293 – Start-up airline Fly Airly aims to disrupt how you fly from Sydney to Melbourne

293 – Start-up airline Fly Airly aims to disrupt how you fly from Sydney to Melbourne

Imagine starting an airline. Well, today’s guest and his two mates just did with Fly Airly. And you can fly as often as you want for one (pretty reasonable) flat rate.

Luke Hampshire is the co founder of Fly Airly – a very different kind of airline.

“How different?” Well, put it this way, Fly Airly flies only between three of Australia’s main cities – Melbourne, Sydney & Canberra – and it’s a membership-based pricing model in which they charge a flat monthly fee which allows you to fly as often as you like.

Cool, huh? Brave, definitely!

In this very candid interview, Luke shares:

  • Where the idea for Fly Airly came from?
  • How you actually get an airline idea off the ground 😉
  • The success they had from one simple press interview
  • How they came up with the pricing model
  • The costs associated with starting an airline
  • Plus plenty more.

Plus in today’s episode of your favourite marketing podcast, I give some support to the Marketing Manager over at Brumby’s, share some feedback from the guitarist of heavy metal band Lord, and read some feedback from a long time listener who’s had some great success with some very simple videos.

Yep, you guessed it … another blindingly great epsidoe of the best marketing podcast going around.




00:29  Welcome & overview
02:52  A quick whinge in support of Brumby’s marketing manager
05:26  Some listener feedback
09:02  Today’s guest introduction – Luke Hampshire of Fly Airly
09:57  Interview with Luke Hampshire – Part 1
23:26  Insights in to Key Person Of Influence & Netregistry
25:23  Interview with Luke Hampshire – Part 2
41:11  My top 3 marketing learnings fro my chat with Luke Hampshire
44:39  Motivational marketing quote of the week
45:00 Update from long time listener James Axisa
47:48  Wrap-up and insights in to next week’s guests



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Fly Airly’s official website

Fly Airly on Twitter

James Axisa of Bay Beans

Lord’s official website




    1. I love the monthly Membership pricing model – what can you charge a monthly recurring fee for?
    2. Ask how you can disrupt your industry? Branson’s entire strategy is based around challenging the status quo. An effective exercise is to list all the conventions of your industry then flip them 180 degrees. Who knows what crazy ideas may show themselves.
    3. The warning bells sounded when Luke suggested he was a bit of a creative at heart and would be tackling a lot of the marketing himself. I get that cash flow is everything, and marketing can cost (although not as much as we all think, right?!), but I also know just how important getting some key marketing touch points is when launching a business – particularly one that’s such a high involvement purchase.





If someone offers you an amazing opportunity
but you’re not sure you can do it;
say yes, then learn how to do it later.

Sir Richard Branson




What was your biggest marketing learning or ah-ha moment from this episode?

Leave your comment below.

My guest and I respond to each and every comment.

8 thoughts on “293 – Start-up airline Fly Airly aims to disrupt how you fly from Sydney to Melbourne”

  1. First off, you need to embrace Facebook. BEST marketing tool for small business on the planet. I can’t believe you have turned you back on it. Second, Love the interview. I’m a sucker for a good small business start-up story.. but I think we all know that. I think he has messed up his pricing by going too cheap. He needs to really focus on the exclusive club thing. Like the Black Amex card (that’s the uber exclusive one right?).

    Agree with you on the print media decision. His data is outdated and wrong. His audience IS on social media. He just needs to find out how to engage them. VIP events, and flights with more PR would be huge, but promote it on LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook.

    Also, he needs to go after the dobermans. Give them a perk or two! Then he would really have access to the CEO. Just a thought. I think he need marketing help. A CMO might be a great idea. You should tell him about an organization called Key Person of Influence too. He might find some good connections AND he might just become a key person of influence in his space…not sure what to call it…the fly in semi-private planes whenever you want crowd??

    Love the business idea though. Need to look up the US version.

  2. Great feedback, Nick. All except re Facebook! No, I get how effective it is as a marketing tool for small business and I’ve not turned my back on that. I am just employing someone else to do it. You make some good points for Luke to consider – I’ll definitely intro him to KPI. The American version of what he’s up to is http://www.surfair.com/

  3. Amar Jassal

    Great concept and I can really see this thing flying (Dad joke Timbo). My mind is buzzing with ideas around customer attraction, making this a “closed exclusive club” and getting the corporate dollar. What Luke has here is a actually a very exclusive networking club – only this is in the sky. This could and should become a must have membership and eventually a very hard club to get into with a long wait list.

    I can’t help but think the big wins are in small corporate teams and this is where this concept will make a big impact. There are so many senior teams of 4-5 very high frequency travelers on the Sydney to Melbourne route (Banks, Big 4, Law firms, ASX listed companies). I would love to see Luke open the idea to a “executive team”, the cost will be a lot higher than you are currently charging (8x at least) but it would allow 4-5 named people to travel under that membership. That market will generate a decent cash flow that will be there for ever and a day. These travellers don’t care about points (they can’t spend them), they care about getting to meetings in the quickest and most efficient manner possible and don’t want to deal with delayed / cancelled flights or traffic queues outside the terminal at 6am.

  4. Luke Hampshire

    Hi Amar,

    Thanks for your comments.

    We have had strong interest from the corporates. Our corporate offering is once you’ve taken out a single membership you can add additional team members, clients or others for an additional $1000 / ‘face’ / mo. This enables the membership to be passed around allowing one listed team member to catch an Airly flight and save time and experience our premium level of service.

    Our initial membership campaign is about to close as we have nearly reached our launch target. Members so far are CEO’s, MD’s and creatives who add serious network power. We cannot wait to see what effect our members have on one another as far as networking, business and relationships are concerned.

  5. Luke Hampshire

    Hi Nick,

    Thanks for your input.

    We have been actively marketing on Facebook since launch, we are comparing metrics with other forms of SEM/SMM to see what is the most viable. Let’s face it, Facebook ads has serious flexibility and functionality to pin point our member’s demographic. So I apologise if I gave the impression of abandoning Facebook, just more exploring several strategies.

    We’re forming a very exclusive and club that already has CEO’s of notable companies on our membership base. So we look forward to creating a new culture, lifestyle and revolutionary way to travel.

  6. James Mackson

    It is a great concept to make an airline with this aim and design! Also, when will Airly begin operating flights for its members, or has it already?

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