Podcast January 18, 2022

How Payments Shape the Private Jet Industry

Private jets may conjure up images of rockstars and real-life monopoly men, but the truth is, private aviation is a key component to modern international business.

And companies offering jet services know that the only way to provide unparalleled customer experience is by having a robust, cross-border payments capability.

Just ask Nick Davis, Founder at Instajet, a company offering an easy-to-use and environmentally-friendly option for those looking to skip the airport lines and travel in style.

Join us as we discuss:

  • How payments are fueling the on-demand private aviation industry
  • Why more people than ever are opting for private aviation
  • How Instajet is staying green

Ready to help your payments fly high? Let’s go.

“There is nobody in the world that will move a jet to come pick you up, unless they’ve been paid.” — Nick Davis

Nick’s genesis in private aviation

Nick has been flying all his life. He started in cadets at 12 years old and was sailing gliders at 16. By the next year, he was an instructor.

At 18 he joined the Army Air Corps. After an exciting few years in the British Army, Nick moved to the aviation side, starting with a company called Britten-Norman before becoming head of aviation for Sunseeker.

Basically, he’s never left flying. Even when he got out of aviation, Nick started working on a flying-related app back in 2015. The timing wasn’t right, however.

Then came COVID.

The world changed.

And Instajet was born.

The impact of technology

Private aviation is a difficult industry to change, but technology is taking over the whole world. Aviation is not exempt.

The pandemic — which some would argue has now become endemic — has forced the industry to start accelerating technology and learn how to use it. In the last two years, it has become much more acceptable to use technology for payments.

Thanks to COVID, there are no spare aircraft left, certainly not in the U.S. With so few aircraft available, you’ve got to be savvy about finding capacity. That’s where Instajet is charting a different path.

Customers don’t pay through the app — because you want humans to find your customers the right aircraft and the best experience. The app lets you see pricing, however, so you can make your own decision before you start dealing with people.

Payments go airborne

If you’re doing business in a place like New York or London, customers might want to pay in Euros, U.S. Dollars, or Swiss Francs.

In that case, if you just have your standard brokerage and you’re doing everything through the normal banking system, you are going to operate out of currency accounts.

Currency is always involved in aviation. Irrespective of what border you cross, it’s a near-guarantee that you’ll deal with currency. The problem is the timing. Banks take days to process payments, and no one in this world will move a jet to come pick you up unless they’ve been paid.

This process creates a lag for pilots and customers.

Partnering for success

Instajet deals with people from all over the globe and from every nationality.

To do that successfully, you need a process and a system that ensures all the right people are doing all the right things. The Instajet team is composed of experts on private jets, and they’re focused on technology.

They’re not experts in financial banking or regulatory matters. On that side, it’s critical for Instajet to ally themselves with companies such as Currencycloud, purely to make sure everything is right and super easy.

Why people opt for private aviation

Nick says we’re at the new kind of ground zero for private aviation. It’s only going to get busier, because of everybody that’s come into it from the airlines.

Right now, people are traveling less, thanks to COVID and its impacts. But when they do travel, folks are much more likely to visit friends or family than they used to. Some corporate travel is also starting to come back.

That said, the wider acceptance of Zoom and other online meeting technology means more corporate executives are targeting their travel. They aren’t going to fly commercial as much. Now, they just want to get there and back safely and comfortably.

Travelers can’t control the crowds and the terminals and customer lines, but they can control the aircraft they travel on.

“We’re focusing on technology — we are not experts in financial banking or regulatory matters. We need to ensure that is all right. We need to ally ourselves with companies like Currencycloud purely to make our job super easy.” — Nick Davis

How Instajet is staying green

Nick says about 30% of Instajet’s business comes from newcomers to the marketplace. Traditionally, you expect 10-15 percent from newcomers each season, so this is massive growth.

The flack is coming because of the environmental effects of private aviation. And to be clear, Instajet plants a silver maple tree for every single trip they make.

New technology is also helping aviation get greener. For example, GE is using 3D printer technology to make a new engine that burns 30% less fuel than its predecessor.

So the future is bright for private aviation.

Want to learn more?

The Instajet apps are in Google Play and the App Store. Just search for Instajet, or go on to our website, Instajet.aero. Play with the app yourself, and if you refer people, you get cash back.

To ensure that you never miss an episode of Payments Innovation, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here — and don’t forget to check out our YouTube!

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