You know the old adage — when everyone is running and fleeing from a collapsing market, that’s the time to buy in.
Enter UK-based international low-cost carrier called Flypop.
Boosted by a surge in investment — “an eight-figure sum” from the UK government’s Future Fund, the company says — it plans to launch passenger flights to India next year, AINonline reported.
The new airline is in the process of completing its final funding round, which is expected to be done in January.
The next major steps are the negotiation of airport arrangements in the UK and India and aircraft needs with manufacturers at low prices that will support Flypop’s ambitions, AINonline reported.
Flights should begin in the fourth quarter of 2021 or possibly later, with one aircraft initially but orders for 10 to 20 wide-bodies.
Although Flypop aims to launch service next year, it will have to wait until the Covid pandemic is resolved, AINonline reported.
The airline’s goal is to “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.”
The company told AINonline that the first scheduled flights are now provisionally planned for the fourth quarter of 2021. The operation will begin with just one aircraft, but with plans to place orders for between 10 and 20 wide-body airliners.
“The funding from the UK government’s Future Fund will play a key role in putting Flypop in a position to start flights, initially between the UK and India, something which will contribute significantly to the economic growth and closer cultural links between these two Commonwealth partners and eventually with all of South Asia,” said Flypop founder and CEO Nino Singh Judge.
Companies like Flypop have access to Future Fund money as the government is trying to help innovators that have been affected by the pandemic but haven’t been able to access other coronavirus support programs, AINonline reported.
The Future Fund has made £250 million (US$323 million) available since it was launched in May, and this will be matched by private investors, but that amount will climb due to the program’s popularity.
The Flypop announcement comes in a week when the UK air transport sector is bracing for the start of a full national lockdown in the UK starting on Thursday.
The new rules prohibit passengers from making trips outside the country for purposes other than business in a move that airlines fear could be a body blow after demand has been suppressed by 14-day quarantine requirements.
The UK industry has strongly urged the government to provide direct financial support to sustain airlines and airports.