A UK airline in the making with Indian DNA, POP aims to be the only airline to operate non-stop flights from the UK to Amritsar and Ahmedabad and has been founded on a ?caring capitalism? business model. The company will donate a minimum of 51% of its profits to charities in both countries. So, in addition to providing an enhanced-value flying experience, POP – together with its customers – will be improving the lives of the most disadvantaged in the UK and in the Punjabi and Gujarati communities it will be serving.
The commercial has been made in two versions, one for each Indian state, and they can be viewed via the following links: Amritsar Region Commercial and Ahmedabad Region Commercial. The commercials will be screened seven times a day, seven days a week, for four weeks.
The commercials portray POP’s vision to deliver enhanced value to the growing ‘visiting friends and relatives’ (VFR) market as well as the expanding tourist and business sectors. In addition, they outline the airline?s current rewards-based crowdfunding campaign which involves the sale of POP Gold Passes, each priced at ?500, to move the airline a step closer to becoming a reality. If POP is successful in raising the ?5m crowdfunding total and then in obtaining the necessary permissions, 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, be entitled to a range of VIP benefits both on the ground and in the air, including an extra baggage allowance.
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. The airline plans to then operate three services weekly to both Amritsar and Ahmedabad. The company has provisional plans to apply for its own full Air Operator?s Certificate (AOC) but will continue to lease its aircraft which should yield greater financial returns to POP and to its supported causes.
(Nino) Navdip Singh Judge, Chairman and Principal of POP, commented: “These two commercials will give us immense coverage amongst the audiences we want to reach. The Sikh Channel serves over four million Sikhs worldwide, with millions of additional viewers online, and broadcasts in both English and Punjabi languages around the clock across the world. Since its launch at the end of 2009, Gujarati Television Pvt. Ltd. has achieved an 80% market penetration in the state of Gujarat.?
According to the 2011 Census, there are approximately 3.5 million Asians in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including some 1.52 million of Indian origin who represent 2.2% of the total UK population. Religiously diverse – 56% Hindu, 30% Sikh and 13% Muslim – British Indians originate primarily from the two states that POP will be serving – Punjab and Gujarat.
The state of Punjab, with a population of around 28 million, has historically been the food-producing region of India but is now also home to major industries such as textiles, agribusinesses, chemicals and pharma, sports goods, engineering, information technology, and electrical. It has an impressive transport infrastructure with national highways, interstate railways and an upgraded international airport at Amritsar as well as three domestic airports at Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Pathankot. As a tourist destination, Punjab has a rich historical, architectural and cultural heritage and is also known for its cuisine and music.
Amritsar is Punjab?s major historical city, a spiritual home for Sikhs and famous for its Golden Temple. It is also home to a textile/woollens special economic zone (SEZ) and will soon have a new software technology park, making it a key IT centre in the region. Amritsar’s airport, Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International was extensively refurbished between 2005 and 2009. Passenger growth of 65% in 2009 made it the fastest growing airport in the country at the time.
The state of Gujarat, with a population of about 60 million, is renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen and is an important driver of the Indian economy due to its agriculture, cotton and textile production, industry such as petrochemical, cargo ports, special economic zone (SEZs); road and rail infrastructure; and the international airport at Ahmedabad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International, which had its new Terminal 2 (international traffic) inaugurated in 2010.
Ahmedabad itself is the largest city in Gujarat and the seventh largest in India, and is a leading business city. It has some stunning museums, a rich legacy of temple, tomb and mosque architecture, and has Mahatma Gandhi?s ashram headquarters used in 1930 during India?s struggle for independence. Ahmedabad is also home to many prestigious academic and scientific institutions. It is also an important base of commerce, industry and trade (with over 420 medium and large-scale and 24,000 small-scale industries in the area many in SEZs), especially within the sectors of textiles and apparel; bio-tech/pharma and chemicals; creative design/architecture; IT and electronics; engineering and heavy industries.