Great Recession promoted the onset of the sharing economy and now in the present time, this economy has expanded itself and has become one of the most recession-proof business models. Some key examples of this model are Couchsurfing, Upwork, Uber, and DoorDash. These models are success stories of sharing marketplaces that are operating in the sharing economy.
Another area that the on-demand economy is setting up to enter and conquer whose transformation no one would have bet on till a few years back is the aviation industry.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know about on demand aircraft. It is an experimentative sector which is all ready to boom in the years to come.
Table of Contents
- What is the On Demand Charter Flights Economy About?
- The Key Stakeholders of the On Demand Air Travel Sector
- eVTOL Companies
- What Makes an On Demand Air Transportation Service a Revolutionary Business Idea?
- Critical Challenges Standing In Front of On Demand Aviation Segment
- Availability of Pilots
- Cost Economics
- Air Traffic Management System
- Hardware Challenges (in eVTOL)
- What Can a New Business Do to Become an Early Participant of the Revolution?
What is the On-Demand Charter Flights Economy About?
Take the instance of booking an Uber to cover several miles-long distances. The next step is to factor in the congestion on the road, the uncertainty of arrival time, and surge pricing. One definite solution to these problems is on-demand urban air transport.
It works on the same model as Uber and similar brands. Companies have started entering this business of ordering on demand flights. It can be defined as a business like Uber for airplanes. In the past, this business has been explored by several charter flight companies. However, it got its deserving share of attention when Uber announced Uber Elevate.
“For me, the aha moment came when I started understanding that Uber isn’t just about cars. Ultimately, where we want to go is about urban mobility and urban transport, and being a solution for the cities in which we operate”
- Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO
The term Uber Elevate was coined by Uber, the mobility giant, for its UberAir, an aerial electric ride-sharing service, with an addition of other services like food delivery, and more. These services can gain huge benefits from the air transport model.
The Key Stakeholders of the On Demand Air Travel Sector
We can say undoubtedly that Customers are the main revenue-maker participant of the application. The initiation of on demand air travel in an event that will have a direct impact in making users looking for luxurious travel on a limited budget.
Under common circumstances, it is the pilot who has the responsibility of passing the information on seat vacancy in the on demand flight application. The customers then book a seat based on this posted information.
eVTOL are the vehicles that will take the application user from point A to point B by the medium of the aerial route. The architecture of these battery-operated automatic models is different from helicopters and other private aircraft. Their major properties include:
- They fly at a speed of 60 mph
- They are designed to be a lot let noisy
Although it is not a must-have for entering the domain (new or low-budget businesses always have an option to partner with the private jet providers), the on demand VTOL services is all set to become a key player in this segment.
Known as Fixed Base Operators, FBOs will play a very crucial role in the on demand urban transit sector, similar to how they work in the scheduled private aviation sector. One major selling point for the on demand aircraft is that it provides similar USPs as the traditional private aviation sector and it is only possible with Fixed Base Operators’ help.
There is no need to explain the importance of Airports in this sector. From where will your aircraft take-off and where will it land if there are no airports? Companies looking to invest and enter the aircraft on demand sector will have to collaborate with airports – private and commercial – to expand their reach among the customers. For businesses that have an aim to partner with eVTOL aircraft providers, it is of utmost importance that you look for airports that have charging points.
What Makes an On Demand Air Transportation Service a Revolutionary Business Idea?
Keeping aside the lucrative image of flying private by the users, an on demand urban air mobility sector provides the customers with a series of advantages (ones that are aligned with the USPs of on demand app development services). The customers will have the facility of boarding the flight directly, eliminating the hassle of standing in the long check-in lines for scheduled flights for the customers. This no longer becomes a necessity.
Additionally, on the other hand, Pilots are now able to divide the operating expense of the flight including rental fees, oil, fuel, and airport expenditures, while also being able to keep their license. This is an event that depends on them amassing a minimum number of flying hours, landings, and take-offs in a year.
