U.K.-based on-demand charter broker Victor will bring a “floating balance” prepaid program to the U.S. by early next year.
Fast growing on-demand charter broker Victor said it will launch a program with a prepaid option for U.S. customers in early 2018. The U.K. company is not going to offer guaranteed availability or hourly rates so it will be more in line with what used to be described as block charter. Clive Jackson, Victor’s founder and CEO tells Private Jet Card Comparisons a similar program offered in Europe has been highly successful.
In fact, Jackson does not categorize Victor’s program as a traditional jet card, although the term is widely used to describe a wide variety prepaid and membership programs. “In terms of jet cards, no. In terms of floating balance, we plan to bring that into the U.S. in the first quarter of next year,” says Jackson.
He also said there will be no fixed minimum deposits. “We don’t need $200,000. We think that limits choice. If you have Macy’s card with $200,000, you’re going to be inclined to shop at Macy’s even if it isn’t always in your best interest,” he says. The Victor offer will come with “a set of loyalty benefits,” Jackson says.
Victor enables customers to filter results from over 100 operators by favorite operators and even aircraft types. The company also has lifestyle partnerships with the likes of Burgess Yachts, Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts and Oxford Private Travel.
What’s the price of entry to Victor’s new program? Jackson says it depends on your flying and might range from $20,000 to six figures. “If you are flying a lot transatlantic, you’re going to want to have more in your account. That would be our suggestion,” he adds. He says a key benefit of the program will be not having to arrange payments on a per trip basis, an advantage of most jet cards
“For our top tier of fliers in Europe, the program was designed for those who fly frequently and gives them maximum choice and availability 24/7 (and) takes the friction of payment out,” he says.
The new Victor program won’t have guaranteed hourly rates. “Pricing is a manifestation of what’s in the market, so our job is to provide the customer with the options,” he says. Instead of fixed hourly rate, you will get market-based or what is sometimes referred to as dynamic pricing. Jackson says there will be no membership fees.
The broker was in the news recently for raising $20 million in additional financing. Victor launched in August 2011 with a fixed markup from operator pricing which typically varies by broker. New York-based Wholesale Jet Club and Toronto-based Jettly recently following the formula with low, fixed markup and fee-based pricing.
Jackson says some of Victor’s top customers also use jet cards and other private aviation solutions, so its new program in the U.S. will fill a gap in its offerings for private jet users who want a product where they don’t have to worry about arranging payments with each flight.