The deal by the parent of Flexjet, Sentient Jet and Skyjet expands Directional Aviation’s global reach and doubles down on its online on-demand private jet charter business
OneSky, LLC, part of Directional Aviation and home to Skyjet, Sentient Jet and Flexjet, today announced it has acquired U.K.-based PrivateFly, a leading global digital booking service for private jet charter flights. According to a press release, PrivateFly is expected to combine with Skyjet, OneSky’s existing brokerage group and a pioneer in aviation technology for more than 20 years. The goal is to create one of the world’s largest online booking platforms for private jet charter, one with a robust digital platform and a physical geography and assets tailored for countries on four continents.
“We are delighted to welcome PrivateFly to the OneSky and the Directional Aviation family,” said Kenn Ricci, Principal of Directional Aviation. “PrivateFly’s co-founders, Adam Twidell and Carol Cork, are true innovators who recognized early on how important mobile capabilities and on-demand digital bookings are in the charter space, and they will continue to play a critical role in the company’s future. Pairing PrivateFly with Skyjet, OneSky’s current digital on-demand charter broker, brings together two unique, innovative companies that are in different geographies to support OneSky’s vision of a world-leading on-demand charter operation.”
Read more about Directional Aviation’s newest acquisition on Forbes.com
Twidell, who is PrivateFly’s CEO, said, “We are proud to be joining OneSky, part of Directional Aviation, which incorporates every aspect of the private aviation industry in a way that no other company can. This is a key strategic moment for us that opens up new opportunities for our loyal and growing base of globe-spanning users, leveraging the power not only of Skyjet but also of the other OneSky companies.”
“With this transaction, the OneSky portfolio of companies continues its global expansion to advance our vision of a connected world in which travelers anywhere in the world have access to every private jet travel solution no matter where they reside, ranging from on-demand charter booked at the swipe of a mobile device to membership programs to jet cards,” said Andrew Collins, the President of OneSky’s on-demand private jet charter organization Skyjet as well as jet card provider Sentient Jet. “With the combination of PrivateFly and Skyjet, we are realizing the digital part of this vision in the on-demand charter space. Nobody provides instant private jet travel at the touch of a button with this degree of expertise, allowing people to travel in the way that best meets their needs.”
Both PrivateFly and Skyjet have a series of upcoming technology-driven innovations that will further cement their global leadership in providing digitally accessed on-demand private jet travel, according to the announcement.
Launched in 2008, Private Fly has since has developed multiple channels and customer bases worldwide, through localized content and language platforms and a multilingual, multicultural team. Currently, PrivateFly’s platform for booking includes websites and digital applications tailored for 19 different countries on four continents, including North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Skyjet launched its charter platform in 1997 pioneering the industry’s first patented e-commerce platform for booking private jets. Skyjet also introduced leading digital payment alternatives, adding Apple Pay to its mobile application in 2015 and Google Pay in 2017. Today, Skyjet offers one of the most popular and highly-downloaded private jet instant-booking mobile applications, the company said.
The combined entity will operate offices in both the United States and Europe and leverage the extensive infrastructure and assets available within the OneSky family of brands. Adam Twidell and Carol Cork will lead the new entity in its next period of growth and innovation.
PrivateFly holds both Argus Certified Broker and Wyvern Broker status, industry best practice accreditations. The company’s fast growth has been recognized by a number of award programs including the Financial Times FT1000, The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 and SME Export Track 100. No acquisition price was announced. While Sentient Jet sells jet cards in 25-and-50-hour increments, PrivateFly has a dynamic pricing deposit account jet card program with its main focus towards on-demand charter. Skyjet last year introduced a pay-as-you-go fixed priced, guaranteed availability membership program.