I have had a fantastic parallel aviation career as a pilot with British Airways and tech entrepreneur with one of the worlds very first commercial drone businesses called Sky-Futures that I co-founded in 2009.
Over a 10 year period, we built both a services and software business from the ground up leading to a successful exit for services business to Private Equity in May 2019. The software business now called Inspection2 span out as its own entity at the time of the Sky-Futures acquisition and continues to be the leading industrial asset management cloud-based software powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.
In the past year, I have thoroughly enjoyed the start of a portfolio career as non-executive Director for Inspection2. It is a particularly exciting time as this software platform is now providing positive software disruption for big industrial household names across many industries for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Last year I also hung up my flying gloves (temporarily I hope!) for British Airways after a fantastic career as a commercial pilot flying both Boeing 747 and Airbus A320 aircraft.The last 5 years as a Captain flying A320 at London Gatwick were undoubtedly the most satisfying of my flying career where I learned a lot about myself and leadership. I miss the brilliant BA colleagues (ground and air) who in my opinion have become the only reason that customers return to British Airways.
To all my British Airways colleagues out there, I wish you all well in the current turbulent times.
I count myself fortunate to have generated perspective at the controls of big commercial jets with British Airways and at the vanguard of aviation technology through entrepreneurship.
As a now exited entrepreneur, it has been tremendously instructive to what comes next as I yearn for further challenge and innovation in aviation.
Drone technology was really the first pebble in the pond that has kicked off a much-needed disruption cycle in the aviation industry that has seen no material change in a generation.
So when a long-time friend, fellow entrepreneur and drone industry colleague Jonathan Evans asked me to be a co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of his on-demand aviation business enabled by AI and machine learning software called KinectAir, I leapt at the chance.
It is a perfect harmonisation of all I have learned during my careers in both manned and unmanned aviation.
The new destination with KinectAir — Why?
Air travel needs re-imagining and KinectAir aims to be the catalyst for the necessary disruption and change due in this industry. As highlighted by the most recent shock to the system in the form of the corona virus pandemic, the commercial aviation model is well and truly broken.
The environment is hurting and people no longer feel they have any control over their journey thanks to a hub and spoke system that serves the airlines not their customers. Airlines treat passengers poorly, serve options that don’t ask for and fail to adapt to what they actually need to. In a post-Covid world what is already clear is that the commercial aviation model needs redefining!
That’s why we started KinectAir. To MOVE people to where they NEED to be.
KinectAir — How?
We are on a mission to revolutionise aviation and empower people to connect with each other, places, and communities by air. To do that we have created a software-defined global air mobility company. We build software and operate our own flexible, on-demand networks of right-sized aircraft flown by world-class pilots so that we can fly our customers where they need to be when they want to be there.
Today around 70% of all flights globally are under 1,000 miles. Our goal is to make booking and catching a KinectAir flight as easy as ordering a pizza.
KinectAir Anywhere — Connecting on-demand
Our flexible on-demand network helps our customers avoid busy commercial hub airports, with their endless crowds and lines, to finally deliver a service that meets customer needs in a dynamic and intelligent fashion.
The customer just needs to use their smartphone to tell us where and when they need to go and KinectAir Anywhere will dispatch a safe, economical and highly versatile Cirrus SR22T, Pilatus PC12 or King Air 360 aircraft to reach any airfield within 1,000 miles.
When the regulations allow we will lead the charge with hybrid and electric vehicles too and have established a partnership with VoltAero for entry into service of their outstanding Cassio II aircraft. Over all the hybrid technology out there Cassio II is by far the most advanced through the certification process of any hybrid technology globally.
KinectAir Together — Connecting Regions
Together we will support regional communities to connect and thrive. We plan to service regular volumes of inter-regional air travel as we scale this product in the USA and UK initially. We will build a flexible schedule to meet the demand for communities and business in regions poorly connected by road and rail.
KinectAir Together will use efficient turboprop aircraft with up to 30 seats. These inter-regional routes will also flex with demand and offer exclusive charter for seasonal events through the dynamic KinectAir App.
Put simply, we know there is twice as much demand closer to the business, places and communities that people want in their lives and we intend to fulfil it.
How much does it cost and where can I go?
In the 6 months since I have been involved, this is the top FAQ! Led by our CTO office under the fantastic leadership of Ben Howard, KinectAir has cut its first code in the form of the Discovery App.
Please create a route using the link above and tell us where you need to be!
Finally, feel free to reach out directly by email if you have any questions, feedback or interest in KinectAir. I’d love to hear from you.
Blue Skies! email@example.com