With specialised software that works to save fuel and cut CO2 emissions, StorkJet analyses airlines’ flight data and works to deliver solid fuel efficiency programmes. CEO and co-founder, Renata Niedziela, offers her insights.
LARA: What inspired you to start StorkJet, and what is its main focus?
Renata Niedziela: In 2014 we started transforming StorkJet from a university project into a real business. For several years, we have been recording several dozen percent increases in revenues, team size, and the number of customers. Our goal is to provide a convenient, reliable and precise tool for flight optimisation, the reduction of CO2 emissions, and fuel consumption for pilots, fuel managers, and executives.
Regarding our development and focus areas, all strategic decisions are based on customers’ feedback, which mean that our solutions continuously meet the latest market expectations and are always up to date. Right now, we are focused mainly on electronic flight bag (EFB) apps, as it’s the fastest growing and hottest topic in fuel optimisation.
LARA: You offer three main solutions that help make aviation sustainable for airlines – can you go into more detail about them?
Renata Niedziela: Today we have three complementary products – AdvancedAPM, FuelPro, and FlyGuide. AdvancedAPM is used to precisely determine the performance of each individual tail, which results in the optimisation of fuel taken on board. What makes our solution unique is the daily update of the aircraft performance for the flight planning systems.
The second product is FuelPro, which optimises 44 fuel initiatives. Thanks to our software, our customers generate multi-million-dollars savings every year. For example – one of our customers Volaris’s overall savings for 2021 was US$6.7 million, which corresponds to a reduction of CO2 emission by 31,000 tonnes.
The third and newest product is FlyGuide, an EFB app that allows for accurate pre-flight fuel briefing based on historical data. It also gives the pilot post-flight information, along with tips on what actions the pilot can take in the future to fly more optimally and economically. The interface is user-friendly and engaging, as our goal is to build a positive impression around our app. The products are independent but can be used together for maximum fleet efficiency.
LARA: Back in May you won the European Startup Prize for mobility. How has this helped StorkJet’s growth and ambition as a company?
Renata Niedziela: Winning the competition has an impact on our ambitions but does not have a large impact on our growth. I think we can say that it is the opposite – we have received the award because of the growth and our hard work.
It was such a rewarding feeling [to win]. We built our work from scratch, created effective software, and acquired customers. Now prominent airlines are happy to talk to us, and our software is even more advanced than the solutions of our older competitors. This made us realise that although our company is relatively young, we are essential in the industry. Winning among 600 companies is a kind of social proof.
LARA: What would you see as the major challenge to overcome as airlines place sustainability at the top of their agendas?
Renata Niedziela: The biggest challenge for us is finding more areas for savings, while maintaining maximum safety. Even when we look to the future, to hydrogen, electric, or 100% SAF-powered aircraft, we know that it will still be vital to commute as efficiently as possible, and we want to help airlines achieve this goal.
Another challenge is transforming from a small start-up company into something bigger. We are currently a scale-up, which in practice means that we are converting from a micro-enterprise into a slightly larger, more structured organisation.
However, since the beginning, the company’s mission has been to optimise flight performance. We use the advantages of a corporate organisation combined with agile scrum project management, and take the best of these two environments to achieve the company’s goals as effectively as possible.
LARA: Your FuelPro product has been used by ultra-low-fare carrier JetSmart Airlines. How do you see this – and your other offers – benefitting airlines, especially those in the low-fare market?
Renata Niedziela: Each aircraft and every airline is different. Consequently, some of the initiatives where airline A generates the most savings will not be as effective for airline B.
Of course, there are some universal common points when it comes to optimisation, but it is vitally important to analyse each airline in an individual way. Whether it’s the national carrier or low-fare, our solution is tailored for all types of airlines.
Another argument supporting our solution is the new ICAO and EASA regulations, which will exclude airlines that cannot precisely measure the performance of their fleet from the possibility of using specific variants of fuel planning which will result in fuel penalties.