Merely a decade ago, on-demand experiences were considered a luxurious concept of the future by most. While individuals were rapidly growing reliant on the internet for social networking, garnering pertinent information in real-time and even looking up movie times, the thought of hailing a reasonably priced car service with the tap of a button was laughable. During those seemingly archaic days, hungry patrons had to call a restaurant on the phone, determine whether said restaurant offered delivery, and speak to a live person to successfully complete the transaction. Getting a ride to the theater involved sticking out a cold thumb on the corner of the block or physically calling a cab company to schedule a location-based pickup.
10 years later, a new on-demand culture is in high swing, with newly released films being immediately streamed during date night, food magically arriving on doorsteps after a few clicks, cars picking up passengers within two minutes, and even flights being arranged seemingly at the drop of a hat. Within this newly forged on-demand global marketplace, services exist that are solely dedicated to the task of providing products, ideas, solutions, and services to individuals in real-time, with minimal hassle and distraction. In essence, these lifestyle-enhancing services are created as a way to effectively multitask and quickly accomplish goals that would previously have taken exhaustive planning.
Swift technological advancements have played an integral role in the rise of the on-demand culture on a global basis. As connectivity throughout the fledgling days of the internet allowed people to share ideas, globally collaborative efforts led to the creation of new platforms, applications, web extensions, geolocation advancements, and the growth of the infrastructure needed to physically handle these newly burgeoning advancements. As mobile technology began to replace standard home computer and laptop use, the importance of being able to perform all productivity and lifestyle tasks via mobile technology propelled the rapid app development that allowed the on-demand market to grow.
While a general love of increased convenience has contributed to the swift growth of the on-demand economy, a real-world need has sustained this tremendous growth. With more professionals working extended hours, an increasing number of individuals taking on second jobs, and millions of city-dwellers recognizing the benefits of giving up their automobiles, the on-demand economy began to service an expanding market demanding real-time solutions. By providing instantaneous rewards and the ability to complete a myriad of tasks on the go, the on-demand economy broadened over time through continuing technological advancements that have made it possible to create solutions.
The culture of mainstream air travel, constantly plagued by a multitude of issues and frustrating scenarios, has led to the first iteration of private travel. Unfortunately, due to associated costs, private travel has traditionally been reserved for the extremely wealthy. However, through the implementation of technology within the growing on-demand culture, the private aviation industry began to apply the same technology in an effort to create accessible, on-demand, shared private flights. With a goal of simplifying, streamlining, and modernizing the private flight industry, the development of bespoke technology allowed for the creation of rideshare-esque apps, companies, and brands dedicated to the evolution of the private flight industry.
An innovator within the modern establishment of the on-demand private flight industry, entrepreneur Sergey Petrossov’s development of JetSmarter spearheaded the process of creating what some have dubbed the “Uber for private jets.” Seeking to streamline the booking practice to a few taps, Petrossov wanted to rewrite the traditionally laborious practice of garnering a private jet for use, modernizing the process to eliminate all needs for outdated procedures, like faxing documents. In conjunction with ease of use, Petrossov recognized the need to make private air travel accessible to the general masses, not only to make the industry financially sustainable but also to build a community of like-minded individuals seeking to use the service and utilize it as a networking tool. Through the creation of this social community, individuals could then share private jets based on location and work together to ensure that their travel needs were met with ease and luxury.
Innately driven and motivated toward problem-solving, Petrossov credits his development of JetSmarter to his 2009 experience with the previously archaic practice of finding, booking, and executing private jet travel. Throughout this experience, he recognized the inadequate technology, wasteful nature of private jets being underutilized, and maintenance cost for planes essentially sitting around for extended periods of time. Seeing a need within the marketplace and recognizing the transformative power of utilizing modern technological advancements to fill this void in the marketplace, Petrossov utilized his previously discovered love of computer science during his University of Florida days to propel his dreams into reality.
