A ministry organisation is set to launch the world's first-ever Christian airline next year. 'Judah 1' calls itself an aviation ministry dedicated to fulfilling “The Great Commission”, by jetting mission workers across the world with the aim of bringing the gospel to all the nations.
Based in the southern US state of Louisiana, the group hopes to attain their Federal Aviation Administration certification next year and begin operating as a fully-fledged airline. They will then seek to add much bigger aircraft to their fleet which capable of transporting hundreds of people into the mission field. Right now, Judah 1 is in possession of five aircraft. “By the end of next year, we would like to have three to four large planes,” Jhudah 1 President and CEO Everett Aaron told the Christian Post. “As of yesterday, we now have being added to our fleet a Boeing 767-200ER. It seats 238 people and can go anywhere in the world with one-stop. It carries 30 tons of cargo.”
Judah 1 says it has transported "hundreds of missionaries and transported thousands of pounds of cargo" across the globe since it was founded back in 2011. "It is very rewarding to know how many Judah 1 and our partners have helped," their website reads. "This includes the thousands who have been seen in medical clinics, and the thousands who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.
"It is our passion to help you reach the estimated two and a half billion people who do not know Jesus and it only takes YOUR HANDS, GOD’S LOVE, OUR WINGS."
Judah 1 will operate differently to regular airlines - it won't function on a normal schedule and is not limited to taking pre-approved routes, as is the case for the well-known commercial airlines. "That means we can go where we want when we want, unlike most airlines … that have to have certain schedules that they fly, have to have certain routes," Everett added to CP. "We don’t have to do that.”
Missionaries will be charged an airfare, but there are no baggage or cargo fees.
With the rise of Covid-19, Judah 1 has had to implement increased hygiene measures in order to mitigate the risk of transmission amongst passengers and crew - as such, the aircraft are fully sterilised after each flight.
The inspiration behind the name and the mission of Judah 1 came when founder Everett Aaron noticed a group of airline aircraft lined up and ready to be sent into the mission field.
"They were full of food, medical supplies, Bibles.." he said. "The engines were fired up and they were ready to go. There were people lined up in front of these planes ready to get on them, but they wouldn't get on the planes. I asked God 'why won't these people get on the planes do they can go out into the mission field'?
"And God said, 'they can't get go into the mission field until you get the aeroplanes...this is what I'm calling you to do."
Everett said the idea for Judah 1 was solidified through "the Lord showing me the need for mission aviation".
"As we researched and did our due diligence, we found out that there was a great need for large commercial aircraft to transport missionary teams into the mission field," he added.
Judah 1 has already partnered with several humanitarian relief organisations including Samaritan's Purse and 'Operation Blessing' - a humanitarian relief charity associated with the Christian Broadcasting Network.
The airline hopes to reach two and a half billion people who do not yet know Jesus. "It's not just about the preaching of the gospel," Everett added. "We want to see the miracle-working power of the Holy Spirit in action."