The Wall Street Journal Market Watch - British air carrier Odyssey wants to take off using crowdfunding

1 May 2014

Crowdfunding has bought us the “Veronica Mars” movie, the Pebble smartwatch and a slew of video games.

Now the blue skies are the next frontier to conquer as a London-based airline aims to become the only carrier to offer non-stop, business-class only transatlantic flights from London City Airport, located near the Canary Wharf financial center.

Odyssey Airlines is looking to raise £5 million ($8.44 million) via crowdfunding efforts to get flights off the ground to New York City in 2016. It’s already raised nearly £2.2 million using ThinCats, a U.K. peer-to-peer business lending site.

Now Odyssey is on Crowdcube, having raised another £259,000, and it has about 40 more days to reach its initial goal of £1 million on that platform.

To avoid having to stop and refuel in Ireland, Odyssey has ordered 10 BombardierCA:BBDB +0.24% CSeries airplanes, which Odyssey founder Adam Scott told business daily City A.M. are designed specifically for London City Airport and “difficult” airports in mind. London City Airport’s single runway runs just 4,900 feet which larger airplanes can’t use for takeoff.

While Odyssey courts the public for funds, Scott already has in his corner some executives from Silverjet, a U.K. business-class only carrier that ceased operating in 2008, as well as his own experience as a former banker at Goldman Sachs.