Can you summarize, in a few lines, the genesis of this project? Where did you get this fascination with balloons, airships, and other flying objects?
Jérôme / I loved flying in a hot air balloon. I wanted to share my passion for the air with as many people as possible, without it costing them dearly.
Matthieu / We loved so much flying, that we had already set up our balloon club during our studies at École Polytechnique. So, at the exit of the Bridges and Roads, in 1993, we created the company: Aerophile was born!
What is Aerophile’s goal?
Which values do you want to put forward?
Jérôme / We have a lot of fun installing our systems over sites that deserve to be discovered from the top and made accessible to all for a reasonable price. Our aerial vehicles really make it possible to discover the beauty of a site from the sky. In general, our customers always feel a little apprehensive before going up and are overcome by a feeling of beauty at the sight from above and then come down with a smile because they overcame a little fear in exchange for great joy while sharing this adventure with others.
Matthieu / The balloon is more than ever in the air. It is silent and non-polluting. It’s a unique way to discover your environment while respecting it. The balloon allows us to go further by equipping it with sensors that measure different pollutants of the air, to better understand and raise public awareness of this public health issue.
How do you envision Aerophile’s future?
Matthieu / We had the chance to install balloons in more than 40 countries, but there are still a lot of places to equip. The balloon is a way to sublimate the discovery of a site, and to make it more attractive. With our experience, we aim to equip new major tourist sites and discover new territories because we are convinced that it is in the interest of the sites and their visitors.
Jérôme / We are always looking to improve this experience of discovery from the sky in all its forms, with other types of vehicles for example. In 2008 we invented the Aerophare and then the Aerobar, our “aerial bar”, which was installed at the Futuroscope in 2013 and has since been installed at nearly fifteen sites around the world. We also created the Little Prince Park in 2014, an amusement park inspired by the works of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and located in Alsace.
We also work a lot on the theme of air quality. Since 2013 the Paris Generali balloon has been measuring air pollution in the capital, in collaboration with AirParif, the Paris City Hall, Generali and the CNRS. This research work has led us to launch our latest innovation in 2021: the Para-PM, an innovative air purifier, adapted to open or semi-open spaces. The Aerophiltre, the variation of this innovation as a depolluting urban furniture, has been selected by SOLIDEO (Société de Livraison des Ouvrages Olympiques) to equip the Place des Athlètes in 2024 in Saint Denis.