Simple Flying recently had the chance to speak exclusively to Nino Singh Judge, the CEO of upcoming airline flypop, as part of our latest webinar. While the carrier is initially planning to serve Indian cities from its London Stansted base, it has ambitions of a more global network in the future. Specifically, Africa, South America, and the US are on the cards.
In five years, flypop is planning to have a presence on certain transatlantic markets. Image: flypop
Several years in the making, UK airline startup flypop is finally set to take to the skies this October. The carrier plans to target second cities in India, providing travelers a more direct alternative to transferring through a busy hub airport like Delhi or Mumbai. With a significant Indian diaspora based in the UK, this is a solid starting point.
However, in the future, it has ambitions to serve a far wider range of destinations. Based on a 10-hour radius from its recently announced London Stansted hub, flypop has identified several possible markets. Some have arisen based on sizeable Indian diasporas.
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flypop conservatively estimates that it will have 10 aircraft by 2026. Image: flypop
CEO Nino Singh Judge outlined his network ambitions based on a conservative 10-aircraft fleet by 2026 in an exclusive webinar interview with Simple Flying. He foresees:
“10 to 20 destinations in all of South Asia. We’re talking Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, but, more excitingly, the East Coast of North America. That’s what it’s all about, connecting the South Asian diaspora from the East Coast in the New Jersey area. And Brampton, just outside Toronto, where all the rest of our Punjabi brothers are.”
flypop also wants to expand into Africa, as well as the West Indies. In the latter of these markets, in particular, CEO Nino Singh Judge sees an opportunity to undercut the high ticket prices demanded by full-service airlines on existing routes there.
flypop has spotted an opportunity to offer lower fares on routes to the West Indies. Image: flypop
His airline’s goal is to allow Indians in diasporas located all over the world to be able to “get home as quickly and cheaply as possible.” He told Simple Flying that:
“We want to do exactly the same for our West Indian diaspora, who have to pay ridiculous legacy fares. So I think our low-cost model works there. And certain major cities in East, West, and South Africa, I think would work really well with our 10-hour maximum range model.”
For now, flypop is planning to start off by operating aircraft from the original Airbus A330 family, which it will lease from Avolon. However, looking to the future, the next-generation Airbus A330neo family may also become part of the airline’s plans.
The A330neo would offer flypop even wider network possibilities. Photo: Getty Images
The re-engined A330neo offers ranges of 7,200 NM / 13,334 km (A330-900) and 8,150 NM / 15,094 km (A330-800). With these increases compared to earlier A330s, flypop would be able to serve an even wider network. Nino Singh Judge explained to Simple Flying:
“I think with the neo, we can cover all the way from Sri Lanka to Johannesburg, South America, and the whole Caribbean. I think you can even get San Francisco. So watch this space – India’s just the start.”
What do you make of flypop’s network expansion plans? Would you be tempted to fly to Africa, South America, or the US with the airline? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.