When does a private jet become affordable? That's a question for JetSuites' founder and chief executive Alex Wilcox, who said that it's the "low-cost, populist, private jet company."
"We fly more often and more efficiently, "he told Press:Here, "but the cost is still very expensive."
A four- or six-person jet goes for $3500 for a 300-mile flight, which can be affordable if someone is flying another three people. "The (typical users) are high net worth individuals," Wilcox admits. "And it's about 50-50 business and pleasure."
JetSuite, now the fourth-largest private jet company, cuts costs by being more energy efficient and flying to only 2,000 destinations. It also provides cheap, last-minute flights when it has an empty flight -- although there's little notice when that may be or where. Still, $500 could get you San Francisco to Telluride, Colo. -- or Fresno, Calif. to Lubbock, Texas.
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Wilcox is hoping to cash in on the short-haul market, or the biggest drop in flights. Millions of fliers have opted out of crowded airports, long security lines, pat-downs and baggage fees. "About six million people are now flying rather than driving since 2001," he said. "We need to recapture that market."