Vela Technologies Plc (AIM:VELA) AirPortr launches new service with American Airlines

The Board of Vela (AIM: VELA), the investing company focused on early-stage and pre-IPO disruptive technology investments, notes the recent press coverage regarding Portr Limited, trading as Airportr (“AirPortr”), the London based travel technology start-up, which has partnered with American Airlines to allow check-in of luggage for its flights from London. This follows the partnership previously announced with British Airways.

Vela has an interest in 125,619 shares in AirPortr, equivalent to 3.7 per cent. of AirPortr’s issued share capital.

Commenting on the news, Antony Laiker, Executive Director of the Company, said:

“American Airlines is following British Airways in endorsing the Airportr service enabling passengers to check-in away from the airport and benefit from a stress free experience through to the carousel at their destination. Customer feedback has been very positive with a high level of repeat use by satisfied customers. Following the recent investment by Stobart in Airportr, we look forward to seeing how Airportr’s urban ground handling activities develop further.”

Excerpts from AirPortr’s press release are copied below:

“Passengers can now check in their luggage from any London address for up to 300 American Airlines and British Airways flights per day.

· AirPortr’s mobile luggage check-in and delivery services now available on all American Airlines flights to the US departing London Heathrow.

· Service, described as “the best travel money ever spent”, available on select American Airlines flights.

· Partnership to accelerate growth for London start-up AirPortr, having delivered over 50,000 bags in 12 months since launch.

· New service development allows instant excess luggage payments by the customer through the AirPortr driver app on doorstep.

AirPortr, the London-based city luggage check-in and delivery service is now available to customers flying from London Heathrow to the United States on American Airlines, the world’s largest airline.

The new partnership invites customers flying on any of American Airlines’ 20 daily flights from London Heathrow to the U.S. to have their luggage securely checked-in from any London address, removing the stresses of transporting their bags across the Capital and checking-in at the airport.

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Described by customers as “a life saver” and “the best travel money ever spent” AirPortr allows travellers to get to the airport more easily by public transport, reduces airport check-in times and creates a simpler, stress-free travel experience.

AirPortr CEO Randel Darby said:

“Partnering with the world’s largest airline, American Airlines, means we can serve more customers and takes us one step further in establishing mobile luggage check-in as a new standard in the air travel experience.

“American Airlines opens our service up to more passengers travelling from London to the United States and helps us better serve customers booking with American’s transatlantic joint business partner British Airways.”

Simpler journeys for more quality time

American Airlines passengers flying into Heathrow can also have their luggage delivered to and from their central London hotels, allowing them to enjoy more luggage-free time to enjoy the city regardless of their check-out or flight times.

Thanks to an upgrade to the digital experience, customers can now instantly approve any excess luggage charges for overweight baggage via the AirPortr service on their doorstep.

Randel Darby added: “With more than 50,000 bags safely and securely delivered, AirPortr has been truly embraced by Londoners. From families juggling oversized luggage and leisure travellers flying with sports equipment, to young professionals not wanting to be that person with luggage during rush-hour, we’ve struck a chord with people wanting to take the hassle out of getting their bags to and through the airport.”

Delivering expansion

Having launched with British Airways in October 2016, and recently attracting £2 million investment from The Stobart Group, AirPortr is the first mobile luggage check-in service in the world to be integrated into airline booking systems.

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Also available to all British Airways customers flying from Heathrow and Gatwick, AirPortr is now available for 300 outbound flights per day with luggage check-in and deliveries starting at £30 per item for the first item and £10 thereafter.

AirPortr’s services were developed in consultation with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Transport Security Administration in the US to ensure all processes meet aviation security regulations to give travellers peace of mind at every step of the journey.

Using AirPortr

American Airlines customers can book a one-hour collection slot through via or with AirPortr’s UK call centre up to seven hours in advance of their flight from London Heathrow to the United States*.

An AirPortr driver will collect and weigh passenger’s bags at the chosen time and scan and check passports and boarding passes. Luggage is then sealed in coded, tamper-proof cases.

Luggage is then screened according to CAA security standards and delivered to the airline for further screening and customers are sent IATA bag receipts around 90 minutes before take-off.

Passengers then collect their bags from the baggage reclaim at their destination airport.

For more information about AirPortr visit

*The Bag Check-In service is only available on outbound flights from London Heathrow to the U.S. This service is not currently available for pick-up in the USA.”

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