Private charter jets make lots of sense to corporate decision-makers. They can get your executives exactly where they need to be, when they need to be there. No time wasted in airports and no need to reschedule meetings due to flight delays.
The only thing that often doesn’t make sense is the cost. Sergey Petrossov saw an opportunity to disrupt the existing model as founder and CEO of JetSmarter before he hit the ripe old age of 30.
The idea behind his $1.5 billion privately held company is to reduce the cost of private jet business travel by “sharing” chartered aircraft with peers headed to the same destination, much as you might split the cost of cab fare by riding with strangers going your way.
The concept carries significant benefits for charter jet owners, too. Petrossov found that the typical charter jet is in flight only about 200 hours a year. Each jet only carries paying passengers one-third of air time, and are otherwise returning empty to home airports or departing for passenger pickup.
At the best of times, these private jets are only filled with customers to 25 or 30 percent capacity. Not that Petrossov found an absence of need. Worldwide, there are some 18,000 such aircraft available for charter and 21,000 private flights chartered daily.
The solution, he found, was to partner with private charter jet companies to make better use of their aircraft while creating cost advantages for customers.
Network in Place
With his air network in place, Petrossov was able to offer customers an app-based solution to charter private jet travel as easily as hailing an Uber ride. They could:
- Reserve their own aircraft
- Reserve space on an existing private jet shuttle
- Organize their own private jet shuttle with other air travelers
The concept has appealed, so far, to some 8,000 corporate members and an investor base that includes the likes of hip hop’s Jay-Z.
30 Under 30
Although he only graduated from the University of Florida in 2009, Petrossov’s success earned him placement on the “30 Under 30” Forbes ranking of top young business achievers for 2016. He was just 27 at the time.