VolAir is in the process of revolutionizing the way people use private jet charters. Our blockchain based platform is some of the most innovative technology out to date (sorry, Sofia). With this, most people do not know much about blockchain or private jet charters, so we thought it would be nice to have the man himself shed some light on this. Ross Jones, the pilot, I mean, CEO of VolAir answered some pressing questions surround blockchain and private Jets.
After surveying 30 of our followers on social media, we compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions.
Q: What made you want to combine blockchain with private jet charters?
A: This came about quite randomly; Firstly, I live about 500m from the airport in Basel, so I see planes coming and going all the time. Basel has a big aviation scene with a lot of friends of mine working in that industry doing VIP aircraft. Secondly, I travel a lot for work so spend a lot of time in airports/ lounges/ on planes (although not private jets just yet) and you find yourself getting really frustrated with either the about of time you waste doing so, but also the lack of consistency in what your loyalty gets you. I used to be a big British Airways flyer and Gold tier in their frequent flyer program. Now, with that you’d think you would get some consistency with your service, but I regularly had things like in-flight entertainment not working and not being moved to a better seat, or just a lack of what I would deem as good service. Not once was I upgraded on a flight when I was gold tier, yet friends of mine who were not frequent flyers would get upgrades. How does that make sense? This lack of consistency in service and the plane market around here got a couple of us chatting and probably me moaning about travel and it seemed to go from there! The more we dug into it the more we felt it could really benefit not just customers but the partner side too.
Q: What is some advice you can give to people trying to get involved with blockchain/cryptocurrency technology?
A: Like any company startup; be prepared to learn and work hard. You need to really understand everything you need to know in order to make what you’re doing a success. Keep up to date with the tech. This changes/ advances at such a rate that it’s important to stay ahead and ensure you’re building the best thing you can be. Don’t fall for the scams; there are a lot of people trying to capitalize on the blockchain market, from companies to individuals, so be mindful. Everyone is a self-titled expert with 2 months experience, so do your own research on everything you’re looking to engage in. Also, and most importantly, if you’re looking to start something. Make sure that you’re doing something that really translates well in this market. We joke about “Private Jets on the blockchain” because it’s like the old “Uber for…” adding on the blockchain to everything that’s cropping up is now just a joke. So ultimately you need to be providing value with your smart contracts and token ecosystem.
Q: What are some good platforms for people to educate themselves?
A: So much info out there right now. Twitter is good for the “scene” and lots to help you keep up with markets and new trends. I subscribe to all the online crypto news stuff as well, this is interesting. Linkedin… for once… I never thought I’d say that but as the newsfeed is so useless normally, there is a little less noise there so some great info I get. I check tons of stuff, whether twitter, reddit, news feeds etc.
Q: We know private jet charter prices will never be as low as commercial, but what are the steps your taking to make it more affordable?
A: I think this is already happening in the industry or has at least started. Even the offering of empty leg flights at a reduced rate is a great way of getting a saving on a private flight. Did you know that 40% of return legs go unoccupied? This is a huge waste on planes, which allows them to offer the leg at a reduced rate. Technology and scale can help make this more useful to customers as well (if you have enough partners and empty leg data, with some nice data analysis it can help provide these as suggestions to customers who frequently fly those routes etc.). On top of this and a huge step in the direction of bringing down the cost is through VOL tokens. If you think we start with planes and you get VOL tokens when you book a flight but building on our partnerships and you’re then talking luxury accommodation, cars, yachts, restaurants… you name it. Collecting VOL tokens when you book through us means you can use them directly against flights. Not how a frequent flyer point usually is allowed to be used, but the market value of that VOL can be used to book anything with our partners through us. Now that is really quite special!
Q: One of the reasons people trust currencies is because it is back by a state and where other states all have agreed upon it having value. How are cryptocurrencies legitimized? How does one decide it has value and how do you know it is ‘real’? With Bitcoin, people now agree that it is real. How do we know it is real? With the new currencies how do we know It is real?
A: Jeez, if you looked into the financial markets we have to day and what the big companies, you know, the ones we are supposed to trust, do to manipulate and structure markets to make them money, you’d be shocked. Or maybe you wouldn’t but it’s crazy what goes on at all levels and they’re the ones defining our whole markets. The whole point of blockchain based currency is really bringing the power back to the people and not the greedy fat cats who have spent generations getting rich off the back of the common masses. With all fiat now being backed by nothing, the value has gone. That only has value because people say it does and you can buy stuff with it. The amount that is printed daily in each country of the world tells you how broken the system is. You have something with bitcoin/ et al. that is backed by technology and not people, which already gives you a huge advantage.
Q: Why is private jet chartering more beneficial than First Class on a commercial airline? Have you seen Emirates First-Class Suites?
A: The suites are seriously nice. It’s like a hotel on there! They all have their place really. If you’re flying a huge long-haul leg, you might be better off in a suite if you only have a small private jet charter with low flying distance. That said, private jets mean you don’t have all that time wasted in airports. Straight to the plane, on, done. If you calculate the number of hours spent in airports for flights if you frequently fly, you’d be looking at days per year of wasted time. Sure, sometimes you can park yourself up in a lounge and get some work done, but even then, it’s not efficient use of time and when you’re trying to fit in everything you’re doing those days lost are extremely valuable.
Q: Do you have aircraft that accommodate a large group of about 10-15 people?
A: There a number of planes that can take this number of passengers, no problem.
Q: Random: What is the craziest/shadiest/most illegal thing you have ever seen?
A: Man, I don’t know if I can even answer this… I’m sure I’ve been around a bit so seen dodgy things across all parts of life and business. People like to party/ unwind and it’s the people who you often least expect can be the ones who surprise you the most in life. I think I better leave it at that!!
Each week will have a Q&A wit a member of the team. If you would like to submit a question, please email [email protected] . We would love to hear from you!