The incredible story of a 34 year old travel influencer who went from Instagramming to owning his own airline with a fleet of four Airbus A380 Superjumbo jets – Nicknamed the next Richard Branson he once washed cars on the roads to save money for college.

Image - Instagram / James Asquith


34-year-old James Asquith, founder of Holiday Swap, is broadening his horizons by starting up the world’s newest airline based at Gatwick. The travel influencer shares regular updates of their jet-set lifestyle around the world with his 1.1 million Instagram followers. With the launch of Global Airlines, which already acquired four jumbo jets, the influencer is taking his travel tales to a whole new level! Asquith aspires to take on the likes of Virgin Atlantic and British Airways in comfortable, gigantic, double-decker A380 aircraft that he is buying second-hand and at a bargain price.

Via Instagram / @jamesasquith

“I think it’s the most fantastic commercial aircraft ever made,” he told Sky News, “but you have to do something with that space that makes passengers want to step on board.” Instead of making travel tedious and uninspiring, the influencer wishes to revive the “golden age” of flying, “Go back to the 747. So many people talk about the golden days when the lounge was on the top deck, then you get lots of people who crunch the numbers saying, but we could actually put another 20 business class seats on the top deck,’ and it slowly erodes what you can do. There has to be a middle ground, and we think we have found that,” shared Asquith.

Via Instagram / @jamesasquith

Industry experts beg to differ, ‘The aviation industry is full of dreamers who want to fly the skies and bring competition, but it’s hard,’ Paul Charles, former communications director at Virgin Atlantic, told Sky News. Not only are these aircraft expensive to fuel, but they are tricky to park and maintain. Moreover, only 261 were ever built, and production stopped in 2021. Asquith, however, is far from demotivated. Rightly labeled the next Richard Branson, the determined entrepreneur has unwavering faith in his idea that revolves around revolutionizing air travel. ‘The name says it all in our ambitions with Global. People can be skeptics, but they always are with any plan that sounds like its crazy,” said the man who holds the world record for being the youngest person to travel to all196 sovereign countries worldwide.

Young James with his parents.Via Instagram / @jamesasquith

How it all began-
Born in Cuckfield, UK, Asquith is the son of a pilot and PA, which explains his passion for traveling and his vision of running an airline company with a fleet of double-decker jets. Motivated at a young age, the pre-teen washed cars on his road to make money. Even as a teenager, he remained focused and worked three jobs. As a student at the London School of Economics, the intelligent student invested his savings. After graduation, Asquith acquired a position at HSBC and simultaneously worked on his lifelong dream of visiting every country in the world.

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Via Instagram / @jamesasquith

By 24, the maverick had achieved his goal, achieved a world record, and went to Deutsche Bank as a vice president. During his travels, the idea for Holiday Swap struck him ending his banking career to focus on travel full-time in 2018.

Via Instagram / @jamesasquith

His first entrepreneurial endeavor, Holiday Swap offers accommodation for $1-
The Holiday Swap app is the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book, host, or swap homes anywhere for $1 a night. In short, you spend on flights and not accommodation. The company, already present in 185 countries with half a million users worldwide, announced it had secured $15 million in funding, with $10 million raised at a $400 million valuation, according to Newsfile Corp.

Via Instagram / @jamesasquith

Global Airlines, the big dream turned reality –
James Asquith founded Global Airline in 2021 and plans to fly SuperJumbo jets from Gatwick to New York by next Spring. Who better to do so than the man who has visited every country in the globe? After taking hundreds of flights on his adventures he acquired first-hand knowledge of good and bad experiences.

Via Instagram / @globalairlines

Come 2024, Global Airlines will have approximately four A380s costing roughly $ 450 million each. The sharp entrepreneur purchases the planes at a discount scrapped by other airlines that have no use for the gigantic birds. His plans included inducting more cost-effective aircarfts in his fleet by leasing them. The airliners aim to offer passengers plenty of space for socializing on board.

Via Instagram / @jamesasquith

Global Airlines will take off with the mantra of outstanding customer experience by creating the world’s most comfortable aircraft. The man who gave traveling his all is now gearing up to amp up the experience of flying for his followers and the world at large.

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Via Instagram / @robynfergusonn

James’ fiance is a Scottish travel influencer-
Robyn Ferguson, with nearly 70k followers on Instagram is living a luxurious life in glittering Dubai. She said yes to Asquith who proposed at Disneyland one of her favorite places ever in February this year. The dog-owner (golden retriever called Max), took to Instagram to congratulate her fiance Asquith on the launch of Global Airlines.

Via Instagram / @robynfergusonn

She wrote, ‘So beyond proud of you @jamesasquith. No one knows this industry better than you, and with the AMAZING team you’ve put together(seriously, AMAZING), there’s no doubt that @globalairlines is going to be The Best Way to Fly ✈️👏🏼.’ Robyn’s feed is entertaining with oodles of images of adorable Max, Disneyland and exotic locations like Vail, Maldives, Tuscany, Lake Como, Greece and more that match her beauty to the T.

Via Instagram / @jamesasquith

Asquith travelled all 196 countries in the world, setting a world record at merely 24-
All of 24, self-made Asquith, with a burning passion for exploring the world, became the youngest person to travel to all 196 sovereign countries in 2013. The travel bug bit him while studying at LSE, and he visited his first country Lithuania, in May 2001. He traveled extensively in the next five years, from July 2008 and July 8, 2013, at a cost of nearly $165,000.

Via Instagram / @jamesasquith

Asquith shared, ‘Back at LSE, 20 minutes into lecture one of my second year, I closed my book and said, “I’m not doing this again. It’s a step up in complexity of the course, but the year is going to be the same as last year.” I packed a bag and headed to Heathrow and was away nine months, traveling to South America, Sierra Leone, Iran, Syria – I saw a lot of different places, and experienced a lot of culture shock. I got back to LSE seven weeks before the end-of-year exams and literally slept in the library – there was a beanbag and a shower – and caught up on my lectures. I got OK grades.’

He afforded his travel dreams using the money he made on shares, traveling cheaply, and doing odd jobs along the way.

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.