FLYT launches digital helicopter booking platform
FLYT is a new digital helicopter booking service allowing customers to instantly view quotes from a range of UK helicopter operators and book online. It aims to reduce the cost of rotary travel, making it more accessible to a wider customer base, and to fill more empty seats.
FLYT is the brainchild of helicopter pilot and tech entrepreneur, Andy King, and SaxonAir co-founder, James Palmer. Located at The London Heliport in Battersea and with a tech team in central Manchester, FLYT’s goal is to bring the same technology clients are now enjoying in the private jet sector to commercial helicopter bookings.
By working with operators to fill empty seats on shared charters, FLYT is also hoping to maximise revenue and utilisation for operators. Until now, seat sales on helicopters have not been the industry norm.
Andy King said: “We believe the arrival of FLYT will encourage private owners whose machines are looked after by management companies to get on board and offset their operational costs with charter.”
He added: “Only a helicopter will take you right where you want to go.”
The FLYT team will work with landowners on the 2,200-plus approved landing sites available in the UK. FLYT takes the site address requested and seeks landing approval with the operator.
The company will work with helicopter traffic data, continually capturing and analysing thousands of recorded helicopter flights. This will enable FLYT to advise on realistic flight times and estimated costs in real-time.
FLYT is marketing directly to consumers and also working on a booking app. It plans to work with lifestyle and sporting event partners, including luxury hotels with helipads, to support the platform.
How it works
- The customer enters their journey details and FLYT calculates cost and approximate flight time
- As soon as a request is made, the platform identifies the most suitable operator in real-time
- The operator has the option to accept or reject. If they reject, a second choice of operator is notified, and so on
- Once the operator is confirmed the customer is provided with full details, including where to meet the aircraft, and makes payment to complete the transaction
Industry charter brokers have not yet moved into helicopter charters in a big way before. This is largely because in the rotary world it is more complex and ultimately time-consuming to make bookings – it requires gathering critical information like passenger weight and landing site restrictions.
However, the continuing consolidation of the industry has seen leading private jet aviation companies like Luxaviation, Castle Air Group and SaxonAir offering up private jets and helicopters for a full end-to-end offering.
FLYT has secured backing from investors including: John Ayton MBE, Co-Founder of both Links of London and Annoushka and investor in the luxury industry; mobile technology group, Apadmi Ventures, which is also serving as strategic technical partner; and EarlyMarket LLP.