Wingly is an online flight-sharing platform connecting private pilots and passengers. Unable to operate regularly due to COVID-19, co-founder Bertrand Joab Cornu decided to create a new platform in collaboration with Aviation Without Borders France to connect private aviation companies with medical staff around the country.
Wingly usually offers flight tours with local pilots to tourists traveling around Europe, thanks to an online platform that allows parties to either offer or book a flight. As countries began restricting travel, however, social distancing measures were put in place that forbid flight-sharing services and significantly impacted Wingly’s normal business.
During this time, the company sought out new opportunities and projects to develop. Eventually, the company was contacted by Aviation Without Borders France, which had just initiated a new mission to improve the medical staff mobility across the country.
The NGO wanted to create an online platform to connect private pilots with medical staff who needed to travel in order to combat the rise of COVID-19 cases. In order to make this happen, they needed partners with experience in supporting similar tech platforms. With this in mind, Wingly was the ideal partner.
“When Wingly was asked to build the platform to connect medical personnel with the world of business aviation, we didn’t hesitate for a moment. Having the opportunity to bring our knowledge of both aviation and the digital, collaborative economy to this project in a time of crisis was an obvious choice for us.” says Bertrand Joab Cornu.
The initiative allowed Wingly to utilize the knowledge and experience from their customer-facing product and apply it to creating a new platform. Just 7 days after being contacted by Aviation Without Borders, the company was able to provide a platform for connecting pilots with medical staff in need or urgent transportation.
“We mobilised our web development team immediately to create the platform in less than 1 week, including weekends. From today it will be used in the fight against COVID-19.” says Bertrand Joab Cornu.
Once the platform went online, the response from the aviation world was immediate and overwhelming. Over 70 planes were deployed from regional businesses and private owners. Overall, over 550 pilots volunteered through the platform to transport medical staff and appliances around the country.
This effort enabled important resources and staff to be efficiently present where needed, with as little contact as possible on the way.
Now that the spread of COVID-19 has slowed down, Aviation Without Borders France has paused the transport of medical staff. The operation continues, however, as French flight attendants with helpful medical training are now volunteering to help medical staff in the field. Additionally, the initial French platform inspired similar initiatives in Spain, allowing for a bigger impact in tackling the crisis throughout Europe.
“Seeing this project come to life in Spain, thanks to Aviation Without Borders Spain, was a great moment for us too. We are proud to be able to help the fight against the coronavirus across Europe thanks to our knowledge in aeronautics, digital and collaborative economy. The crisis has slowed down but the fight is not over. Thanks to amazing operations led by Aviation Without Borders France, the aeronautical world still has a lot to offer in order to fight the crisis.” says Bertrand Joab Cornu.
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