Virgin Charter Harnesses Technology to Offer Convenience
and Efficiency in Private Aviation
York, NY—June 12, 2007—Virgin USA,
the North American headquarters of Sir Richard
Branson's Virgin Group, announced today the launch
of Virgin Charter, a new online market place that
brings convenience and efficiency to private aviation.
Charter is a full-service marketplace that brings
together buyers who want to book private air travel
with safety-rated charter operators. Through Virgin
Charter, sellers make their inventory available
to a large customer base without changing the
way they currently do business, and buyers search
for available aircraft, negotiate pricing, purchase
private air travel, and manage their entire trip
online. Virgin Charter does not own or operate
aircraft, and it does not act as a broker.
Virgin Charter team is led by founder and CEO
Scott Duffy, a seasoned Internet executive and
private aviation veteran who served as a managing
director for one of the largest charter brokers
of private aircraft in the world. The team also
includes technology and aviation executives from
Google, Expedia, eBay and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Said Duffy, "Virgin Charter's centralized
marketplace will revolutionize private aviation
by providing tremendous efficiencies to what has
been a highly fragmented industry."
Virgin Group has a long track record in building
businesses that offer brilliant customer service
and product innovation," said Virgin USA
CEO Frances Farrow. "We believe that Virgin
Charter's success will also mean success for charter
operators and flyers."
the time I met the Virgin Charter team, providing
the highest standards for safety and quality has
been their number one priority," said Jim
Betlyon, CEO of Wyvern and CharterX. "We
are pleased to be partnering with a firm that
goes beyond lip service to bring unprecedented
innovation to private aviation."
really excited about Virgin Charter‘s potential
in the market," said Sir Richard Branson.
"Buckle up and prepare for a lot more exciting
news from this impressive team of technology and
aviation experts." The company has released
a private invitation-only beta and plans to launch
its public marketplace later this year.
(www.virgin.com) is one of the world's most recognized
and respected brands. Virgin USA oversees and
is responsible for the expansion of the Virgin
brand in North America, blasting into markets
where the customer is underserved, offering value
for money, good quality, innovation, exceptional
customer service, fun and a sense of competitive
challenge. Existing businesses include Virgin
Atlantic Airways, the award-winning transatlantic
airline; Virgin Mobile USA, the leading wireless
youth network; Virgin Megastores, the groundbreaking
music stores; and Virgin Comics, an entertainment
and media company creating original stories and
epic myths for worldwide audiences. Building upon
the success of these businesses, Virgin USA continues
to look for opportunities in North America where
it can offer something better, fresher and more
valuable to consumers.
Charter (www.virgincharter.com) is an online marketplace
that brings together private aviation buyers and
sellers. Virgin Charter brings unprecedented efficiency,
transparency and convenience to the industry.
The company is privately held and headquartered
in Santa Monica, Calif.
online charter plane service launches, By Kenneth
Li - 4th March 2008
YORK (Reuters) - Richard Branson's first charter
plane experience gave him the idea to start commercial
airline company Virgin Atlantic Airways.
25 years after the British entrepreneur chartered
a private jet to fly 50 passengers and himself
from the Beef Island, Tortola airport to Puerto
Rico after their original flight was canceled,
Branson will launch on Tuesday Virgin Charter,
an online service to charter private aircraft.
said the new business will court the approximate
$30 billion market for booking private air travel
by letting operators market availability and allowing
customers to bid and book online.
aims to make booking charter flights as easy as
booking commercial flights on services such as
Expedia, an online travel booking service.
Duffy, Virgin Charter Chief Executive, said the
new service is a combination of three of the best
ideas on the Internet: the user and seller reviews
provided by online auctioneer eBay Inc; Priceline's
ability to let consumers offer their own bids
on flights and the simplicity of Expedia Inc and
(charter operators) will have to get quality right,"
Branson said in an interview.
can't just get away with it (bad service) anymore,"
Branson said, recounting one recent flight from
San Francisco to Los Angeles on a chartered jet
that he described as "dire" after a
glass of water crashed into his head while he
charter flights are currently booked by phone
through a broker in a process that can take the
assistants of millionaires, celebrities and business
travelers as long as a week to complete, executives
Charter, majority owned by Virgin USA, aims to
bring a level of transparency and simplicity to
a business that does not exist today.
company launches in the United States, but will
be expanded to other regions soon, Branson said.
Charter is targeting the 2,500 operators of private
aviation companies as well as thousands of U.S.
customers who currently pay brokers or have to
dial-up dozens of operators by phone before booking
through Virgin Charter's site will shave some
20 percent off the cost of traditional methods
by cutting out the broker, a Virgin Charter executive
said, as well as days off of the process.
the company said its service lets operators maximize
bookings and fuel consumption by offering them
a way to market flights that are returning empty
from an outbound or return flight on an already-booked
trip, under a section called "hot deals"
on the site.
part of the launch, Virgin Charter has struck
a partnership with Travelocity Business to offer
its service to Travelocity's business clients,
said the company is participating only with operators
who have been screened by the company for safety
and quality. At launch the service will offer
access to about 100 operators, with access to
1,000 private planes.
service competes with traditional brokers as well
as companies that let frequent flyers invest in
the jets with other partners.
for his grand entrances -- just this week he jumped
off the Hilton hotel in India to launch Virgin
Mobile in the region -- Branson arrived in New
York for a round of press interviews quietly on
a charter flight booked by his secretary.
the new service, "She will be able to pick
the best price," Branson said.
Charter can be found at www.virgincharter.com
Mediaman does not represent Virgin
Mediaman is in talks with Virgin Charter