Looking forward to speaking at API World + Integrate 2016
Excited to be sharing our vision and enabling technology for the on-demand city.
Excited to be sharing our vision and enabling technology for the on-demand city.
From the 12 candidates that BoldIQ met during the WTIA ‘speed dating’ style draft day – an event setup by the Washington Technology Industry Association aimed at matching up technology candidates from underrepresented schools in the Washington region with tech companies – four candidates were called back in for full team interviews, and this week, two were hired to join the BoldIQ team as support engineers. Overall a great event and a worthwhile investment of time for the candidates and for BoldIQ.
On Saturday June 25th, BoldIQ president & CEO, Roei Ganzarski, together with VP Engineering & Development Christer Lundin participated in WTIA’s Draft Day. This was an event setup by the Washington Technology Industry Association aimed at matching up technology candidates with tech companies. The unique part of this program is the focus on women and minorities from underrepresented schools in the Washington region.
Today BoldIQ team members got to spend time with the United States Army’s best warriors – the U.S. Rangers.
We got unit capability briefings; a tour of the Ranger complex; a close look at the Rangers’ unique special operations equipment (very cool!); and a viewing of the Second Battalion Memorial honoring fallen Rangers
This was a truly unique opportunity and we thank the Rangers for it and for all that they do.
Europe’s largest Citation Mustang operator, GlobeAir of Austria, is adding another six to bring its fleet to 20 of Cessna’s very light jets.
GlobeAir is showing that the niche market for very light jets may be growing. Last year the company posted a profit of EUR2.3 million on revenues of EUR17.5 million, and the number of flights operated rose from 5,100 to 6,000.
“Our charter sales rose 20%,” says Founder and CEO Bernhard Fragner. “At the moment I think our product is at the right place at the right time.” Overall, he notes, very light jet activity in Europe is 22% up year-on-year, whereas most other sectors are flat or around 2% down.
Fragner says Europe is struggling economically, except for the UK and Germany, and that a lot of his customers previously used mid-size cabin aircraft such as the Citation XL and XLS to fly just one or two people.
“They survived the 2008 financial crash through streamlining their own companies, cutting costs and giving better value,” he explains. “Basically, in 1.5 hours and with just one or two passengers they can get to most places in Europe and don’t need to fly in an XLS,” which according to Fragner is around 30% more expensive than a very light jet. “Sometimes we fly four passengers aboard our Mustangs, but our average is 1.4 passengers per flight… so with our niche I believe we can continue to grow.
“What helps us significantly is our fleet size, in that we can guarantee a flight, whereas an operator with only two to three aircraft cannot. Given my fleet size I can always find a solution.”
So is the term ‘Air Taxi’ dead? “We learned in Europe that this business is still discreet, and that people are not willing to share the cabin – we tried the cabin-sharing model and found it doesn’t work in Europe,” he says.
Fragner believes that the great differentiator between his operation and others is its ‘can do’ attitude. “I think from day one we focused on the customer even if it cost us money to put things right.”
The key to the success of Globe Air is basing the aircraft where the market is, and the most stable market at the moment is London, so its aircraft are distributed among that city’s airports, of which the busiest are Luton and Biggin Hill. Across the Channel, Paris-Le Bourget, Geneva and Nice are next busiest. “We have aircraft permanently based at those airports,” Fragner says.
The six new aircraft will be spread across the network to meet growing demand in the London area and in Zurich, while Munich will also have a permanently based aircraft.
Fragner’s advice is to question every expense. “A simple thing that we questioned was why should a GBP100 landing/handling fee cost GBP110 every time we used the same airport? We found the handling agent was charging a GBP10 administration fee each time, as he had to forward the fees to the airport authority. So we opened an account directly with the airport and now pay monthly rather than per-flight.”
Market development is still a key to continuing growth. “Our industry is really great at marketing itself within the industry, but we have to market ourselves better and address the potential customer base directly,” says Fragner, who tries to spend two days per week talking to new potential customers, and every week he finds one or two that have never heard of business aviation.
