Gennady Barsky, President and Vice Chairman of the Board at JetSmarter
By Shereen Shabnam
JetSmarter, the world’s leading private jet company has created a new class of air travel that is able to offer both custom charters and unused seats across thousands of flights. We speak with Gennady Barsky, President and Vice Chairman of the Board at JetSmarter to learn more.
As the President and Vice Chairman of the Board at JetSmarter, Gennady has worked closely with the CEO of the burgeoning company since its inception. He launched his career at JetSmarter as its Chief Financial Officer, overseeing worldwide treasury, cash management, financial planning, and investment liaisons.
Age 37, Gennady was born in Kishinev, Moldova but hails from Florida and has two daughters. In 2015, he took on the role of President, overseeing Global Business Development and all corporate departments including Legal, Human Resources and Investor Relations.
By fundamentally rewiring the marketplace, JetSmarter has lowered the entry cost into the private aviation market, making it more available to travelers around the world. The JetSmarter app is available for iOS and Android. Gennardy tells us more in an interview.
How the journey of JetSmarter Begin?
Sergey Petrossov’s background is in tech start-ups, and in 2009 he began flying private he quickly came to realize that the private jet industry was very archaic; its brick and mortar process of picking up the phone, waiting hours and speaking to numerous different people in order to charter a jet was outdated and inconvenient. In 2012, he spoke to the carriers he had established relationships with and discussed how large of an impact an app to charter a private plane would have on the industry. In August 2012, Petrossov made it a reality and created the beta version of JetSmarter, sharing it with an exclusive group of industry experts and frequent private jet users. In March 2013, JetSmarter launched globally.
Tell us about the vision of the company?
We strive to make the process of booking a private jet a seamless and easy experience. We also want to make private jet travel accessible to more than just the privileged .01%.
What are your greatest achievements so far?
JetSmarter’s greatest achievements would be creating a globally known company, as well as being the first company to launch a transatlantic shared private jet flight from New York City to London, which is really exciting for us and our members. We’ve seen a significant growth since the launch in March 2013, growing 15-20% each month. To date, JetSmarter has had over 800,000+ downloads, so we expect that growth to continue exponentially.
Who are your major investors?
Our investors have been our users that loved our product. In the Middle East, especially, we have many members that are absolutely in love with the company and truly believe in our product.
Which factors contributed specifically to JetSmarter sales growth?
The reasoning behind our growth is due to our members believing in our product. Without our members we would have not become the “country club of the sky.” Due to our vast growth, we’ve been able to utilize data analytics to also provide us with details on where the top flights across the world are going to and coming from. From there, we created our JetShuttle program which provides our members with a complimentary seat on any flight. These are available across the globe in the US, Middle East and Europe. Also, through our member experiences through our Celebrity JetShuttles and high-end luxury events, the company has grown significantly.
How do you explain your “hitching a ride” concept?
Our JetShuttles are shared private jet flights; members can search for and book an already scheduled fight or create their own JetShuttle. Members can choose from scheduled JetShuttles where single seats on already scheduled flights in select US markets, Europe and the Middle East.
Or they create their own JetShuttle – This option allows members to book a flight by purchasing a few seats on a plane (rather than the entire aircraft). The remaining seats on the flight are released into the app, for other JetSmarter members to book for free.
How important is 24/7 customer service for JetSmarter?
It is extremely important. We understand that our members are all over the world, which requires us to be available 24/7 to them. We pride ourselves on providing our members with only the best service on or off the ground.
Where do you think the Middle East is now in terms of its position as an international private jet hub?
We came to the Middle East because our members thoroughly enjoy traveling to this area of the globe, so it was important for us to expand our services to this region. For our members, having a presence in the Middle East is very important to them, as they travel a lot throughout the area.
The Middle East has Three regional Carriers with strong premium products. Do their offerings pose any challenges for JetSmarterin terms of competition?
We offer a unique business model unlike any other private jet venture. JetSmarter is the only private travel service company to operate by way of an innovative app technology. Our aim is to make flying private something accessible to the masses not just a privileged 1 percent. We offer 4,000 free flights each month to our members who have access to these flights daily.
Where are your businesses located?
We have offices located in Zurich, Riyadh, London, Fort Lauderdale, Dubai, Hong Kong. Among our offices I would say our main philosophies is that we are all a team. Whether we have employees in the same city or across the world, it is clear that our teams rely on each other tremendously. This constant teamwork has built a common goal through trust and contributed greatly to the success of JetSmarter.