Airly experiences steady growth in first year

Business aviation start-up Airly says it has experienced steady growth since launching in the middle of 2017.

Under the scheme, passengers take out an Airly membership, which then allows them to book seats on available flights operated by charter companies.

The seats being offered for sale are either on “empty legs”, where an aircraft is being ferried to a location, or on charter flights where there are available seats. Airly charges a commission as a percentage of the fare paid.

The company said it had been steadily growing its membership base and flight inventory since the concept went live in July 2017.

“Airly provides two services: empty legs and on-demand flights, both provided by premium charter operators,” co-founder Alexander Robinson said.

“Empty legs allow a broader demographic to enjoy the efficiencies of a private jet, at roughly business class prices.

“Airly on-demand, or charter flights, shakes up a stale industry of opaque pricing, slow responses, and variable pricing.”

When Airly first announced its intention to enter the market in 2016, its original business plan had members paying a monthly subscription for unlimited flights between Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.

While the company still had ambitions to eventually launch that model, co-founder Luke Hampshire told Business Insider there was more work to be done.

“We probably bit off more than we can chew in the execution,” Hampshire said.

“Long-term the shuttles are still there. It will happen – but we obviously have to do a lot more than what we thought.”

Meanwhile, Airly has teamed up with the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix to offer those heading to the event a chance to travel to Albert Park in comfort before enjoying the race in the luxurious Paddock Club.

For example, someone from Sydney attending Melbourne for the race would be chauffeur driven to Mascot before boarding a private jet for a flight to Melbourne’s Moorabbin Airport. After landing, they would be transferred to a waiting helicopter for the short hop to Albert Park, where they will then be whisked into the Paddock Club to watch the race overlooking pit lane.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation business development manager Louise White said the Airly package would offer racegoers an alternative way to get to the venue.

“While the Formula One Paddock Club provides an exclusive means to experience the Grand Prix, the transport to and from the serenity of the Paddock Club is largely out of our hands, and somewhat inconsistent with the overall experience,” White said.

“With Airly, guests will be able to enjoy an uninterrupted day of comfort, networking, and the best use of their time, knowing they’re experiencing the ultimate race, in the best way possible.”

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