laytonl

Garmin acquisition of Fltplan.com

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What’s the opinion on this acquisition?  I really like Fltplan.com for filing flight plans and hate to see Garmin mess it up.  Any thoughts?  Lee

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Garmin seems really good at extracting maximum dollars from the marketplace.  The Fltplan.com has been a free app and has all the maps and procedures available for free.  The owners figured out how to make money by selling to Garmin.  I am sure Garmin invested in the purchase to get rid of one of their biggest competitors to GP.  I would be shocked if we don't start to see user fees or some other way to recover the investment.  Likely will eventually get rolled into the Garmin product or obsoleted and disappear as a free option.

Remember the Apollo acquisition (is GNS480)?  Purchased a big competitor and eventually obsoleted the product.  Now they dominate the GPS market.

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What’s the opinion on this acquisition?  I really like Fltplan.com for filing flight plans and hate to see Garmin mess it up.  Any thoughts?  Lee


I posted about this yesterday. I use FltPln Go as my free backup to Garmin Pilot. I hope they don’t make it fee based.


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3 minutes ago, Warren said:

Garmin seems really good at extracting maximum dollars from the marketplace.  The Fltplan.com has been a free app and has all the maps and procedures available for free.  The owners figured out how to make money by selling to Garmin.  I am sure Garmin invested in the purchase to get rid of one of their biggest competitors to GP.  I would be shocked if we don't start to see user fees or some other way to recover the investment.  Likely will eventually get rolled into the Garmin product or obsoleted and disappear as a free option.

Remember the Apollo acquisition (is GNS480)?  Purchased a big competitor and eventually obsoleted the product.  Now they dominate the GPS market.

I think they had a significant revenue model for larger users like charter operations, etc., that included dispatch and maintenance, etc.    CBs like us only ever saw the free part.

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Appears to me to be a strategy to access more corporate flight departments.  Garmin is slowly growing the aviation business to go after turbine aircraft.  My bet is that they're going to integrate some of the capabilities of FltPlan.com into Garmin Pilot and to increase the attractiveness of Garmin products to corporate flight departments.

24 minutes ago, Warren said:

 Remember the Apollo acquisition (is GNS480)?  Purchased a big competitor and eventually obsoleted the product.  Now they dominate the GPS market.

Garmin supported the GNS480 for a long time, although the GNS480 is certainly being abandoned before the GNS530w/430w.  Based on my limited experience with the 530w compared to the 480 in my J, the 480 is the better navigator.  That said I'm not comfortable with the 530 yet so I'm definitely still biased.  That said- we have to give Garmin credit - they did release new firmware that permits using the 480 as a WAAS source for ADSB.

My bet is that Garmin keeps much of the FltPlan.com platform in its current form free.  I would also bet that Garmin releases a series user interface improvements to a very antiquated existing platform with a fee associated with the new UI.  Perhaps it will include some sort of interface with Garmin Pilot for dispatch communications for corporate flight departments.

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Huh. Found this in my Inbox just now. Very timely release, maybe a few hours late.

***************************

August 29, 2018

Dear loyal FltPlan user:

Nineteen years ago, FltPlan was created to provide pilots with an accurate, reliable and integrated flight planning and filing service on the web. From there, FltPlan.com grew into the largest flight planning company in North America, creating 6.3 million flight plans annually. To our loyal customers that have supported us for nearly two decades, I am extremely grateful.

Today begins a new chapter for us, as I am pleased to announce that FltPlan has been acquired by Garmin International, a leading provider of avionics and flight deck technologies. Together with Garmin, we’re excited for the opportunity to merge the exceptional talents and strengths from each company to provide superior pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight solutions to the aviation industry.

Looking to the future, this acquisition will integrate FltPlan’s industry-leading web portal, FltPlan.com, and mobile application, FltPlan Go, into the Garmin ecosystem to create a superior portfolio of end-to-end services. Premium flight planning services and programs, such as FltLogic, FltPlan Manager, APIS/eAPIS, SMS, pre-departure clearances, international handling, overflight fees and more, will continue to grow and improve as we work together to expand the capabilities of FltPlan.com and FltPlan Go.  

Garmin is committed to ensuring FltPlan continues to be the industry-leading choice for domestic and international electronic flight plan filing and services. Collectively, we are dedicated to increasing the quality of innovation, support and service that you have come to expect from our companies over the years.  

Again, thank you for putting your trust in FltPlan over the years. We look forward to continuing to serve you as part of the Garmin family for many years to come.

Sincerely,


Ken Wilson
Founder
FltPlan.com (Flight Plan LLC)


************************

Time will tell if this happens, or if Garmin folds it all into their subscription service or shuts it down . . . .

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I posted about this yesterday. I use FltPln Go as my free backup to Garmin Pilot. I hope they don’t make it fee based.

If they do, just don’t update it.

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I got the same email and was disappointed as I use Fltpln as a backup to ForeFlight. Great day for the owner, but bad for the rest of us.


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I have used fltplan for years, mostly on a PC for advanced trip planning. And I pay for Garmin Pilot  on phone and IPad for real time interface with GTN, GLD88. 

I'm not going to squeal until I get pinched. 

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5 hours ago, exM20K said:

I’m just glad Garmin didn’t buy ForeFlight.  

ForeFlight's movement into the corporate GA market is probably a large reason.

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5 hours ago, exM20K said:

I’m just glad Garmin didn’t buy ForeFlight.  

I think it’s rare for #1 and #2 in any market to partner up.

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Would have thought a bigger target would have been Seattle Avionics. 

So far, word is that it will remain a free service.  The add revenue must be pretty good though.  That could all change in the future....

-------------

"Garmin has acquired Connecticut-based flight-planning, scheduling and trip-support services company Fltplan.com, a company many pilots rely on for a decidedly self-serving reason: Aviation charts and many features in the FltPlan Go app and Fltplan.com website are free while other app developers charge subscription fees. Garmin says that won't change."

https://www.flyingmag.com/garmin-buys-fltplancom

-----------

Brian

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Although Fltplan was first to market with many free web based flight planning first and even had some best of bread capabilities like performance modeling for a time, despite that I firmly believe Fltplan.com was pricing their services at what they were worth or what the market would bear - free. Their revenue came from multiple value added services and advertising revenue. I'd bet most of their GA free users where using it purely because of the price and were willing to put up with the adds and poor user interfaces because of the cost. But for a fee they would have flocked to other free venues or the big 3 most are willing to pay for (FF, GP, &WingX). 

Who knows what the future will bring, but IMO it could only improve and I wish them luck. I really do expect under Garmin it will improve a lot with more integration of web services with ipad apps  and expect the user base to grow as well. But only time will tell. 

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31 minutes ago, kortopates said:

Who knows what the future will bring, but IMO it could only improve and I wish them luck. I really do expect under Garmin it will improve a lot with more integration of web services with ipad apps  and expect the user base to grow as well. But only time will tell. 

I have an Adivyne IFD540.   I suspect they're not going to be adding support for that any time soon.

This is probably a way to differentiate themselves with software integration.   I hope Avidyne has similar thoughts going forward.

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1 hour ago, kortopates said:

But for a fee they would have flocked to other free venues or the big 3 most are willing to pay for (FF, GP, &WingX).

Why does everyone keep forgetting about FlyQ????  My personal opinion, it's on par with FF and GP, if not better.  It's certainly cheaper from a cost perspective...  :)

Brian

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