With private jet services, the question remains whether there's a market big enough to match the startups' ambitions.
The number of private jet booking sites and mobile apps has rapidly expanded during the past year and coincides with a renewed focus on luxury travel across all the sectors.
We’ve seen the on-demand economy insert itself into hospitality and public transportation, and it’s now sunk its teeth into the lucrative private jet market. (Actually, this is the second round of attempts to create the Ubers of the air.) Running the gamut of services with or without membership fees and those better suited for shopping around rather than booking immediately, these five startups represent the conversations happening in the space of private air travel.
>>Victor is a booking platform for private jets and discloses transaction fees, operator and aircraft details and has no hidden costs, surcharges or membership fees. Travelers have access to more than 7,000 aircraft reaching 40,000 airports worldwide and Victor provides instant price estimates by aircraft type and category.
SkiftTake: It’s interesting Victor provides empty leg deals and prominently features them on the site since most people using the service probably don’t need a deal. Nonetheless, it aligns with the company’s vision of transparency and financial protection.
>>JetSmarter is a mobile app offering instant pricing and availability for private jets worldwide and has gained access to more than 3,000 aircraft. The company recently received funding to help with distributing new technologies to air carriers to better streamline the booking process, launch new private jet sharing services and open customer support offices in Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia.
SkiftTake: The traveler who’s actually taking the flight probably isn’t booking themselves, instead having an assistant handle booking details in advance rather than on-demand. But if that last-minute invite for a summer weekend in the Hamptons comes up, JetSmarter would come in handy.
>>Jet-Wise is a search, booking and payment platform for jet brokers, online travel agencies and private jet operators.
SkiftTake: Knowing the exact cost of travel is still important for the luxury or business travelers using these kinds of services and Jet-Wise’s request quotes feature keeps that central.
>>JetInsight offers real-time inventory of thousands of private jets and there are no annual contracts or initial membership fees to use the site.
SkiftTake: This is one of the best examples of true on-demand jet travel with no strings attached and instant flight bookings. Some travelers may be hesitant to forgo a broker, though, which is what JetInsight does.
>>Take Air is a site offering unlimited private flights in Europe for a fixed monthly fee.
SkiftTake: This is a taste of what on-demand really is in an aviation environment–booking a jet and then literally being able to bypass security and check-in queues to walk onto the flight immediately before it departs. No unnecessary waiting- the rest of us revel in the possibility of this getting mainstreamed some day.
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