Simple Flying is delighted to invite you to participate in the next webinar in our series. This event will take place online on June 30th at 15:00 BST and will feature Nino Judge, CEO of flypop, and Birgir Jonsson, CEO of PLAY, in a candid conversation with Joanna Bailey, Managing Editor of Simple Flying.
Our webinar is free for all to attend, but spaces are limited. Register here to secure your place.
Pandemic startup airlines
In the midst of the worst pandemic in a century, an event that has seen global travel demand plummet to unprecedented lows, surely only a crazy person would be contemplating launching a new airline. But with attractive aircraft leasing rates on the table and a flood of industry talent looking for a new opportunity, perhaps it’s not crazy at all. Perhaps, it’s actually very smart.
Since the demise of WOW Air, bargain-hungry transatlantic fliers have lamented the loss of those super cheap and super fun one-stop trips between the continents. But even as the brakes were cooling on WOW’s final flight, executives from the airline were laying plans for something new and exciting.
Unveiled in November 2019, long before the pandemic gripped the world, PLAY promised to be a new and improved WOW, sticking to the essence of low-cost, high-value flying, and learning from the mistakes of its predecessor. While other airlines were battling the inevitable costs of the crisis, PLAY was building itself up. With an astounding $50 million in its pocket to begin operations, the airline is pressing ahead, and will launch services later this month.
And it’s not just PLAY that has lofty ambitions for the post-pandemic environment. UK-based flypop is another carrier that saw opportunity long before the crisis bit. Seeing a gap in the market for travel from the UK to points in India, flypop has been working on its business plan since mid-2019.
Targeting secondary cities in India from key British airports, flypop wants to connect the large diaspora of Indians in the UK to their families thousands of miles away, without the usual hassle of multiple connections across different airlines. Flying leased widebody A330s, flypop promises unprecedented low fares, a key selling point for this price-sensitive market.
With travel still tricky between the UK and India, flypop is happy to wait out the storm. At present, its launch is slated for October, but if the environment is not right, it has the luxury of being able to wait a bit longer without suffering financially.
Unburdened by the debt of their competitors and with access to attractive leasing deals and experienced staff, the sky really could be the limit for these bold startups.
Join me as I chat with Nino Judge, CEO of flypop, and Birgir Jonsson, CEO of PLAY, to discuss the challenges and opportunities they see for their brave startup airlines.