UNITED KINGDOM- UK-based long-haul startup Global Airlines (5S) has revealed that its initial Airbus A380 is a former China Southern Airlines (CZ) aircraft currently stored at California’s Mojave airport.
Global Airlines has confirmed its complete ownership and title of the aircraft, designated MSN120, originally delivered to the Chinese carrier in early 2013. The jet has been officially registered under the Maltese flag as 9H-GLOBL and is equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.
Global Airlines First A380
During the initial phase, wet-lease specialist Hi Fly is temporarily listed as the registrant. Hi Fly, providing support to Global during its startup phase, will undertake the ferry flight of the A380 from Mojave in the coming weeks.
Global Airlines has purchase agreements for a total of four A380s, with the remaining three jets yet to be disclosed.
China Southern placed an order for five A380s and received the first one in 2011. The double-deck aircraft was configured with 506 seats, featuring eight first-class suites and 70 seats in the business-class cabin.
Towards the end of 2022, China Southern withdrew MSN120 from service, and the aircraft underwent a transfer to the US registry as N123KK. The ownership of the A380 was held by Jet Midwest, an aviation services firm based in Kansas.
As of February 1, the US FAA has canceled this registration, marking the export of the aircraft to Malta.
Global Airlines acknowledges the support received from Hi Fly and Mojave-based Business Class Aviation in the preparation of the aircraft for its return to service.
Eyeing Transatlantic Flights
“As the airline progresses towards its inaugural ferry flight, the efforts on the aircraft have intensified,” the statement notes. It mentions the replenishment of hydraulic fluids, oil, and fuel, along with a comprehensive inspection of the aircraft.
Global Airlines reports that all systems, including an engine run at “almost-to-full thrust,” have been successfully tested. The return to service process, which involved interior inspections, indicates that the aircraft is in excellent condition.
The terms of Global’s acquisition of the A380 from Jet Midwest have not been disclosed.
James Asquith, the CEO of Global Airlines, acknowledges that the acquisition process has taken a substantial amount of time, stating, “Lots of people predicted we wouldn’t make it even this far.”
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