Fast Five With Jettly CEO Justin Crabbe 

Credit: Jettly

Jettly is an on-demand charter company based in New York and launched by Justin Crabbe, Jettly CEO. The company takes an UBER-for-air travel-like approach to connecting passengers with charter flights. 

Where does Jettly get 20,000 aircraft in its network worldwide? 

We tap right into the registries, such as the FAA and Transport Canada, and can begin to filter out which aircraft are under certificates for charter and which aren’t, essentially. I think there are 246,000 U.S.-registered N numbered aircraft but the majority of those are not available for charter yet. Of those 246,000, for example, thousands of them are under Part 135 or Part 91 certification.

How many N-numbered aircraft have flown for Jettly?

That’s tough to tell because it’s constantly changing as people are introducing aircraft, taking them off the market or changing management companies. 

Let’s talk about your app, the integration system and how customers book a flight.

You download the app from an app store and once you submit the request it comes to our flight support team that begins to action the request and qualify the customer, most likely getting a phone call. Depending on the scope of the flight request, and depending on whether it’s in Europe or Asia or the U.S., the sourcing team begins to work on the request and source the most suitable aircraft for the mission after discussing with the client what’s they’re after.

We get 8,000-10,000 flight requests per month and we have a 1-2% booking rate. A lot of people who come are shopping for prices or are looking for a flight for their boss or their meeting changes. That’s why there is a vast difference between the amount of bookings that we get and requests. Our typical booking comes in 72 hr. or less. 

Do you expect that 1-2% booking rate to increase as more people get used to Jettly?

We’re growing exponentially in terms of the amount of requests and traffic. The booking percentage and rate has been pretty much standard since the inception of the company in early 2016 with 0% requests per day. Now we’re processing 300-400 requests per day. We’re about 90% year over year in terms of revenue, compared to 2019 because last year was affected by COVID-19. Our company overall has grown at that pace, as well.

What is your outlook for the next couple of years?

The growth in the first and second quarters of 2021 has been unbelievable. We’re 20-30% over 2019 at this point, but it’s hard to tell if that’s a result of the pent-up demand or if it’s a result of the growth of the company. We’ve never seen so many first-time flyers, simply because of the pandemic. 

A typical broker would take the charter price and add 10-20% and reinvoice the customer on the broker’s letterhead. Our business model has eliminated the need for the customer to shop around, and it is a membership program, where a user gets access to the database, the network, the booking team and 24-hr. support. There’s no longer a need to shop around from broker to broker, which is what has been very prevalent in the industry, where an operator could see five different requests from five different brokers, but it’s the same date, the same route and the same person. But the customer would see five different prices. That adds a lot of extra work for the operators. A single booking can easily require 100 emails going back and forth. We’ve tried to eliminate that. The transparency has been quite fruitful.

The model we’ve adopted is wholesale. They pay the same price that we would be, and the invoice comes directly from the operator. Jettly is essence acts like the connecting service, in the same way that AirBNB connects people who are booking homes.  

[In the next step], we’re going to try to get to as close as we can to live availability and pricing. Our objective in 2021 is to try to make it as close to live and Expedia-like as we can. 

Lee Ann Shay

As executive editor of MRO and business aviation, Lee Ann Shay directs Aviation Week's coverage of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), including Inside MRO, and business aviation, including BCA.