new india-uk low-cost airline wants to give money to charity
A new low-cost airline which plans to give over 50 per cent of its profits to charity hopes to launch this year offering cheap flights from Stansted to India.
The “socially responsible” venture called POP, which stands for People over Profit, wants to give its passengers the opportunity to select the “community causes” they wish to support when booking tickets.
This week, a crowdfunding campaign was launched in a bid to raise £5 million needed to start its inaugural routes from London to two Indian destinations – Amritsar and Ahmedabad.
Should it succeed, they would be the first nonstop services to both cities from the UK.
Navdip Singh Judge, the project’s chairman, said: “My vision is to create an airline that, unlike any other before it, serves not just the passengers travelling between the UK and the developing world but, just as importantly, delivers tangible benefits to the communities they are visiting.”
Despite being billed as a low-cost airline, POP says it will still offer customers on its flights a generous 46kg hold luggage allowance, complimentary snacks and hot drinks, and seat selection – all perks passengers on the likes of Easyjet and Ryanair pay extra for.
Fares have not been announced, but the airline has ambitions to begin flying before the end of 2016.
If successful, POP could be the first airline offer such competitive fly to India.
The airline hopes to come as a “corporate social responsibility business”, and as well as donating 51 per cent of its profits, will also seek to “neutralise” its carbon footprints through the community projects it supports in both the UK and India.
“In every way POP wishes to be known for giving a fair deal – with sighighly competitive fares, self-selectedon-board
and ground services, excel- lent ground services and convenientpoint-to-point
flights,” the airline said.
Its crowdfunding bid offers investors the chance to buy “gold passes” for £500 which allow one free off-peak return seat as well as five years of VIP treatment, including additional baglowance and free, unlimited ticket name changes.
The airline has selected two of India’s secondary cities as its first destinations and is targeting the VFR market – visiting friends and relatives – and will schedule its flights accordingly with family-friendly departure times.