OnlyFans founder joins board of transatlantic A380 startup Global Airlines 

Global Airlines A380
Global Airlines

UK-based transatlantic carrier Global Airlines has announced that it has appointed Tom Stokely to its board of directors. Stokely is perhaps better known as a co-founder and former owner of the adult content website OnlyFans.  

Global Airlines intends to begin flying in late 2024 using a fleet of four second-hand A380s, operating from London to New York-JFK and Los Angeles. In 2023, the carrier appointed Portuguese ACMI specialist Hi Fly to assist it in getting airborne and to advise on the operational aspects of putting used A380s into service. 

Stokely has been listed on the UK Government’s Companies House as a director, alongside James Asquith the airline’s founder, and Richard Stephenson, Global’s Chief Commercial Officer. 

Stokely founded OnlyFans in 2016, assisted by his brother and father. Together, they built the website from zero to an organization that in 2019 declared a subscription profit of $45.8 billion. They subsequently divested their full ownership of the company that same year to billionaire pornography publisher, Leo Radvinsky. 

Global Airlines has already raised more than a few eyebrows in the airline industry even before this announcement. The carrier has already acquired four A380s and plans to acquire further airframes in the future. Each will be operated to carry approximately 471 passengers and recently revealed designs for the interiors of its first class cabins. 

Global Airlines A380
Global Airlines

However, it would be fair to say that widespread skepticism remains in the industry over the commercial viability of Global’s planned operation. Competing on one of the more highly contested passenger air routes in the world (London to New York-JFK) against major airlines such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines will not be easy, particularly when each of these carriers operates multiple daily flights between the two cities.  

Indeed, in summer 2024, a total of 28 daily flights will operate between London and New York flown by six airlines. Therefore, flying fuel-thirsty four-engined, high-capacity aircraft on this route will be challenging even if economic conditions remain stable. 

However, with rising oil prices linked to increasing unrest in the Middle East, and growing tensions elsewhere, the market conditions in which to launch a new transatlantic airline are certainly not optimum presently for the entry of a new player on this cut-throat route.  

Global has already announced that its spring 2024 launch has been put back to sometime “in the next 12 months” with the carrier also announcing that before it begins its planned scheduled services, it will operate charter flights using its A380s. However, this is a business model that even partner Hi Fly tried but couldn’t make financially viable in the long run. 

Hi Fly

“We expect to operate our first round of passenger services in the next 12 months,” said a spokesperson for Global. “However, we, like many other companies in aviation, have encountered some delays with our partners and multiple supply chain issues which we continue to work around and find solutions to.”  

With Stokely coming on board as a director, while he may bring commercial expertise of a certain nature with him from what many observers will deem to be a morally questionable business, whether he can bring the right know-how to keep the Global Airlines dream alive remains to be seen. 

Related Posts

AeroTime is on YouTube

Subscribe to the AeroTime Hub channel for exclusive video content.

Subscribe to AeroTime Hub