Aviation News

UK startup flypop acquires Airbus A330 for flights to South Asia

UK startup flypop has signed a lease agreement with Avolon for multiple Airbus A330 aircraft.

Flypop, a startup airline which has been in the working for quite some years now, may soon start flying. The airline had planned to launch flights last summer but the global pandemic did not do any good.

On its website, flypop calls itself ‘The first British low-cost airline flying from the U.K. to second cities of South Asia starting in India’ and will operate an all-economy service.

Multiple Airbus A330-300 lease agreement

The airline has signed an agreement to lease several Airbus A330-300 aircraft from Ireland-based lessor Avolon. While the carrier has not disclosed how many A330s it has signed up for, but it did say that Avolon offered the most attractive deal through 2023.

Martyn Lewis, Senior Vice President of Marketing, EMEA region, Avolon, said:

We look forward to working with flypop on its exciting imminent launch of flights between the UK and India. At launch, flypop will commence operations with one aircraft and plans to add an extra aircraft every six months. It’s not every day we help launch a new British long-haul scheduled carrier!

flypop believes that this is the best time to launch as it has dodged the pandemic’s impact.

Charlie Clifton, Senior Operations Advisor and Board Member, flypop, who is also an ex-director of RyanAir, said:

The incumbents have been badly wounded after 18 months without any revenue but plenty of costs and debt. Flypop, on the other hand has avoided any exposure to the pandemic and consequently is in the unique and fortunate position to extract maximum advantage from the lower costs resulting from the crisis. Flypop’s cost of entry is much lower now than it would have been pre-COVID-19. Low fares always stimulate greater demand. The sector is currently on the floor, but the market will return strongly.

People over profit?

Flypop originally had its sights set on launching in 2016, when its name was ‘POP,’ standing for ‘people over profits.’ However, since then, it has morphed into ‘planet over profit’ as the aviation industry’s environmental impact takes center stage. One of the airline’s USPs will be a mandatory carbon offset charge attached to each ticket.

Where does flypop intend to launch flights to?

Flypop is initially planning to launch two routes from its hub at London Stansted Airport. The airline plans to connect London with Ahmedabad and Amritsar.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the London-Amritsar route had around 200,000 passengers each year. With three flights a week, flypop would have a capacity of 60,000 passengers a year.

There is not much competition on either of the two routes. Indian national carrier Air India flies one weekly flight from London to Amritsar and twice-weekly flights to Ahmedabad.

However, Navdip Singh Judge, CEO and Principal, flypop, believes there is enough demand for himself and a competitor to operate the route seven days a week.

Once these two routes are launched, the airline then intends to connect London with Kolkata and Goa.

Airbus A330-300 aircraft

Photo: flypop

flypop’s Airbus A330-300s will hold over 400 passengers. According to its CEO, the planes will be fitted with an all-economy 3-3-3 layout. The carrier may trial sky couch seats in the first three rows, which will come with extra leg-room.

An all-economy class cabin. Photo: flypop

Judge in a statement said:

As a twin-engine double-aisle wide-body that can carry over 400 passengers, the A330-300 aircraft will deliver everything we want to offer our Flypop passengers, especially the lowest seat prices to India.

The airline plans to offer flights a fixed fare scale. The cheapest tickets will start at £350, and never exceed £750. The lowest fares will only include a seat on the aircraft. However, there will be no nasty surprises as the default fare will include a checked bag and a meal.

Featured image by flypop

What do you think of flypop’s ambitious plans of flights to India with the leased Airbus A330s? Let me know in the comments section below.

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2 replies on “UK startup flypop acquires Airbus A330 for flights to South Asia”

Hello Terry Munro,

Let’s see where does flypop go. I know it has been now several years in the making but the progress it has made in the last few months is significant. The deal with Avolon means that flypop has now been able to apply for its Air Operator Certificate. So we can see flights up and running in the near future. 🙂


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