Getting in on the surging demand for air cargo transportation, flypop has leased an Airbus A330 from Hi Fly to begin services. With the announcement made on Thursday, these services will not have passengers and would instead be fully cargo. Let’s take a look at flypop’s first aircraft.
flypop will soon be operating passenger service between UK and India. Photo: flypop
Zero LOPA cargo operations
LOPA, or the layout of passenger accommodations, is fairly self-explanatory in that it describes the seating configuration for passengers. Thus, when a plane is “zero LOPA,” this means that the aircraft is not configured to host passengers at all.
With this in mind, flypop proudly announced a partnership with Portugese wet lease firm Hi Fly to commence zero LOPA cargo operations.
In a statement, (Nino) Navdip Singh Judge, CEO & Principal of flypop, commented:
“This is another major milestone in the flypop journey as we have inducted the first of our four aircraft. We hope our cargo routes will assist with the global demand for cargo and help to alleviate cargo shortages for the Christmas holidays and beyond.”
flypop notes that Hi Fly is the largest widebody aircraft wet lease specialist in the world and has Air Operator Certificates in Portugal and Malta, with license to operate globally. Hi Fly operates a large fleet of all Airbus aircraft, which include the Airbus A320, A330, and A340. Hi Fly also gained fame for being the only carrier ever to acquire a used A380 to use for passenger services.
A preighter for now
Registered as 9H-POP, flypop’s A330 leased from Hi Fly is an eight-and-a-half-year-old Airbus A330-300. Originally operated by Cebu Pacific, the jet was first configured with 436 seats in a single-class, all-economy layout. However, with flypop looking to commence zero LOPA operations, the airline will not have any seats installed on this first aircraft for the time being.
According to RadarBox.com, the aircraft is currently flying from Hi Fly’s home airport of Beja in Portugal to the Western Canadian city of Edmonton.
Passenger services will follow soon
It should be noted that cargo operations aren’t flypop’s main mission. Indeed, the UK startup carrier was launched with the goal of offering low-cost flights between the UK and parts of India. However, global conditions for travel have served to stifle this part of the airline’s launch. In a statement, flypop said:
“flypop plans to commence its first passenger services between London Stansted and India once the global pandemic situation becomes clearer. Several destinations on the Indian subcontinent are currently being considered including Amritsar, Hyderabad, Goa, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Chandigarh.”
flypop adds that it is “focused on serving the Indian and South Asian diaspora communities living in the UK and their visiting friends and relatives.” The airline says that its newly announced cargo-focused partnership with Hi Fly is the “most effective way to start flying operations…until the frequency cap on UK-India flights is increased.”
Although a UK-India passenger service is high on the list, the airline has goals of eventually serving other markets with ambitions to one day serve Africa, South America, and the US.
What do you think of flypop’s initial cargo-only plan? Let us know by leaving a comment.