Thai-owned start-up carrier Really Cool Airlines (RCA) has announced a series of significant milestones towards its planned inauguration as early as the first quarter of 2024.
RCA founder and CEO Patee Sarasin reaffirmed that the complex elements needed for the successful launch of the ‘lifestyle full service’ airline have shifted into top gear.
“All kinds of preparations, including regulatory requirements, operational support, aircraft procurement, technological backup and talent recruitment and training, have been falling into place to allow us to realise the planned take-off date,” he said.
RCA, whose ambition is to set new benchmarks in Thai aviation by deeply embracing technology to streamline operations and enhance the passenger experience, is expecting to obtain the Air Operator’s Certificate, the permit to use aircraft for commercial purposes, from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT), by January next year. RCA also recently secured the Air Operating Licence, the initial requisite to run air services, from CAAT in July.
Patee remarked that RCA’s launch is timed to capitalise on the sharp recovery in global air travel, with airline revenue and profits soaring as travel bounces back after the pandemic.
“Demand for air travel has bounced back to the scale that airlines around the world are now grappling with the resurgence,” he said, adding the situation also bodes well for start-up carriers like RCA.
During March and May next year, RCA will operate as a charter flight provider on medium to longhaul international routes from its base at Suvarnabhumi Airport before gearing up to scheduled services. The carrier will be using leased A330-300 wide-body jet aircraft, and discussions are ongoing about securing more fuel-efficient and modern twin-aisle jets later on.
RCA will serve Japan initially, especially Tokyo’s Narita airport – the airline is eyeing additional Asian routes in its first two years, such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. Once RCA receives more aircraft, it will then plan 2025 routes to Europe.
In addition, the airline will feature innovations like door-to-door luggage delivery, a loyalty programme, and has recently launched its app, ReallyCool US Digital Membership.
Patee noted that RCA aims to differentiate itself from other airlines by placing innovation and creativeness at the heart of its business structure. He added that once RCA is well-established, “we may see the RCA brand being carried over to a variety of exciting ventures”. These include alliances with global partners for products and services that will help create other income streams to supplement the airline business and mitigate risks typically associated with airline operations.