Start-up UK company Firnas Airways is working on its regulatory com-pliance and securing finance to launch a regional operation using 19-seat Jetstream 31 aircraft.
“Our investment programme is on schedule and going extremely well,” says founder and CEO Kazi Rahman, named British Muslim Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017.
Firnas, named after eighth century Spanish inventor Abbas ibn Firnas, plans to occupy the sub 50-seat aircraft category, in a market that it says is dominated by low cost carriers and legacy airlines. It intends to serve airports with short check-in times, quick turnarounds and good customer service, and has shortlisted London Oxford, London Southend, Waterford and Isle of Man Ronaldsway.
“We are building a community airline where our investors will help us choose where we fly,” continues Rahman. “Our research over the past 18 months demonstrates that there is a notable gap in the 19-seat market, especially in charter, which is where we will start before moving into regular, scheduled flights. We will start with regional routes using up to two Jetstream 31s, and then move into larger 50-seaters.”
The company is raising capital under the UK's Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and Enterprise Investment Scheme. The business is working to raise a further £500,000 in capital, for a total 12.5 per cent, and has almost reached 60 per cent of its goal.
Skybird AC, which is leasing the aircraft to Firnas, will steer its operations.