Interview with Senior POP Executives on New Delhi TV (NDTV) Website
Nino Singh Judge and Bobby Singh Bhakar attended a Gujarati conference and celebration day in London organised by the Annual National Congress of Gujarat Organisations (NCGO).
On the May Day Bank Holiday, Navdip Singh Judge (Nino) and Balvinder Singh Bhakar (Bobby) attended a Gujarati conference and celebration day in London organised by the Annual National Congress of Gujarat Organisations (NCGO). Nino made a short speech at the conference in his role as Chairman & Principal of new, low-cost, long-haul airline People Over Profit (POP) and both he and Bobby, POP's Director of Sales, took the opportunity to give an impromptu interview to New Delhi TV (NDTV) reporter Radhika Iyer.
This interview is now available to view on the NDTV website here.
POP is intending not only to be the only current airline to fly non-stop between the UK and India's second cities of Amritsar (Punjab) and Ahmedabad (Gujarat), but also an airline with a social conscience. Built into its business model is a commitment to donate a minimum of 51% of its profits to the communities it serves in both countries.
The aim is to offer enhanced value to the growing VFR (visiting friends and relatives) market as well as the expanding leisure-tourism and business sectors. It is anticipated that the first POP flight will depart from Stansted Airport this year (Q4 2016) to Amritsar using a 378-seat, all-economy Airbus A330-300 aircraft in POP livery. The initial plan is to operate three services weekly to both Amritsar and Ahmedabad.
During their NDTV interview, Nino and Bobby also spoke about POP’s rewards-based crowdfunding campaign which aims to raise £5m to support the airline’s first-year operation. Supporters are being offered a 5-year POP Gold Pass for £500 which confers eight VIP benefits. In addition to the first 7,000 Gold Pass holders receiving a return seat to any POP destination, and the next 3,000 people being offered an off-peak return seat, the other benefits include an extra luggage allowance (a third 23kg suitcase), free and unlimited ticket name changes, priority check in/boarding, seats with extra leg room (when available), complimentary meals, free Wi-Fi, and the earliest opportunity to purchase the lowest seat fares when released. As a special additional Gold Pass VIP benefit, each of the first 7000 people to buy a Gold Pass will have a name of their choice printed on the underside of the aircraft which, collectively, will form the shape of the POP logo.
Further information on the crowdfunding and benefits can be found on the POP website.
Whilst at the NCGO event, Nino and Bobby met a number of Gujarati community leaders, some with strong connections to UK MPs, who all declared their support for the POP venture. Indeed, Gujarati leader Mahendrasinh C. Jadeja immediately started tweeting about POP to his social media followers.
NCGO is a not-for-profit, non-political, umbrella organisation for the many local Gujarati organisations in the UK and represents more than 850,000 Gujaratis in the country, just over 47% of all Indians living in the UK. Every year NCGO celebrates Gujarat Day and invites dignitaries and ministers to participate. Recently it held the event at the Houses of Parliament, hosted by Priti Patel MP, Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions).
POP's senior executives have also held meetings with key UK government representatives.
Bobby recently met Geoff Wain, Deputy High Commissioner to Ahmedabad, at Portcullis House, Westminster. Mr Wain gave his full backing to POP's plans for non-stop flights to Ahmedabad and indicated that a formal statement would be forthcoming. Bobby has also met with Robert John Blackman, better known as Bob Blackman, MP for Harrow East. Mr Blackman has been campaigning for many years for a non-stop flight to Ahmedabad for the benefit of the growing Guajarati community both in his own constituency and the surrounding regions.
NDTV has, for more than a quarter century, been a pioneer in India’s news broadcasting. Founded in 1988, it is now the most watched and the most credible and respected news and lifestyle network in India. From the path-breaking 'The World This Week' (nominated as one of India's five best television programmes since Independence) to India's first 24-hour news channel, ‘Star News’, and the country's first ever 2-in-1 channel ‘Profit-Prime', NDTV has been at the forefront of every single news revolution. NDTV is most proud of how its work impacts the real world and how it is using its powerful reach to campaign for and with the people of India on a wide range of important social issues.
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