Innovation That Matters

On-demand air taxi | Photo source Pixabay

Aviation startup introduces on-demand air travel to Britain

Travel & Tourism

A transportation startup is introducing an on-demand air taxi service for flights between the Channel Islands and mainland UK.

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The on-demand ride model has proven such a success with taxi services that companies have now begun to offer the same service for air travel. Private air travel offers savings in time and a much greater range of airfields for your final destination, but it is often much more expensive than scheduled services. For a more cost-effective mode of transportation, while retaining the convenience, British aviation startup Waves Technology has started an on-demand air taxi service connecting the Channel Islands of Alderney, Guernsey and Jersey to the UK and European mainland. The service is designed to plug the gap in high-quality and flexible transportation between the remote islands, which are poorly served by commercial airlines.

Waves allows travellers to order a flight on the date and time of their choice, on a 9-seater Cessna Grand Caravan turboprop aircraft, and check in using a secure mobile app. Customers can buy an empty seat on an existing flight or arrange their own flight depending on their destination, date and time. Customers will be able to order flights for as little as 55 GBP, and leave within 30 minutes of booking. Using existing hangers, and managing bookings, security, and check-in through the app, allows passengers to skip the check-in lines and reduce their total travel time substantially.

The on-demand flights will initially connect the Channel Islands with the UK mainland, but Waves plans to offer flights on larger aircrafts to the South of France, Spain and Italy in 2018, and eventually throughout the UK. Waves deputy chief executive Barrie Baxter explains, “We want to take the business further afield, but first we will prove the model with an inter-island service and listen to what market is calling for.” The project has backing from investors in Jersey and Guernsey and is currently seeking GBP 500,000 in additional capitalisation via the crowdfunding site Seedrs. We have seen a number of aviation innovations, such as an electric vertical take-off and landing jet for commuters and passenger drones for an electric taxi service. Does the advent of on-demand air taxis signal a disruption in the travel market or just an easier way to fly?




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