Have you ever heard of traveling by private jet for cheaper than flying by commercial?
Well, in reality, it’s a very common occurrence in the world of air travel, and it’s about to become even more common.
Disruptive technologies have been infiltrating various industries in recent years, with the biggest disruptors being Uber and AirBnB. Uber and its similarly structured competitors, like Lyft and Sidecar, have disrupted the taxicab industry by providing individuals with a mode of cheaper, more reliable transportation. And, it’s all done using an app. No phone calls need be made. No more waiting around for the next available cab driver. Just click “request Uber” on the app, and within minutes, your ride arrives.
With the success of Uber and its $17 billion valuation last year, it’s safe to say that this disruption has completely changed the game.
Sounds Crazy, Right?
Now, we are experiencing the same sort of disruption with private jet chartering apps. The same way that Uber disrupted the ground transportation, these private jet chartering apps are disrupting the air travel market by making traveling by private jet easy and affordable.
Traditionally, chartering a private jet was seen as an extravagance and something reserved for the ultra rich and powerful. That’s not the case anymore. More and more businesses, families, and individuals are opting to charter a private plane for their next lift off, and it’s easy to see why. Private aviation allows for the flyer to choose their departure time, fly closer to their final destination, and skip the dreaded security procedure that has plagued air travelers with the “arrive 3 hours early” tradition.
If that’s not enough to get you interested, private jet apps are about to make the deal even sweeter.
Just like Uber and AirBnB, private aviation apps like Victor allow flyers to reserve private jets for their next flying experience. By using complex algorithms, these companies have found a way to provide cheap private air travel to users that prefer to skip the airport lines and the mediocre airplane food.
In addition to taking over the skies, these private aviation apps are also potential threats to ground transportation. With over 5,000 airports to land in, compared to 500 for commercial flights, chartering a private jet makes it easier to touch down closer to your final destination, whether it’s a big city or a smaller one.
How They Work
Like Uber and Lyft, the different private aviation apps all have their similarities and differences. Victor’s model works on transparency. Traditionally, when you charter a private jet, you have to go through a broker, who more than likely gives you very little information about the jet type, the commission fees, or the aircraft operator. Victor aims to be as transparent as possible with its customers and feels that building a rapport will create loyalty and trust with private jet travelers. But, not all of the private aviation apps work the same way.
JetMe, which is also an app, gives flyers a reverse-auction style of private jet booking. With this approach, a tentative quote is delivered to the user after they’ve entered their travel destination and their travel dates. The user then submits a bid on the flight, and using their complex algorithms, JetMe determines the actual chance of the user’s bid being accepted.
In contrast to both of these models, companies like Beacon and Surfair operate on a flat-fee membership plan. Users pay a set monthly fee to be able to travel as many times as they’d like for certain destinations. For the frequent flyer that commutes between two cities often, this may be the ultimate deal.
One more player in the affordable private aviation business is BlackJet, which offers seats on private flights that are below capacity. Flyers that wish to fly private but don’t mind sharing their ride with strangers will enjoy the discounted prices that Blackjet offers. The drawback is, however, that flyers will need to select from predetermined travel destinations and travel dates. In other words, you can’t choose your own flight destination and flight dates, but you can go with what is available for a much cheaper ticket.
While the market is becoming slowly saturated with these similar, yet different private aviation apps, there may never be a clear winner between them as there is with Uber and Lyft (Uber has clearly won that battle). However, just like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, there is plenty of room for competition in the ever growing market of private aviation. What is abundantly clear is that affordable air travel by private jet is upon us.