Online technology firm Airacer today introduced charter apps Airacer Pro, to provide one-stop shopping for traditional jet charter, and Airacer Air Taxi, for quick ride-hailing access to short-haul flights. Aimed at seasoned charter customers and charter brokers, as well as a “new generation” of business aviation consumers accustomed to online transactions, the portals provide all the information needed to quickly find available lift, select all travel details, and book and pay for the trip online seamlessly, said Airacer CEO Wen Wang.
Along with the expected selectable options (passenger count, cabin size, luggage, etc.), charter customers can select trips by Argus and/or Wyvern operator safety rating, ancillary ground services, or onboard services. Customers can also contact operators with suitable aircraft directly for quotes, review the contract, and book and pay for the flight through the apps. A scalable map of the U.S. that serves as Airacer Pro’s interface shows the route and other trip data as customers fill in their flight details.
Airacer Pro is primarily for high-end jet charter customers, while Airacer Air Taxi is for last-minute short-haul flights aboard turboprop and piston aircraft and helicopters. Currently, Air Taxi doesn’t support the scheduling/price comparison shopping that the Pro app allows.
For operators, the apps can be incorporated atop Airacer’s proprietary software as a service (SaaS) fleet-management and scheduling solution, which Wang said some are already using on a subscription basis. “We help our operators save a lot” with the software by improving efficiency and reducing administrative time and costs, according to Wang. "For these operators, it’s easy to use the platforms,” providing an additional, virtually automated revenue stream, she said. Operators do not see each other’s quotes when responding to customer requests.
Three attributes distinguish the New York company’s charter apps from those of competitors, Wang said, including the high quality of its lift database; the platforms’ artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms; and its ability to arrange the entire journey through one platform, complemented by 24/7 customer service from multilingual staff.
The company's database of lift is assembled from several sources, Wang said, and currently numbers more than 10,000 aircraft worldwide, with about 57 percent of the lift in the U.S. and the majority of the remainder in Europe. China, Latin America, the Middle East, and Russia represent about 2 percent each.
Airacer’s AI, meanwhile, will help the platforms recognize unique customer needs while also ensuring operators aren’t bothered by excessive quote requests from individual customers. The apps are free to use for charter customers, who must register and provide all necessary documentation before using the system to book flights.
Wang formed the company in 2015 while majoring in mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University, a year after attending her first EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Born in China and raised in New York City, she’d been inspired to learn to fly at the Wisconsin fly-in, but when she returned home and tried to learn online about flight training options, she found little comparative information or other tools to help make intelligent choices.
In the intervening years, while preparing for the release of its new retail charter apps, Airacer’s website provided information and booking resources about air tours available for travelers in a variety of vacation capitals. With the two new apps now launched, “I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a little bit more time to continue my [flight] training,” Wang said.