Avolus launches European jet card for US travellers

London
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VIP aircraft charter and sales company Avolus has launched an on-demand charter jet card programme for US transatlantic travellers.

The venture - which was launched in partnership with online charter broker Jets.com - fulfils UK-headquartered Avolus' long-standing ambition to expand into the US market, and is designed to rival the jet card offerings of market leader NetJets.

"Demand for charter in the US is growing quickly," Avolus founder and chief executive Alexis Grabar said. "This is the natural next step."

Grabar said the US market is huge: "It is home to 70% of the private jets on the planet, and yet many business aircraft travellers there fly with NetJets' [card programme] when they are travelling to Europe, because that is all they know. We plan to change all this by offering a very simple, competitive card priced around 30% cheaper than the NetJets' offering."

Avolus will operate the European programme - which offers 25h or more of flight time for a single, up-front payment.

Clients will have unlimited access and guaranteed availability to Avolus' aircraft fleet - supplied by partner operators including VistaJet and Ocean Sky - for a fixed price.

Jets.com will have the exclusive distribution rights in the US.

"We expect the US market to account for around 20% of our business within two years. Up from 2% today," Grabar said.

Avolus hopes to expand the programme to the Russian market before the end of next year, and will simultaneously open an office in Moscow to support the programme locally.

Avolus joined Russia's business aviation trade association, RUBAA, in July, in what it said is an attempt "to be part of the growth of private aviation in Russia and the CIS, and to continue Avolus' plans of expansion in the region".

Grabar said: "Between 35 and 40% of our business is from Russia [and the CIS]. However, with so many companies now operating in this region it has become very competitive.

"We we want to offer [business aircraft users] something new, so we can increase our share of this market."