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UK Startup flypop Receives Government Funding To Launch Flights

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UK startup airline flypop has received a cash injection from the government’s Future Fund. Although the amount has not been disclosed, airline CEO Nino Judge says that the investment has moved the airline a step closer to starting flights.

flypop
flypop has secured an undisclosed amount from the UK government. Photo: flypop

Funding secured

British startup airline flypop has this week revealed that the UK government has issued a significant investment into the airline through its Future Fund. Working with City law firm McCarthy Denning, the airline bagged a slice of the £250m funding pot, although it hasn’t at this stage specified how much was applied for.

Nino Singh Judge, Founder and CEO of flypop, commented on the funding, saying,

“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.”

The Future Fund was set up by the UK government in partnership with the British Business Bank to support innovative businesses that have been affected by COVID. Convertible loans of between £125,000 and £5m were made available to enable consigned growth through these difficult times.

flypop
The airline wants to target second-tier cities in India and South Asia from the UK. Photo: flypop
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Currently, flypop is in its final funding round. Next, it will begin negotiating airport deals in the UK and in India, something which is likely to be made slightly easier given the current situation. It is also discussing deals with aircraft manufacturers, aiming to streamline every element of its operations in order to bring truly low fares to its passengers.

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What do we know about flypop so far?

Announced in the first half of last year, flypop endeavors to launch low-cost connections between the UK and secondary cities in India and South Asia. The airline CEO spoke to Simple Flying last summer, explaining that the thinking behind this venture was to provide affordable services on underserved routes.

Planning to launch out of London Stansted, flypop was initially targeting Amritsar and Ahmedabad. Amritsar, in particular, is woefully underserved by other airlines and was one of the most in-demand connections during the recent Vande Bharat flight program. With this in mind, it seems like a solid business plan.

Air India 777
Air India found its Amritsar to London route was in high demand. Photo: Thomas Boon – Simple Flying

The airline never planned to have its own aircraft right away. Rather, it was hoping to wet lease capacity, at least in the short term, and work on getting its own AOC and planes further down the line. When we spoke to Judge last year, he hoped to be ready to fly by summer 2020. Clearly, a lot has happened since then.

Nevertheless, the venture is clearly still on the cards for Judge and his team. With no news on Jet Airways being brought back to life, there is still plenty of room for another airline between London and India. Whether it’s a good time to start an airline right now is questionable, but with this latest tranche of funding secured, it seems flypop is one step closer to becoming a reality.

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