Three grounded Aer Lingus pilots have raised more than €500,000 for their start-up during Covid-19 lockdown.
The pilots, who have more than 40 years of flying experience between them, used their downtime during lockdown to launch a crowdfunding campaign for their start-up Frequency.
How often do you hear of a Pilot starting their own business? In truth, if you had one of the most glamourous jobs in the world, why would you want to switch it for all the stresses that come with starting, funding and managing your own business?
Unless, of course, you had an idea that could revolutionise aviation communications and result in savings of hundreds of millions of Euros for airlines throughout the world.
Three Aer Lingus pilots – Justin Perry, Darach O’Comhrai and Kris Vansteenkiste – have come up with one such idea and have just raised €350,000 on the Spark Crowdfunding platform to help bring this early stage business to the next stage.
On 1st June, Frequency launched their equity crowdfunding campaign with a target of €350,000 in return for 21% equity in the business. Over the course of the next 30 days this campaign was promoted to the Spark Crowdfunding database of investors using webinars and other social media channels.
The campaign closed on 3rd July and achieved over €370,000 in investment from Irish investors. You would be hard-pressed to think of a more uncertain time in the history of the aviation industry, which makes the idea of success of this fundraising campaign all the more remarkable.
Frequency has optimised our contact management system to allow flight teams to communicate openly and share real time information with the required parties which allows them to work together as a team to resolve any issues that arise ultimately resulting in dispatching the aircraft sooner. The key to this is being able to contact the required party and reducing the overall number of communications necessary by up to 60%.
Technical issues with aircraft are not uncommon and generally due to the level of redundancy on an aircraft aren’t critical. Regardless a technical issue on an aircraft needs to either be fixed or an alternative procedure put in place and any knock on effects understood.
A diversion is one of the most dynamic semi regular situations pilots deal with. An aircraft may divert for a number of reasons, sick passenger, technical issue, unable to land at destination airport, etc ...
Even though aeroplanes are still largely grounded, that suits Justin Perry, of Frequency, which is also raising funds. He and his co-founders, all pilots, developed an aviation communications product designed to replace the eight forms of communications used in cockpits. Some, such as VHF radio, are 100-year-old technologies, while other communication is of poor quality. “It’s crazy. It’s why passengers behind us on their mobile phones can often find out about the reasons for delays before we do,” said Perry.
Delays cost airlines over €22bn annually. Airlines use an overly complicated web of 8 - legacy, predominately analog - communication channels on a daily basis. Frequency is building the first, aviation operations specific, communication and collaboration platform. Optimised for delay and disruption management.
Frequency proudly announces to be selected by Enterprise Ireland and Amazon to take part in their AWS Activate Program. Their support and $ 100 000 for AWS services will insure the scalability of our technology into the future.
From 474 applications in around 50 countries, 36 start-ups presented their innovative products and services before 250 senior aviation and travel industry executives and a high-level judging panel, including four airline CEOs, at a pitch day in Madrid.
Propellor Shannon helping two companies to market with €2m backing from industry. Air travel start-ups supported by a €2 million programme whose backers include safety regulator the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) are close to commercialisation.
Time pressure is the red line throughout the daily operations of a cockpit crew’s tasks and the correct communication tool at the correct moment can contribute a lot to the safe, on-time performance of every flight.
Frequency is a smart device communication system that will replace and augment existing communication tools currently in use in the airline industry by using VoIP technology and the latest collaboration software to extract the benefits and discard the limitations of existing communication methods.