Simple Flying | December 16, 2021
Major US airline executives faced questioning from the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on Wednesday. One of the topics that came up were recent cuts to some regional routes, including some market exits. Several others offered their input. However, it was United’s CEO, Scott Kirby, who had the most to say. According to his testimony, nearly 100 regional aircraft are parked at United due to the ongoing pilot shortage.
United has regional jets parked over pilot shortage
“We have almost 100 airplanes effectively grounded right now – regional aircraft, because there’s not enough pilots to fly them, which means we just can’t, at the moment, fly to all the small communities that we would like to.”
-United’s CEO, Scott Kirby
United Airlines made headlines just a few months ago when it pulled service to a handful of destinations, mainly those receiving regional services, due to these pilot shortages. With so much appetite from large mainline carriers for pilots and continued growth in the low-cost sphere, there are not enough pilots to meet demand. In addition, training pilots is no easy task, and the cost to enter the industry has been highlighted as a barrier to training pilots.
United’s CEO emphasized the different ways United was looking at alleviating the problem. One of them is the United Aviate Academy, which only recently saw its first class of students start their education on the way to becoming a pilot. United has also made a considerable push at various levels to get people to become pilots, including sending a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to highlight the Aviate program and the various pathways for entering United as a pilot.
“Service to small communities is incredibly important to American Airlines. We serve some 230 cities in the United States. Obviously, a number of those are smaller communities…and we would like to serve more, frankly, over time.”
-CEO of American Airlines, Doug Parker
American Airlines highlights that part of its sizable brand and presence is focused on connecting the small- and medium-sized cities to the rest of the world. American has traditionally used regional jets to expand its domestic network to new cities.
Regional pilots are a vital part of the industry
While flying a CRJ or an Embraer regional jet might not be the flashiest job in the aviation world, it is one of the most important for airlines. Regional jets are part of an extensive feed network that airlines build up as a method of supporting its hubs and moving vital cargo around the country and the world.
Moreover, regional pilots are a pipeline to mainline service. Outside of hiring from the military, private, or cargo world, US airlines often recruit from the regional carriers. However, the demand up from regionals to mainline carriers is outpacing the number of pilots that regional airlines are hiring. This is due to various issues, including a lack of more widespread funding to help send people to training.
DESIGN AND ENGINEERING
Electra.aero | December 30, 2021
A new generation of cost-efficient hybrid-electric aircraft is making on-demand regional air travel commercially feasible. Electra.aero, a US-based clean aviation technology company and flyv, a German company creating On Demand Air Mobility solutions, have partnered to develop a revolutionary customer-centric air mobility solution that leverages the economic advantages of Electra's sustainable flight technology to offer travelers the quickest, most cost-effective route between locations in underserved regional travel markets in Europe.
Passengers will fly on Electra's hybrid-electric, ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL)aircraft, a fixed-wing plane that uses a unique combination of proven blown lift technology, hybrid-electric power, and distributed propulsion to operate on runways as small as 100x300 feet. The quiet, piloted plane delivers substantially lower emissions and operating costs than conventional aircraft. Batteries are recharged mid-flight, eliminating the need for ground charging infrastructure and enabling quick flight turnaround in diverse environments. The flyv service will initially operate between airports and eventually provide point-to-point intercity travel, taking full advantage of the Electra eSTOL's ability to take off and land in places previously inaccessible by flight.
flyv is a novel airline focused on regional air mobility. In lieu of a traditional hub and spoke network, the flyv scheduling platform uses a proprietary algorithm to optimize the daily flight schedule based on paid bookings and operational constraints. flyv will provide customers a guaranteed fixed travel timeframe to their destination at the point of booking, and exact itinerary details prior to departure.
"There is a gap in transportation services today between where ground transport is effective and where large transport aircraft are providing efficient service. We designed Electra's eSTOL aircraft to fill that gap, providing a more sustainable transport option than cars or traditional aircraft for short and medium distance routes up to about 500 miles, We are delighted to be partnering with flyv to pair our aircraft technology with flyv's innovative business model and flight scheduling technology to bring this transportation solution to customers."
