An Interview with Antony Rivolta, Co-Founder of Jet Partner

By Paul Joseph

The evolution of the private jet industry over the past two decades has been nothing short of staggering. Once considered an expensive indulgence, today it is a multi-billion dollar industry with thousands of aircraft in service with small, medium and large companies on every continent.

For business executives the world over private jets are now an essential tool of their trade, and the result has inevitably been increased competition, with companies lining up to capitalise on this dramatic industry growth.

In recent years the global economic downturn has presented these companies with new challenges, one of which has been to offer a premium but cost-efficient service at a time when even the most affluent are deploying austerity measures.

One such company to emerge has been Jet Partner, a new internet service and self-proclaimed “empty leg specialists”, who are doing a fine job of shaking up the industry even further. We spoke to Antony Rivolta, Co-Founder of Jet Partner, to find out more. Can you start by giving us a brief history of how Jet Partner was formed and the people behind it?
Antony Rivolta: I think most of the personnel background details are in the press brief(attached). The business grew from our experience in the market over the last 15 years. Experienced charter clients increasingly demanded empty leg pricing and there was nowhere for them to go to obtain this in a format that was accessible and useable. We have simply met that demand.

SY: On the Jet Partner website you are described as the “empty leg specialists” – can you explain how the Jet Partner business model works?
AR: To the best of our knowledge our site is the ONLY dedicated empty leg portal encompassing all available legs in the European market. Clients can search for legs and be provided with guide pricing and availability in two clicks from the homepage. Empty leg pricing can be anywhere from 40% or more of the usual oneway price depending on the circumstances.

SY: Do you have any direct competitors offering this same service and if so how do Jet Partner ensure they stand out from the crowd?
AR: Other aircraft charter brokers do offer empty legs, but they is usually an “after thought” in one corner of their websites, usually without pricing and often with out of date information and always involving the need to contact the broker for more information. Our site offers real time information, updated several times a day plus the option of registering to receive available flights automatically and the ability to match your request with someone else to create a roundtrip flight shared between two clients.

SY: Do you think the global recession has also made private jet clients more keen to explore money saving options?
Agreed, no matter how wealthy you are, everyone wants to save money

SY: The Jet Partner website is very minimalist – what was the thinking behind this?
AR: Smart simplicity was the overriding desire of clients who provided us with their valuable insight and support during the website construction and design

SY: How do you see the private jet industry evolving over the coming years?
AR: As a whole, manufacturers, owners and operators are looking for ways to increase efficiency and productivity. Operators are particularly excited about Jet Partner as a way to increase revenue by marketing their empty legs more effectively

SY: Finally, what does the future hold for Jet Partner?
AR: Version 2 of the website will be coming online in the next two months offering even more enhanced usability along with a host of new features and we hope a more business orientated look and feel. Beyond that we are looking at launching in the US market and exploring strategic partnerships in other regions.

By Paul Joseph