By Fly Aeolus
Stefaan Ghijs (Fly Aeolus) was interviewed for the entrepreneurial column of the Dutch ‘Financial Times’.
Thirty-year-old finds hole in overcrowded airspace
The cheapest private airline in Northwest Europe. That is what Fly Aeolus wants to become. Under the wings of TU Delft, founder Stefaan Gjis tinkered with the concept for three years. He now transports his first customers.
Low-cost private flights?
“Fly Aeolus is some kind of air taxi service. On request we transport customers from the nearest airport to an airport near their destination. Our lightweight aircraft are allowed to land at almost two thousand airports. What’s more, they fly so low that we are not bothered by traffic in the air. With an average hourly rate of 700 €, Fly Aeolus is more than half as cheap as existing charter airlines”.
How is that possible?
“Each customer temporarily deposits 1000 € and becomes co-owner of the aircraft.Because of the shared ownership Fly Aeolus falls under the regulations for private flights and can be flown with the low-cost single-engine aircraft. Commercial airlines are not allowed to do so. This model has been set up in consultation with the European Aviation Safety Agency. We have been able to make good use of this model in recent crisis years. Moreover, we had to find private individuals willing to lend us their planes. Because in order to keep costs low, we lease the aircraft from them”.