Co-founder of Wingly Bertrand Joab-Cornu: "At ISAE-SUPAERO, I already had the idea of a flight-sharing platform"

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• A graduate of the ISAE-SUPAERO Ingénieur programme, Bertrand Joab-Cornu founded Wingly a year before he graduated in 2015.
• This start-up, which is bringing aviation into the collaborative economy, has rapidly become the European leader in flight sharing.
• 2024 is a big year for Wingly, which is announcing a €3.5m capital increase via a fund-raising operation and opening up its capital to the public.

You co-founded the start-up Wingly while you were still a student at ISAE-SUPAERO. Could you tell us about this entrepreneurial adventure?

I studied engineering at ISAE-SUPAERO, graduating in 2016. Passionate about aeronautics and entrepreneurship, I took a double-degree with École Polytechnique in Innovation Technology and Entrepreneurship. At the time, the collaborative economy was exploding with start-ups like BlaBlaCar and Airbnb. On the benches of ISAE-SUPAERO, I already had the idea of a flight-sharing platform based on the same principle. At X I met my future partner, Emeric de Waziers, who also had the idea on his side, and we launched Wingly in 2015. There was a niche to be filled and it worked really, really well!

Cofondateurs Wingly
Emeric de Waziers (l.) and Bertrand Joab-Cornu (r.), co-founders of Wingly, in front of a Velis Electro electric aircraft. ©Wingly

Wingly is almost 10 years old and this year marks an important stage in its development. Could you tell us more about it?

We have been able to weather the crises of recent years and the company is doing well. There are currently 25,000 private pilots registered on the platform, with more than 120,000 passengers in flight. We have also just passed the €40 million mark in sales volume. This year, we opened up to low-carbon aviation through partnerships with seven flying clubs that own an electric aircraft. We also closed a €3.5m fund-raising round with the aim of achieving profitability by 2025 and embarking on new projects. We also opened up our capital through a crowdfunding campaign via the Crowdcube platform, to get our community involved.

Wingly, a flight-sharing platform

Europe’s leading flight-sharing platform, Wingly offers shared-cost flights between a private pilot and one or more passengers. 450,000 members are registered on this digital platform. The Paris-based company employs 20 people and offers its services in several European countries, including Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Austria and France.

What is the medium-term outlook for Wingly?

The use of the platform is currently focused on leisure flights: 90% of our passengers take local trips and the remaining 10% take day trips. But Wingly has a real role to play in regional mobility, where there is no alternative to the car, especially as companies developing low-carbon aviation are positioning themselves in this niche. We also hope to launch in other countries, notably the United States, if regulations change.

What advice would you give to ISAE-SUPAERO students who would like to become entrepreneurs during their studies as you did?

The first piece of advice I would give is to trust yourself and your idea! And then go out and test it, without wasting too much time working out the perfect business plan or a finished prototype.

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