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Flapper wins innovation pitch at NBAA
The Pitch@NBAA session took place during this year's NBAA-BACE and was organised by, the innovation arm of Corporate Jet Investors. The winner was Flapper.
CFC AirCar founder Stephen Cook; MRO Insider co-founder Andy Nixon; JetBlue Technology Ventures associate Jim Lockheed; NBAA SVP strategy and innovation Mike Nichols; DiamondStream Partners MD Brian Flynn; Flapper CEO Paul Malicki; Metro Hop founder Bruno Mombrinie; and YounderWest Aero founder Neil Capano.

Brazil-based on demand platform Flapper has secured victory at this year’s Pitch@NBAA competition over five selected technology companies, the others being two SaaS providers and two OEMs of passenger drones. The session was chaired by editor-in-chief Alasdair Whyte and the jury was composed of representatives from Jet Blue Technology Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Jet Blue; the NBAA; as well as aviation-focused VC fund Diamond Stream. The judges highlighted Flapper's level of innovation and its compelling business model, already proven in the United States with Blade and SurfAir, among others.

Flapper currently offers pay-per-seat flights in the southeast of Brazil as well as on-demand charters with real-time prices. It has more than 212 certified charter aircraft on its platform and reports more than 130 thousand users registered in its system. It has also announced plans to introduce a membership plan and crowdsourced flights as early as in Q1 2020. The conquest may open the door to new investments and media exposure, but for CEO Paul Malicki, the main reward is the validation of his business model, supported by the industry’s leading organisation.

“Brazil and Mexico are the world’s number two and three business aviation markets, respectively,” he says. “With the help of technology and efficient distribution we can effectively integrate them with the global business aviation landscape. Receiving such positive feedback on the most important event of our sector is definitely very motivating.”

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