The world’s first subscription airline business takes off in Europe

All-you-can-fly subscription-based airline start-up Surf Air enters Europe with a partnership with Zuora, a subscription commerce platform.

All-you-can-fly subscription-based airline start-up Surf Air has been taking to the skies since its launch in 2013. Now the start-up has partnered with subscription commerce firm Zuora to break into Europe.

Surf Air shook up air travel like Uber did to taxi service, streamlining the booking process through private terminals, where users can arrive just 15 minutes before their flight. In the US, Surf Air doubled flights, locations and monthly revenues year-over-year, and now has over 3,000 subscribers. The company credits its rapid growth to its subscription platform, powered by Zuora, which helped Surf Air offer unlimited flights to frequent travellers for a fixed monthly fee.

Surf Air uses the subscription management platform to respond immediately to travel trends and changes in demand. It also allows the company to rapidly experiment with pricing, tailor offers based on member insights, ease the complexity of electronic payments, and automate high volumes of transactions.

According to Surf Air Europe CEO, Simon Talling-Smith, the company’s expansion into the European market is a result of three successful years in the US built on its “member-first” strategy. “Zuora is essential to the success of our subscriber-centric model as the agility we gain from their subscription management solution is critical to scaling our international operation effectively,” he said.

Surf Air launched with one route and three aircrafts. Now the company has expanded to a fleet of twelve aircrafts flying to twelve destinations, with more soon to come. In Europe, Surf Air will fly to London, Zurich, Luxembourg, Ibiza and Cannes to start.

“The airline industry has been ripe for disruption for decades, with customers demanding greater autonomy and control over their experiences,” said Zuora CEO, Tien Tzuo. “There are 180 million worldwide frequent flyers, and as customer preferences shift, every one of them is up for grabs. By embracing the ‘subscription economy’, Surf Air is well positioned to continue its rapid global growth as it expands around the world.”

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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