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Skyüber readies for second phase of expansion

Download: Printable PDF Date: 21 Mar 2016 13:14 category:
Skyüber readies for second phase of expansion - Business aviation publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Aircraft: Airplanes
Source: Flightglobal

European online ride-sharing platform Skyüber is gearing up to launch the second phase of its development plan, which will include expanding its reach throughout the continent.

The Portuguese firm launched its online and mobile platform in August, to connect pilots of non-complex aircraft, seating more than six occupants, with individuals looking to fly privately.

“The cost of the flight – which includes landing fees, fuel, insurance – is evenly split between the riders which, depending on the number of occupants, can be very affordable indeed,” says Skyüber co-founder Carlos Oliveira.

So far, the platform has secured registrations from 2,000 pilots and 14,000 riders, who have shared around 500 seats.

Oliveira stresses pilots cannot make money out of the flight. “It is purely a way to offset some of the costs of flying, which is very expensive in Europe,” he says.

Skyüber’s focus has been mainly on training schools and aero clubs in Europe’s largest markets of France, Germany and the UK. It is now planning to extend its reach throughout the continent. “We have spent the last few months perfecting the platform and getting the funding in place to accelerate our growth to market,” Oliveira says. "We now plan to widen our marketing effort to aero clubs around Europe, with a view to adding 50,000 pilots to the platform."

Skyüber has the blessing of the region’s aviation authority, the European Aviation Safety Agency.

“We took our time to contact the regulator and make sure everything we are doing is fully compliant with the [agency's] cost-sharing principles,” Oliveira says. “This isn't designed as a money-making venture [for pilots]; rather a match-making exercise. We would like to bring Skyüber to the US market, as and when ride-sharing platforms are given the go-ahead there,” he adds.

The beleaguered US ride-sharing industry is hoping to overturn the US Federal Aviation Administration’s 2014 ban on public platforms that promote the sharing of private aircraft flights by owners and pilots. The FAA has pronounced ride-sharing services commercial operations, which require pilots to obtain Part 119 certification, ordinarily reserved for common carriers, such as airlines.

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