Polish start-up ACMI provider Blu Airways is aiming to begin operations in the second half of 2018, intending to meet "unmet demand" for narrowbody capacity in the European market during the summer peak.

The Krakow-based airline is to operate as a joint venture with an air operator's certificate holder, the identity of which has not been disclosed. The fleet will initially consist of two Airbus A320s, with A321s to join in the second year of operations.

Chief executive Karl Bluhm tells FlightGlobal that Blu Airways will seek to provide white-label services under seasonal contracts with carriers that "scale capacity throughout the year".

He states that Blu is primarily focused on central and eastern Europe during the summer season; and on Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East as secondary markets during winter.

"We have identified a growing lack of narrowbody ACMI capacity in Europe, particularly during summer season," he adds.

The airline aims to meet demand across the "entire spectrum" of the industry, including leisure, low-cost and full-service operators.

Bluhm confirms that letters of intent have been signed with two clients, though declined to name them.

He indicates that he is likewise unable to name Blu's shareholders, citing confidentiality agreements, but states that the carrier has "not closed the current funding round as yet" so would "welcome interest from any additional parties".

Source: Cirium Dashboard