Investment capital continues to pour into private jet and helicopter membership, card and sharing programs
Here it comes. Add Fly BLADE to JetSmarter, JetSuite, Stellar.aero, Victor, VistaJet and Wheels Up – the list of private jet card, online charter and by the seat private aviation companies that have raised over $500 million over the past 18 months. According to a press release, BLADE added “approximately $38 million” to its coffers via Series B Financing led by Colony NorthStar and Lerer Hippeau along with Airbus Helicopters and LionTree Ventures.
JetClass offers scheduled flights on private jets without membership fees
By the seat, pay as you private jet operator JetClass is adding seven new routes in Europe with one-way fares starting as low as 390 Euros. The service, which doesn’t have a membership fee, sells individual seats on private jets with a fixed schedule. Passengers on these short flights benefit from using FBOs, private jet terminals, instead of having to transit commercial airport terminals, often cutting total travel time in half.
82% of personal assistants find booking private aviation flights on short notice is a major challenge
A new survey of personal assistants by on-demand charter broker Victor revealed 82% of survey respondents found that finding flights on tight turnarounds is a major challenge they face when coordinating private jet travel. To me, at first reading, the findings weren’t surprising: booking on-demand charters require vetting both jets, operators, and prices each trip, handling payments, which can be complicated in some companies, and often submitting passenger information, catering and so forth. It also means in the event of disruptions, you are at the mercy of your broker to figure out replacements and minimize extra expense.
A new study highlights Jet Card pricing and member benefits
PGA tour professional golfers who have been using private aviation to travel between tournaments have saved 119 hours of travel time so far this year – nearly five full days of extra productivity – according to an analysis put together by Private Jet Card Comparisons and Jet Linx Aviation. This coming week features the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to the time savings benefits of private jet travel, the comparison highlights some of the advantages of most jet cards, including guaranteed availability even during peak periods, guaranteed hourly rates, one-way pricing and not having to worry about ferry fees.
In another blow to the private jet share social network, JetSmarter lost its home rental partner and board member Bradley Stewart, the CEO of XOJET
So the news about JetSmarter this week is that its short-lived entry into enticing its members to also rent homes through ThirdHome, announced Feb. 27, is kaput. By the way, there’s more big news coming next week, but we’ll get to that later.