A Texas non-profit has been granted permission from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to launch a brand-new airline which will cater exclusively to Christian missionaries. “Judah 1” plans to operate out of North Texas Regional Airport (NTRA) and will retail tickets to mission groups and individuals who are seeking transport to remote destinations for missions and evangelism work.
“This is not just a typical airline,” said Judah 1 founder Everett Aaron, according to the Herald Democrat. “This is not schedule routes and we are not taking people from Dallas to Vegas. That is not what this is about.”
Aaron, who is also an ordained minister, said the entire venture revolved around helping missionaries fulfill their God-given calling. It is about “giving back and helping the world become a better place,” he added. “That’s what we are about.”
In the video below, Everett revealed that the idea for Judah 1 was birthed out of a dream he had back in 1994.
“In the vision, He showed me airline, aircraft lined up as far as you can see,” Everett explained. “They were full of food, medical supplies, Bibles, 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.”
He continued: “So I asked God why won’t the people get on the planes …and God said ‘They can’t go into the mission field until you get the airplanes. This is what I’m calling you to do.’ So Judah 1 really came about from the Lord showing me the need for mission aviation. And 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.”
“It’s not just about the preaching of the Gospel,” Everett noted. “We want to see the miracle-working power of the Holy Spirit in action.”
Initially, Everett was planning on developing a charter service, before being informed by the FAA that this would prohibit him from selling individuals, and would limit sales to just five mission organizations a year. Instead, Judah 1 plans on becoming a fully fledged airline, offering tickets in the same capacity as any other commercial air travel company. Though the administrative side of things has set the team back a bit, they hope to be open for business sometime around June 2019.
Everett noted that although priority will be given to missionary organizations, secondary services will be offered to partner organizations including the Make a Wish Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project. The flights will be operated primarily using McDonnell Douglas MD83 and Boeing 767 aircraft, which have a large load capacity for both passengers and cargo.
The airline has said it plans to fly groups of up to 140, without the need for them to catch connecting flights. Aaron noted that up to 50 percent of supplies allocated for relief or missionary work fail to reach their destination due to a number of factors including spoilage, customs check and theft. Judah 1 hopes to change that by flying cargo directly, further equipping those engaging in the Lord’s work overseas.
Grayson County Regional Mobility Authority unanimously approved the new airline at a meeting Thursday morning. “Everett, we are tickled to death to have you guys here and are excited for the future,” GCRMA Chairman Robert Brady said. The airport itself also stands to benefit from the new aviation initiative. With a large increase in the flow of people through the airport, directors believe that the FAA may be compelled to change its status to accommodate larger commercial aircraft.
On its website, Judah 1 noted that it has already sent hundreds of mission workers around the world, and declared that it is an aviation ministry dedicated to “fulfilling “The Great Commission.””
Currently operating out of Fort Worth Alliance Airport, the organization added that it has “transported thousands of pounds of cargo” to far-flung missionaries based across the globe.
“We serve missions minded Christian people of all denominations traveling to the mission fields of the world.”
The firm said that it is “very rewarding to know how many Judah 1 and our partners have helped” including 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.”