-John S. Langford, Founder and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of Electra.aero.
"Traditional airlines are focused on capacity, not on demand. We're building a new means of transport that is demand-driven and customer centric. We aim to connect unserved communities to as many other decentralized locations as possible by delivering the fastest means of transport from one point to another at market value-based prices, The economics were a challenge with conventional aircraft. The cost-effectiveness of Electra's high-performance eSTOL aircraft is the puzzle piece that makes the flyv model work. Our partnership with Electra enables a micro-mobility solution that connects the unconnected into the global aviation network in a sustainable way, creating economic opportunities for both communities and customers,"
-flyv Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anton Lutz.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), flyv will be Electra's air mobility services partner in Europe, and Electra will be flyv's OEM partner for regional air mobility services in Europe and elsewhere, with a commitment by flyv to purchase of up to 100 Electra eSTOL aircraft. The agreement raises Electra's total purchase commitments to 280 aircraft. The two companies will jointly explore urban and regional networks to be served by flyv, and will collaborate on elements of eSTOL performance, economics, and passenger experience as well as joint marketing initiatives. The global urban and regional advanced air mobility market is forecast by Morgan Stanley at $1 trillion.
flyv is a start-up On-Demand Air Mobility airline connecting people in a demand-driven network, with a mission to connect every possible landing field in a single customer-induced web created anew every day. The company's core asset is its two algorithms: the fulfillment algorithm and the product algorithm. Together they enable optimized product offering and operationalization leading to a new approach in airline distribution and management. flyv's highly skilled team draws from various disciplines with executive experience from Amazon, GE Aviation, Vodafone, easyJet, and Lufthansa Group, as well as renowned scientific institutions and European airports.
Electra.aero, Inc. is a next-gen aerospace company leading the way in sustainable urban and regional mobility. The company is building clean, hybrid-electric, ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) airplanes that fly people and cargo quieter, further, and more affordably. Electra is collaborating with air transport and ground infrastructure operators to achieve a turnkey solution for diverse markets. Electra's team includes some of the most respected and successful entrepreneurs and engineers in novel aircraft design, and its technology development is supported by NASA and the US Air Force Agility Prime program.
Volato | March 23, 2022
Volato, the most efficient way to own a private jet, today announced that it has acquired aircraft management company Gulf Coast Aviation (GCA), a fixture in the Houston private aviation market for the past 25 years.
GCA is strategically located at Atlantic Aviation, William P. Hobby International Airport (HOU) in Houston, Tx. The combined companies will serve a larger share of the North American business aviation market.
GCA is rated Argus Platinum and Stage 3 IS-BAO; awarded only to aviation companies who have demonstrated operational excellence through successful implementation of best safety practices relative to their operations and maintenance, with safety management activities fully integrated into their culture. Their experience with charter and aircraft management for owners involves everything from King Air turboprops to ultra-long range large cabin jets.
GCA's mission to provide first-class service in all areas of aviation aligns with Volato's mission to provide the best experience for their owners and employees. Volato will retain all GCA employees, reinforcing their commitment to industry-specific customer experience while adding to their extensive aviation expertise.
"We look forward to supporting the existing managed fleet and welcoming new aircraft owners to our fleet division and we are thrilled to integrate the passion and experience of each and every GCA employee into the Volato family."
Matt Liotta, co-founder and CEO of Volato
Volato's goal is to have operational bases across the continental United States so their HondaJet fractional owners do not pay repositioning fees.
"Having a base in Houston is important to the vision and growth of Volato as it's the second busiest market for private aviation in the country, and we look forward to introducing our HondaJet fleet to GCA's extensive loyal customer base." said Nicholas Cooper, co-founder and CRO of Volato. "Houston adds to our existing bases in Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Augustine, Ft. Lauderdale and Carlsbad, so this acquisition gets us closer to our goal".
A further benefit is owners in Volato's fractional program and their charter customers now have access to a larger charter fleet to meet a variety of their travel needs.
