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.
The move comes as Wheels Up, VistaJet, JetSmarter, JetSuite and Victor have all announced new funding to power expansion
U.S.-based Bird Dog Jet has been acquired by U.K. PrivateFly, according to an email from the latter. “I wanted to share some exciting news with you about our continued expansion. 2017 has been a record-breaking year for us, showing another plus 50% growth rate. We’ve been busy arranging more flights, for more customers, than ever before. And I’m now delighted to be able to announce PrivateFly’s takeover of Bird Dog Jet, a US charter broker. They will join our existing US team based in Fort Lauderdale, to enable us to fly more clients within North America, the Caribbean and further afield,” wrote Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly in an email to customers.
The jet charter broker is offering special holiday sale charter prices this week starting at $3,990
On-demand charter broker Victor is offering a Cyber Monday Sale, released on Travel Tuesday and valid until Friday, December 1, 2017. “Private Flight Deals for Victor’s Cyber Week” expire at midnight Friday. According to an email, the promotion is valid on trips occurring between December 4, 2017 and March 30, 2018.
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.
Wheels Up Joins VistaJet, JetSuite, Victor and Jet Smarter in raising money to fund ambitious expansion plans
Ka-ching. Jet card membership seller Wheels Up said earlier today it had completed an equity capital raise of $117.5 million. The money comes less than four months after the company said it had received a $90 million aircraft financing facility from KKR. Wheels Up said AccorFidelity Management & Research Company and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. led this current round and were joined by existing investor, NEA as well as new institutional investors. The company initially set out to raise $100 million but agreed to upsize the offering based on significant investor demand, according to a press release. Wheels Up is now valued at close to $700 million, with an enterprise value north of $1 billion, again according to the company.
The London-based private jet charter broker expects sales to grow from $39 million to $60 million this year
Online focused on-demand charter broker Victor announced the signing of a strategic investment agreement with BP Ventures, BP’s investment arm, according to a press release received by Private Jet Card Comparisons. “BP Ventures has committed to invest $10 million as lead investor to Victor’s Series B fundraising round. The round, raising a total of $20 million, has been further bolstered through family offices and existing shareholders,” Victor said in a statement.
Private jets from as far away as China will be descending on Cardiff, Wales this weekend when Real Madrid and Juventus meet June 3 for UEFA Champions League Final.