Airble is a live marketplace for charter aviation. Custom charter flights, deals on empty-legs (empty repositioning flights), and even air tours and experiences are all available on the Airble website and app. Instead of starting an airline or brokering flights, we wanted to maximize on the existing pool of qualified, commercially registered air operators in Canada and the U.S. We believe in giving air operators the tools to offer their services similar to every other modern digital transportation solution we’ve come to love. Availability is accurate, pricing is transparent, and the end-user can book directly from the source. As of today, Airble currently boasts over 50 aircraft in six Canadian provinces, with another 50 in 11 U.S. states launching fall 2023.
Tell us about yourself?
I began my aviation journey as a pilot, accumulating more than 3,500 hours of flight experience across various aircraft types. Later, my role as a Special Technical Operations Coordinator at Jazz offered me insights into the logistics of the industry. Driven by my passion for aviation, I identified the need for a platform that would enhance accessibility for charter passengers and streamline operations for air operators. This led to the creation of Airble.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Often, entrepreneurs find themselves shouldering every responsibility, driven by an apprehension that tasks might not meet their exacting standards. I’ve come to realise that the true essence of growth lies in sharing the load. A business, much like a thriving ecosystem, works when every member contributes their unique expertise. Trust your team, and the rest will follow.
What problem does your business solve?
Business aviation charter operators lack the tools and technology to capitalise on unused aircraft time and empty legs. Without instant quoting and automated flight-planning and distribution channels, passengers are left to rely on networks of third parties and are faced with exorbitant markup, gruelling back-and-forth, and long wait times to coordinate travel plans.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
It all began when I started realizing the inefficiencies in business aviation and asked the question, “Why is there no app to charter a plane on demand?” The resounding answers from the industry were “it’s too complicated” and “the technology doesn’t exist.” I set out to build it myself, and along the way, became fuelled by the potential to create meaningful impact through tools that promote optimised efficiency and end-user experience in an industry primed for innovation.
What is your magic sauce?
In our industry, there are many who claim marketplace functionality. The reality is that anyone with a laptop can create a website, claim they have access to aircraft, and field quote requests, which they then use to call operators and coordinate flights. This model prevents the end-user from seeing accurate availability and transparent pricing – and, therefore, book instantly. Airble has built a web-based dashboard that allows air operators to manage their aircraft and list their pricing and availability so that passengers can browse, book, and pay instantly. Also, our marketplace is for all types of charter operators. Be it a seaplane, puddle jumper, helicopter, turboprop, or heavy jet, the Airble marketplace has options for all on-demand charter needs.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Launching the service in the U.S. is our immediate next step. Additionally, we’ve just rolled out a shared flight feature that allows for passengers to charter an aircraft and share the remaining seats. We see both of these accomplishments as major milestones in allowing us to attract more supply to the platform to improve the experience for passengers. Five years from now, we hope to see a mature market of air operators and passengers utilising aircraft in more efficient ways; driving down costs and reducing waste in the industry. Multi-leg flights, connecting seaplanes to jets to helicopters is another dream. Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft are also impressive! Airble is the perfect platform to host a multitude of exciting developments coming down the aviation pipeline.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Back in April, we were minding our own business, seeing a steady increase in aircraft coming onboard and booking transactions, when lo and behold, a travel YouTuber posted a video about his experience on one of our empty leg flights. In a few short weeks, we went from 1,500 app downloads to 100,000, and were fielding thousands of inbound requests to facilitate flights we didn’t have the supply for. In a week, we trained another customer service rep, implemented an entire CRM system, and got to work to increase our supply. In the last three months, we’ve tripled the aircraft on our platform.
How can people get involved?
We are expanding quickly and are always looking for opportunities to collaborate and work with Canadians. If you want to check out the marketplace, visit www.airble.com or get our app for iOS or Android.