flypop's back story, 15 years in the making!
"Badi Sharam di gal hai" (It's a big disgrace)
'We still cannot fly direct to where we want to go to in India’.
These are the words of Madan Paul Singh Judge in 2003 describing the high cost and long flight times involved in visiting family in Ludhiana.
Nino explored the idea of non-stop low-cost direct flights to India way back in 2003. Unfortunately, the air services agreement between the UK and India at the time made it impossible to obtain any flight slots at Heathrow or even to gain permission to fly to India’s second cities.
Fast-forward more than a decade and the landscape has changed.
The introduction of a new air service agreement between the UK and India allows for a certain number of flights per week between the UK and India's second cities.
India had also invested heavily in upgrading many regional airports to international standards.
India's rapidly growing economy has now established India as an economic power on the world stage.
After working closely with Tony Fernandes (Group CEO of Air Asia) for 5 years at the Lotus F1 Team, Nino realised that the Air Asia X Low-Cost Long-Haul business model was ideally suited to flights from Europe to South Asia with a maximum flight time of 10 hours.
For the nearly three million UK nationals of the Indian diaspora, this now provides for the first time an affordable and convenient option for those who want to 'pop' home and visit friends and relatives.