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When One Budget Airline Goes Down, Another One Rises

When One Budget Airline Goes Down, Another One Rises
Taylor Rains

As WOW Air falls, another long-haul, low-cost airline rises. UK based FlyPOP will soon be joining the industry to offer nonstop flights from the UK to India.

FlyPOP plans to base itself at London Stansted Airport with its first routes running between the UK and two destinations in India, Amritsar and Ahmedabad. The flights will alternate days with no flights scheduled for Wednesdays. In an interview with Simple Flying, the airline’s CEO, Nino Judge, explained that the reasoning behind serving these untouched routes is his target market, “VFR,” or those “visiting friends and relatives.” He explained that 200,000 passengers fly from London to Amritsar every year, but there is no nonstop option. He believes there is enough demand for FlyPOP to succeed in that market.

Although the airline will model itself off of Norwegian Air Shuttle and now bankrupt WOW Air, Judge claims that those airlines are approaching the low-cost, long haul model wrong. He explained that FlyPOP will be running its operations differently, utilizing used A330 aircraft, rather than new aircraft. Furthermore, each aircraft will have a full economy cabin with only the first three rows offering extra legroom. All other amenities will be at an extra cost, although Judge believes his passengers will enjoy the flexibility.

Ticket fares will start low, with the cheapest being £350 and the most expensive being £750. Judge explained that the low fares will be counteracted with auxiliary sales, such as luggage, meals, and beverages.

FlyPOP’s plan is promising, but it may not be the only carrier entering this market. Air India recently announced plans to operate the London Stansted to Amritsar route later this year. FlyPOP commented on Air India’s move, “The FlyPOP team are thrilled that Air India found merit in also using London Stansted as its destination in UK. The demand is enough to easily support both Air India and FlyPOP from STN and BHX to ATQ. FlyPOP will simply be the low cost option and/or if passenger want an unbundled product. At least now our diaspora will already know where STN is!”

The carrier also has big plans for the environment and the less fortunate. Judge explained that POP originally stood for “People over Profit” but may change it to “Planet over Profit” as the carrier moves more and more towards promoting carbon offset. As an initiative to reduce its carbon footprint, FlyPOP will include a £6 fee in their ticket fare to help fund off-set projects. Furthermore, the airline will introduce a “buy one give one” program to donate meals to the homeless in the UK and Asia.

There is no start date for the airline as it still lacks air operators certification, but its founders are confident that a deal with a UK wet-lease company will help launch flights.


[Featured Imaged: FlyPOP]

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