Our Tasks

  1. To form a portrait of small aircraft pilots.
  2. To determine the main motives for the use of small aircraft for the purpose of movement in Ukraine and abroad.
  3. To describe the organizational aspects of small aircraft flights.
  4. Define the expectations of pilots and passengers from the platform, which will meet the needs for the organization of small aircraft flights.
  5. Formulate recommendations for the development of the platform's functionality.

Research design

The object of the research:
  1. Pilots of small aircraft.
  2. Potential clientele of small aircraft flights.
  3. Employees of impression services.

The purpose is to characterize the needs of various stakeholders in ways to solve organizational aspects of small aircraft flights.

Research method — in-depth and expert interviews


There is a complex system of factors of pilots' attitude to the possibility of organizing irregular flights of small aircraft that could compete with commercial aviation. There are both external circumstances that technically limit the possibilities of organizing such flights, and internal ones that depend on the specifics of the experience of interaction between pilots and aircraft passengers.

Portrait of a small aircraft pilot

Small aircraft pilots can be divided into several types depending on two criteria: the ratio of flights to the pilot's main activity (whether his flights are an organic part of professional activity or one of the leisure activities) and the pilot's experience (number of hours and regularity of flights).
In the course of the study, a portrait of small aircraft pilots was compiled, which determines the parameter of the ratio of flights and the main professional activity. 2 categories were identified:
a) pilots whose main professional activity is related to flights. They have extensive flight experience and the ability to constantly maintain good flight form. Their main expectation from flight-sharing flights is to get new impressions, including from flying to previously unknown airfields. They are focused on performing flights in different formats, to a greater extent — charter flights and impression flights, to a lesser extent - flights in the format of fellow travelers. Pilots of this category are potentially passive consumers of the platform and are not always ready to participate in supporting the work of the platform by entering information about their own upcoming flights. The most convenient forms of communication are through messengers and personal calls from platform agents.
b) pilots who take up flying as a hobby. They have little flight experience and few opportunities to maintain flying form. This category of pilots is motivated by flying in the flight-sharing format by the opportunity to increase their experience and reduce the associated costs of aircraft maintenance. The problem of combining the main activity with flights leads to the fact that for such a category of pilots, the most suitable format of flight sharing is “fellow travelers” and flight impressions, to a lesser extent — charter flights. Amateur pilots are potentially active consumers of the platform and are ready to both send information about their flights and monitor user requests for flights. The most preferred form of communication is through messengers and e-mail.
The main pricing factors are:
  1. Flight format.
  2. The level of costs for the operation of the aircraft.
  3. Type of aircraft.
  4. Pilot experience.
The most common form of pricing is payment per flight hour, which, depending on various parameters, ranges from $ 200 to $ 500
The most problematic aspects of flight-sharing that can become barriers to the organization of regular flights of small aircraft were identified:
  1. Finding the flight-sharing format in the ”gray zone" of legislation.
  2. The lack of a convenient way to organize flights in this format. The need to overcome the communication barrier between the pilot and the passenger.
  3. The need to overcome the communication barrier between the pilot and the passenger.
  4. An excessive number of "bureaucratic" operations that pilots face during the flight.
As for the motives for using small aircraft for travel, there are no fundamental differences between different segments: these are usually individual combinations of rational and emotional reasons of interest, which are actualized to varying degrees in each individual case. During the study , the following motives were identified:
  • An unusual experience, new sensations
  • Prestige and exclusivity
  • Gift, holiday
  • Speed and urgency
  • Safety
  • Flexible schedule
  • Flexible directions
  • Traveling to "non-walking" destinations
In the case of fears and barriers, they are poorly represented. The audience has little idea of such trips: most of the respondents had almost never thought about flying on small aircraft before the interview, because they could not even form a stereotypical perception of them; most often there was a transposition of fears and concerns related to related spheres (taxi, BlaBlaCar, large aviation, etc.) to small aviation.

Organizational aspects of flights

The main organizational moment is the docking of the pilot flying back from the charter with fellow passengers: charters usually include a price in both directions, even though the pilot is flying back without passengers. That is, customers ordering a charter pay for both sides, but fly to one. If you put other passengers on board on the way back, this will reduce the price of the charter, thereby increasing demand and marginality.
A separate problem is traveling with children: on the one hand, it restricts the possible means of transportation (some representatives of Central Asia refuse to take them on planes, others on buses / cars); on the other hand, the prospect of flying in small aircraft is a separate impression for a child, which may attract parents; on the third hand, many pilots do not want to see “capricious children" on board.” Therefore, for the prospect of flights with children through the OSA, it is better to set a general age limit (for example, a ban on flights for children under 8, 10 or 12 years old) or to do it through the personal preferences of individual pilots (for example, there are those who do not mind flying with children, others flatly refuse; this should be taken into account in the pilot profile).
As for the services accompanying the flights, the availability of water and hygiene products (packages) is considered mandatory; souvenirs, photos are desirable.

Functionality of the platform

In general, in the view of the audience, the functionality of such a platform should be an analogue of the taxi search application or BlaBlaCar. That is, it simultaneously includes features:
  • leave a request for a flight (by direction and date). The probability that a person will use the platform's service depends on the processing speed of such an application. The approximate ”ceiling" of waiting is a day, but this is an extreme option.
    search by existing offers.
  • The main filters of such a search are:
    Key: directions, dates, available seats
    Secondary: departure point (all offers from the city where the client is located), hot offers (free places for spontaneous travel), favorite pilot
Optimal registration is via a Google account or social networks, acceptable registration is via email and phone. Also, among the wishes for registration, the binding to Monobank, Privat24 and DIA was indicated.
Communication with pilots and passengers - via e-mail or messengers, if necessary — a direct call from the manager. Communication on the platform itself will be unreliable. Many informants — both pilots and passengers - warned against constant alerts and reminders, so the information flow should be focused on public pages, but not personal messages.
The possibility of non-cash payment is necessary, the possibility of deferred payment is desirable:
The need for careful moderation of the platform, control over flights — their success, timeliness, has been repeatedly expressed, since CA has a number of examples of ”rolled down" services that have departed from the original idea (for example, BlaBlaCar).

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