Airline Start-Ups: A global overview of new airlines over the past 18 months

Despite initial fears towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer airlines went out of business than first predicted. During 2020 only around 30 collapsed, out of a total of thousands of airlines.

During the most difficult time for the aviation industry on record, where international capacity fell to around one tenth of its previous level and many domestic operations fared only slightly better, it was surprising that so few airlines went out of business. What surprised, even with the most optimistic of predictions, was that several new airlines entered the market and began operating.

Few countries escaped the pandemic without having seen dramatic reductions in capacity, however some achieved a return to normality, and even exceeded previous capacity by late 2020.

Many of these countries were in the Asia Pacific. Owing to successful initial responses to the pandemic, in China, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan there was, in all of them, robust domestic capacity, and all four countries saw new entrants into the market during 2020.

Since the end of 2020, the remarkable trend of new start-ups continues. As the world, and in particular the aviation industry, emerges from the capacity lows that are the result of months of harsh lockdowns and border closures, the number of new airline start-ups continues to climb, with many future entrants poised to launch.

It is considered that new airline start-ups offer significant opportunity for growth over the coming months and years, as the industry recovers. With airlines poised to seize back the market share they occupied before the global collapse in aviation capacity, it has become a perfect storm for new entrants. However, with the aviation landscape looking more competitive than ever, it is expected that not all new entrants will survive the gruelling task ahead.

Report Length: 13 Pages