Sergey Petrossov is one of the youngest influencers in the aviation business at the age of 28 as he spearheads JetSmarter, the world’s largest mobile marketplace for private jets. JetSmarter recently revolutionized the aviation industry by making private flying accessible to the masses. We interview Sergey to find out how JetSmarter has created a new class of air travel that offers both custom charters and unused seats across thousands of flights.
Born in Moscow, Russia, Sergey has lived most of his life in South Florida. He attended University of Florida and after receiving a degree in Finance, co-founded two IT projects prior to JetSmarter: an online chat system for website customer service, and a distance-learning platform for Russian speaking educational institutions. He also served as a board advisor to a private jet operator based in South Florida, who at the time had the world’s largest on-demand Gulfstream charter fleet.
Sergey started serving as CEO and founder of JetSmarter in 2013 when it officially launched, and he currently oversees all operations behind the JetSmarter brand. Sergey’s background is in tech start-ups, and in 2009 he began flying private after selling his first IT Company and quickly came to realize that the private jet industry was very archaic; its brick and mortar process of picking up the phone, waiting hours and speaking to numerous different people in order to charter a jet was outdated and inconvenient. JetSmarter has not only made private jet travel more accessible for consumers by lowering entry costs, but its fundamentally rewired the marketplace, and reinvented an industry for the on-demand economy.
In 2012, he spoke to carriers he had established relationships with and discussed how large of an impact an app to charter a private plane would have on the industry. In August 2012, he made it a reality and created the beta version of JetSmarter, sharing it with an exclusive group of industry experts and frequent private jet users. In March 2013, JetSmarter launched globally.
By rewiring the marketplace, JetSmarter has lowered the entry cost into the private aviation market, making it more available to travelers around the world by launching the “Create Your Own Jet Shuttle” service for members in the GCC region. The leading private jet company that brings private flying to members’ fingertips, is now offering its members the luxury to essentially create their own charter flight between cities where existing shuttle flights are available.
Through JetSmarter’s JetShuttle service, members can either book a seat on an already scheduled flight or, if the specific route and time preferred is unavailable, members can now create their own shuttle directly within in the app. The concept offers members the flexibility to create shuttles across cities when they feel the need to travel, therefore enhancing their travel experiences.
Awarded Forbes 30 Under 30 in Consumer Technology and South Florida’s Top Working Professional by the Sun Sentinel, Sergey is always seeking out ways to innovate industries. His mission is to make the process of booking a private jet a seamless and easy experience and make private jet travel accessible to more than just the privileged .01%.
His achievements include launching a transatlantic shared private jet flight from New York City to London, and seeing a significant growth since the launch in March 2013. To date, JetSmarter has had over 800,000+ downloads, so Sergey expects that growth to continue exponentially.
The company started by offering JetCharters and JetDeals, growing business around the globe and adding scheduled shared flights known as JetShuttles to the top travel routes across the US, Europe and the Middle East.
Consumers like the ease of being able to book on-demand from the palm of their hand, so Sergey believes these types of models will only continue to grow in the future. In the Middle East, especially, Sergey meets many members who are absolutely in love with the company and truly believe in our product.
My outlook for the private jet industry is that mass travel between 100 – 1000 miles will all be private air travel in the future, and large airline style commercial aviation will be a thing of the past in 20 years. I also believe that operational costs will significantly decrease due to hybrid electric aircraft, and with proper sharing technologies like the JetSmarter app, private aviation will be priced at a level accessible to the masses.
The reasoning behind our growth is due to our members believing in our product. Without our members we would have not become the “country club of the sky.” Due to our vast growth, we’ve been able to utilize data analytics to also provide us with details on where the top flights across the world are going to and coming from.
From there, we created our JetShuttle program, which provides our members with a complimentary seat on any flight. These are available across the globe in the US, Middle East and Europe.
Sergey believes the digital world is and will continue to be the future for most services and products being delivered. Mobile is increasing productivity 10-fold for customer product delivery and will continue to do so in the future. On “hitching a ride” concept, our JetShuttles are shared private jet flights. Members can search for and book an already scheduled fight or create their own JetShuttle. JetShuttle allows members to book a flight by purchasing a few seats on a plane rather than the entire aircraft. The remaining seats on the flight are released into the app, for other JetSmarter members to book for free.”
We tailor strategies by taking note of the routes that are in high-demand for private jet travel, which is why we expand our JetShuttles service to these top traveled routes as we know these are the cities our members are traveling and want to travel via private jet. The 24/7 customer service is extremely important, as it provides clients with a variety of services including hotel accommodations, exotic car rentals, access to exclusive events, premium tables at fine restaurants, and much more.
Sergey tells us, “We came to the Middle East because our members thoroughly enjoy traveling to this area of the globe, so it is important for us to expand our services to this region. For our members, having a presence in the Middle East is very important to them, as they travel a lot throughout the area. We have partnered with 800+ carriers across the globe and offer 4,000 free flights each month to our members who have access to these flights daily. We offer a unique business model unlike any other private jet venture. JetSmarter is the only private travel service company to operate by way of an innovative app technology. Our aim is to make flying private accessible to the masses. We will be announcing new routes across the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia throughout 2016.”
“Being the CEO and founder of JetSmarter has been the most enjoyable position for me. This company is my life, and I love watching it grow. We have offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dubai, Moscow, Zurich, Hong Kong, Riyadh and London. Currently, the option to create a Jet-Shuttle is available for routes from Dubai, Kuwait, Riyadh and Jeddah,” mentions Sergey.
On the personal front, Sergey is married with two kids, and resides in South Florida. His favourite American city is New York and he flies three or four times a month usually three domestic flights and one international flight. His definition of luxury is flying around the world on a personal VIP configured Boeing BBJ or Airbus ACJ. Sergey’s vision is to continue to democratize the private aviation industry and continue to grow JetSmarter’s services across the globe so that JetSmarter becomes the largest private aviation company in the world by 2020.