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Private jet service boom 'will continue' after pandemic, Jet It CEO says

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Jet It CEO and Co-Founder Glenn Gonzales joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss how more travelers are fueling a private jet bloom.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOPHOROUS: The coronavirus pandemic has led to a surge in demand for flying by private jets, and that's leaving some charter operators scrambling to meet the holiday travel rush. Joining us now is Glenn Gonzales, CEO and co-founder of Jet It. Glenn, it's good to see you again. Nice to have you on the show. I know you just heard that report from Ines on oil, and I don't want to start there-- jet fuel and the cost of jet fuel for your company, for your particular customers, who are some of the more wealthier individuals. What has the impact been on Jet It?

GLENN GONZALES: Yeah, the impact for Jet It-- obviously, we're always happy to see oil prices go down. Unfortunately, they've been pretty high. And in how our business model is designed, our share owners, they're paying the same rate of $1,600 an hour regardless of what the price of the oil is. And we can defer that increase in oil prices to our charter and our on-demand customers, but we've definitely recognized a tremendous increase. We're excited to see the market coming to us for holiday travel and looking forward to continuing to supply our service to those who have the need.

- And sir, I want to ask you, why are more people turning to private flights at this point in time, and how does the pricing compare to a commercial flight?

GLENN GONZALES: Yeah, from a pricing standpoint, I think in large part, what people are finding is the price of a commercial aircraft flight when you're flying in business or first class, it's very similar to a service like ours where you have access to the entire aircraft for $1,600 an hour. So if you're flying your family of four and you'd like to fly from New York to South Florida or New York to DC, it's a very short flight, and you're going to pay about the same amount, or maybe just a little bit more, to have access to a whole private jet. In our case when it comes to crossing the country, we've increased the value to our owners by introducing a larger platform. And this is actually the first time that we've announced this with the Gulfstream G-150 providing us with coast-to-coast capability.

ALEXIS CHRISTOPHOROUS: I'm glad you mentioned that, because up until now, you were only dealing with Honda Jet. So tell me-- now you have these two Gulfstream G-150 jets that you've added to your fleet. What does this do for the company? How does it help you grow?

GLENN GONZALES: Yeah. So for Jet It, it's all about value. We don't do anything that doesn't provide more value to our share owners. Our Jet It share owners are coming to us because we provide a tremendous high level of service, but also a great value that's consistent, that's clear. And it's certain that the service will be there when you want it.

The Gulf Streams allow us to provide our users-- when you need more passengers than what we can provide in the Honda jet, when you need to fly a range that extends beyond what the Honda jet can offer, you have that same value. You still get that same level of experience with our crew, with our team members. And it's an opportunity to have the same experience, front to back, all the way, whether it's coast to coast, whether it's taking your family of seven or eight, two or three generations on board for that ski vacation that's coming up in Colorado or Utah. And that's where the Gulf Streams fit into our program and our service.

- And then how much is your usage up? What are you expecting to see over the holidays, particularly as this new variant has emerged? Do you expect it to cause any impact on people traveling over Christmas?

GLENN GONZALES: Yeah, the boom in our industry has been forthcoming and accelerated by the pandemic. We believe that it's just inevitable that people will look for more autonomous and efficient ways to travel. That's what we do at Jet It. That's the business model that we provide. But in the big scheme of things, we recognize that we've added 70 people to our organization this year. Our revenues have doubled in three years running or more than double three years running.

This trend will continue as people are looking for a way to stay clear of crowded airports, crowded airplanes. The service, unfortunately, may not ever return to the levels that we experienced in years past in the days of earlier airlines.

ALEXIS CHRISTOPHOROUS: And I know that some of your competitors, like Wheels Up and NetJets, have actually had to suspend new sales and membership because they want to maintain service for existing customers. Have you had to do the same thing, or are you a beneficiary of that? And are you gaining some of their customers?

GLENN GONZALES: What's interesting about our business is we provide something for everyone-- for the NetJets customer, for the Wheels Up customer, or the new entrant. There are so many new players coming into private aviation. Our primary focus and our ability to have inventory as we close out our year is of great value. We only have one airplane left to sell this year. We're working with Honda Aircraft Company, our primary supplier, to bring on more airplanes.

But the Gulf Streams were a big part of that as we recognized, going into the year end, the demand that was forthcoming. It created an opportunity and a great time for us to introduce more value to our share owners. Just like we do with Jet Club in Europe, like our Canadian operation, we're constantly looking to add more value and provide a great service to the people who want and need it in this high-demand environment.