JetSuiteX, the US-based business jet operator that flies Embraer 135s between select cities on the US West Coast, has rebranded itself as JSX Air.
As well as a new name, the company has launched a new website and advertising campaign.
“As we continue to grow, it’s important that we not only distinguish ourselves uniquely as a brand, but as a new type of travel solution that is focused on creating ‘Joyful, Simple Xperiences’ every time you fly – and which is now clearly reflected in our new name ‘JSX’,” says Alex Wilcox, co-founder & CEO, JetSuiteX.
JetSuiteX was founded in April 2016 by its parent company JetSuite. JetSuite is a traditional charter operator that utilises a fleet of Embraer Phenom 100s, Phenom 300s and Embraer Legacy 650s.
The company was formed during a time when short-range flight frequencies on scheduled airlines were being removed, and prices were rising.
The JSX route network uses, where possible, smaller airports closer to big cities. Instead of using the main airport terminals, JSX Air utilises Fixed Base Operator FBOs for its passenger services.
By doing this it can reduce the typical wait time at an airport. JSX says that it can take as little as 20 minutes to get from arriving at the airport, to boarding a flight.
The firm operates a small fleet of 13 Embraer ERJ-135 LR aircraft, mostly in short-range flights around California. However, a daily route is flown from Oakland to Seattle Boeing Field, and a new route will soon operate between Burbank and Phoenix.
“Because commercial flying is such drudgery, the notion of joy in flying or hopping on a jet is a foreign concept to so many business and leisure travellers”, says Wilcox. “We have created a model at JSX that fuses the best of the commercial experience, meaning accessibility and cost efficiency, with the best of private flying which is ease, time efficiency and an elevated experience,”
In April 2018 parent company JetSuite announced that Qatar Airways had made a ‘significant’ investment in the company, with some of the funding to be made available to JetSuiteX for expansion.
Less than a month later JetSuiteX announced that it had placed an order, and paid a deposit, with Zunam Aero for the delivery of up to 100 Zunam electric and hybrid-electric aircraft.
At the time, Wilcox said that the Zunam Aero aircraft will be game changers, saving the operator up to 70% on fuel costs per flight.
“Zunum offers us a 70% reduction in fuel costs. We are talking about $250 an hour operating cost. This is transformative,” Said Wilcox. This is different to the hype surrounding very light jets – where the costs are similar. Getting fuel bills lower is a priority for any airline. Zunum is a game changer.”
However recent news suggests the Zunam might be struggling. Despite taking in a combined $6.2 million from Boeing and JetBlue, development of the aircraft appears to have slowed as the company seeks further investment.
In an ‘investment memo’ posted on the company’s website, it says that it is seeking a further $50 million through a series B funding round. It says that it needs the funds to further develop the business and produce a full-scale mock-up of its ZA10 aircraft.
It then says that it will need an estimated a $80 more to bring the aircraft to market, as well as building a production facility to cope with building up to 150 aircraft per year.
“We estimate 25x returns for Series B and 10x for Series C investors through exit.” Says the company.