JetSmarter app: The Uber of the skies for private jets

JetSmarter app: The Uber of the skies for private jets
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Published October 11th, 2015 - 10:25 GMT via

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The app was launched in 2013 and has been growing up to 20 percent each month.  (JetSmarter)
The app was launched in 2013 and has been growing up to 20 percent each month. (JetSmarter)
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Call it the Uber of the skies. With a proposition that allows wealthy clients to pick up seats on private jets through its app, JetSmarter is flying high. Literally … and otherwise.

The app-maker recently completed its Series B round of financing totalling $20 million, bringing on board influential investors from Saudi Arabia, including Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar Bin Abdull Aziz Al Saud. (Its first funding programme was in the summer of 2014 after its launch in March 2013.) “We have a similar business model to Uber in that users can book a jet through the app in a matter of minutes, and then fly within 6 hours,” said Sergey Petrossov, founder. “JetSmarter offers instant pricing and availability for private jets across the globe, allowing users to book a flight themselves without the hassle of dealing with a “middleman”, which is often the case with other private jet booking systems.”

Currently, North America provides the bulk of the revenues, though Petrossov insists the rest of the geographies are doing their part too. It helps when the usage numbers are up 15-20 per cent a month, according to the company. As of now, there have been more than 300,000 downloads of the app. Its partner alliance currently extends to 800 private jet carriers and their 3,000 odd aircraft.

Middle East consumers love JetSmarter’s offerings abroad, which is why we are now bringing it to their hometowns,” said Petrossov. “Our revenue comes from jet charters, seat sales on JetShuttle flights and memberships.”

On whether an app provider itself isn’t a sort of ‘middleman’, Petrossov said: “We offer 4,000 free flights each month to our members who have access to these flights daily. A traveller who decides to book directly through a jet operator would not have access to the benefits or reduced prices.

“With our JetDeal offerings, we are providing free flights for members as well as discounted and relatively affordable flights for non-members.”

There is also a membership programme, and that by itself opens up possibilities to wholesale charter pricing and concierge service.

The current slightly straitened economic circumstances in the region could also shape up in the marketplace operator’s favour. Even the wealthy could seriously give a thought to booking a seat or more on a private than charter than charter an entire jet for themselves.

According to Petrossov, the business is running a profit. “Since our launch in March 2013, JetSmarter has grown 15-20 per cent each month. “We expect that growth to continue exponentially.

“We’ve established significant and strategic alliances, and providing accessibility and convenience of “flying private” to more than just the 1 per cent.”

And what next in terms of making that geographic outreach? “Our current scope includes China, Japan Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand as well as Australia and New Zealand,” Petrossov said. “As business grows, we look forward to introducing new features as well as offer more routes in popular areas across the globe.”

Someone booking a seat on a private jet using the JetSmarter app can put the buckle on:

  • JetCharter: They can customise their trip based on destination and aircraft and allows them to charter from anywhere around the globe.
  • JetDeals: These are one-way flights offered exclusively through JetSmarter and are free for members and offered at discounted rates for all app users.
  • JetShuttles: Allows travellers to book a single seat on an already scheduled flight and available in select markets throughout the US. There are plans to expand to more cities ousted of the US.

By Manoj Nair

© Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2016. All rights reserved.

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