Ready to take to the skies? In the Tarn, they launch the “Blablacar” of the plane

Ready to take to the skies? In the Tarn, they launch the “Blablacar” of the plane
Ready to take to the skies? In the Tarn, they launch the “Blablacar” of the plane

the essential
In partnership with the startup Wingly, the Tarn flying clubs offer aerial rides to the most daring. The result is shared costs and thrills for everyone

“Wing check: check”, “fuel level: it’s ok”, “canopy closed: we’re ready”. That morning, Jean Vallaeys was preparing to leave the takeoff runway of the Graulhet flying club. On board, the pilot is not alone. Two people are also present for a tourist flight over the Tarn. On the program: a long aerial stroll that crisscrosses the Cathar castles. An unusual excursion, offered by Wingly, the “air Blablacar”.

After carpooling, there is plane sharing. For several months, the Tarn aerodromes have embarked on this new adventure, in partnership with the Wingly platform. The startup offers the public the opportunity to discover the region’s landscapes from the air, by boarding a private plane. An exclusive novelty, which democratizes the practice of aviation.

Modeled on the carpooling model, Wingly connects private pilots, from island flying clubs, and passengers looking for thrills to travel between sky and earth. “Wingly’s activity is a bit like carpooling, but with planes. The pilots come to fly for their pleasure, and the passengers discover another concept of tourism,” explains Jean Vallaeys, pilot at the airport. Graulhet club.

A beneficial activity for all passengers

As a reminder, this trip does not consist of transporting passengers from point A to point B. It is an “air walk” which allows participants to discover the practice of aviation. Clearly, the activity is a compromise between the pilot and the passenger.

By connecting the two parties, the flight costs will be divided equally, so that everyone benefits. “As a pilot, we like to fly for pleasure but it is very expensive. You have to pay for gasoline, depreciation… We cannot bear everything,” admits Jean Vallaeys. Even if the pilot makes no profit, he has the advantage of being able to fly twice as cheaply and therefore twice as much. As for the passenger, they can take off for a unique getaway.

Regarding prices, they vary depending on flight time and distance traveled. Jean Vallaeys insists on one point: “The pilot remains in control of the flight and if he considers that it is not a good day to fly, he has the right to cancel the trip”. This is a specific point imposed by Wingly, the captain has full responsibility. The passenger cannot therefore choose their flight path, nor the precise date.

It is up to the captain to direct the plane and the air trajectories
DDM – Ana Granger

For the moment, the flying club has only offered 2 or 3 flights, while the activity is set up. “It’s like on Blablacar. You connect to the Wingly platform then you search for the flights that interest you.”

For example, the Graulhet club offers flights to specific points (Cordes, Ambialet, Carcassonne, the Millau bridge, etc.). But pilot Jean Vallaeys offers a completely different opportunity: passengers can build their own route by flying over the Tarn region.

The Graulhet club hesitated for a long time before embarking on the activity. “At the moment there are only 4 pilots offering this kind of getaway,” confirms Jean Vallaeys. This is due to the strict standards required by Wingly when it comes to piloting.

“To offer this activity, our flight experience must be very substantial.” Pilots wishing to start Wingly must be thoroughly checked: several flights are required of candidates beforehand to test their levels. The Graulhet aerodrome brings together around a hundred volunteers, with nearly 80 seasoned or amateur pilots.

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