Read a little about POP's back story, which has over 15 years in the making!
In 2003, Nino first explored the idea of an airline to serve India’s second cities with his close friend and academic researcher Dr Cristiano Ratti. (Nino and Cris had met at Southampton University in 1985 where Nino studied Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering) However, at that time it was not possible to obtain the desired flight slots at Heathrow or even to gain permission to fly to India’s second cities as these routes were not part of the air services agreement between the two countries.
Fast-forward more than a decade and the changing social, economic and political conditions allowed for the project to be revived. The air service agreement between the UK and India now allowed a certain number of flights per week to India’s second cities; and India had already spent much money, time and effort revamping the airports at Amritsar and Ahmedabad to modern standards. India had also become an economic power on the world stage. After working closely with Tony Fernandes (Group CEO Air Asia) for 5 years at Lotus F1 Team, Nino realised that the Air Asia X Low Cost Long Haul business model was best suited to flights from Europe to South Asia with a maximum flight time of 10 hours. This would particularly suit the VFR market catering for the South Asian diaspora wanting to travel “home”.