Private jet charter company Skytime Jets has launched a new kind of card for jet users that protects card-holder funds in a personalised escrow account. In partnership with Cater Allen Private Bank, the new scheme allows clients to make an upfront payment for hours in complete confidence, and they can access their funds at any time. The company is also promising a host of card-holder benefits with brands such as Moët Hennessy UK, Mont Blanc, Cazenove+Loyd Travel and Marcus Wareing Restaurants offering benefits.
“People like the card model for jet travel, as it gives them flexibility as well as the certainty of fixed pricing,” says James Shotton, co-founder and executive director at Skytime Jets. “But you are paying up front, and that money goes straight into a company’s current account, even if you only use a fraction of the hours over the year. We wanted to set up personalised accounts so that there is no risk to the client.” There is no admin fee for the account and there is no minimum limit to what you can deposit. Skytime only takes money when you use the service.
“We don’t want to tie people in. Clients can leave when they want to,” he says. Shotton adds that the take-up has been positive through word of mouth from clients: following the card’s launch in May, the company has sold 150 hours.
“After feedback sessions with existing clients, it was clear that they get bombarded with a host of ‘special offers’ but they only really want to get involved with brands that partner with companies they trust. It works for everyone. The customer gets a great deal, we get preferential rates from the partner companies, and they get introduced to our clients,” he says. For clients who sign up for 25 hours, there’s a Mont Blanc pen. About 70% of the company’s clients are UK based, but the Wyvern-audited broker offers flights worldwide. The company says that 60% of its flights are leisure and 40% business.