Prepare For Takeoff

Starting an airline is tough. Running a profitable airline is even tougher. From startup airlines to established industry leaders, the process involves constant learning and adaptation.

Few businesses have as many variables and challenges as airlines. They are capital-intensive. Competition is fierce. Airlines are fossil fuel dependent and often at the mercy of fuel price volatility. Operations are labor intensive and subject to government control and political influence. And a lot depends on the weather.

But the intrepid entrepreneur is not alone. The StartupBoeing team assists entrepreneurs in launching new airlines. From concept through launch, StartupBoeing offers guidance, review, analysis, data, resources, contacts, and referrals to qualified startup airlines.

For further questions or dialogue, please e-mail us at

Market Analysis

Entrepreneurs who are considering a startup airline launch are wise to study the commercial aviation market. Three comprehensive publications are very useful in providing a detailed analysis of traffic growth, regional trends, and airplane requirements. They are produced by Boeing and highly regarded throughout the industry.

Commercial Market Outlook
World Air Cargo Forecast
Current Aircraft Finance Market Outlook

Operating Environment

Startup airlines must be aware of and operate within a framework of regulations, standards and guidelines. Included here is basic information on some of the primary international agreements and programs that shape the operating environment for commercial aviation.

Learn about the "Freedoms of the Air," a set of international rights that allow a country's airlines to enter the airspace of another country or land there.

Find out more about ETOPS, or Extended Operations, a collaborative industry/government program allowing airplanes to fly routes with longer diversion times.

Business Planning

Successful startup airlines begin with a sound business plan. This detailed planning document typically includes:

  • Analysis of the market and competition
  • Brand positioning
  • Description of the business and opportunity
  • Details about the operation
  • Management team biographies
  • Discussion of risks and obstacles
  • Pro forma financial statements/projections
  • Capitalization plan
  • Brand development
  • Implementation strategy.

The business plan is the fundamental starting point for working effectively with theStartupBoeing consulting team. StartupBoeing provides free review services of the business plan and corresponding financials. We offer constructive suggestions, question assumptions, and challenge the entrepreneur to prove the concept just as prospective investors might. For entrepreneurs requiring assistance in preparing the plan itself, StartupBoeing can suggest advisors worldwide who specialize in such services.

The Structural Plan

The Airline Planning Roadmap (PDF) offers a conceptual sense of the necessary steps in launching an airline from idea through launch.

Business Plan Questions (PDF) provides a list of important questions to consider when writing the business plan.

Brand Foundation Overview (PDF) provides a list of steps to take to position your emerging brand based on your market analysis and a need to differentiate from existing competitors.

Structuring the Plan

The Airline Business Plan Outline (PDF) is a tool for capturing many of the important elements for successfully starting and operating an airline. While it is not a comprehensive structure for all airline concepts, it can serve as a starting framework for a business plan.

Airplane Selection

Target markets and frequencies are determined through traffic analysis and route/schedule planning. The startup airline is now positioned to select the appropriate airplane. Included here is basic airplane data a startup-airline can use to make a preliminary aircraft selection and complete a compelling business plan.

Interactive Aircraft Comparator

In-Production Airplanes

Out of Production Airplanes

Airplane Support

Visit Boeing Support and Services to learn more about Boeing global customer support, including spares & logistics support, maintenance and engineering services, fleet enhancements and modifications, and flight operations support.

The Boeing Airport Compatibility Group assists the aviation community to address their airport-related issues regarding our airplanes, providing Boeing and McDonnell Douglas commercial airplane product information needed to promote the continued and timely development of the world's airports.

Boeing provides a variety of documents that provide Airplane Characteristics data for General Airport Planning. Sections within each document include airplane description, airplane performance, ground maneuvering, terminal servicing, operating conditions, and pavement data.

Learn more about the pallets and containers used to carry cargo on-board large Boeing aircraft, including specific designations, dimensions, descriptions and visuals.

View a glossary of airplane terms.

Airplane Sourcing

Selecting the optimal airplane based on market, network plan, traffic estimates, interior layout, economics, and performance requirements is a good start. But now the airline entrepreneur must source the airplane. Decisions must be made about lease-versus-buy and new-versus-used. Airplane availability may be a challenge. Such factors may drive the airplane selection or even change the business model.


