Tak­ing the pri­vate pub­lic

Pri­vate jet travel is now a whole lot more ac­ces­si­ble thanks to a young tech­nol­ogy start-up called jets­marter

Virtuozity - - Handmade -

There was once a time that trav­el­ling by pri­vate jet was only re­served for celebri­ties and enor­mously wealthy busi­ness peo­ple. af­ter all, with­out the need for queu­ing up at air­ports and in­ter­act­ing with the gen­eral pub­lic, it’s the only way to travel. how­ever, with the rise of the ex­treme vi­sions of first class that some of the world’s best air­lines have brought to bear, pri­vate jet travel has seen some­thing of a slump. some of the large air­lines have proven that, de­spite the usual air travel an­noy­ances, fly­ing first class with them can be more lux­u­ri­ous than fly­ing pri­vate.

how­ever, the pri­vate jet in­dus­try is cur­rently see­ing some­thing of a resur­gence, and that’s down in no small part to a sil­i­con Val­ley start-up called Jets­marter. when it was first launched, it was billed as “the Uber for pri­vate jets”, be­cause it al­lowed users to down­load a sim­ple ap­pli­ca­tion, and book trips on pri­vate jets that weren’t be­ing used. But now that Jets­marter has been in op­er­a­tion for a num­ber of years, it has mor­phed its own be­ing, and has taken the high-end air travel world by storm.

Jets­marter was founded in 2012 by en­tre­pre­neur sergey Pet­rossov, who would later go on to be fea­tured on Forbes' list of 30 un­der 30 busi­ness lead­ers of 2016 be­cause of the app. In au­gust 2012, the beta-ver­sion was launched and tested among a closed group of pri­vate avi­a­tion users. af­ter test­ing proved suc­cess­ful, Pet­rossov sought and re­ceived sub­stan­tial ven­ture fund­ing to ex­pand Jets­marter’s scope. and here we are to­day.

The Jets­marter ap­pli­ca­tion con­nects pas­sen­gers and pri­vate air car­ri­ers through the lat­est mo­bile tech­nol­ogy. It’s a mem­bers-

seat on an al­ready sched­uled route.

The sec­ond is called Jetchar­ter. This al­lows mem­bers to cus­tomise and cre­ate their own char­ter flights. Within this op­tion, they can book an en­tire jet to them­selves, or cre­ate a “shared char­ter” flight, which al­lows them to pur­chase in­di­vid­ual seats on a flight (be­tween shut­tle cities—more on that in a mo­ment). This flight is then opened up into the Jet­shut­tle sec­tion of the app, there­fore cre­at­ing a shared flight that is avail­able for other mem­bers.

There are, how­ever, a lim­ited num­ber of Jet­shut­tle routes. In the Mid­dle East, for ex­am­ple, you can only go be­tween Kuwait and Dubai, Jed­dah and Riyadh, Dubai and Riyadh, Kuwait and Jed­dah, and Jed­dah and Dubai. How­ever, the num­ber of routes are grow­ing, with around five be­ing added in Europe later this year.

The last ser­vice of­fered by Jets­marter is Jet­deals—ex­clu­sive, one-way flights on pri­vate jets, where mem­bers can book a ac­com­mo­da­tions, ex­otic car rentals, ac­cess to ex­clu­sive events, premium ta­bles at fine restau­rants, and much more. The com­pany may be mak­ing pri­vate jet travel more ac­ces­si­ble, but it’s still an out-and-out high­end ser­vice.

The idea is so promis­ing that, last year, Jets­marter re­ceived $20 mil­lion of back­ing in a fund­ing round. Among the in­vestors were Amer­i­can rap­per Jay-z, in­vest­ment bank Gold­man Sachs Cap­i­tal Part­ners, and so­cial net­work­ing ser­vice Twit­ter. The com­pany also re­ceived back­ing from big play­ers in the Mid­dle East—in­clud­ing the Saudi Royal Fam­ily.

“One of the key in­vestors, His Royal High­ness Prince Ab­dul­lah bin Ban­dar bin Ab­dul­laziz Al Saud said, "We are thrilled to be an in­vestor and are com­mit­ted to Jets­marter's growth. At the fore­front of this new era in travel, we be­lieve that Jets­marter's pro­pri­etary ser­vices and of­fer­ings have, and will con­tinue to rev­o­lu­tionise the in­dus­try."

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