Avatar Airlines endless search for Boeing 747s

Shutterstock / Pavel Chagochkin

After their offer was rejected by British Airways, ultra-low fare airline start-up Avatar Airlines proposed to buy Thai Airways retiring Boeing 747 fleet. 

In October 2020, Avatar Airlines offered British Airways a 22% stake in exchange for its retired fleet of 26 Boeing 747-400s. However, the airline had not raised enough money and the British government refused to process the application.

On November 5, 2020, Thai Airways announced the sale of all 10 of its Boeing 747-400 jets. The company was soon after approached by Avatar Airlines with an intention for purchase. The terms of the offer are still unclear. 

“Our offer to Thai Airlines is part of a bigger partnership opportunity that we believe will not only accelerate Avatar’s plans to start flying within 12-18 months, but also position Thai Airways for a codeshare entry into the U.S. market and a long-term relationship between our two companies,”  said Avatar’s founder and Chief Executive Officer Barry Michaels in a press release. 

Avatar Airlines has not gotten off the ground since its creation in 1992. The company plans to operate “ultra-low fare” non-stop flights within the Continental US and Hawaii, exclusively flying the Boeing 747 aircraft. The fares would be as low as $19 one-way. 

According to the company’s website, Avatar would make exclusive use of the jumbo Boeing 747 and “will pioneer a new age of budget travel for a new millennium.” It intends to start operations with four Boeing 747-400 aircraft, later adding eight more and  own a total of 30 Boeing 747s by the end of the third year. 

The start-up airline plans to become the leader in the industry by affordability and cost-effectiveness. It plans to operate service between Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York JFK and Miami. 

The unique business model would include the airline offering an annual membership for unlimited flights bookable within 72 hours for just the cost of taxes and fees. Furthermore, the company’s aircraft would serve as flying billboards and the overhead bins in the passenger’s cabin would also be used for advertisement. 


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