So will the skies darken with air taxis? I'm not a believer that we're all going to be flying private to Grandma's for Thanksgiving. This is still an expensive business, and it's not getting any cheaper. There are clearly huge markets of people who ought to be flying private but aren't. And there are also probably millions if not billions of man-hours wasted in U. I think there's a lot of opportunity for us to create a much better charter product than is out there today.
Who is your target market? Even though we call it business and corporate aviation, most private jets fly for leisure purposes, whether for the CEO's golf or a family going skiing or whatever. We see our cost being so much lower than the competition's that businesses will be able to justify this, not just wealthy individuals.
You have to have a certain amount of money, obviously. But with us you're going to need about half as much as you need with the incumbent operators. So it's going to be anybody from the current jet card owner, to a guy who flies first-class short hauls and spends two hours in airports for every 45 minutes of flying, to a guy who has a GV today but flies only two or three people miles on average and is having a hard time justifying the overhead he spends for that kind of mission.
The [Embraer] Phenom the aircraft you plan to use-lends itself to this mission? Basically, anyone who's got to go under 1, miles for less than half what our competitors are charging-that's our market. You charter the entire airplane and there's no stopping on the way.
There's no sitting next to somebody you don't know. And there's plenty of room for the golf bags and skis. Is the Phenom's airline heritage attractive? Part of the reason most general aviation airplanes don't fly that much is they're not made to fly that much. Embraer has a terrific regional [airline] pedigree, because regional airliners typically fly high-cycle [many takeoffs and landings] missions, so this thing is built to last.
This airplane's got a 35,cycle life expectancy. That's probably-at one hour per cycle-a year life expectancy, double what competing airplanes have. We think it's going to be an extremely reliable airplane. What is the current status of JetSuite? We have about a dozen people.
We should get our first airplane in November and we plan to start operations in May Marketing is beginning to ramp up. We are managing several active sales leads for owner positions. We've got a growth curve that sees us ramping up to nearly 60 people in February next year. It's slow growth but we're burning equity now so we're doing it judiciously. Tell us about JetSuite's financial backer. Proctor Capital Partners [based in New York City] had been looking at this business for quite some time.
They considered several other platforms, but settled on the Phenom. Anytime we needed anything, they've been there for us. You can't ask for much more from your bankers. We've lined up financing for 40 aircraft. Education: B. Personal: Age Born in London. Lives in Los Angeles. One daughter. Private pilot with seaplane rating. Since , Business Jet Traveler has been providing subscribers in more than countries with aviation and lifestyle news, reviews, and features.
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