Online charter hub Returnjet is extending free access to aircraft availability data to brokers in a bid to challenge the market dominance of rival portal Avinode. The change will also allow operators that have registered their fleets with the site to have complimentary access to the real-time data.
Operators will continue to pay a 3-percent “introduction fee” for any flight conducted as a result of customer contact from the site. Returnjet plans to introduce reduced introduction fees for flights booked by brokers.
Under its original business model, Returnjet did not intend to open the online portal to charter brokers, believing that its direct connection between charter providers and clients eliminated the need for brokers. “We appreciate there are clients willing to pay for the knowledge and insight a broker can provide, just as we know now there are brokers preferring to use a subscription-free resource on behalf of their clients,” it noted.
More than 200 operators have now registered their fleets with ReturnJet, which started operations in February and now includes operators from across Europe and the U.S. Another 60 operators are currently awaiting approval.