• Ryan Haynes

Future of Regional Aviation

Updated: Sep 28

Joined by Roope Kekalainen (CEO) and Jari-Jussi Viinikkala (CFO, the co-founders of Lygg present their vision for the future of regional viation and plane travel.


We discuss the changes that are happening in transport and logistics and why businesses need to be looking at alternative and emerging options to reduce waste. In this episode we explore:


1. The challenges for business travellers

2. Alternative transport options post-pandemic

3. Regional travel

4. And achieving sustainability in aviation


Program Notes


Ryan Haynes:

Welcome back to Travel Market Life. And in today's episode, we are going to be looking at the Future of regional aviation joined by the co-founders of Lygg Roope Kekäläinen, the CEO and Jari Viinikkala, the CFO, where we're gonna be discussing the challenges of business Travellers, Alternative transport options, post pandemic, Regional travel and sustainability in aviation.


Ryan Haynes:

Provides door to door, direct connection, private regional air travel at commercial cost to customers started in Finland in 2020. Look was founded to transform the business flying experience through its app customer save time and enjoy ease of travel while, while fostering a sustainable aviation ecosystem. It's raised 1.8 million euros in funding, including grants and R and D support from the finished government and is on our mission to raise more


Ryan Haynes:

Hi, Roope and Jari. Thank you ever so much for joining me. There's been a huge amount of change in the industry over the last couple of years, and it looks like you've really addressed some of these challenges as we entered the main midst of the pandemic in 2020. I'd love to hear more about sort of how you're perceiving some of the key challenges for business Travellers and particularly businesses from your perspective.


Roope Kekäläinen:

Yeah, thanks Ryan for having us. And I, I think there, there are several challenges, but I think that the main challenge was to get from A to B without hassle that inspired us to, to start Luke and really to ease the Regional travel for businesses and their employees. Now, if we look a little bit backwards, the customer's experience, standby, the quality of regional air travel has been severely dented these past 20 years being the worst just before pandemic with the search of passenger traffic and the hubs of airports being really congested. So I could actually say that the short haul flights that are stable of business travel have begun longer and longer with day trips becoming expeditions.


Roope Kekäläinen:

So we thought that there is definitely a business opportunity to address these pain points and with our new flight embedded door to door service solution, we are really thinking that we are hitting these points.


Ryan Haynes:

I mean, it's almost like you predicted what was gonna happen this year with all the airport chaos that we've had to deal with. The fact that we've had to be at an airport nearly three hours before a regional flight is due to be taken off on top of that. The fact that we've had cancellations of thousands of flight across Europe from a lot of the main hubs, as you say, the main Hub's been massively congested at the same time and Jari, you really noticed that there is great greater accessibility now from smaller regional hubs.


Jari Viinikkala:

Oh, absolutely. I think, I think this is a part of a bigger theme of individuals corporates, particularly by all users, as a matter of fact, looking for alternative options for the co consisted hubs. I think, I think if you pretty much nailed it when you were saying about the traffics and yes, some of those are maybe intermittent to the fact that we are sort of like a coming back from the pandemic, but nevertheless, I think it's inevitable that travel is going to be a key of any corporate going forward. But now I think particularly with a focus on if ever hasn't been the case, but particularly now about saving costs time.


Jari Viinikkala:

And I think in the last few decades, rightfully so reducing the carbon footprint.


Ryan Haynes:

I mean, it's really interesting that, you know, when it comes to transport, there's been a lot more focus on the alternative options outside of the standards airlines that are out there. And there's been a lot more talk about the impact and influence of rail travel, as well as the, the, the role of more eco-friendly options here. And this is something that you've particularly been paying much closer attention to about the role of these more, you know, private, regional air travel. When you look at the value that it actually offers the, the travel industry and, and the options that it provides for TMCs, what, how does that enable a better experience for, for corporations and, and TMCs to be able to provide a better offer?


