July 25, 2017

Wingly: Testing the Airbnb of aviation

Birdsong is an unusual accompaniment at a UK airport, but then Elstree Aerodrome is an unusual place to be a passenger on a domestic flight. Read more I don’t recall ever having heard the chirrups of sparrows at Heathrow, Britain’s gateway to the world. But 15 miles north-north-east from Europe’s busiest airport, Elstree aerodrome is a rural backwater whose tranquility is infrequently interrupted by the urgent rasp of a single-engine aircraft lining up to take off.

The location, midway between Watford and Borehamwood, and barely half-a-mile from the M1, sounds less than idyllic. But as transport terminals for Greater London go, it is the best I have experienced.

You will look in vain for Elstree in the planet’s aviation schedules, because it is strictly a venue for General Aviation — private flying, in propellor planes, rather than those noisy jets. You and I would normally not get a look in to this world of reasonably well-heeled individuals. But thanks to a match-making website called Wingly , a world of new opportunities opens up.

Here’s the idea. Private pilots with light aircraft ranging from two to six seats are zipping across the UK — […]

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