Launched to the public in 2013, the company offered membership models that allowed users to choose flights to and from various popular locations and provided the option to share flights or reserve entire jets for higher premiums. By providing thoughtfully constructed services to a growing audience, Petrossov’s company grew vastly in scope and, in April of 2019, was acquired by Vista Global as an addition to the company’s lineup of VistaJet and XOJet. In June of 2019, these endeavors were combined into a singular rebranded entity, XO.
As the flight-sharing economy continues to grow, innovative companies can leverage the power of the on-demand economy to provide instantaneous access to non-commercial flights. These companies can also harness the power of global social media to bring together a community that will essentially bolster the company by making their own arrangements, sharing private planes, and engaging in community-based activities that benefit every party involved. The socially focused utilization of these private jets will help the private aviation industry increase the use of private jets that would otherwise be sitting dormant, as well as filling flights that would normally be empty, allowing the private jet industry to become more efficient and economically viable across income levels.
On a global scale, the European shared-flight economy boasts a few leading companies, offering both leisurely sightseeing options and strictly destination-bound options. With differing airspace regulations, the European market has safely and swiftly adapted to the expanding marketplace and has delivered a handful of competitive options for consumers. Utilizing mobile technology for ease of use, the European sector aims to combine private jet pilots with potential clients, allowing jet owners and pilots to post intended flight schedules and proactively book their own flights. In this progressive allowance, the need for upfront costs for pilots can be offset via pre-booking planned flights, allowing for mutual benefits for all parties involved prior to the flight’s completion.
With the on-demand private flight model, convenience takes precedence and allows educated consumers to regain control over the flight experience. Consumers gain autonomy in choosing their jet, travel time, airstrip, and airport location, as well as peace of mind regarding the dreaded luggage size regulations of traditional air travel. As the average individual cringes at the thought of waiting two hours to check-in, being subjected to protracted safety protocols, and often experiencing the havoc of being stuck during a layover, innovative travelers recognize the vast benefits of employing this newer section of the on-demand industry. With private jets flying out of airstrips and private hangers not associated with commercial airports, these traditional nightmares have zero clout within the space of private air travel and remain a huge selling point for tech-savvy travelers.
With the proliferation of real-time booking technology, mobile apps dedicated to on-demand flights are taking off. With vast benefits beyond convenience and time management, this innovative method of flying brings people together and allows for a communal flight experience that benefits the entire community. With so much potential for the private flight market to flourish, opportunities to modernize and advance the entire private flight sector exist. With an exciting and forward-moving start, the industry aims to continue to implement technology and a customer-centric approach to providing modern on-demand private flights to the masses.
About Sergey Petrossov
Armed with an entrepreneurial spirit and a personal motivation to find innovative solutions from a young age, Petrossov honed his love for spearheading business development through various early-stage endeavors. In high school, Petrossov started his foray into entrepreneurship with his initial endeavor, an import and export business focused on luxury automobile rims. Intrinsically motivated by successfully bridging the gap between marketplace needs and the procurement of those needs, Petrossov’s early ventures into business taught him crucial skills that would later culminate in an impressively successful career trajectory.
As a student at the University of Florida, Petrossov witnessed the direct effects of the implementation of technology and decided to get involved in the study of computer science. During this time, Petrossov spearheaded the development of two companies. First, he created an online chat system for website customer service, which utilized the most forward-thinking technology available at the time. Second, Petrossov cofounded a distance-learning platform to be utilized by Russian-speaking school systems, allowing for enhanced learning experiences via technology.
As air travel remained an intriguing hobby for Petrossov, he was a board advisor for a private jet operator, where he continued to indulge his growing interest in the private aviation marketplace. Through this assignment, he worked closely with the world’s largest Gulfstream airplane charter fleet and focused on the limitations of the status quo within the sector. Through his experiences of booking private air travel with antiquated processes, Petrossov developed the idea for his company, JetSmarter. By leveraging the power of technology with modernized service, Petrossov reimagined the possibilities for modern, on-demand, private air travel.
Notably, Petrossov was featured in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list, a remarkable feat for the young entrepreneur and businessman. Petrossov was also named one of South Florida’s Top Working Professionals.