Jari Viinikkala:

No, absolutely. And I think, I think goes without saying that there are trade solutions which exist, which do require however, quite a bit of infrastructure, not every city, not every will, it's particularly not every corporate can be served by their own, a fast track train. So it is as a good example. What that means is that there is nevertheless quite a bit of a idle existing infrastructure, as Roope was saying earlier. And Ryan, as you aware, the regional airport and airport of airliners services, they've almost been made redundant due to the extra hassle involved and due to the additional carbon footprint, what they come with.


Jari Viinikkala:

And we are sensing that. So we are all about creating direct connections using the infrastructure that is already there. We actually minimizing the carbon footprint of the Travellers at the relatively good price point compared to the alternatives, particularly when we incorporate the time gained by using the direct door to door solutions, what we have with a flight embedded into the service.


Ryan Haynes:

I mean this time gains is really important for businesses, particularly at this moment in time that we're having to adapt to the changes post pandemic, but also the increased costs around inflation and the I pending recession. That's due to hitters worldwide. And so I guess, you know, businesses need to be not just aware of their costs, but more importantly, the investment, the return that they're getting from this, there's been a lot of talk about this work life balance over the last couple of years, we've already seen that a lot of corporates are reducing significantly when and where they travel, how frequently travel, how many days they're traveling for.


Ryan Haynes:

And Jari, obviously you made reference to the fact that currently traveling through chartered scheduled flights certainly adds significant time to that travel. So what we are seeing and what you're suggesting through a private Regional travel is that the accessibility to be able to go from home onto a flight and arrive at your destination is a lot faster. Could you explain a little bit more about that please?


Roope Kekäläinen:

Yeah. So what is is offering is a regional travel travel platform that offers the flight embedded to those solutions. Now we leverage underused more efficient, peripheral, small airports, and offer the direct connections. Now it's all about the transitions. They make the service so fast. So using smaller airports, driving their directly with the taxes, the curb to lift off time, which means the time from your taxi door when the aircraft is airborne is under 15 minutes. So there, the real save saving of the time is done. And actually even more important is that the first time ever companies have a say on what they really need and where they need to go in what schedule, which actually really saves time.


Roope Kekäläinen:

Now, the companies can really move on on the schedule that is, is there looks like their schedule, and it means a lot of time saving because all the meetings are then set as, as they should be.


Jari Viinikkala:

And I think, I think Ryan, if I may add into that, which is, I think extremely important is that actually even given the new tools that has really come to prominence over the last few years, due to the pandemic hybrid, working, remote, working, and all related create innovations that comes with it. Nevertheless, the corporate travel and travel in general is already on a bar almost to levels of the pre pandemic. And interestingly is actually expected to total apart, a 2 trillion globally by 2028, which is an increase of about three times of what it was in the, in the last few years. So it's a booming market regardless of the create innovations and the ways we are presently doing our jobs.


Ryan Haynes:

I mean, you've also approached look as not just a transport company or, or an airline business, but it also underpinning it with, with technology and, and providing a platform. Can you tell me a bit more about how that platform really taps into the A to B scheduling of flights and, and how businesses can, can work with that platform and, and make the most of their travel arrangements?


Roope Kekäläinen:

Yeah, sure. So what we do in the platform is we have two marketplaces. So we have the clients that have the need and we listen to that need. And on the other side, we have the assets. Now we choose the asset. According to the clients demand the voice of our clients, not particularly one individual client, but a group of clients that have the same destination needs. And we combine these two with new technology and give an interface of one app. It's just a single click address and the final destination address and tap book, and everything is booked. You don't have a stress about,


Ryan Haynes:

I mean, there's a lot, this sounds like, you know, it's almost sort the, the child of the, the, the approach that Uber have taken around their travel, really being able to, people to put their a, to B, be able to match them with, with the availability that's there, but then also this whole idea of ride sharing, so to speak. And so that obviously makes it much more cost effective, not just for look, but also for the companies and, and your clients.


Jari Viinikkala:

You're absolutely right, Ryan. It also means that it's a positive impact for the, what we care, which is our globe. And particularly, I think you are absolutely right when you're saying that it is aching to some of those other solutions. Well, obviously, cause you know, we are moving people from A to B, what we have however done is taking the platform evolution from a micro commute or the urban commute to regional and embedded the flights and doing it all with the consideration into our footprint, to the


Roope Kekäläinen:

Ryan, the sweet spot is under 1,500 kilometers. So that is basically the whole central Europe that we can serve already today.


