Air Charter Guide, publisher of the definitive print and online directory of nearly 20,000 commercially licensed charter aircraft in the U.S. and 120 other countries, today announced CharterX, a web-based booking engine and provider network that makes pricing and booking all types of charter aircraft on the Internet as easy as booking a seat on a commercial flight.
Already in use by leading air charter companies including TAG Aviation, the world`s largest, Raytheon Aircraft Charter Services, and Executive Jet Charters, Air Charter Guide foresees rapid integration with leading travel portals on the Web, enabling consumers to compare and book charter or commercial options when making travel plans.
“This is the beginning of charter moving squarely into the mainstream of air travel,” said Meara McLaughlin, vice-president of Air Charter Guide`s e-Services division. “It`s a trend that`s been developing for some time, and the events of September 11th have accelerated it.”
CharterX features a user-interface similar to those used by major commercial airlines and online travel sites. The system is the first to provide real-time availability of individual charter aircraft combined with pricing, which involves computations and operator-unique pricing elements that are not a factor with commercial aircraft. In addition to price and availability, CharterX also presents pictures and supporting information on each aircraft, and background information on each charter operator. The legal, licensed status of every operator and aircraft in the system is screened by Air Charter Guide`s data confirmation processes.
The new charter booking system can be private-labeled by licensees to offer online access to quoting and booking capabilities from within their own websites, an important feature for travel portals looking for ways to augment income. “Commissions for online bookings have been eliminated entirely by some major carriers, so this could offer an important source of new revenue for the online travel industry,” McLaughlin continued. “In addition, it will provide options for travel between smaller destinations, which are seeing service cut back or discontinued by the airlines.”
CharterX is available to charter providers, volume buyers, and online travel agents immediately. It is offered on an ASP basis with a monthly license fee that varies depending on use. XML integrations are priced on a case-by-case basis.