JSX's 'Hop-On' Jet Service Arrives In Phoenix
New jet service launched Friday from Phoenix with prices competitive to the major commercial airlines. But, the CEO of JSX said his company is competing less with big name airlines and more with highways.
JSX offers daily flights from Swift Aviation’s Terminal near Sky Harbor Airport to Burbank, California. Flights to Las Vegas will start next month and Oakland, California, later this year.
Alex Wilcox, CEO and co-founder, expects people who drive to those markets will consider jet service that lets them to skip the airport crowds.
“In the last 20 years the short haul market has been basically ignored by major air carriers,” he said. “So the total U.S. domestic aviation market is up by a third in the last 20 years, but markets under 500 miles is off by a third.”
Wilcox said in 2000, there were 3 million more people flying between Los Angeles and San Francisco compared to last year and one million more people who flew between Phoenix and Los Angeles in 2000 compared to last year.
“People are voting with their feet,” he said. “If it takes you an hour and a half to get through an airport for 45 minutes on an airplane, but you can make the drive in four hours, it’s kind of a wash now.”
While some tickets are priced as low as $89 each way, Wilcox described them as being about $40-50 higher than commercial. Prices include two checked bags, snacks, drinks and legroom comparable to domestic airlines’ business class.
Despite a nationwide pilot shortage, Wilcox said JSX has had no problem finding qualified employees that can meet or exceed federal regulations because his regional airline can offer a better quality of fly.
“We fly in a small region so it’s a lot more likely we’ll get them home on time, “he said. “You’re never more than a couple hours away from wherever you live. Pilots value that a lot.”
He said Jet Blue Airways is one of their investors and they have a program that offers JSX junior pilots a guaranteed interview with Jet Blue if they want to move. JSX recently rebranded from JetSuiteX and dubs its travel category: hop-on jet service.