Tag Archives: London

“People Over Profit” – POP is proposing to fly between the U.K. and India

POP logo and A330 tail

The proposed paper airline, POP (London-Stansted), made this announcement on May 31, 2016:


POP is set to become not just a new airline, not just the only airline currently to fly non-stop from the UK to two of India’s key secondary cities – Amritsar (Punjab) and Ahmedabad (Gujarat) – but an airline with a new unique business model.

POP is a new, low-cost, long-haul airline with a social conscience that will meet the demand of the growing visiting friends and relatives (VFR) market as well as the expanding leisure-tourism and business sectors.

Being established as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) business, POP will enhance the lives of those in the communities it serves by donating a minimum of 51% of its profits to fund social projects in the UK and India.

Passengers will be consulted when booking as to their preferences in terms of the ‘community causes’ they wish POP to support. POP’s philanthropic-giving will enhance the unquantifiable assets of reputation and trustworthiness while gaining a competitive advantage as research illustrates that consumers consider businesses to have an obligation to support the local communities in which they operate.

In the first instance, all of POP’s charitable giving will be made through the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), although a dedicated charitable foundation may be established in due course. In addition, POP will always seek to advance airline industry best practice in neutralizing its carbon footprint in ways that can be aligned with the enhancement of its community projects.

Rewards-based crowdfunding to raise £5m for POP will start in early June 2016 in association with Trillion Fund Ltd, and will continue for 60 days. The crowdfunding campaign involves raising start-up funds for the company via the pre-sale of POP Gold Passes, each priced at £500, to supporters who are attracted by a different kind of rewards package. The first 10,000 Gold Pass holders will win one free off-peak return seat to any POP destination and will, for the following five years when flying with POP, be entitled to a range of VIP benefits both on the ground and in the air, including, for example, extra luggage, and free and unlimited ticket name changes.

(Nino) Navdip Singh Judge, Chairman and Principal of POP, commented: “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. POP will provide an ‘Enhanced-Value’ in the air and in the community.”

POP will offer family and business-convenient schedules, thus reversing the trend of middle-of-the-night international movements into and out of India. In every way, POP wishes to be known for giving a fair deal – with significant reductions in journey times, highly competitive fares, self-selected on-board and ground services, excellent customer service and convenient point-to-point flights.

At present, there are few direct flights from the UK to any of India’s important secondary cities and there is a fast-growing VFR, leisure/tourism and business market for such flights amongst India’s rapidly expanding middle class. POP’s CSR model will resonate particularly strongly with this target market. The Air Services Agreement (ASA) between the UK and India permits seven scheduled services per week on any route between the UK and India, other than Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. No UK airlines are currently operating nonstop services to Amritsar and/or Ahmedabad.

POP route map

It is anticipated that the first POP flight will depart from Stansted Airport this year in Q4 (2016) to Amritsar using a 378-seat all-economy Airbus A330-300 aircraft in POP livery. POP initially plans to operate three services weekly to each of Amritsar and Ahmedabad.

POP A330-300 (16)(Flt)(POP)(LRW)

The aircraft will be on a full charter basis and will move towards an ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, Insurance) arrangement over time, but all other organizational aspects will be managed by POP. The company has provisional plans to apply for its own full Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) but will continue to lease its aircraft, probably on an aircraft-only basis, which should yield greater financial returns to POP and to its supported causes.

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WestJet announces year-round service to Europe

WestJet Airlines Boeing 767-338 ER WL C-FOGJ (msn 25274) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 929953.

WestJet (Calgary) today announced it is extending two of its new nonstop transatlantic services to London (Gatwick) from seasonal to year-round. Flights from Calgary and Toronto to London will now operate on a year-round basis, three times weekly and daily respectively through the winter, while service from Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and St. John’s will operate seasonally as announced in September 2015.

Service dates for WestJet’s nonstop flights to London are:

  • Vancouver – seasonal May 6-October 21, 2016
  • Calgary – year-round from May 6, 2016
  • Edmonton – seasonal May 7-October 22, 2016
  • Winnipeg – seasonal May 7-October 1, 2016
  • Toronto – year-round from May 6, 2016
  • St. John’s – May 7-October 22, 2016

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Ex-QANTAS Airways Boeing 767-338 ER C-FOGJ (msn 25274) is pictured at Toronto (Pearson).

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KLM updates its fleet plan for KLM Cityhopper, the last Fokker 70 to be retired by 2018

KLM Cityhopper Fokker F.28 Mk. 0070 (Fokker 70) PH-KZL (msn 11536) LHR. Image: 930729.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) has updated its fleet plan for its subsidiary KLM Cityhopper (Amsterdam):

On December 19, the thirtieth—and, provisionally, final—Embraer 190 arrived in the Netherlands. Starting next year, KLM Cityhopper’s fleet will by supplemented by fifteen Embraer 175s. The first of its kind is scheduled to arrive in March. This signals a new phase in KLM Cityhopper’s fleet renewal program.

