Sergey Petrossov is one of the Forbes 30 under 30. At 28 years old, Sergey Petrossov is a successful entrepreneur and founder of JetSmarter, the app that maximizes private aircraft flight times.
Sergey moved to the U.S. at the age of four, eventually calling Fort Lauderdale, Florida, his home. Petrossov is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he received a bachelor’s degree in finance and business administration but found early on that he had a knack for working with complex problems and recognizing the benefits of technology. This led to an interest in engineering and involvement in a chat support project, which was to be his first startup.
Petrossov’s involvement in private aviation began in 2009 when a local private jet company expressed a similar interest in reaching the Russian and Eastern European markets. While he had no personal experience in aviation, Petrossov’s studies revealed that reservations for private jet flights at the time were still done by phone and fax while the hospitality industry, in comparison, had already updated to digital operations and a pricing yield management system.
As well, he found wide gaps in flight-load efficiency. Not only were aircraft in the air less than 15 percent of their potential flying time, but a third of those flights were also empty due to redeployment.
Petrossov’s solution went beyond up-to-date pricing and registration to integrate three concepts: the experience and benefits of air travel, a means for the community and meeting people with similar interests and a personalized ground navigation service on arrival.
JetSmarter’s overall concept is a curated travel experience based on personal interests. It achieves this through mobile app technology, data interactivity and a sharing-community approach to private air travel.
Clients can create on-demand flights that are open for sharing – for which they receive credit on empty seats sold – or they can choose to create private flights. Clients can equally purchase seats on existing shared flights or book on last-minute empty legs on its JetDeals.
According to Petrossov, JetSmarter now has access to 3,000 aircraft, 20 of which have been designated as part of the company brand. It has also been working to integrate 8,000 luxury residences and over 100 restaurants into its operations and, as of 2015, it added JetShuttles to its services. As of 2017, its unique passenger count was nearly 45,000 while its New York/South Florida flights maintain 96 percent occupancy.