Start-up flypop plans UK-India routes in 2021

UK government funding makes airline's launch possible.

A project to create a long-haul start-up carrier that will operate flights between the UK and India has been revived following several years' silence after securing UK government funding.

On Nov. 2, flypop said it had secured an “eight-figure sum” from the UK government’s £250 million ($324 million) Future Fund loan scheme, which aims to support UK-based companies affected by COVID-19. Under the terms, flypop had to match the loan value in private funding.

"Flypop, the UK’s only international long-haul low-cost airline, plans to launch in 2021 with scheduled flights to India. It will cater not only to the UK’s Indian/South Asian diaspora (and their visiting friends and relatives), but will also serve those keen to explore the Indian sub-continent and region with very low-priced flights,” flypop said in a statement.

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Founder and CEO Nino Singh Judge said the startup initially plans to operate between the UK and India, before branching out to offer connections to “all of South Asia.”

“Flypop, now completing its final funding round, will begin negotiating low-cost airport deals in both the UK and India. In addition, it will continue discussions with aircraft manufacturers to secure the best deals which will enable the company to offer the lowest possible fares to the public,” flypop said.

The project was first mooted in 2016, under the name "People Over Profit" (POP). This branding was linked with the airline’s ambition of donating at least 51% of its profits to passenger-nominated social projects in the UK and India.

Photo credit: flypop

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