We will create a high quality British airline run by members of the South Asian diaspora for the South Asian diaspora. We want to connect this unique diaspora from North America via Great Britain to “home” in South Asia starting with Amritsar and Ahmadabad in India.
Future destinations include Sylhet, Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot, Colombo, Kolkata, Kathmandu and Karachi.
FlyPOP differs from conventional airline offerings by virtue of the fact that the passenger is able to select his own individual travel experience. To complement the shortest nonstop travel times from the UK to our South Asian destinations, we will offer a uniquely “unbundled” product where the customer chooses any extra comfort they desire and not subsidise what others might want. Everything we do is top notch British quality; the customer decides how much of it he wants!
Our service philosophy is simple - every passenger is a valued guest and will be treated accordingly. This, for many, harks back to days of yore when flying was generally perceived as a prestigious activity and class of travel almost irrelevant. By operating a one class service, we can ensure that everyone is treated with kindness and respect. Our crew training will concentrate on this aspect, bearing in mind the adage “low cost doesn’t mean low service – after all a smile costs nothing.”
FlyPOP will operate a single type of aircraft – the hugely successful Airbus A330. Our aircraft are configured in a “caste-free” single cabin – meaning that a single rate (the lowest available) of Air Passenger Duty (APD) is payable in the UK. Current plans are for 300+ standard seats (better described as leather armchairs) at 32” pitch. This matches the most generous seat pitch allowance of any airline currently operating to South Asia. There will also be a number of seats which are of a greater pitch, and sold as “extra leg room.” We will also offer a “SkyBed” service for customers who want to stretch out a little.
The most basic one-way POP fare for travel in a standard 32” seat will be substantially lower than that currently offered by our competition, and currently includes one piece of cabin baggage (size specific, weight unlimited). The customer pays for the hold baggage they want on each leg and what food they desire etc.
Essentially, everything will be the individual passenger’s decision to partake or not. A charge for each high quality extra product will be made at the time of reservation or on board at a marginally higher cost and if available.
FlyPOP’s customers are the most important members of POP’s family. As such, you will only pay for the basic fare and the extras you want. We don’t want you to pay for what others want. FlyPOP’s commitment is to provide you with quality options available at good value. POP wants you to buy delicious snacks, tasty food and lots of beverages. We want you to carry extra baggage and we want you to buy extra legroom seats to make your journey as comfortable as you want. But you, the customer, remain the arbiter of what you do and do not do. Our commitment is to treat you with respect and dignity throughout your travel experience. We want to achieve the “Highest Common Factor” within air travel, not the “Lowest Common Denominator” like some of the other airlines seem to do now.
FlyPOP is committed to protecting our environment. Therefore, we aim to be the first truly carbon neutral international airline. We think that big companies should shoulder the financial costs of offsetting their carbon emissions produced by running the businesses they operate as opposed to asking customers to foot the bill at checkout. Therefore, POP's intention is to pay to offset its carbon footprint created when flying, whilst also focusing on our everyday operations to ensure no excessive usage of precious resources (e.g. electricity and water usage).
FlyPOP will strive to support carbon offsetting projects that are operating in the geographical areas in which we do business, again showing our commitment to keeping our support local.
POP wants our people-first philosophy to resonate with those we employ as our staff, who are also considered part of the extended POP family. Therefore, staff will also be invited to have a say in the charities policies we support and will also be encouraged to share their ideas around customer service and product development.
POP will recruit Cabin Crew mainly from South Asia but specially trained by us to be professional and empathetic to our most treasured assets: our customers. Cultural sensitivity is paramount in our customer service training.
As an organization, POP wants to develop multiple ways of supporting our communities in addition to charitable-giving and protecting the environment – this is where our staff come in to play. POP aspires, over time, to work with our charity partners to develop work experience and mentoring programmes and apprenticeships for those who have been disadvantaged by their life experiences and need an opportunity to help them start turning their lives around. To make these aspirations into a reality, we will invite our staff to put themselves forward if interested in supporting/leading such projects.
POP is all about providing a great quality, enhanced-value flying experience for its customers, whilst being fair, transparent and honest in its business practice alongside serving the communities in which it does business.
