T R A V E L P R O C U R E M E N TPROCUREMENTThe Rise of Private Jets in Corporate Managed TravelBy Michael B. Baker / May 06, 2016 / Contact Reporter
Boosted by mobile tech and demand in secondary markets, private jet suppliers now offer a variety of service levels, booking styles and corporate agreements. Here are four U.S. booking engines, three operators & the inroads they’re making into corporate managed travel.JetInsightThis booking engine provides operators a network and technology platform. It does not add every possible aircraft but rather handpicks “the highest-quality operators focused on safety and customer service,” according to founder and CEO Dave Benjamin. Primarily for the United States, its aircraft reach worldwide.How it works: Customers search, view options, book and pay online in moments.Fleet: Aircraft range from turboprops to heavy jets like the Gulfstream V.Traffic: “We hope to continue growing as fast as we can handle in 2016,” according to Benjamin.Pricing: No membership fees, annual fees or commitments. Operators determine rates, and JetInsight technology calculates cost as requests are received. “As we grow the network, we are able to route aircraft more efficiently, and we expect prices to decrease significantly.”Corporate travel penetration: A slight majority of business is corporate. JetInsight has had “initial conversations” with corporate travel buyers but is working to “deliver the right experience for them from the start.”Distribution: It is looking into travel management company collaborations.JetSmarterThe mobile-based jet supplier aims to “make flying private something accessible to the masses, not just a privileged 1 percent,” said CEO Sergey Petrossov.How it works: Via the app, passengers charter entire aircraft, space on scheduled flights or space on flights assembled from pooled demand. They often fly within six hours of booking.Fleet: More than 800 carrier partners around the world.Traffic: More than 300,000 have downloaded the app, a monthly growth rate of 15 to 20 percent since its March 2013 launch.Pricing: A $3,500 initiation fee, plus $9,675 annually. Memberships include free flights on one-way JetDeals flights, as well as free seats on regularly scheduled shuttles including Dallas-Houston, New York City-Chicago, New York City-Los Angeles and Los Angeles-San Francisco. Nonmembers can book these at discounted rates. Additional membership amenities include wholesale charter pricing and a luxury concierge service.Corporate travel penetration: A typical user, Petrossov said, is a corporate traveler needing to book a last-minute trip. Corporate travel buyers also have booked charters and seats.OpenJetOpenJet’s cloud-based management software for private jet operators calculates and modifies the availability of fleet and crews in real time.How it works: Travel arrangers submit origin and destination, date and number of travelers and OpenJet checks crew availability, runway configuration, fuel prices and aircraft performance, among other data points. Arrangers receive a choice of jet types and prices within 45 seconds and pay online.Fleet: Turboprop to midsize. It partners with five operators in Europe and will expand to the United States this year.Traffic: €1.5 million in revenue projected for 2016.Pricing: OpenJet takes fees from operators for each flight sold and costs bookers no more than direct booking with the operators.Corporate travel penetration: 65 percent corporate and 35 percent leisure. Corporate travel buyers are OpenJet’s “first target,” and it is launching a commercial campaign aimed at corporate travel managers, COO Raphael Vullierme said.Distribution: A partnership with Amadeus launched in January, and others are forthcoming, Vullierme said.VictorVictor allows travelers to search, com-pare and book private jets to “cut out the inconsistency of brokers,” according to senior vice president for North America David Young.How it works: Travelers search routes via mobile or desktop, and Victor responds within an hour with multiple price estimates.Fleet: More than 7,000 jets worldwide.Traffic: Membership grew 260 percent from May 2014 to May 2015, and the three-year average for sales has grown 142 percent per year, Young said. Victor introduced an app in April 2015 that accounted for half the year’s bookings.Pricing: Flights booked through the app have ranged from $7,500 to $250,000, according to Young. Victor caps booking fees and provides “complete trans-parency of pricing and flight details.”Corporate travel penetration: Its membership roster includes corp-orations and C-suite executives. Travel buyers use the tool to “quickly create bespoke plans with preferred operators,” Young said.Distribution: It has established relationships with TMCs like the United Kingdom-based CTI.Three Private Jet OperatorsJet EdgeThe on-demand operator flies super medium, ultra-long-range, large-cabin planes, according to CEO Bill Papariella.How it works: A significant volum
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