Dublin-based Powdair raising €4.5m for its ski season takeoff
A NEW Dublin-based 'virtual' airline that will use wet-leased jets to fly winter sports enthusiasts is raising £4m (€4.5m) and plans to apply for an Irish air operator's certificate (AOC) next month.
Powdair aims to fly from the UK, Germany and Belgium to Switzerland this year and may also launch flights from Dublin.
A spokesman told the Irish Independent that the company is backed by investors including one from Ireland, and that Brexit was "very much" in its thinking when it decided to establish the firm in Dublin rather than in the UK.
He confirmed that the company is currently raising £4m and expects to close that funding round next month and will also appoint new directors.
Powdair's principal director is currently UK pilot Nicholas Davis.
Powdair has already been selling tickets on its website, for flights from destinations including airports in London, Manchester, Antwerp, Edinburgh and Hamburg. The spokesman said that hundreds to tickets had been sold within the first days of the launch.
The company is in talks with a Swiss company to wet-lease two Embraer 170 jets that will be used to operate the Powdair flights. Wet-leases see third-party operators provide aircraft and crew to clients.
But having an Irish AOC would also enable Powdair to use its own leased aircraft.
The spokesman said the £4m being raised would provide funds to apply for the AOC and also to lease its own jets.
Powdair's home airport will be Sion in Switzerland, where all its flights will operate to. The airport is within an hour of ski resorts such as Zermatt, Verbier, and Crans-Montana.
The spokesman said that flights from Dublin could still be added in time for next winter's services. The firm is also eyeing a summer schedule from next year.