Adam Twidell, founder and CEO of online business jet charter booking company PrivateFly, says his bookings have increased by 60% since this time last year. Surprisingly he’s a little disappointed. “It’s funny because most companies would be over the moon with 60% but that was just the target that we’d set ourselves,” said Twidell. “It’s still great growth though.”

PrivateFly’s online platform and apps integrate with a live global network of accredited charter aircraft pinpointing the best, at the most competitive market price. Last year this numbered 7,000 aircraft and 2,700 accredited private jet operators. It’s now around 6,500 and 2,500 respectively. “This year we have consolidated the network and plan to continue this over the next year. We prefer to have a smaller number of higher quality aircraft operators,” said Twidell. “Also merger and acquisitions activity like Luxaviation and Gama/Hangar8 means that the number of operators is reducing in Europe.

In January 2014 PrivateFly LLC was launched in the U.S. with a New York office, and a dedicated website. Business generated by it now accounts for 20% of the company’s turnover. “This has shown us the great potential for rolling out the platform faster in the States and that will be a major focus for us this year. It took four or five months to gain traction, as so much of our work depends on online Google ratings, word of mouth and digital marketing.”

The PrivateFly App accounts for about 10% of new enquiries and is now being relied on by customers to check last-minute information. “It has become a key customer retention tool,” says Twidell. “Those who booked through the website, by email or by speaking to us subsequently go on to the App for updates prior to their flights. They can check that the aircraft is on time, can delay it if they’re running late, or even check the pilot’s name.”