Good news for devoted Christian travelers: the days of baggage fees, and bibles lost in transit will soon be relics of a secular past. The non-profit private operator Judah 1, which has already delivered hundreds of missionaries and thousands of pounds of cargo worldwide from its Texas headquarters, has just received FAA approval to become the world's first Christian airline.
"If everything goes as planned we are looking at some time in the summer of 2019," declared founder and CEO Everett Aaron. "This means Judah 1 will have the freedom to transport as many different churches and mission organizations as we can. This is a huge honor and privilege and we give God all the glory!"
Must Follow Christ To Fly
Of course, this isn't just about market differentiation. Aaron is convinced Judah 1 will only make the skies friendlier for some of Christianity's most dedicated. "This is not available for just the general public, you have to be part of a mission team. It will be very competitive with the airlines," he explains.
"About 50 percent of missionaries lose their cargo when it travels via container and that's one of the problems we have. I know some of the trips we have been on ourselves with other missionary groups traveling, they ship their stuff via container and medical supplies and stuff either get tied up in customs, food spoils, some things just gets lost. Even the Bibles. I found out Bibles are one of the largest black market items in the world. People steal Bibles and sell them."
Once approved, the ministry plans to add several Boeing 767s capable of hauling up to 30,000 tons of cargo to their current MD 80 aircraft fleet. Already partnering with groups like Make a Wish Foundation, Wounded Warrior and Kids Against Hunger, Judah 1 hopes to build up its fleet to 20 aircraft over the next five years.
Consequences of Religious Segregation
With Christian cruises and holy travel agents already catering to a faith-focused crowd, perhaps it was only a matter of time before an airline started up, too. But some aren't comfortable with the segmentation of airline passengers on the basis of religion. As a society we're fractured enough as it is, they argue why further exacerbate those divides?
What do you think? How long before non-Christian missionaries denied access on Judah 1 cry foul? And would the reaction to this news be any different if Muslim clerics had decided to launch an Islamic-only airline?