Bruce Dickinson is launching an airline.

The Iron Maiden rocker has started employing pilots and crew members for his latest venture, VVB, after purchasing a Boeing 737 jet.

In 2012, the musician launched aircraft maintenance business Cardiff Aviation Ltd at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, where his latest venture is set to be based.

Speaking about the news, he told ''In the last two years we've grown relentlessly, thanks to our unique entrepreneurial style of MRO and training. We're now looking to bring that approach to the airline market with VVB.

''This is a huge opportunity to create new jobs and further increase our already impressive roster of services.''

The 56-year-old frontman originally trained to fly recreationally in the 1990s but has since become known for his airborne hobby, having regularly flown planes for the now-defunct airline Astraeus after securing an airline transport pilot's licence.

'The Trooper' singer - who underwent chemotherapy earlier this year after a cancerous tumour was discovered on his tongue - has now applied for a license for the airline to operate flights within Europe.

Meanwhile, the heavy metal band - which also features Steve Harris, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Nicko McBrain and Janick Gers with their current line-up - released their 15th studio album 'The Final Frontier' in 2010.