While 2021 has been a path to recovery for many commercial airlines, private jet and travel booking platforms have fared very well – and in some cases – to record levels. Demand for on-demand charter services skyrocketed in late 2020, and data from 2021 indicates continuing increases in requirements for point to point travel booked on short notice.

Companies such as Wheels Up released Q1 earnings results recently, and figures such as 68% revenue increases and 56% membership increases reflect a steady rise, even amid an economy still recovering from the pandemic.

VoloIQ
Companies like Volocopter plan on employing integrated management software, dubbed VoloIQ. Image // Volocopter

Kenny Dichter, Founder & CEO commented on the recent growth: “We started this year strong, with record revenue driven by increased flying from our significant membership growth, and contributions from recent acquisitions. Our customers are flying longer distances and across all fleet categories.”

Companies like Wheels Up have performed so well amidst the current economy due to focus on creating a marketplace for private aviation, increasing the addressable market while enhancing member and customer experience and optimizing operations and fleet utilization. Furthermore, introduction of the initial digital marketplace app to non-members with dynamic pricing and real-time availability, allowing anyone looking for flights to immediately search, book, and fly Wheels Up, has contributed to growth. All these focus points closely align to planned eVTOL aerial mobility market interaction methods, which rely on digital booking platforms that update in real-time to confirm flight details and bid between operators, much like how Uber and Lyft operate today.

Other private aviation booking platforms have also focused on improved fleet scheduling and utilization and provide new reservation capabilities to enhance the customer experience; again, traits that will be part of future aerial mobility experiences.

Why it’s important: Where aerial mobility stands to go above and beyond current aviation booking platforms today is the ground-up incorporation of features that are now being used to augment the current, traditional booking approaches that largely dominate the private aviation industry. Foundational integration of features such as on-demand booking platforms and customer feedback loops allow for a much more seamless flight management software suite, and improved efficiencies that allow for safe and customer-focused scaling of aerial mobility technology. And, while current demand is not 100% predictive of the future, the current reflection of rising demand within private aviation, amidst the current economic environment, is a promising sign for what the future may hold.

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