Tech start-up aims to revolutionise working lives of freelance pilots and flight attendants from Europe’s foremost centre for professional pilot training.
London Oxford Airport is delighted to welcome a new tenant, hullo Aircrew, which recently moved in opposite the OxfordJet FBO. Run by CEO Keiron Blay and COO Steve Payne – both former Hangar8 and Gama Aviation executives – the business centres on a revolutionary new platform which aims to empower pilots and flight attendants by connecting them with operators (for flying work) through a native app, as well as offering a whole range of additional discounted Member Services.
The app, currently being tested with a group of pilots ahead of a scheduled final release at EBACE, acts as a ‘one stop shop’ with the capacity to handle all the paperwork and invoicing involved with securing a new job.
“After working in business aviation for 10 years, it became apparent that resourcing pilots or flight attendants for a company with aircraft positioning at a multitude of airports 24/7 was a bit of a headache,” commented Blay. “Often the chief pilot would be phoning round his personal contacts to get a candidate with the right licence that was current on a specific aircraft type. This spawned the idea of creating a centralised database that also acts as a pocket personal assistant for the pilots and flight attendants.
“The hullo Aircrew app is open to everyone – there’s no subscription fee, so we’re really disrupting the typical recruitment agency model. We’ve designed a turn-key solution that can be used on a global scale,” Blay continued.
Using the app, pilots can upload their day rate, type-ratings, hours, licences and full training records to hullo’s tech platform environment, and hullo will then send a notification to let them know if they’re due to undertake any recurrent training. Having the buying power of a larger operation also means hullo will be able to offer training at discounted prices.
Furthermore, when operators put out details of a new flying job, hullo’s platform will supply a list of relevant pilots or flight attendants and will allow the two parties to start talking through the app. Operators can then shortlist their favourite pilots and flight attendants and keep working with them.
“Sense of community for contract pilots” – Captain David Fletcher.
Captain David Fletcher, co-founder and former managing director of bizav operator FlairJet and current Embraer Phenom 300 and Airbus A330 pilot, has trialled the app and offered this endorsement:
“Not only does the hullo Aircrew app offer a sense of community for contract pilots, with all the advantages of buying power that has, but it makes it very easy for the pilot and operator to get together. The interface looks easy to understand and navigate. I’ve been on both sides of this – as an operator and contract pilot – and the system offers major advantages to both.”
“Demand for type-rated pilots is ever-evolving” – James Dillon-Godfray
“We are delighted to have a company of hullo Aircrew’s calibre at Oxford. The demand for type-rated business aviation pilots in Europe is ever-evolving and hullo’s innovative new app makes it easier for operators to find the right crew for their fleet and for pilots to find work, whether it’s a one-off trip as back-up crew, a short term contract or permanent employment,” commented James Dillon-Godfray, London Oxford Airport’s Business Development Manager. “Having had some 30,000 professional pilots start their flying careers at Oxford, hosting a company like hullo fits in nicely with the other businesses we have here.”
“Keiron and I have worked at London Oxford Airport in previous roles and we both think it has a great sense of community,” added Steve Payne. “The people at Oxford Airport are passionate about what they do, so it made sense to expand our existing relationships here. The airport is going from strength to strength with its pilot training – with CAE and Airways Aviation – and we are positioning to the right audience with our app here.”