This on demand aircraft transportation service model in itself is a solution to the biggest expense of the private aviation sector, which are operation and maintenance expenses.
This model is dependent on the strong pro pilot and customer nature which returns with an additional benefit of the favorable regulations of the aviation sector all across the world. For instance, the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) underpins the underwritten boundaries for flight-sharing:
- Only the direct flying costs like airfield charges, rental fee, and fuel should be split
- There must be no profit element on either side
- Non-commercial aircraft must transport a maximum of six passengers
To make a synopsis out of this, a combination of the following makes this sector truly profitable:
- This sector of on demand aviation gives private flying access to a whole batch of an audience inclusive of people who have an interest in an upgrade in the travel experience.
- It provides an added advantage of no TSA screening lines, custom food options, private concierge service, a door to destination travel ETA being cut down by several hours, and a minute-long bag retrieval process.
Although it is defined as a futuristic model, urban air transportation service’s present-day success can be validated by the instance of a flight sharing platform called Wingly. It is a business that operates in France, England, and Germany. It has more than 150,000 users, 60,000 flights, and has (as facts state) announced a €2m fundraise.
Keeping in view the path on which on demand aviation is, it is definitely on the growth. However, there are a few inherent challenges that stand in front of this sector and which can never be ignored.
Critical Challenges Standing In Front of On Demand Aviation Segment
The critical barriers to air taxi adoption include regulation challenges, pilot availability, air traffic management, infrastructure, cost, and hardware challenges.
Although the European aviation market has welcomed on demand aircraft with open arms, all other nations are still trying to play safe. An instance of the same is the US FAA board’s decision to provide support trials only in the remote areas and not in dense and crowded areas.
Availability of Pilots
Pilots will remain a scarce resource in this sector until eVTOL gets globally accepted. Even after that, there will be a need to call for measures like the requirement for a much easier pilot certification program and the creation of an aircraft that would work with minimally trained pilots.
The infrastructure on which this sector is running the trials might for this stage but it is unlikely that they will able to accommodate new businesses at large. One simple solution for this is the creation of take-off and landing areas by sharing the existing helipads. For instance, in the US, there are 5,664 helipads and out of which 66 are for private use. However, for the major part of the day, they stand unused. This could work as a temporary solution, but the industry needs to work on finding a definite solution for this challenge very soon.
To create a business model that sticks for a long time, it is essential that it has a price range that the masses are comfortable with. Achieving this while considering the maintenance as well as operation costs will call for a knowledgeable and experienced On Demand App Development Company that will help you draft your new business model.
Air Traffic Management System
At the moment, a majority of the air traffic is monitored and analyzed by human controllers who connect and interact directly with the pilots. This approach will not prove useful for current traffic. To be able to effectively manage and cope with the demand, digital systems will have to be set up to monitor the aircraft in the skies.
Establishing this system could help in bringing scalability into air traffic management with the help of the mode of automating monitoring and management of the increased activity. One of the working instances of a digital traffic management system can be seen in Airbus’s Unmanned Traffic Management system.
Hardware Challenges (in eVTOL)
The two major challenges in terms of hardware that one can foresee for the on demand private aviation industry for when it will reach mass adoption are noise and battery efficiency. However, by the time we reach the stage where eVTOL would become a norm, it will in easier to see industry players coming in with solutions.
What Can a New Business Do to Become an Early Participant of the Revolution?
To come in terms of the trend with a very promising future, business firms will be required to partner with on demand private aviation app development solution providers who have an understanding of the veins of the aviation industry.
For a heads up, it is required to research about the market in terms of the user base, probable growth, active competitors, failed businesses in the sector, and more. Once this research data is gathered, the next phase would be to convert them into visuals. The first step for you will be to start with mood boards, user flow diagrams, and other similar visual illustrations to understand why a customer would move from a commercial flying to a flight-sharing one.
Finally, it is an advice for the entrepreneurs to dive deeply and get educated from the businesses which are entering the segment. This is the kind of partnerships they are making, investors they are able to attract, areas they are targeting, and more.