NEW YORK (MainStreet) Don't think you will never afford private aviation.
A quiet revolution is occurring, mainly triggered by the miseries involved in entering most US airports - have you been to JFK in Queens recently? Crowds, long lines, security hassles add up to a big bother that has many of us scouting for alternatives.
Another factor: the stock of private planes available to fly one-off passengers keeps inching up as owners seek to monetize their sizable investments (a Gulfstream G-650 will set you back $65 million plus custom cabin features). That plane is not making a dime parked in an airport and - worse - if it flies home empty that is money lost in pilot pay, jet fuel, and wear and tear.
Enter JetSmarter, a company that bills itself as the Uber of private aviation. Its aim, said the CEO Sergey Petrossov in a Mainstreet interview, is to disrupt the market, mainly by delivering realtime booking info - prices and availability - to an app.
Before JetSmarter - and, watch, there will be a stampede of competitors into a market that technology is making possible - the only way to shop for an available private plane was to work the phone, calling up middlemen who positioned themselves between available inventory and would-be fliers. Petrossov's intent is to wipe out the middlemen, use computer technology to better access and organize available flight inventory and make it easy for fliers - using their own smartphones and the JetSmarter app - to sort through the planes that are in their vicinity and ready to make their travels real.