A new vertical search engine has been launched by Virgin, offering what it claims is the first end-to-end solution for private air travel.
Announcing the end of its closed beta trial period, the Virgin Charter programme has been declared open, promising potential users that it combines local search user reviews in the style of eBay with the auction functions of Priceline.
Allowing users to submit a detailed trip request to charter air operators the Virgin search facility allows offers to be compared from its network of certified charter operators, before enabling purchase of the service online.
Scott Duffy, chief executive for Virgin Charter, said: "Until now, booking on-demand charter has been a cumbersome process and flyers didn’t always know what they were getting. We are bringing the power of Virgin to the industry and are now offering an entirely new way to book charter over the internet while setting new quality standards."
Virgin’s vertical search project banks on the profitability of the luxury travel market – and signals from non-charter business flights are wholly positive.
All-business class carrier Silverjet has announced a ten per cent increase in passenger numbers from January to February, while Singapore Airlines has this week unveiled plans to reconfigure aircraft for all business class flights from Singapore to US destinations.