An important first step in sourcing the airplane is to consider financing options. The two most common methods of financing airplanes are direct purchase and operating lease.

New Airplanes

Depending on current production line availability, financing, business plan, and desired launch date, a startup airline may consider purchasing a new production airplane.

Leasing New or Used Airplanes

Boeing works with major airplane leasing companies worldwide. StartupBoeing is able to match qualified startup airlines with Boeing's leasing partners.

Lease Rates

Boeing does not regularly track airplane market lease rates. However, a range of lease rates can be provided to qualified startup airlines.

Through Boeing Commercial Aircraft Customer Finance, qualified startup airlines can be matched with third party sellers/lessors of used airplanes.

Third Party Used Airplanes

Through Boeing's internal Trading Floor, qualified startup airlines can be matched with third party sellers/lessors of used airplanes. Other sources of used airplane availability include:

Operating Your Airline


Boeing offers startup airlines the industry’s largest portfolio of commercial aviation support and services essential for running a successful airline. Through Boeing Global Services startup operators have access to everything from training and interior modifications to aircraft maintenance and high-tech enhancements.

The following solutions are available to suit your specific startup plans and requirements.

Maintenance & Parts Solutions

Boeing’s Maintenance and Part solutions help you to manage maintenance, modification, repair, overhaul and upgrades of your fleet while simplifying your supply chain. One of the services most applicable to a new airline is Global Fleet Care.

Boeing’s Global Fleet Care gives you the most comprehensive maintenance program available.

Global Fleet Care can:

  • Help a new entrant operator conserve startup maintenance program capital
  • Provide a competitive hourly maintenance rate that reduces airline staffing requirements.
  • Include initial parts provisioning
  • Supply engineering services
  • Provide 24/7 Customer Support and Airplane Health Monitoring

Flight Operations Solutions

Boeing’s Flight Operations Solutions provide full flight operations support that is scalable to grow as your airline expands and your operational complexity increases. From pilot training to start of operations and beyond, our suite of products will provide the highest quality tools for your crews to deliver an efficient flight operation.

Services most applicable to a new airline:

  • Flight Planning
  • Charts and Navigation
  • Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)
  • Pilot training and Simulator
  • Performance Planning

Boeing Aviation Consultants

Boeing’s staff of experienced airline and consulting professionals can advise and assist with all activities associated with a new entrant airline.

Boeing’s Consultants can:

  • Assist with securing an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) as well as other regulatory requirement filings
  • Design and structure an efficient operations organization
  • Advise in the development and regulatory approval of a maintenance program
  • Design a parts optimization program
  • Assist with route analysis and payload improvements
  • Develop a fuel efficiency program
  • Select Information Technology elements that are appropriate for the size of operation
  • Prepare an airline for eventual transition to ‘smart’ airplanes

Once an airline is up and running, Boeing’s Aviation Consultants can also provide periodic, detailed operations analysis that can assist with optimizing your maintenance and fuel efficiency programs, as well as provide crew management solutions for best scheduling and utilization of crewmembers.

When you are ready to start your airline, Boeing is ready to help you every step of the way.

Boeing offers startup airlines a comprehensive array of tools and services for running a successful airline. Everything from training to interior design to financing to maintenance to high-tech enhancements and more. Available resources include:

Becoming a Customer

Whether you are starting a new airline with Boeing aircraft, adding your first Boeing aircraft to your existing fleet, or you are new to maintaining Boeing aircraft, we have the products, services, and information resources needed to get you off the ground and keep you flying.


Creating a business relationship with Boeing can provide access to:

  • Parts
  • Drawings
  • Documents
  • Boeing expertise
  • Support services needed for the introduction, operation and maintenance of your aircraft

What do you need?

If you are a Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) or repair station, please see the Intellectual Property Management - Licensing Questionnaire.

In order to obtain Boeing goods and services, it will be necessary to enter into an agreement with Boeing and set-up an account. To begin the account set-up process, complete and submit a Boeing Customer Questionnaire. This questionnaire must be completed and submitted electronically.