GCA Founders Steve and Debbie Holmes are pleased to announce their retirement. "We are grateful for GCA's loyal customers, vendors and employees who have all been indispensable in making Gulf Coast Aviation a success. When we met the Volato team, we were very impressed by their leadership, unique business model, passion for delivering the best customer experience and how they treat their employees. We knew our customers and employees would be in good hands," said Steve Holmes. "We are confident that Volato is the right custodian for our company and team. We are excited to see GCA grow and evolve as part of the Volato family."
Volato is the modern way to buy and own a private jet, creating a more accessible, sustainable category of private aviation ownership through an innovative business model that reduces costs while increasing the convenience of ownership. Volato focuses on four-or-fewer passenger missions and operates a fleet of bespoke HondaJet Elite S aircraft.
About Gulf Coast Aviation
Gulf Coast Aviation strives to make private aircraft travel safe and stress free by providing its clients with first class service in all areas of aviation including aircraft management and charter. We place a special interest in hiring and giving back to Veterans of the United States Military.
AIR | March 11, 2022
Today AIR, creator of eVTOLs for the consumer market, announced its partnership with Australia's FlyOnE, a pioneer of goods and services in the emerging green transport market and a leading supplier of electric aircraft. The partnership also marks the launch of the AIR Brand Ambassador (ABA) program, enabling strategic partners around the world the opportunity to share the freedom of personal flight with their communities.
FlyOnE will serve as AIR's local service and maintenance partner and will facilitate the delivery of 25 of the first AIR ONE vehicles to customers in 2025. As the first official AIR Brand Ambassador, FlyOnE will play a significant role in laying the groundwork enabling AIR's vision, the mass adoption of personal air vehicles, to come to life in Australia, where Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) regulation is already in motion.
In contrast with the Urban Air Mobility industry developing air taxis for commercial use, AIR's inaugural vehicle, AIR ONE, allows individual consumers to embrace the freedom of flight in their daily travels. The vehicle is a sporty, all-electric two-seater eVTOL offering a range of 110 miles (177 km) on a single charge at speeds up to 155 miles per hour (250 km). The AIR ONE allows owners to take off and land on any flat surface.
"We are thrilled to expand our reach to Australia, a trailblazing market with very high growth potential, with the help of such a forward-thinking partner as FlyOnE," said Rani Plaut, CEO and Co-founder of AIR. "As we continue to discuss future potential brand ambassadorships around the world, we believe FlyOnE's dedication to electric aviation adoption on all levels will significantly impact public acceptance of personal eVTOLs and help the industry take flight."
AIR is partnering with manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and other relevant players in the aerospace and automotive industries as part of its newly launched AIR Brand Ambassador program to fuel the personal air mobility revolution around the world. AIR believes the innovation and determination of the AAM industry coupled with the foresight of early adopters is a necessary step on the path to public acceptance of eVTOLs.
"At FlyOnE, we believe that AIR's vehicle and mission align perfectly with our own, which is why we're excited to facilitate their entry into the Australian market and serve as an AIR Brand Ambassador. We are committed to being at the forefront of the electric aviation industry in Australia, and the personal eVTOL adoption process will play a key role in its growth over the next few years."
Korum Ellis, CEO and founder of FlyOnE
AIR is revolutionizing everyday mobility for everyday people, empowering individuals to seize the power of personal flight. Combining aerospace innovation with the maturity of automotive technology and uncompromising safety standards, AIR's first-of-its-kind AIR EVs offers the ground-breaking opportunity to easily "drive the sky." Founded by Chen Rosen and later joined by Netanel Goldberg and Rani Plaut, based in the green fields of Pardes Hanna, near Tel Aviv, AIR is paving the way for a cleaner, more thrilling future of mobility, affording everyone the freedom to fly.
FlyonE is pioneering goods and services in the emerging electric aviation sector. Bringing together industry leaders and innovators in the manufacture, supply and distribution of electric aircraft, FlyOnE is establishing market leading ESG friendly air transport solutions for corporate bodies and recreational users alike.