“These are millionaires and entrepreneurs, very successful people, and they are the last to learn how they can save more time efficiently. Their perception is that business aviation is just for the top celebrities, that using Gulfstreams and the like costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per flight. We offer them a 50% discount on their first flight, then once you have them at the aircraft they come again.”
Austria-based executive air charter operator GlobeAir (Booth B051) is here announcing a partnership with U.S.-based JetSuite to offer each other’s “last mile” service to those customers who travel back and forth across the Atlantic. GlobeAir and JetSuite specialize in very light jet flights, with Cessna Citation Mustangs and Embraer Phenom 100s, respectively. GlobeAir has been bucking a downward trend in the air charter market, according toCEO Bernhard Fragner.
A new cabin interior, created by an automotive designer and featuring leather seats hand-crafted in Florence, Italy, has been created. It has already been fitted to 12 of GlobeAir’s 14 Mustangs. Downtime for installation is said to be only two days. The work was supervised in house, a lower-cost option when compared to the quotes obtained from refurbishment specialists, Fragner said.
EASA has just approved GlobeAir as a pilot-training provider for the Mustang. Another recent investment has been the addition of a second mobile repair team.
In the first quarter, GlobeAir saw a 17 percent increase in movements, which translated into a reported 10 percent sales growth. Fragner therefore hopes revenues to swell to €23 million in 2016. Last year, revenues stood at €18.6 million. “We have hit the bottom level of pricing,” Fragner added.
In future, Fragner sees a need for a second maintenance base. He also would like to grow the fleet to 20 aircraft, a threshold estimated to minimize deadhead legs. “From our 10th Mustang, we saw economies of scales kicking in,” he pointed out.
story by Sarah Murray
Few fleet managers would see attacks by bald eagles on their vehicles as a threat — that is until news emerged that Dutch company Guard From Above is training birds of prey to intercept hostile drones. However, while the birds will target unauthorized machines used in the execution of crime, legitimate commercial drones are not in their sights.
Aside from their offensive potential, drones offer a growing range of applications in the fields of security and surveillance. Much attention has focused on the possibility of drones delivering packages. But the difficulties of navigating urban areas safely means that, for now at least, there is greater commercial potential for use of drones by industries whose operations are in remote locations.
Monitoring the integrity of large, distant infrastructure such as wind farms and oil and gas installations is one task to which drones are suited. Monitoring gas flaring at oil and gasfields is one such example where drones can replace human surveillance, whether from the ground or aircraft.
“When you’ve got plants and machinery moving around, that’s where it’s ideal,” says James Harrison, co-founder and chief executive of Sky-Futures, which uses drones to inspect oil and gas installations. “They’re flying computers that can capture a lot of details and data that humans can’t, and from angles and places humans can’t get to.”
Moreover, drones do not get tired or bored. “Drones replace the individual where the job is very remote, tedious, time-consuming and prone to human error,” says Roei Ganzarski, president and chief executive of BoldIQ, whose software helps companies manage complex operations.
Drones can also help reduce the risk of fighting fires, particularly in areas prone to outbreaks such as Australia and parts of the western US, by helping crews understand more quickly the direction in which the fires are moving.
“With the smoke, you don’t want to put up a piloted aircraft,” says Mr Ganzarski. “A drone could fly into the fire and give real-time information on where to go to and where not to go to avoid risk.”
Farmers are harnessing drones’ capabilities. By flying over fields, the machines can collect accurate images of the state of planted crops, providing more detail than satellites. This allows farmers to identify areas where crops need more attention to increase yields. Using drones to spread fertiliser or pesticides across large areas of land means any accidents involve a machine rather than putting pilots at risk of injury or death in light aircraft. Across such industries, drone fleets could start to emerge as companies see the potential for the cost savings and increased safety during surveillance and other operations, says Simon Menashy, investment director at MMC Ventures, which has invested £2.5m in Sky-Futures. Many oil and gas operators are interested in deploying drones on their platforms permanently, says Mr Menashy. “And there are 10,000 oil rig platforms in place around the world.” But as the industrial use of drones spreads, a question for operators will be how to navigate the vast amounts of data generated by fleets of flying robots.
