The launch of the Smart Jets mobile app is giving big spenders a new way to pay for private jet flights.
The app allows wealthy travelers to see jet availability in real time, peek at the aircraft's interior and receive immediate price quotes. Users can also book and pay for the flight from the mobile device using a credit card, which can be stored in the app. Smart Jets targets customers with a net worth of at least $30 million.
"Luxury customers regularly book their travel spontaneously," says Sergey Petrossov, co-founder and CEO of Smart Jets, in an email. These flyers "need something at their fingertips to satisfy their travel needs … and to be able to book a jet in less than 10 seconds is not just easy, it's revolutionary."
In April, Smart Jets facilitated 73 flights. By the end of the summer, Petrossov expects the company to be doing 500 flights per month. The company has about 2,500 clients, about 2,000 of which have downloaded the mobile app with about 15% of which active users of the app, Petrossov says.
"This is a good statistic seeing as that we cater only to the top 1% and there are really only about 300,000 people in the entire world that can afford our services, so we do appeal to a very niche market," he says.
Soon Smart Jets will allow customers to earn and pay with Smart Dollars, a loyalty and rewards currency. When customers deposit money and keep it on account, they'll receive Smart Dollars to use for future flights and for luxury goods at partner retailers. For every dollar deposited into the account, consumers will receive between 1% and 5% of that amount in Smart Dollars.
Smart Jets released its app only a day after BlackJet, a booking technology company that offers seat availability on private jets, released its mobile app. BlackJet's mobile app facilitates real-time booking, but it doesn't offer a payment method. BlackJet is backed by Uber co-founder, Garrett Camp, among others.
To further differentiate itself, Smart Jets soon plans to launch Jet Chef, an in-flight culinary program. The company is currently forging partnerships with prominent restaurants to provide fly-and-dine services with celebrity chefs.
Smart Jets has a carbon offset program and is also considering a feature that lets users pick the way an aircraft smells.
"We're leading a revolution in private air, creating brand new technologies from the ground up and providing only the highest levels of luxury, customer service and safety," Petrossov says. We're "taking the private air charter process out of the eighties and into the future with our transparency, simplicity and unprecedented features."