Bad Business Model Alert: BlissJet Launches Transatlantic “Shared” Private Jet Flights

As Richard Branson famously once said, “if you want to be a millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.” We’ve seen a countless number of transatlantic all business class airlines launched over the years, and they’ve failed without exception (La Compagnie was recently purchased by XL Airways and wasn’t breaking even, so I suppose they didn’t fail, but as an airline they haven’t “succeeded” either).

While not quite a new airline, a private jet charter company is launching a new service that is bound for failure. I actually can’t get over what a bad idea it is.

BlissJet will be launching once weekly “shared private jet service” between New York LaGuardia and London Stansted Airport as this month. In the past I would have said that a “shared private jet” sounds like an oxymoron, though I suppose with JetSmarter’s popularity growing, it’s becoming more common. However, the thing that sets JetSmarter apart is that it can actually represent a great deal.

However, that’s where BlissJet’s business model falls flat. The service will only operate once weekly (Fridays eastbound and Sundays westbound), and the plane will carry 10-14 passengers.

blissjet-2

The cost? $11,995 per person, each way.

blissjet

Proportionally that’s reasonable enough, in the sense that chartering a jet for a transatlantic flight may very well cost ~$100,000. However, what it fails to consider is that the whole benefit of a private jet is that it’s private and you have flexibility.

With BlissJet’s once weekly service you have no flexibility and no privacy. Also, while private jets are comfortable for a short flight, this will hardly be a comfortable ride with 10 people, as I doubt they’ll even have enough space for everyone to lie flat (and it’s not something they’re advertising). This will be significantly more cramped than most business class products.

blissjet-cabin

Here’s a video about the BlissJet experience:

For ~$24,000 roundtrip you could buy a walk-up fare in first class on any airline between New York and London, have a lot more flexibility, have a lot more personal space, and actually get some rest.

In practice I don’t really see people booking this, so perhaps paying $12,000 for a one-way ticket could be worth it if you end up alone. However, something tells me they’ll be canceling the service if they only sell one or two seats per flight.

Can anyone make sense of BlissJet’s once weekly New York to London flight?

Comments

  1. And the fact that Stansted isn’t convenient AT ALL to the London business districts. Nobody in their right mind would fly this over BA’s JFK-LCY.

  2. No, you are right, this service doesn’t make sense. And I have the feeling that the demand for premium fares between London and NY is under pressure given the fact that BA cut 50% of their flights with its LCY-JFK service…

  3. I have a JetSmarter membership, and I can fly from New York to London for $2,500 anytime now that I’ve paid the $11,000 membership fee. So for the cost of 1 flight to London on Bliss, I can get four flights on JetSmarter to London, on top of unlimited private jet flights in the States and within Europe and the Middle East.

    Use promo code SS9WTP for $500 off a JetSmarter membership.

  4. I just love the flexible convenience of being able to go on any Friday one direction, and any Sunday the other direction. 😉

    And with only one plane available, I’m sure that in the case of a mechanical, or a weather delay, they will be able to get me back within a week or two of my originally scheduled flight.

  5. Sounds like a Donald Trump business, where Donny keeps all the money and the investors and vendors get screwed. This company will go the way of all Donnies failed businesses. Social security will follow suit under the teabaggers.

  6. They’re also marketing it as a business class competitor, as if they’re unaware international F still exists as a step between J and a private jet…

  7. If you buy semi flexible tickets, you’ll pay much less than 24K return and wont mind the occasional 500 USD change fee…
    Plus, you’ll get an actually nice lie-flat seat in an actually spacious plane. Private jets make sense from Teterboro to Lille, not from LaGuardia to Stansted…and even in case of flying from small airfield > small airfield, it would make perfect sense to me if somebody chose the comfort of a commercial jet airliner over of one of these tiny things where you cant even stand up properly.

  8. There are certain other financial considerations and tax issues that are involved in the scheme for an entity that has a private jet fleet and corporate demand for this particular route.
    It is entirely possible that this venture is not meant to be revenue earning from the public, but help control costs underwriting an already established private fleet. There are a lot more details to examine to know the business model.
    There is more to fractional and hourly jet use by several large operators than is known on the street.

  9. @whatever dog…

    Obviously RealityCheck is not as business savvy as trump voters, therefore s/he cannot see value in smart business investments.

    I’m sure you are already getting ready to contact your investment banker to take a second (or third) mortgage on your mobile home to invest in this sure bet business.

    So sad…
    .

  10. Strange how they don’t put any attention on the type of aircraft they’re flying, which from the photos looks to be quite cramped. I suppose they don’t want to, for good reason…

  11. Poor little Benjamin: you are so naive about the world. Now go back and redeem some miles for your next first class seat. In other news, Steve and I celebrated our New Years making love under the Northern Lights on an uninhabited island off the Icelandic coast. It was AMAZING. And I am typing this after hours of manhandled by a bunch of sailors who rescued us from a thunderstorm.

  12. Jet Smarter sounds great until you sign up and try to use it. Especially for an international flight like the one the VP of Sales & Marketing suggests is available in this comment string…lol.

    No one has cracked this code yet and while there are a couple outfits plugging along right now (like Jet Smarter), they are burning through massive amounts of capital and will inevitably run out of money because they are flawed models.

    You are certainly right about this one, the pricing is ridiculous.

  13. I notice from their website that the first four flights are “sold out”, yet they have empty planes for the next rotations …. I doubt that they will ever fly!

  14. Look at the bios of the management team — total jokers.

    No one would take a service like this from LGA. You could easily be #25 in line for take-off (granted, unlikely at 11pm, but you never know). Sure, Donald Trump and a Fortune 100 CEO may get priority handling, but not this carrier.

    The whole thing is so asinine, I wonder if it is a front for something else. Fake news of some sort.

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