The UK-based low-cost and long-haul airline ‘POP’, which stands for ‘People Over Profit’, plans to start a direct flight from London to Amritsar and Ahmedabad, said sources in the aviation sector.It is anticipated that the first POP flight will depart from Stansted Airport (the airport catering to the London area for low-cost European flights) this year to Amritsar using a 378-seat all-economy Airbus A330-300 aircraft. POP initially plans to operate thrice-a-week flights to Amritsar and Ahmedabad.An NRI of Punjabi origin, Navdip Singh Judge, is heading POP. The company envisages to create an ‘Enhanced-Value’ airline, providing non-stop flights between the UK and second cities in the nations of the developing world.The aim, based on extensive market research, is to meet the demand of the growing visiting friends and relatives market as well as the expanding leisure tourism and business sectors.Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM), patron, Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala and Sameep Singh, AVM North American representative, who have been lobbying for a direct flight between Amritsar and London, said the airline’s initial target was to provide air services between the extensive Indian communities in the UK and South Asia by flying to Amritsar and Ahmedabad in India, and to do so as a company committed to investing a minimum of 51 per cent of its profits in the communities it serves in both countries.They said, “For a long time, the AVM along with the Punjabi community in Punjab and the UK has been demanding a direct flight on this route. The initiative of this direct flight by POP will fill in the void left due to the cancellation of Jet Airways’ direct flight, about six years ago. Air India re-routed this flight via Delhi. Passengers will be able fly direct to the destination in about eight hours. There is a big Punjabi and Sikh diaspora of Indian origin settled in the UK that will benefit from this flight.”