Online charter marketplace Victor has launched what is believed to be the first points-based frequent flyer programme for the ad hoc charter market, as it seeks to become the first port of call for web-based business aircraft travel.

The programme, known as Alto, will help to draw new customers to the Victor site and encourage loyalty from existing users, says company chief executive Joe Cohen.

"One point is earned for every dollar spent on Victor charter, with customers able to redeem Alto points in blocks of 10,000 against any future charter flight they wish to take within the next 36 months," he says. "This is equivalent to a $150 discount for each $10,000 spend; and we will also allocate Alto points against the last 12 months of Victor flights."

Over the next five years, the UK-based company expects to deliver points "totalling tens of millions of dollars". "Our plan is to be the number one brand in online charter brokerage," he adds, "but with a particular emphasis on great customer service, which should make us stand out in this field."

In their efforts to attract business in this increasingly crowded market, he says many brokers and operators have become "too focused" on lowering their prices. "This has led to a race to the bottom in terms of service levels, which isn't good for the reputation of the industry," says Cohen.

Victor plans to roll out a number of initiatives over the coming months, designed to enhance the customer experience "right from the start of the booking process", and to raise awareness of the brand.

"People are using business aircraft in increasing numbers today, so our aim is to be the go-to site for charter bookings," says Cohen.

Source: Flight International