KLM Cityhopper on course to an all-Embraer fleet.

KLM Cityhopper is Europe’s largest regional carrier. Each year, it carries out more than 100,000 flights from Amsterdam Schiphol to fifty-four European destinations. In 2016, the number will grow to fifty-eight destinations.

By replacing the Fokker 70 with the Embraer 175 and the Embraer 190, KLM Cityhopper’s fleet will consist of thirty Embraer 190s, and fifteen Embraer 175s by no later than 2018. As a result, KLM will have the single-largest Embraer fleet in Europe.

Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. The venerable Fokker 70 will be retired in 2018. KLM Cityhopper Fokker F.28 Mk. 0070 (Fokker 70) PH-KZL (msn 11536) taxies to the gate at London’s Heathrow Airport.

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Norwegian to fly from London Gatwick to Oakland

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Norwegian Long Haul) Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner LN-LNG (msn 35314) (Edvard Munch, Norwegian Artist) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930341.

Norwegian Long Haul (Norwegian.com) (Oslo) is planning to launch a new route connecting London (Gatwick) with Oakland in May 2016. The new route will be operated three days a week with Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners starting on May 12 per Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Now registered in Norway (was previously registered in Ireland), Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner LN-LNG (msn 35314) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.

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Finnair to recruit 100 pilots and 300 cabin crew members

Finnair Airbus A321-231 WL OH-LZI (msn 5922) (Sharklets) LHR. Image: 927076.

Finnair (Helsinki) has announced it will add more pilots and cabin staff. The company issued this statement:

Finnair logo

Finnair prepares for growth in its long-haul traffic starting in 2016 and begins the biggest recruitment drive in the company’s history. In addition to the approximately 70 pilots and 130 cabin attendants recruited this year, the company is seeking to recruit 100 new pilots and 300 new cabin crew members. Some 50 people are also hired to perform customer service tasks and other functions during the spring.

In October, Finnair took delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft and altogether 19 have been ordered. The new wide-body aircraft are the engine of Finnair’s growth and add capacity to its long-haul traffic from spring 2016 onwards. Increasing capacity also increases the need for personnel. Earlier this year, Finnair stated that growth translates to approximately 1000 new jobs by 2020.


Recruitment of the flying personnel starts on December 4, 2015. After the selections have been made, the trainings and employment for the different employee groups will begin in phases from spring 2016 onwards, following the increase in Finnair’s need for new employees.

Finnair’s strategic objective is to double its traffic between Asia and Europe by 2020 from the 2010 level. The strategy is based on the growing markets in Asia, fast connections between Europe and Northeast Asia, quality service, and cost-efficient, punctual operations. As Asian traffic grows Finnair is also increasing capacity in its European traffic because a significant part of the company’s customers are transfer passengers.

Copyright Photo: AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A321-231 OH-LZI (msn 5922) taxies at London (Heathrow).

Finnair aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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El Al reports a record third quarter net profit

El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 777-258 ER 4X-ECC (msn 30833) LHR (SPA). Image: 930028.

El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) reported a record third quarter net profit of $936 million, up from a net profit of only $10.1 million in the same quarter a year ago. The change was a direct result of lower fuel costs.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: SPA/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-258 ER 4X-ECC (msn 30833) arrives in London at Heathrow Airport.

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WestJet reports record 3Q net earnings of C$101.8 million

WestJet (Calgary) today announced its third quarter 2015 results, with record net earnings of $101.8 million (all amounts in Canadian dollars), or $0.82 per diluted share, as compared with the adjusted net earnings1 of $85.4 million, or $0.66 per diluted share reported in the third quarter of 2014, up 19.2 per cent and 24.2 per cent, respectively, notwithstanding the significant weakening of the Canadian dollar year over year and the softening of the Western Canadian economy as a result of the collapse in energy prices. WestJet achieved an on-time performance rate of 86.0 per cent in the third quarter, a year-over-year improvement of 4.1 percentage points, placing WestJet as the top performing North American airline for the second consecutive quarter. Based on the trailing twelve months, the airline achieved a record return on invested capital of 16.1 per cent, compared with the 16.0 per cent reported in the previous quarter while our total assets surpassed $5 billion for the first time in WestJet’s history.

“We are very pleased with another quarter of record financial results, as we improved our return on invested capital and operating margin while leading North American airlines in on-time performance for a second straight quarter,” said WestJet President and CEO Gregg Saretsky. “We are very excited about the next chapter of WestJet’s evolution, as we recently began flying wide-body aircraft in scheduled revenue service for the first time and announced non-stop service to London Gatwick from six Canadian cities beginning in the spring of 2016. I want to thank our 11,000 WestJetters for their commitment to delivering our award-winning brand of friendly caring service, and I look forward to celebrating a record November profit share with them later this month.”

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. WestJet’s first Boeing 767-338 ER WL C-FOGJ (msn 25274) taxies at the Toronto (Pearson) hub.

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