POP intends to offer one meal to the homeless and/or hungry children in need for every meal that is sold on our flights. This Buy One, Give One (B1G1) initiative will be the same quality product sold on board our flights and could feed many thousands. Obviously this is subject to negotiation with supplier companies in all potential destinations.
POP wants to go a step further than this by creating an extended POP family of like-minded, socially aware people including our customers and our staff and business partners. We believe that people are stronger in groups than as individuals, so our growing POP family can together change the way that big business is done with a view to making business and charity equal partners.
Our ‘people first’ movement is called People Over Profit – POP! It’s all in the name.
Our partner organizations
When choosing who to do business with (e.g. suppliers of goods or services that POP needs to operate our company), POP will always strive to work with those who share a similar philanthropic philosophy as we will always prefer to work with companies who are committed to giving a share of their profits to charity, or to supporting the communities in which they do business in some other way. This is because, as a company, POP takes its corporate social responsibility (CSR) very seriously – to this end, we will consider the social impact of all the decisions we take, and this includes who we partner with.
POP would like to take this opportunity to thank all its corporate and media partners who have supported us by helping to get this project off the ground (no pun intended!). This support has come in different guises; the companies are (in no particular order):
- Serenity Digital – web development, Port Solent, Portsmouth (Pete, Stuart, James and the team)
- Singleton PR – aerospace, defence, security and space public relations, Farnham (Abby, Ian and the team)
- Grey – advertising agency, London and Moscow (Olga, Sveta and the team)
- The ScottiDog Ltd – film, television and media, London and New York (Sabrina and Bob). Thanks to Keith and Hannah, too
- Gorilla – film editing collective (Tatjana and Matt)
- OAG – airline industry statistics (John and Kevin)
- VAP Associates – lawyers, Ahmedabad
- Gujrati Media Group, Ahmedabad
- British Young Asian Entrepreneurs (BYAE)
- New Dehli Television (NDTV)
- The Sikh Channel TV, Birmingham
- DESIblitz – online news magazine, Birmingham (Indi)
POP also thanks our charity partners for supporting us and for engaging in invaluable and inspirational conversations:
- Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), London (Lucy and Kuljit)
- Dreams Come True, Liphook
- Pratham, London
- Railway Children, Sandbach
- SkillForce, Mansfield
Our partner charities
We at POP understand that people want wealth to be more equally distributed throughout our world, so POP is committed to giving to charity over the long term – that way the needs of people are always placed over those of pure profit. Research indicates that customers think companies have a duty to support the local communities in which they do business – we totally agree, which is why we will support charities local to where we fly.
Over time, POP’s charitable-giving will help orphanages, sick and/or malnourished children, mothers and women, provide education, and assist the hungry, homeless, destitute, disabled and elderly in need – along with the physical environment, which POP will work hard to protect.
POP will have strong relationships with the charities we partner. We do not want just to hand over money and walk away like many companies do. We will regularly meet with our charity partners and be actively involved in deciding which projects to support as we want to create sustainable and transformative change whenever and wherever possible.
POP will donate money to its charities via the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which itself is a charitable organization set up to motivate society to give ever more effectively, helping to transform lives and communities around the world. CAF validates all charities before transferring any money, which means that we can be sure that our charities are operating legitimately before we part with our money.
To read about the charities we intend to support (subject to due diligence), see our Charity Partners.
Our audit procedures
POP will closely follow the work carried out by its charitable partners. Our partnership agreements will clearly outline the audit processes that have been jointly agreed to; this will include the type of information that we expect to receive and the frequency with which it will be provided to POP. We have to be sensible not to overburden charities with reporting as we do not want to take them away unnecessarily from their good work, but we do need to see how our money is being spent. POP is committed to striking a sensible balance between the two demands.
POP will always report on how much we have donated, when we donated it, how the money has been spent and what impact it has had on the communities being served in terms of both the here and now and the likely future benefits, as POP strives to create sustainable and transformative change.
Image: 'Counting beans' in Mukhwas market in Manek Chowk, Ahmedabad