The world’s first air charter bidding platform records over 300% rise in new users
With sign-ups to the platform climbing over 300% in a three-week period, is AeroBid the digital disrupter the private air charter industry’s brokers and operators are looking for?
A new platform claims to be the ‘digital revolution’ that private aviation has been waiting for – but is AeroBid really going to be as disruptive as it states? With an increase in sign-ups of over 300% over a three-week period in April, its founders could be right.
Since launching in April 2022, brokers and operators have flocked to the platform, under the promise that it will bring a fast, transparent, and convenient way for brokers to request charters for their clients, and for operators to receive and bid on live flight requests in real time.
Yet this isn’t the first time a new platform has made bold claims to revolutionise the industry. Several apps and portals have sprung up in recent years, promising to digitise private aviation and make booking a private charter faster, easier and more accessible. None have fully succeeded: some have been little more than a broker with app functionality, while ‘static’ pricing platforms have failed to bring the speed and efficiency to the operator-broker relationship that a true ‘digital revolution’ should deliver.
So, what’s different about AeroBid, and why is its growth accelerating so rapidly?
AeroBid is the creation of Zaher Deir and his team: private aviation experts and former aircraft engineers who have over eight decades of experience in the industry. In Zaher’s own words, this is a platform designed by brokers and operators, for brokers and operators. Having experienced the frustrations felt by both parties, Zaher wanted to tackle those issues head-on – and knew that using digital channels held the key to solving them.
This led to the idea of a real-time bidding platform that would allow brokers to post detailed flight requests, for operators to view and bid on those charters instantly. It proposed a way for brokers to reach a much bigger pool of operators easily, while giving operators a more convenient and hassle-free way to fill their schedules.
But is this just going to be another source of ‘operator overwhelm’? Other platforms have seen private aircraft operators receiving hundreds of requests every day during peak periods, making it almost impossible to filter high-value, convenient opportunities from irrelevant requests. This has created a steep increase in administrative tasks for operators, with little reward for that time and effort. As a result, operators have been reticent to join new platforms – but the fact that so many are signing up to AeroBid could be testament to the platform’s unique difference.
AeroBid allows operators to take control of the charters they bid for: by activating AeroBid’s search and alert function, operators receive SMS and email notifications for new charter requests posted on the marketplace. Alerts can be requested for single or multiple airports, cities, counties or the entire country; in the USA you can receive alerts for the entire country, or narrow requests down by state. Rather than being deluged with quote requests and obligated to respond, operators get to pick and choose their opportunities, keeping administrative work under control without the risk of losing ideal flight prospects. One added bonus for this function is that it should help operators to find appropriate charter requests to sell their Empty Legs.
Another issue Zaher and his team wanted to tackle is price inaccuracy – a by-product of attempts to digitise the charter pricing process without introducing real-time functionality. Static platforms have made it difficult for operators to post accurate quotations, due to lack of available information, or time constraints. On the other hand, brokers often need to resort to manually calling operators for more up-to-date costs, negating the speed and agility that digital channels should be delivering to the industry.
Can AeroBid completely eradicate the price inaccuracies we see on other apps altogether? We reached out to Zaher for comment. He told us, “The short answer is no – but in removing the obstacles that operators face when pricing on static platforms, we’re making it easier for operators to share more up-to-date offers. By using ‘real-time’ processes, operators can bid accurately and competitively: they’re more informed, and every bid is more visible. There’s no need to jump in with a low price just to get their bid being seen by brokers, when operators are bidding competitively in real-time, and competing based on value – not just cost.”
AeroBid is a completely new concept for the private aviation industry – there has never been a live bidding platform that brings such a vast number of operators and brokers together to share potential opportunities. Is it the digital revolution the private jet industry needs? Time will tell – but if AeroBid’s initial growth continues, it could be set to cause serious disruption in the industry, transforming broker-operator relations for the better.