Victor – The Smarter Way To Fly

Word reaches me that one particular online charter provider is altering the terms of its cancellations policy. Fee-paying members, annually subscribed, will face new financial penalties for cancelling seats on reserved flights. This could well be down to customer complaints that routes always seem to be full, and that it is difficult for members to book travel when they need it. Regardless, it feels like another reason to be wary of those subscription-style businesses promising the world and often failing to deliver further down the line.

What are the key things to watch when chartering by subscription?

1). Lack of flexibility – travellers need to ask themselves whether jets going nowhere at totally the wrong time, are really worth their hefty annual fee? Flying within restrictive windows on limited, scheduled routes, on aircraft prone to cancellation, has some obvious disadvantages. Victor, by comparison, is on demand, customers in control of every element of their charter and commanding the skies as they wish.

2). Confusion – the sheer number of subscription tariffs, plans and promotions on the market can prove itself confusing for the customer. It’s not just the number either, but the elaborate detail of many of these offers that makes it hard to work out the key facts, effectively compare travel options and fly with confidence. Certain current subscription promotions seem to be trying too hard to catch the flier’s interest, so one needs to tread carefully. Victor has always prided itself on the transparency of its marketplace, offering a level of aircraft and pricing detail unmatched in the sector. Much as it was when it first set to disrupt the traditional, opaque broker market five years ago, Victor charter is free to choose and free to use, giving fliers full disclosure and building the kind of trust that I’m convinced will make a significant difference to top-tier travel in the long-term.

3). Moving Goal Posts – signing up to a subscription service might not necessarily mean you know where you stand with regards to charter travel; it might not necessarily give you peace of mind. If a contract doesn’t require you to release ‘picture and voice’ and give up your privacy, then it might allow a shifting of the service goalposts, potentially putting you at a greater disadvantage. The cancellation news I mentioned at the top is case in point, fliers helpless to prevent changes to their membership whilst remaining locked into potentially inflexible sky travel. The on demand Victor marketplace delivers consistent standards and values, and a clear flying freedom that discerning travellers can truly depend on.

4). Fragility – many subscription-led start-ups continue to think they can crack the market with ‘all you can eat’ shuttle seat offerings in return for annual, upfront fees. Once again, I applaud the desire to create and innovate, and no doubt certain groups of fliers will feel the yearly fees are reasonable for what they’re getting in return. But I remain doubtful that these types of business can work long-term. Are there grounds for firm foundations if a business funds its day-to-day operations with customer money solicited now on the promise of giving something special back in the years ahead?

It is around the sustainability of constantly adding subscribers happy to pay upfront fees that I am most concerned. If that momentum falters, then the entire business risks failing and customers may lose their early investment. 2016 has, of course, seen several supposedly ‘democratising’ charter players crash, leaving unhappy customers and investors alike.

Following Victor’s recent awards nominations and growth accolades, I am more certain than ever that we have the right set-up and team in place to succeed in this fast-paced, ever-changing and consolidating market. As much as Victor prides its technological platform, the company has never just been about slick apps and intelligent automation. We continue to invest in developing these capabilities but do so because we understand that speed, efficiency and data insight have a key role to play alongside growing our high-touch customer service function. It is the combination of both that eases the complexities of private jet booking, and so strengthens user experience, confidence and loyalty. We regularly take bookings by app for over $100,000 – such is the confidence customers have in our marketplace.

That confidence continues to swell and grow our business. Our four-year average revenue growth of 139% compliments the fact that this year we stand to add $18m in incremental revenue. We are scaling ‘very effectively’ according to Bloomberg, whilst continuing to improve the personalization of travel experience for each and every one of our members. This is the stuff that really matters….

Clive Jackson, CEO & founder of Victor

 

P.S. Don’t forget to vote for us as Growth Champion at this year’s Growth Investor Awards!


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