Start-Ups Interview Marcus Loffhagen, Flyt.Club
A German Start Up had the idea of a flight sharing agency. The young team founded the Company Flyt.Club in Leipzig. AVIPEO had the chance to chat with Marcus Loffhagen, one of the founders of Flyt.Club.
Flyt.Club is a young Start-Up founded in Leipzig. Could you present the main idea of your business to our readers?
Our main idea is to build a platform where pilots can share their flight costs as well as their passion for aviation with others. Our platform allows people, who want to fly with private pilots, to book such a flight online.
How do pilots profit from your service?
Pilots can advertise their flights on our website and find people who want to fly with them. On our webpage pilots can promote their flights with experiences, routes and pictures of former trips.
Our platform is the easiest way for pilots to get into contact with interested people who would like to fly with them and share the costs of the flights. Automated communication, booking, payment and transaction processes are a main advantage of our service and offer a real value for pilots.
How many users participated in your service by now? And how many flights have been operated so far?
The number of users as well as the number of operated flights run into a four-digit range.
In which countries can customers use your service?
It depends on the destinations but the German-speaking countries Germany, Austria and Swiss are our markets.
Could you tell us more about your customers and describe a typical user? Why do they use your service?
Our passengers aren’t business people with time pressure. Flights can be cancelled or delayed due to bad weather conditions. Most of the customers are people who would like to experience a flight in a smaller aircraft.
They use our platform for sightseeing flights or day trips. Cities, the sea and islands, for example Sylt or Wangerooge are main destinations. Others love to fly to Ticino to go for a pizza lunch.
How did you get the business idea? Do you or your colleagues have experience with aviation?
Kim & Peter, my colleagues, wanted to fly in a smaller aircraft some years ago. They realized that there are no agencies for inexperienced people. The existing pilot forums were confusing and their payment process was very complex. You were forced to pay the flight price in advance to a person you have never met before.
My two colleagues decided to improve this service, wrote their bachelor thesis about it and developed the flight sharing agency.
At the time we developed our idea, we did not have any relationships to aviation. By now our team has a close connection to the aviation world and their networks.
How does your business model look like? How do you earn money with your service?
We charge our customers after every successful completed flight with 10% per seat price and at least 5 Euro.
By now there is an increasing number of competitors in your business. What makes your service unique?
Our cost sharing model is based on the actual number of passengers on board. Compared to a fixed price per seat we offer a different service. If a plane with a capacity of three passengers is booked with one person only, the costs will be split into two similar shares. This is a main advantage for pilots to decide for our service. In addition to this, we offer flight vouchers which can be given as a gift for example for birthdays.
Who are your main competitors? Are traditional airlines competing with you?
We don’t see airlines as competitors. We focus on flight experience. Getting from A to B is a minor matter in our case.
There are a lot flight sharing agencies that offer comparable service. Beside them, we are competing with experience agencies e.g. the German Jochen Schweizer.
What are your plans for the future? How are your development plans for your service?
Of course we want to grow and attract more people to use our service. We are happy for every positive feedback from pilots or customers.
Avipeo is the first social network for Aviation People. How important are networks and relationships to people with aviation background for you?
Relationships to people and networks are very important to us. Especially if this results in cooperations and new possibilities we are more than happy about it.