of which started earlier in the year despite the challenging state of travel brought on by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
Founded in 2018 by Tariq M. Chaudhary, CEO of Airblue, the second-largest airline in Pakistan, Airbahn will be headquartered in Irvine, California. It plans to operate flights along the United States’ West Coast to cities in Northern California, Nevada, and Western Canada from John Wayne Airport or Long Beach Airport.
According to a post on the airline’s Facebook page, Airbahn received its first Airbus A320 on November 24. Their fleet of A320s will be configured in a single-class cabin with 174 seats. Executive Vice President Scott Hall says they will operate with a low-cost model.
“This is a very price-sensitive market,” said Hall to Simply Flying. “It’s also value-orientated, and we want to make sure that when you buy a ticket, you know what you’re getting.”
Following the business models of other new airlines Avelo and Breeze, Airbahn will attempt to fill a void by serving mid-tier markets. While many question startup airlines’ decisions to launch during a pandemic in which other airlines have experienced huge losses and even gone under completely, some new carriers see this time as an opportunity to purchase used aircrafts for lower prices and employ laid-off flight crew at lower salaries.
Bloomberg had predicted more than $200 billion in losses for the airline industry as a whole between 2020 and 2022, however, airlines like Autobahn remain optimistic as they focus on catering to leisure and tourist travel while business travel continues to slowly rebound.