Gone are the days when booking a private jet required a long conversation on the phone. Now, mobile apps let flyers book charter flights in a matter of minutes.
Major players in private aviation, as well as emerging competitors, now have apps. Many follow a similar process: Customers choose where they’re coming from and their destination, select dates and their preferred plane size.
Private aviation company Sentient Jet, which is mainly focused on trips in the U.S., saw $50 million in bookings through its app in 2020 alone, with more than $125 million in mobile bookings since the app launched in late 2017, CEO Andrew Collins told CNBC on a video call. He said he expects up to half of Sentient Jet’s bookings to come via its app in the next three to four years.
Collins said the coronavirus pandemic had “unlocked a larger addressable market,” as more people looked to avoid crowded flights or travel to areas where commercial operators wouldn’t typically fly.
He said that private aviation had “felt a little less like premium service and more like a utility for a lot of people” over the past year, and suggested that apps would become essential to the industry in the future, instead of simply a “nice-to-have” feature…