Virgin launches online charter flight service

Virgin launches online charter flight service

Service offers booking and management of services on the internet

Virgin Group has launched an online service as part of plans to join the burgeoning private aircraft chartering business.

Start-up Virgin Charter offers a scheduling portal for 2,500 air charter services in the US, as well as customers who currently pay intermediaries or have to call a number of operators before booking a flight.

To purchase a trip, members go online, locate available aircraft, negotiate pricing, and manage their entire trip over the internet.

By eliminating brokers, the company hopes to reduce around 20 per cent of the normal cost of hiring private aircraft.

“We are committed to providing the most comprehensive and well thought-out solution for buyers and sellers of private aviation,” said Virgin Charter chief executive Scott Duffy.

Virgin Charter is currently operating under a private beta test scheme with some 60 charter flight operators. The company plans to go live in September and have around 500 operators under its client portfolio.

“The feedback from the private beta has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Duffy.

The company will aim to optimise its resources and increase revenue by marketing flights that are returning empty from single trips, under a section called "hot deals" on the site.

As part of its green scheme, the business will also create incentives to help member operators run cleaner and more efficient services.