Would you launch a new airline?

By | Category: Travel news

Given that countries are still in varying states of lockdown, would you start a long-haul airline?

the proposed cabin layout of the A330-300 planes that flypop will use.

And given that the delta variant – the most virulent that we have yet seen – was first noticed in India  and that there are still concerns about the vaccine rollout in the country,  would you start an airline linking the UK to India? And then to other south Asian destinations which also are dealing with the COVID-19 impact?

Maybe not.

But one courageous company is.

flypop (with a small “f”) is a new low-cost UK airline focused on  affordable non-stop flights between the UK and the secondary cities of South Asia, starting with India.

The CEO, Navdip Singh Judge, started the airline a few years ago but COVID-19 has delayed things. Back in 2019, flypop was going to link Stansted with Amritsar, and then south Asian cities like Ahmedabad. Other cities in which it has expressed interest include Kolkata, Pune, Goa, Cochin, Sylhet, Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot, Colombo and Kathmandu.

But which other cities is it looking at in the UK to provide links to South Asia? Birmingham, East Midlands, Leeds-Bradford and Manchester might be up for consideration but for an outside bet, Cardiff and Gatwick might be on the list.

Is now the time to launch?

There is actually no date on when flights might commence.

The operations boss, Charlie Clifton, who was previously at Ryanair claims that the other carriers serving the Indian sub-continent have had plenty of costs and debt bit no revenue in the last eighteen months. flypop hasn’t had costs but has cash and is in a better position to take advantage of the situation. He sees that the pandemic has a silver lining for flypop because the cost of entry to the market is much lower than it would have been prior to the pandemic.

He might have added that low-cost airlines will probably return faster to profitability over legacy airlines like Air india and British Airways. An airline connecting families in the UK with families in India and elsewhere should have a ready market when people feel comfortable in flying again and when India goes on the UK’s green list sometime in the future.

Nonetheless, so many airlines have tried to be profitable linking the UK and India. Will flypop succeed where others have faltered?

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