In some ways, managing drone fleets will not differ from other fleets. After all, logistics companies have long used software to collect real-time data on trucks and other vehicles to devise fuel-efficient routes and faster deliveries. However, the type and volume of information drones can collect and transmit will demand new forms of data analysis.
“There’s one big difference in the operation of drones versus trucks, vans and taxis, and that’s the threedimensional element,” says Mr Ganzarski. “A drone doesn’t just go down a fixed road — it can fly anywhere and at any altitude.” Rising drone usage may not spell the end of other types of fleets. “You’ll see a lot of companies taking on drones,” says Mr Ganzarski, “not necessarily as the main vehicle, but as a supplement or part of a mixed fleet.”
Meanwhile, data management, emerging regulations covering the operation of drones and the need to take steps to ensure they fly safely will create new challenges for fleet managers.
This is not seen as a barrier to the growth of drone fleets, however. According to the Teal Group, a US-based research and analysis firm, global spending on the production of unmanned aerial vehicles — for both military and commercial use — will reach $93bn in the next 10 years. It is an industry with high-flying potential — in every sense.
The Bellevue company develops software aimed at helping transportation companies handle scheduling in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.
What: Bellevue-based BoldIQ, a developer of optimization and scheduling software for big transportation companies
Who: Roei Ganzarski, president and CEO
Demand for on-demand: BoldIQ helps on-demand services such as private airlines and delivery vehicles so that they can schedule their staff, cars and planes efficiently. As the on-demand economy booms, BoldIQ has been expanding its scheduling software into more industries.
New way of thinking: The company’s technology inputs data from every part of the business, including, for example, every job delivery trucks must complete in a given day, as well as immediate jobs as they get called in. The system also accounts for such industry regulations as employee lunch breaks and hours worked.
Building blocks: While not disclosing how its technology is built, Ganzarski said the company uses factors not common in software development, including physics and thermodynamics. “A (jet company), for example, would use our software to behave much bigger than they are,” Ganzarski said. “Because with the same number of planes and pilots, they can fly more people than their competitors can.”
In the moment: BoldIQ’s software can take data with thousands of factors and within seconds make a schedule that best uses all resources within a second. The company’s technology allows for last-minute changes and alerts, so other arrangements can be made.
Boeing boon: BoldIQ is working with Jepessen, a Boeing company, to license BoldIQ technology so that Boeing commercial airline customers can use the software.
Save money, save time: BoldIQ’s technology aims to help businesses save on everything from fuel costs to overtime spending, Ganzarski said. For example, BoldIQ helped private airline JetSuite manage planes and pilots so it can now fly each of its 200 airplanes more than 100 hours per month.
A plane start: BoldIQ’s roots launched in the early 2000s under the name DayJet, a company that used scheduling technology to operate an on-demand airplane service, mostly for business travelers. That company shut down, but its technology and early employees carried over to BoldIQ.
New industries: BoldIQ, with 14 employees in Bellevue, works with aviation and ground transportation customers. It plans to add health care within the next 18 months. Its software can help with scheduling nurses and operating rooms, Ganzarski said. The profitable startup raised a funding round from investors in 2013, and last month added Paul Maritz, the former CEO of VMware and DayJet investor, to its board.
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Executive AirShare has grown from a small regional Midwestern U.S. charter operator into a fractional-share provider serving the entire U.S. market.
EAS will continue to expand, likely into new regions in the U.S. Plumb, who took on the CEO role two years ago, has since focused on scalability, to enable EAS to grow efficiently. This includes adding new accounting and operations software (BoldIQ’s Astro) and hiring Mike Bianchi, a former airline v-p of operations, to run the maintenance department.
“We’ve been profitable since the financial crisis,” Taylor concluded. “We’ve expanded every year. We continue to refine our recipe for success and make the business more scalable, and we’re in an excellent position.”