A new ride-sharing program out is taking the concept to new heights — literally. Wingly is the first flight sharing program to operate in Europe, allowing non-commercial pilots to share the cost of flying with passengers.
The Paris-based startup offers a product that works similar to Lyft or Uber, only with 2-6 seater light airplanes instead of Camrys. Hobby fliers map out their next planned flight (e.g. a trip from Paris to the coast of Normandy), put it on the app, and wait for passengers to book their tickets.
On its website Wingly compares it to “carpooling”, as the pilot is not making any profit, but both the pilot and the passengers are saving money on a pre-planned trip. The savings for passengers can be considerable, as they are only paying for their part of the fuel, landing fees, and a service fee.
However, critics have noted that there are quite a few more regulation and safety concerns when it comes to sharing airplanes compared to cars.
While this could keep the project grounded in other regions, Wingly got a brand new set of wings after the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) legally certified the company last year.
Since then, angel investors have dropped €2 million ($2.48 million USD) into the flight share project. There are currently 10,000 pilots with more than 60,000 flights available in France, Germany, and the UK.
So next time you find yourself in Europe and you feeling like a quick jump over the countryside for a fraction of the cost and none of the headaches that come with a normal flight experience, you now have an alternative.