Business travelers often face a trade-off between the cost of a trip and the length of a trip. Many try to save money for their companies by accepting cheaper, but less convenient, itineraries.
Until now, business travelers haven't had an easy way to put a price on the misuse of their time due to overlong trips -- or to justify a quicker alternative.
Launched in July, Biz Airlines is a startup that is attempting to put a price on the so-called "opportunity cost" for business travelers of enduring an inconvenient airline itinerary.
The startup's software estimates the costs to a company incurred by lack of productivity during a trip. These estimates are adjusted by employee profile, so that, say, a chief executive's time will be more valued than her personal assistant's.
Biz Airlines then pieces together alternative itineraries, which often include rides in private jets alongside standard commercial flights.
Here is a one-minute video pitch by CEO Bruno Santiago:
And here's a brief Q&A with Santiago:
What problem does your business solve?
Time is the most precious asset for high-end executives, and Biz Airlines solves their problems with a new airline and distribution concept that mixes and matches airport transfers, airlines and private jets to deliver time and cost-efficiency for business travelers.
BizConnect, our main product is the fastest way to connect two cities, selling individual seats on scheduled private jet flights. Our first route is Miami-Orlando.
Names of founders, their management roles, and number of full-time paid staff?
Bruno Santiago, Chief Executive Officer
Wonder Jarjour, Chief Financial Officer
Guilherme Schneider, Chief Innovation Officer
Hudson Dunice, Chief Technology Officer
+5 full-time paid staff
The company has received $100,000 on a pre-seed round for the product development and flight tests and is raising $650,000 on the seed round with angel investors in Brazil and in the US to scale the team and put the go-to-market strategy into action.
We charge a service fee for bookings on our marketplace app available for iOS and Android.
We also have a distribution model using a portal or API where we share the service fees with travel agencies (corporate and OTAs) and TMCs as commissions (one of the best in the market).
Why do you think the pain point you’re solving is painful enough that customers are willing to pay for your solution?
Time is money. We sell productive time in order to make companies save money.
Biz Airlines was funded and is part of Travel Startups Incubator, graduated from VentureScaleUp program in Orlando, Florida and has been accepted to Extreme Accelerator, in Toronto.
We have a great team of mentors and advisors who have successfully founded, grown and exited companies in the travel and technology industries.
Bruno Santiago, our CEO, is an experienced entrepreneur and has been in the digital marketing and product industry for the past 17 years, 7 of which working with airlines and travel companies.
Furthermore, we have developed great and close partnerships with Amadeus, Avinode and many private jet operators in the US and Canada.
In theory, enabling agents, or travelers themselves, to mix-and-match private jets with airport transfers and commercial flights is a logical next step for the industry.
It will be interesting to see if this concept takes flight, and if this startup will be the one that popularizes the concept.
Biz Airlines only needs to grab a tiny percentage of the $273 billion in annual sales of airline tickets to be a thriving operation.
But the challenge it faces is daunting. The air travel industry is extraordinarily complex, and customer expectations — especially in the high-end segment — are fierce.
We'll be interested to see how this pans out.