A new airline is about to launch in North Texas unlike any you’ve seen before – Judah 1 is the world’s first Christian airline, KXAS-TV reported.
The nonprofit is based out of the North Texas Municipal Airport in Denison, about an hour north of Dallas. “We’re here to make a difference,” Judah 1 founder Everett Aaron said.
Aaron said Judah 1 currently has a fleet of about 10 planes, including an MD-83 that arrived in Denison last week. Judah 1 caters to Christians on mission trips worldwidem, and it will sell standard tickets to groups or individuals, much like a typical airline.
The big difference is the amount of luggage passengers are allowed to bring along as much as the overhead bins can hold and all the cargo you can safely pack under the plane – for free.
Aaron said about half of all cargo taken on missionary trips never makes it to the final destinations. He said it’s either held hostage at customs or stolen before flights arrive.
“By using airliners, we’re able to take the entire team and all of their cargo on one flight, which is unheard of,” Aaron said.
Aaron, an ordained minister, filed paperwork to operate as a private carrier last summer. The FAA granted an application that allows the nonprofit to operate an airline.
Aaron said he filed the paperwork after he struggled to get medical supplies to children in Mexico during a mission trip in 2017. “I’ve been told that many times, ‘You’re crazy, you can’t do this.’ It’s very expensive to fly this plane,” Aaron explained.
He said it costs about $12,000 an hour to fly the plane. A round trip to Honduras he said would cost well above $100,000. He said ticket prices on the 136-seat plane will offset the cost. Aaron added that scriptures will be painted above the plane’s windows and small murals will be placed on walls.
The tail number includes the letters “GF” which Aaron said stands for “God Force.” “Our slogan is, ‘Your hands, God’s love, Our wings,’ and what that simply means is we’re enabling missionaries to do what they do, but do it easier and more efficiently,” Aaron said.
Operations can’t begin until the airline is certified by the FAA, Aaron said. Certification is expected sometime this summer, KXAS-TV added.