Virgin Charter Launches Online Charter Marketplace

 - March 4, 2008, 11:19 AM

Virgin Charter today officially opened its online marketplace, which it bills as “the first-ever end-to-end solution for private air travel.” According to the company, the online service makes it easy to find and book charter flights on private aircraft from operators chosen for their “exceptional safety and quality standards.” The launch marks the conclusion of a six-month beta period during which a group of corporate and individual buyers used the free online marketplace. Scott Duffy, CEO of Virgin Charter, told AIN that it has so far vetted 100 operators, making about 1,000 airplanes available to the charter network. As part of the vetting process, Virgin Charter worked with JD Power & Associates to create a “quality ratings program.” The company said its four-step online booking process is “simple”–clients submit their trip request online, compare offers from top charter operators, select the best offer and then buy it online. Virgin said its technology allows customers to compare offers easily based on price, aircraft, quality and safety. In the first hour that the Web site went live this morning, Virgin Charter logged more than 90 trip requests.