Algorithm-Based Airline Targets Short-Haul Markets With Tecnam P2012s


Capua, Italy-based Tecnam has announced a partnership with Flyvbird, a global company that describes itself as a “shared airline for …currently underserved markets.” Tecnam describes Flyvbird’s “Flyvirtual” airline brand as “focused on decentralized regional markets that have the potential to significantly impact the future of sustainable air travel, where the greatest customer value is in flying closer, faster and better in rural areas.”

The plan is for the airline to use an as-yet unspecified number of Tecnam’s twin-piston-engine P2012 Traveller and P2012 STOL (short takeoff and landing) aircraft flying on-demand to and from small regional airports on flight schedules dictated by “an innovative algorithmic approach to provide an alternative to traditional modes of transport.” According to the partners, the nine-passenger, twin-engine P2012 offers “versatile capabilities, competitive acquisition costs and low and ‘flat’ operating costs, [making it] the perfect aircraft to launch this novel approach to on-demand services.”

According to the announcement from Tecnam and Flyvbird, “In lieu of a traditional hub-and-spoke network, the scheduling platform uses a proprietary algorithm to optimize the daily flight schedule based on paid bookings and operational constraints. Flyv will provide customers a guaranteed fixed travel timeframe to their destination at the point of booking, and exact itinerary details prior to departure.”

Francesco Sferra, Tecnam’s P2012 test pilot and special mission platform sales and business development manager, said: “Tecnam has a proud history of developing innovative aircraft and we are delighted to be working with Flyvbird to offer their customers a new and compelling air travel experience. The P2012 Traveller and P2012 STOL are the perfect fit for Flyvbird’s success and network growth.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. This sounds like the DayJet business model: on-demand air travel enabled by very clever logistics and route planning software. DayJet was going to use Eclipse 500 aircraft. (Wikipedia has a useful history of DayJet, which I won’t link to so as not to arouse the link moderation robots here at AvWeb.)

    • That’s a good connection to make. The decentralized transport model CAN work, and DOES in a lot of industries. The issue will be demand and costs. NetJets (same model) works because the members are always paying the fixed costs. The model doesn’t work for essential air service flights though (P2012’s bread and butter), because you have to FLY THE LEGS to get the money. Is Flyvbird just lower market NetJets? P2012 definitely is definitely lower cost: single pilot ops, lower speed pistons, etc. Twins are cheaper than jets, but singles are cheaper still. How does this compare to the to SR22 air taxi service?