Cloud Wings launches smartphone based jet charter and acquisition services
Beijing-based Cloud Wings has launched an iPhone and Android based application that allows clients to book private jet flight both inside China, as well as the rest of the world.
As well as being able to book flights, the application also allows users to search for aircraft that are available for purchase, and upload details of their own aircraft for sale.
Cloud Wings founder and CEO Ruizi Zhang says the application asks users to register as a way to filter out the causal requests from people who have no real intention of booking a flight. “In the past, operators or brokers spent too much time to dealing with non-serious clients. Getting quotations for them, calling them and emailing them. With the APP, we could spend our time on ‘real’ clients.”
Zhang also says that initially customers seem a little wary when using a phone based booking application, but after using it for the first time, they immediately see the benefits. “It takes a while for old jet charter customers to get used to using an APP for charter. But when they see the APP, they are very happy, because it really speeds up the time it takes to get a estimated quote as well as speeding up the time that it takes to make the decision on whether to charter a jet or not.”
Users can however see an estimation of a flight price rather than the actual price. When a user logs in, they are given several options, with the jet charter section opening up into a search page where they can input details of the flights they are interested in. Details include the departure and arrival airports, as well as the date and numbers of passengers to be carried.
From here the users can submit a search, but at this stage the system will bring back an estimated flight cost, rather than a binding quotation. This is calculated from previous flight prices and gives users a general idea on how much the flight could cost.
If the user is interested in the quote, they can then proceed with a single press of a button. Once this is done, the team at Cloud Wings begin contacting operators, and upload the best quotes to the users account, which is accessed via the messages function in the application.
Zhang gives an example of a Chinese client requesting a flight that could be fulfilled by a Chinese operator, and says that the response time is quick, often less than 20 minutes.
The flight booking application is the first part of a wider plan that will see Cloud Wings branching out into aircraft sales, as well as other aviation services. “We are creating a platform, jet charter is only the first part of it. We also offer empty legs, helicopter charters, helicopter air-tours, aircraft sales and acquisition. But we will offer more services soon.”
One area that the company is expanding into is sales an acquisitions. Users of the application are able to upload details of their own aircraft that they want to sell. But rather than just listing the aircraft, users have the option of having the Cloud Wings team help them find a buyer.
“Sellers can upload their wanted to sell aircraft by themselves. But they then have two options. The first is that the information can be displayed to others users on our APP directly to attract potential buyers online. With the second, they upload the information only to us, and we will help them to find buyers ‘offline’.” says Zhang, adding, “Our aircraft sales and acquisition team is also getting a good amount of pre-owned aircraft offline, and putting this information on our APP”.
Cloud Wings ultimate plan is to be able to cover all aspects of business aviation through its application, and having released the first version of the application the company is currently working on expanding their offerings.
“Our IT team has alright started the upgrading APP program with add more functions and working on improving the speed. Our offline team has been working as hard as the online team. They have been creating lots of new products and promoting this private aviation culture in this country. Hopefully, our app will be become a platform that can allow clients to book or buy all aviation related services soon.”