Ryan Haynes:

And as you say, you don't need to be going to the big hubs. You can be going to much smaller hubs, much more locality, particularly for those businesses that are really not based anywhere near some of the major metropolitan places. So it allows that that flexibility and that, that speed of, of journey and, and one of the key factors that you keep alluding to is this environmental and sustainability as well. Can you talk to me more about that and sort of where are we currently in the journey of eco-friendly environmentally friendly air travel and, and, and what's what, what's the vision there for look,


Roope Kekäläinen:

Yeah, that's a good question, Ryan. The, the road is long, but we are on a good way. So today already the marketplace, the platform model enables us to optimize the aircraft usage as the other user said, and the flight itineraries and consequently reduce carbon footprint by using the or existing INFR and direct connections. So smaller infer needs and, and, and less time flying because the direct connections now in five years, we will have a better understanding of the total costs and capabilities of the surrounding emission free technologies. And this will allow us to make the adoption, to have a strategy and roadmap to quickly and effectively meet the targets targeted emission free goals that we we have


Ryan Haynes:

At the moment. There is, there is no current electricity run air air fleet, but this is likely to be coming up over the next decade or so. And is, is due to start with smaller aircraft. I believe first is, is, is that right?


Roope Kekäläinen:

Yes, exactly. So the smaller Aircrafts cannot be utilized with, with airlines today because of the seed low seed capacity. It has, but in our model, we operate with eight Cedar aircraft, which is just a sweet spot. So we want to be the first one in the world to really adapt the new technologies into commercial travel, Regional travel.


Ryan Haynes:

I mean, how have you been able to get the support and backing in such a short period of time? You've, you've already raised funding. You are currently on that mission to, to, to build that awareness and erase further funding. It sounds like there's a good appetite for exploring this mode of transport.


Roope Kekäläinen:

Yeah, I think I can start on yellow. You can, you, you can go ahead, but you know, we are really changing the industry. We are making our efforts to change the world a small piece, but still we are changing things. And that is something that has really resonated to the investors of our company.


Jari Viinikkala:

There's also the user experience. So I was a heavy traveler myself in my past traveling the long haul, the inter continent, but also doing, you know, the intra day trips quite a bit to extent that it was almost too much traveling, but I never experienced what it actually is when we do really use the smaller airports and business terminals. And when the curb to lift of time is minutes, which normally is the time that are depart, arriving to the passport security, et checkouts, et cetera. And you have another hour at the lounge before you actually are onboarding the plane, which is then going to be on a time to get the right to take off.


Jari Viinikkala:

By that time you're already halfway to your destination with our service. So there's, there's huge. It's kind of like it's a personally easily understandable also from the user experience perspective, it's kind of makes our service intriguing, but also quite easy to explain that that's what travel should actually be all about what we are trying to do.


Ryan Haynes:

And I say, what else you were established in 2020, you've already gone through a number of tests. You've already been starting working with a few client contracts and you've, you've got a pipeline ahead of you. I understand.


Roope Kekäläinen:

Yeah, exactly. And, and this situation, as you said, in, in the start of this, this podcast, we definitely didn't see the market changing so rapidly to a position that we are now that is really supporting our mission in the market.


Ryan Haynes:

That's absolutely fantastic. Well, Roope, Jari, thank you ever so much. And if, if everybody wants more information on Luke, you can visit the website, which is Lygg.com. And I guess they can get in contact with you there, or they can reach out to you on LinkedIn.


Roope Kekäläinen

Sure


Jari Viinikkala

Absolutely. Fantastic. Ryan, thank you for having us.


Ryan Haynes:

Thank you indeed for joining me both. Thank you. Well, that was Roope Kekäläinen and Jari Viinikkala from look that provide door to door, direct connection, private regional air travel at commercial costs for in, for information, please check out the description and for more podcasts, please go to Travel Market dot life, to check out the recent episodes where we've been looking at new solutions in the travel industry. Thanks for listening. I'm your host Ryan Haynes chow for now

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