CJIQ124 Tech Map: surveying digital business aviation


CJIQ mapped the fast-changing face of digital business aviation.

Business aviation is digitising fast. There are now more than 150 soft-ware based solutions on offer to the industry and Corporate Jet Investor Quarterly (CJIQ) has mapped them all in one place.

After surveying the industry CJIQ compiled a comprehensive list of every software-based solution available to business aviation. We also asked technology firms what they think are the main drivers behind the digitisation of the industry.

In a bid to uncover what drives digital progress, we asked is it entrepreneurs seeing a gap in the market? Or is it the end user demanding a software-based experience? Also, why does business aviation, despite offering more than 150 software solutions, lag behind even its big sister commercial airlines? From aircraft sales to safety and compliance and from scheduling and fleet management to the charter marketplace, we captured what digital services are available for 21st century business aviation.

Back when financial software provider MySky was founded, the initial push for digitisation came from the owners of aircraft, according to Christopher Marich, global strategy director, MySky. “You can order a car in two seconds from your phone, you can bank, you can broker, sell shares, you can do whatever. But when it came to their private aircraft, owners said this is a big grey zone with no tools to check or understand it,” he tells CJIQ.

Seven years on and that end user has diversified. Marich estimates around 95% of MySky’s customers are operators, corporate flights departments and chief pilots – it has gone from the B2C to B2B. “These guys are the same. If they can order their lunch on Deliveroo in two clicks and it takes 25 emails to order catering for the next flight for a customer, the gap is definitely here I think.”

Alek Vernitsky, CEO, Portside tells CJIQ he thinks demand is mostly internal to the industry. “It is owners and operators wanting digital solutions because they increase efficiency, transparency and enable operators to offer new innovative services. I don’t think this [digitisation] is a case of ‘outside in’ when entrepreneurs come up with a solution that later gets adopted.

“In our case, for example, owners came to me, describing the problem and offering to finance the solution,” he says. Portside is a cloud-based management suite, which stitches together its data from over 70 different aviation systems, for owners and operators of any aircraft.

“Operators know they need it and are actively looking for vendors who can deliver. The owners who came to me were in their 60s and owned large cabin jets. They wanted details about the operations that they couldn’t easily get from the operator (because the operator didn’t have the right software). That’s where our journey started,” says Vernitsky.

Age is just a number when it comes to adoption of tech in business aviation, according to Paul Malicki, CEO, Flapper. He told CJI the company regularly has users aged 70 and over booking through its app. “Definitely there is a strong demand on the user’s end – they want everything to be mobile and on-demand. They also want to control their aircraft expenses and have access to real-time reports,” said Malicki.

CJIQ also canvassed the views of Norm Happ, CEO, Veryon, a leading provider of aviation information services and soft-ware solutions. “The rapid digitalisation of business aviation is revolutionising the industry,” writes Happ. “This shift aligns with the broader trend of digitalisation observed in various sectors sending a clear message: to remain competitive, operators must fully embrace digital advancements. Efficiency and transparency are driving this change.”

Read the full story – including our Tech Map of more than 150 companies – here. Meanwhile, read the digital version of CJIQ here. And,  why not sign up for the free print version of the magazine?  Also, if you have an idea you would like to see covered in the next edition of CJIQ, please let us know.