POP airline is set to launch flights from London to two secondary cities in India and promises to devote 51 pc of its profits to social projects. Does that sound mysteriously philanthropic?
POP is a new low-cost carrier that plans to fly from Stansted very soon. Encouraged by crowd funding in association with Trillion Fund Ltd – commencing in early June and running for 60 days, the airline literally plans to put people over profit once the funds are acquired. POP’s launch destinations are going to be Amritsar (Punjab) and Ahmedabad (Gujarat), two of India’s key ‘secondary cities’. The airline expressed its intentions to provide air services between the extensive Indian communities in the UK and South Asia.
POP airline organised a launch party at The Indian High Commission in Nehru House, in London’s Mayfair last Sunday. The airline pledges to allocate over half of their profit to charities in the UK and India. Moreover, the passengers will be able to select beneficiary organisations while they book their seats. Navdip Singh Judge, also known as Nino, the Chairman and Principal of POP presented a holistic strategy for sales, marketing, CSR, and operational aspects of the airline during the launch party in London.
Why call it POP?
Low cost airlines have always tried to break barriers in terms of coining their brand identity. Airlines such as Scoot, WOW or HOP tried to exercise one-word names to explore distinctiveness to say the least. However, POP, an acronym for “People Over Profit”, the airline’s mantra takes a route not very familiar to the world.
A good flight?
POP airline aims to install quality in-flight product and experiences with the Airbus A330-300 operating on a weekly schedule. Stansted, owned by Manchester Airport Group (MAG), the home airport for POP, should prove a popular setting off point. The airport recently implemented an £ 80 million makeover of its international departures lounge – a good news for POP.
The airline will be booking tickets including 46 kg of check-in luggage, a choice of basic snacks and hot drinks and water, seat selection, as well as magazines and newspapers in Indian and English languages.
Pre-flight options such as airport lounge access and priority boarding are perks that the airline would rather remain secretive. In terms of onboard amenities, all POP airline aircraft will be equipped with wifi, and although an all-economy seating layout is planned, passengers will be able to purchase a range of optional extras, including extra legroom, an extended range of snacks and meals, a bar service with alcoholic drinks, duty-free items, as well as headphones.
A different market
POP airline plans to roll out non-stop flights between the UK and the second cities in the nations of the developing world. They propose to meet the demand of the growing ‘visiting friends and relatives’ (VFR) market as well as expanding in the traditional tourism and business sectors. The airline assumes that these are the virgin markets that are not currently served directly from the UK and require at least one flight change to reach.
POP’s Gold Pass has 8 fantastic VIP benefits. There is also a surprise 9th benefit for first 7000 Gold Pass holders! pic.twitter.com/Qex5dSCEtt
— fly POP (@_flyPOP) June 3, 2016
POP airline rewards-based crowd funding opens
Donors can purchase POP Gold Passes for £500, with the first 10,000 benefiting from a free off-peak return ticket on a POP flight. In addition, they will receive the benefits such as extra luggage (a third 23kg suitcase), free and unlimited ticket name changes, priority check in/boarding, extra leg room seats, complimentary meals, free wifi, and the earliest opportunity to purchase the lowest seat fares when released. They can enjoy these facilities for the first five years when flying with POP.
To make it more exciting, the first 7,000 people to buy a Gold Pass will also see a name of their choice printed on the underside of a POP aircraft, which will collectively make up the POP logo.
Navdip Singh Judge says, “This is an opportunity to make an investment in a new airline business with a unique proposition. We will be the first airline to respond to the emerging demand from the expanding Indian middle class for non-stop flights between the UK and India’s key secondary cities. But more than that, supporters will be funding social change through POP’s philanthropic-giving to community causes, breaking new ground in terms of corporate social responsibility.”
Nino added: “We are also giving the first seven thousand supporters the option to have their names on the aircraft belly of POP’s fleet. The POP belly logo will be designed out of supporters’ names. This is another example of how our community will be a part of POP from the very beginning.”