Continuing with our exploration of new business models in the airline industry, today is the turn of Go! Aviation, a Finnish startup that is bringing the flat-fee airline business model to Europe.
The concept is not entirely new on the other side of the Atlantic, where operators such as Beacon in the East Coast, Surf Air in the West or Rise in Texas, are already operating flat fee models where a regular membership fee allows you unlimited travel on certain routes.
A proposition that is meant to appeal to a niche segment of frequent flyers (all these operators use relatively small aircraft for the job) whose travel habits ressemble those of a commuter, flying very often between two specific cities.
Go! Aviation is following a similar model. The Finnish operator, that will be operating Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, positions itself between a standard airline business class product and an executive aviation service. A monthly fee of €2,150 will give you access to an unlimited number of flights (although it is only possible to have two open reservations at any one time). Additionally, the fact that the airline will be using small airports will provide extra time savings to its users, in comparison to flying on traditional airlines.
Subscription sales have already started in Finland for the domestic route between Helsinki and Kuopio, a city of 100,000 inhabitants some 400km to the North-East of the Finnish capital. Jorma Kario, the founder and CEO of Go! Aviation explains how the new offering has got an enthusiastic welcome in this market and they have had to stop selling tickets, so that they can guarantee enough availability to all those that have signed up for the service.
Go! Aviation, that is currently looking for additional investment, has ambitious plans to reach 40 aircraft by 2020 and deploy its service in new markets, namely in Northern Europe.