June 11, 2007

Jumpjet Launches Aircraft-Sharing, Fee-Based Private Jet Business Model

Jumpjet, a new corporate aviation player, this month took to the skies, claiming to offer private jet flights "for less than the cost of most airline tickets." Founder and CEO Will Ashcroft said the program undercuts the cost of fractional jet ownership, stored-value jet cards and direct charters as Jumpjet members share aircraft, pay a monthly membership fee and in many cases face tighter reservation requirements.

The provider has three tiers of monthly memberships for individuals and a more customizable offering for corporate clients. The model is similar for all programs: Members pay a monthly membership fee and are allocated a designated number of flights and guests per month.

However, depending on membership level or corporate contract, there are limitations, such as advanced booking requirements, the possibility of sharing aircraft with travelers from other companies and less flexible reservation changes. As Ashcroft noted, "You can't change reservations unless there's a dire emergency; you can't call from the golf course." However, Ashcroft said that keeps costs down.

"Our corporate programs absolutely are custom-designed," Ashcroft said. "A small company that has five executives can pay somewhere between $7,500 and $10,000 a month and get up to five roundtrips a month. They can use the aircraft to pick up clients, send themselves out as a team or as an individual."

Ashcroft said companies could select a six- or 12-month plan, for which they are debited every month. He also said Jumpjet offers reports to corporate clients on usage, "so they can have additional information that a corporation might need versus an individual."

Res System Stress-Test

Ashcroft said the company has been signing corporate clients and stress-testing the Jumpjet reservations system. Ashcroft last month said about 50 business clients had opted for the program.

"We've even had companies with 45,000 employees contact us," he said. "We tell them, before you get rid of the corporate flight department, before you have everyone in the company fly on a corporate jet, let's look at this by division or by unit because that's where our specialty is. We're very cautious to explain that other members may show up on the aircraft, but they are guaranteed to get the aircraft within five days."

Santa Fe, N.M.-based Jumpjet handles reservations and gives clients access to 5,000 domestic destinations from its originating cities—Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles/Orange County, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.—with plans to expand into Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico later this year.

By Jay Boehmer
Read more from the article's source at: Business Travel News

No comments: