An app, run by JetSmarter, a Fort Lauderdale, Miami-based company, has recently launched in Europe and been nicknamed the “Uber for private jets”.
The JetShuttle service will allow people to travel between Geneva, Paris and London by booking up empty seats on luxury routes, all at the speedy tap on a smartphone.
The app, which was launched back in 2013 in America, aims to launch additional routes to the French city of Nice this month and has plans to spread to Moscow in Russia at some point this year as well.
How does it work?
The app enables people to book onto flights on a pay-as-you-go basis, as well as offering unlimited travel on an annual membership of $9,000.
Using the app as a mobile marketplace for air travel, a customer can book onto a six-seater chartered jet flying from London to Paris the day before it’s due to fly for $749, or for $999 for a seat on a flight to Geneva from the UK.
Sergey Petrossov, JetSmarter’s founder and Chief Executive hopes to maximise the convenience of private air transport across Europe and “and broaden consumers’ access to it”. He said: “With the convenience and affordability of these weekly scheduled flights between each popular destination, the hassle of flying commercial is now a thing of the past.”
As well as booking spare seats on scheduled flights, customers can also book an entire flight using unused private planes held within the network of JetSmarter, but this is a lot more expensive than the alternative option of just booking a spare seat.
Recent years have seen a number of companies using technology to monetise their unused assets and JetSmarter is just one part of this growing industry. Mr Petrossov explained the theory behind JetSmarter’s decision to adopt this technology, stating: “When we launched, the $40bn private jet industry was feeding a small group of about 150,000 customers, so there was a very high amount of excess capacity as jets flew empty between locations to pick up passengers”.
Mr Petrossov explained how opening up the private jet industry so it was available to more than just the extremely wealthy is a lot more efficient and “could widen the market from tens of thousands to 2.5 to 3 million people in the US.” He claimed that the $40 billion market “could get 5 times bigger if optimally run”.
The aerospace industry is under increasing pressure to speed up travel and the companies within the industry are making huge efforts to do so, with companies such as Boom and Airbus working on technology and designs that would enable cross-Atlantic travel to be completed in minutes as opposed to hours.
There is obviously demand for services such as those offered by JetSmarter, with Mr Petrossov stating that, in the UK alone, over 15,000 people have downloaded their app and that across the world, the number of paying customers is increasing at a huge rate, nearly double every 3 months. The company has managed to receive funding from numerous sources, including everyone from Jay-Z to the Saudi royal family, so it is perhaps no surprise to learn that the company expects the service to be operating in 150 cities within a 2 year period.