LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The pandemic may have slowed commercial air travel, but more and more people are getting on board with private jets. Companies are seeing a rising demand from people worried about exposure or cramped terminals in the age of COVID-19.
But let’s be real: A private jet is pricey, but there are some reasonable alternatives. With 81% of north American travelers planning to fly domestically in the next six months, and people reuniting with family and loved ones, many travelers are seeking less crowded and safer travel alternatives such as JSX.
“The Burbank-Las Vegas market to this day is our strongest market, said JSX CEO, Alex Wilcox.
JSX Airline stands for ‘Joyful Simple Experience.’ JSX is a private jet offered to the public, minus the expensive pricetag.
Travelers can fly on a one-way trip for $89.
“Our biggest airplanes have 30 seats on them,” Wilcox said. “They’re built for 50; we took some out to make more legroom, like business [class].
It’s all about convenience and time saved for customers.
“It’s great timing,” said Brad Lim-Senesac / JSX Client. “I’m not spending an hour, or an hour and a half, sometimes trying to check-in to the airport and out of the airport. Check-in makes [it] that much simpler.”
“Other airport terminals will tell you [to] show up at least two hours before your flight; we say please don’t show up until 20 minutes before our flight if you do you’re wasting a lot of time; get [to] point 1 to point b faster,” Wilcox said.
The airline started five years ago with a concord to the Burbank route, followed by its most popular route, which is Burbank to Las Vegas, which is as many as 14 flights a day in each direction.
JSX was doubling its number of flights every year until, of course, the pandemic hit.
But now that more people are starting to feel comfortable to travel again, JSX business since April has steadily picked up and continues to do so in travel hubs like Las Vegas, Reno, and Arizona.
Even adding a route from vegas to Dallas, due to strong demand.
“I can tell you 65% of the business is Las Vegas; a huge part of our comeback story is right there in Las Vegas,” Wilcox said.
The airline has ramped up cleaning and rolled out new sterilization and contactless protocols.
“We were socially distancing before it was even cool, Kirsten, not taking shoes off the likelihood of transmitting is lower…” Wilcox said.
8 News NOW asked Wilcox how he’s able to make the flights so affordable, and he said it’s part of their efficiency model. They don’t have constraints at terminals, don’t have to wait for hundreds of people to board. If it costs $5,000 a flight for an hour, and you divide that by 30 people, that’s how you can get the reasonable amount to charge.