Upon receipt of the completed questionnaire and based upon the information you submit, Boeing will:

  1. Start the process of establishing an account so your company can do business with Boeing.
  2. Assign your company a Boeing customer code which will identify your company within Boeing for future business transactions.
  3. Identify you as the owner, operator, or lessee of the aircraft.
  4. Offer you a Customer Services General Terms Agreement (CSGTA) and its supplemental agreements:
    • Supplemental Agreement for Electronic Access (SA-EA)
    • Supplemental Agreement for Electronic Enabling (SA-eE)
  5. Provide you with certain documents at no charge when the CSGTA and its supplements are signed and appropriate insurance is obtained.

Access to Boeing Part Page

Boeing Material Services offers the advantage of buying from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

Boeing also provides customers with access to the aftermarket for a wider breadth of resources to locate hard-to-find parts. From single transactions to supply chain management, Boeing provides you with the right part, at the right place, at the right time. For more access information, please contact

Intellectual Property Management - Licensing Questionnaire

Aircraft owner/operators and third-party service providers have particular needs for OEM products and services as they support the industry. These products and services may require the use of information that is created during the development and certification of Boeing products. Comments from the industry have helped us to establish a set of Intellectual Property licensing standards that address specific requirements and establish a fair and consistent fee structure for the use of the information developed.

Take the Intellectual Property Management - Licensing Questionnaire.

Customer Services General Terms Agreement (CSGTA)

The Customer Services General Terms Agreement (CSGTA) incorporates articles applicable to various Boeing products and services into a blanket-type agreement so that, once in place, only unique terms and conditions need to be negotiated when a customer requires a specific product or service. The benefits of this approach are:

  • Faster responses to requests from customers for products and services.
  • A reduction in resources and effort needed to implement and manage all Customer Support related agreements for both customer and Boeing.

Some examples of the products and services covered by the CSGTA are lease of parts and tools, purchase of spare parts and standards, retrofit kit changes, repair, modification, technical assistance/consulting, training services and technical data.

Two Supplemental Agreements are associated with the CSGTA. The Supplemental Agreement to the CSGTA for Electronic Access (SA-EA) incorporates articles specific to granting you electronic access to Boeing goods and services, specifically technical data available on The Supplemental Agreement to the CSGTA for Electronic Enabling (SA-eE) incorporates articles specific to software licensing.

Part 125 Airplane Operating Certificate (AOC)

To apply for a part 125 AOC you will need to provide certain documents to your regulatory agency such as the Maintenance Planning Document (MPD), Quick Reference Handbook (QRH), and Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM). Our business operations group will help you get access to these documents on a temporary basis to help you with your AOC application.

MyBoeingFleet (MBF)

MyBoeingFleet is Boeing's secure internet portal, providing authorized customers with access to the industry's most comprehensive range of support products and services for Boeing commercial aircraft.

Aircraft owners and operators - as well as maintenance providers, leasing companies, regulatory agencies and other third party service providers - use MyBoeingFleet to order parts, collaborate with Boeing experts, and obtain essential information such as drawings, documentation, manuals, and operational data and procedures.

Owner/operators and licensed maintenance providers can also access productivity solutions such as Maintenance Performance Toolbox and Airplane Health Management.

Frequently Asked Questions

The StartupBoeing site is filled with information that will be useful in starting an airline. In starting an airline, there are specific steps that should be followed, and they are laid out in order to help you along your journey.

The StartupBoeing team has found that this usually is not the first question to ask when starting an airline. The market opportunity and business plan will help shape what aircraft to fly. Once an understanding of the market opportunity and competitive environment are established, the StartupBoeing team can assist in providing suggestions for aircraft and ultimately performance data to fit the market opportunity.

Boeing generally does not lease aircraft. Aircraft leasing is usually done by third parties not associated with Boeing. To help you find these leased aircraft, Boeing has provided links to these parties found in the Airplane Sourcing section.

Boeing generally does not sell used aircraft. Used aircraft are usually sold by third parties not associated with Boeing. To help you find these used aircraft, Boeing has provided links to these parties found in the Airplane Sourcing section.

Information on passenger and freighter airplanes, along with information on cargo hold sizes can be found in the Airplane Selection section.

A glossary of aircraft terms can be found here.

The Boeing Current Market Outlook (CMO) and World Air Cargo Forecast can be found in the Market Analysis section.


Information on business plans can be found in the Business Planning section.

Information about regulatory requirements can be found in the Operating Environment section.