Bavarian Airlines: crypto, an 18-year-old chairman and a Munich hub

A new entrant could be coming soon to Munich Airport (MUC), as Bavarian Airlines looks to disrupt the market with its innovative model
Flughafen München GmbH

Bavarian Airlines is looking to establish itself at Munich Airport (MUC) and offer flights to several destinations in Germany and Europe. The airline, which still has no aircraft in its fleet and is yet to officially sell tickets, was incorporated in September 2022.   

Led by four executives and with innovative solutions at its core, it looks to operate leased Embraer E195-E2 aircraft from Munich Airport (MUC). 

Bavarian Airlines established in the United Kingdom 

Details are scarce, however, including the exact date the airline will be launching flights. Bavarian Airlines is still in the process of obtaining its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). 

Interestingly, the company was initially incorporated as Hessische Finanzgruppe. on September 9, 2022, at the Companies House in Cardiff, Wales, the United Kingdom (UK). The Nature of Business (SIC) code (64110) indicates that its sector of operations is central banking. 

The company was launched with £10,000 ($12,167) of capital, with 75% of shares belonging to Adem Karagöz. According to the Companies House of the UK, Karagöz was born in September 2004 and is an Estonian and Swiss national, residing in Switzerland. 

The remaining 25% was allocated to K&A Immobilien, a company also established by Karagöz on August 30, 2022. The latter company’s starting capital was £1 ($1.22) and its SIC code was also 64110. 

Another CHF25,000 ($26,874) of capital was injected into the company on December 9, 2022, and five days later, the official name was changed to Bavarian Airlines. Between December 21 and December 27, 2022, three new directors joined the company: Chief Development Officer (CDO) Kwayep Kevin Timite (born in 1995), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Mehmet Basyigit (1968), and Co-Chief Executive Natanel Salomon Pretzel (1990). Pretzel, according to the Companies House’s data, now owns more than 25% but not more than 50% of shares in Bavarian Airlines, with Karagöz still retaining “75% or more” and the right to appoint and remove directors. 

Bavarian Airlines lists Karagöz as the Chairman of the supervisory board, while the three other individuals were listed as representatives of the recently incorporated carrier. However, the Unternehmensregister, the German company registry, has no record of Bavarian Airlines or Bayerische Fluggesellschaft mbH i.G.. The latter is the name of the holding company of the carrier in Germany. According to the airline’s website, the process of registering the company in the country is still in progress. 

Cryptocurrency loyalty program 

While tickets are yet to go on sale, the first batch of destinations from MUC is available on Bavarian Airlines’ website, including more information about the fleet and the cabin. 

The airline plans to launch flights from the Bavarian capital to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS), Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), Dusseldorf International Airport (DUS), London City Airport (LCY), and Vienna Airport (VIE) with the Embraer E195-E2. According to the airline’s website, it will fit a two-class cabin, seating up to 126 passengers with high-speed Wi-Fi, and in-flight entertainment. Furthermore, per airliners.de, the carrier will offer a 1-1 business class layout, akin to a first-class product on domestic flights in the United States. 

Lufthansa, whose hub is also at MUC, utilizes either the Airbus A320 family (A319 or A320) or the Mitsubishi CRJ-900 (ex-Bombardier) on the same routes as Bavarian Airlines. The only exception is LCY, where the German carrier deploys the Embraer E190, the first generation of the Embraer Regional Jet (ERJ) family. It seats up to 100 passengers: eight in business class and 92 in economy class, including 16 preferred zone seats. These are economy class seats that allow passengers to book an economy class fare and be one of the first to disembark the aircraft if the jet is parked at a gate. 

Meanwhile, the Embraer E195-E2 is not yet certified to operate at LCY. 

The two carriers would directly compete for passengers on all Bavarian Airlines’ planned routes. Austrian Airlines and Eurowings, which are also part of the Lufthansa Group, will also provide competition for the new carrier, with KLM joining the vie for travelers between MUC and AMS. 

But Bavarian Airlines is betting that its selling point will be its loyalty program, which provides customers the opportunity to earn BVX, the airline’s own cryptocurrency. The program, called Bewards, is a direct replacement for a typical loyalty program where passengers earn miles, which Bavarian Airlines deemed to be “worthless”. Blockchain-related technologies are not new in the industry, though, as airBaltic, for example, has issued its own non-fungible tokens (NFT). The Latvian airline launched the collection of collectibles on April 25, 2022. 

In total, the company plans to lease 12 Embraer E195-E2s, with ticket sales beginning in Q2 2023. Flights are scheduled to begin sometime at the end of the year, with no exact date provided yet. 

AeroTime approached Bavarian Airlines for comment. 

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