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British start-up Global Airlines completes first Airbus A380 test flights in US

British start-up carrier Global Airlines has successfully completed initial test flights with its new Airbus A380-841 aircraft.

The Airbus A380, registered 9H-GLOBL, took off from Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV) in the Californian desert on February 15, 2024, just before 9am (PST).

According to Flightradar24, the flight lasted 21 minutes as the A380 circled twice close to the airport in the Mojave Desert before coming back down to land at 9.17 am.

Later in the day, the Global Airlines A380 took to the skies once more for its second test flight, taking off at just after 2:45 pm.

The aircraft, which is operated by Hi Fly Malta, performed a single lap of the area and landed back at MHV at 3:06 pm.

The two test flights represent a significant milestone for the carrier and its CEO and Founder James Asquith.

Following the test flights Asquith wrote on Instagram: “I’m a bit lost for words right now, and all sorts of emotions. @globalairlines and our first a380 flight – the #1 tracked flight worldwide by quite some distance on @flightradar24 – thank you to the many people supporting us.”

He added: “There’s so much work that has got to this point, but there’s more to do. So for now, it’s head down and more work, but for the whole team and the hundreds of people that have worked tirelessly to get to this point – thank you.”

Global Airlines was launched in 2021 with ambitions to build a carrier that would fly A380 superjumbo on transatlantic flights from London to New York and Los Angeles.

Over the last few years, the airline has steadily built the infrastructure, in terms of aircraft and staffing, to position itself as a credible startup carrier, despite many observers reckoning it would not be possible.

Global Airlines took full ownership of 9H-GLOBL, which was previously owned by China Southern, on February 2, 2024, de-registering it in the United States (US) and re-registering in Malta.

Prior to the test flights, the aircraft last flew on December 22, 2022. For the last 13 months it has been based at MHV where it has been serviced by expert teams.

Global Airlines previously acquired an A380, register B-6140, from Doric, a Germany-based investment firm, in May 2023, but 9H-GLOBL is the first fully owned plane to fly for the carrier.

Global Airlines has entered agreements to purchase four A380 aircraft and plans to begin operations in the second half of 2024.

The post British start-up Global Airlines completes first Airbus A380 test flights in US appeared first on AeroTime.

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