For new customers who might enjoy the benefits of flying from quieter airports, with fewer security hassles and on a more convenient schedule, the charter market can appear somewhat incomprehensible, especially when using smaller aircraft. William Herp, CEO of Concord, Mass.-based charter operator Linear Air, has what he sees as a solution to help bring lower-cost charter flying to a much larger audience: a nationwide charter market called the Linear Connect Digital Marketplace.
Virgin Charter, the online charter brokerage launched with great fanfare in mid-2007, ceased operations on October 23. “With the severe decline in corporate travel, Virgin Charter was unable to generate sufficient sales to underpin its business plan,” according to a company statement, “and has taken the difficult decision to close its doors.”
Online charter broker Virgin Charter stopped “active operations” on October 23, according to a company statement. “With the severe decline in corporate travel, Virgin Charter was unable to generate sufficient sales to underpin its business plan and has taken the difficult decision to close its doors.” Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin USA launched Virgin Charter in mid-2007, with a focus on allowing charter users to
Online charter broker Virgin Charter stopped “active operations” on Friday according to a company statement.
Virgin Charter has had its fair share of ups and downs over the past few months. The charter marketplace suffered a drop in business in late August and September due to the economic downturn, but transaction activity at Virgin now appears to be steadily rising as a result of a shift in clientele, a new business strategy and several new partnerships.
Virgin Charter today announced that it has partnered with global travel management company Radius, which will use the online marketplace to find and book charter flights for its clients. The news is tempered, however, by reports that Virgin Charter has laid off a number of employees.
Despite its well-known brand name, Virgin Charter has not been immune to the economic downturn. The charter marketplace saw a drop in business last month, and particularly within the last two weeks, according to founder and CEO Scott Duffy. The reported decrease is in line with the drop in revenue reported by a majority of charter operators and brokers. Most indicate that business has dwindled by 10 to 40 percent.
The recent launch of Sentient Flight Group’s Privatejets.com and Virgin Charter introduced a new element to the charter industry: the ability to book flights online using a process that mirrors that of airline and travel Web sites, such as Expedia and Travelocity.
Virgin Charter last month 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 testing period during which a group of corporate and individ
- Page 1