Private jet charter: the online arms race


This week, the prize for the European lottery – known as Euromillions – is $120 million. If you have spent any time online in Europe this week, you may have noticed a photo of a glimmering private jet used as part of the advertising campaign.

But while winning the lottery is probably the best shot that most of us will get at owning the Dassault Falcon jet depicted, a growing number of companies focused on developing innovative new technologies are trying to open up the private jet market to the masses.

Thanks to a boom in online booking platforms, it is now much easier – and often cheaper – to book a private jet flight than ever before.

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The co-founders of Charterscanner, which connects aircraft operators directly with customers through its website, say that many of their clients had no idea that it was possible to charter a Cessna Citation Mustang on a one-hour flight for as little as €3,000 or €4,000 (although they say they are often just as surprised when they see how small the aircraft is).

In London, Stratajet is preparing to formerly launch its online booking platform around the world, having secured $5 million in venture capital. Using the company’s website, passengers can request private jet journeys from one postcode to another and book them as easily as they would book a hotel room, based on real-time pricing information.

VictorPrivateFly and JetSmarter are also raising cash – all with different approaches to technology and marketing.

Having lived in the dark ages for so long, private jet charter is finally being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. In fact, we are now seeing a technological arms race raging between a new generation of charter brokers.

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All these companies insist that they are nothing like each other, but the effect is the same: they are making the jet-set lifestyle a reality without having to win the lottery.