Andrew Collins, Sentient Jet

Andrew Collins

A More Thoughtful
Way to Fly

Editors’ Note

As the President and CEO of Sentient Jet, Andrew Collins is responsible for a $450 million aviation business. In 2018, Collins, on behalf of parent company Directional Aviation, led the acquisition of international digital charter provider PrivateFly (London, U.K.) to help establish a $100 million, on-demand global platform. In addition to helming Sentient Jet, Collins is also the Global Brand Leader for PrivateFly, acting as the team’s executive sponsor as this platform is further enhanced. In recent years, Collins has motivated a significant digital and technology transformation at Sentient Jet and its parent company, Directional Aviation. This has included the creation of retail product, online consumer “touch points,” novel mobile applications, and a brand-new, supply-side platform for driving further efficiencies in flight-time procurement. Collins received his BA from Union College in Schenectady, New York, and a master’s degree from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.

Company Brief

Sentient Jet (sentient.com) has continued to perfect the jet card model for more than 20 years as an alternative to jet ownership, fractional arrangements, and other jet card programs. Sentient Jet certifies every single aircraft, pilot, crew, and flight that flies in its program to ensure the safety of its clients. Operators are tested annually and the company’s safety standards exceed FAA Part 135 regulations in various categories. Supported by an extensive 24/7 customer service operation, Sentient Jet strives to make each private jet travel experience an extraordinary one.

Andrew Collins Sentient Jet

Will you provide an overview of Sentient Jet and what have been the keys to the strength of the company?

Sentient Jet is one of the leading private aviation companies in the U.S. and the inventor of the Jet Card, offering clients the flexibility and convenience of flying private for their personal and business needs along with a host of unique digital booking tools, including an industry-first with instant, automated text-based booking, a unique sustainability program, and outstanding service heritage.  

A Sentient Jet Card offers all the convenience, practicality, and ease that comes standard with private air travel, without the hassle, maintenance, and high costs of fractional or full ownership of a jet. Unlike traditional charter, a Sentient Jet Card gives you the flexibility of choosing the aircraft size that best fits your private jet travel needs at guaranteed, fixed rates, with consistent service levels. All Sentient Jet Card options provide you access to seamless booking, flight hours that never expire, and Safety Certified, mission capable aircraft.

How do you describe the Sentient Jet experience?

Sentient Jet was founded nearly 25 years ago on the basis of providing a more thoughtful way to fly for travelers seeking private jet travel. We offer an unparalleled safety program, with proprietary technology, 24/7 client management, a wide range of aircraft options and emissions free flying with every flight.

Andrew Collins Sentient Jet

How did Sentient Jet adapt the way it works to address the challenges caused by the global pandemic?

Throughout this time, Sentient Jet has remained steadfast in its commitment to going above and beyond to protect its cardholders, passengers, and employees. We had stringent safety and cleanliness protocols prior to the pandemic, but established a Safety Operations Task Force to expand our Sentient Certified safety protocols. We went further into the health journey by extending our certification and protocol requirements to any ground transportation we booked for our clients beyond the jet flights. Private aviation became a tool in the pandemic to get from point A to point B and Sentient Jet provided solutions for its customers from less touch points, more control, and better routes as commercial airlines reduced and canceled flight paths to smaller cities.

Additionally, the private aviation industry saw unprecedented demand throughout the pandemic and evolving buying behaviors with new fliers. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption of digital technologies was accelerated by several years (according to a recent survey by McKinsey). This in turn caused an influx of demand for companies to adjust to scale and meet the buying behaviors of their customers in order to thrive. Today, Sentient Jet offers various digital booking tools from the mobile app to the recently launched auto text-to-book. This newest innovation is the only tool of its kind in the private aviation space, requires no additional installs, and allows card owners the ability to quote and book via text message, alleviating the need for human contact entirely. Through a user-authenticated, automated, Artificial Intelligence-like interaction, internal and external users can quote and book a flight in less than 60 seconds.

Will you discuss Sentient Jet’s global footprint and plans for expansion?

This summer we saw the return to European travel and with our new Large Cabin Jet Card, travelers can return to the EU and beyond with access to guaranteed fixed rates. Once landed in London, Sentient Jet gives travelers easy access to international territories like Paris, Zurich, Milan, and Frankfurt – guaranteed with 72 hours’ notice.

Sentient Jet places a priority on safety. Will you highlight Sentient Jet’s commitment to safety and do you feel that this is a differentiator for the company?

Sentient Jet is a leader in safety, providing card owners a high-touch private aviation experience that promotes safety, security and ease of mind. Working with only the very best operators, Sentient has invested millions of dollars in its service and safety infrastructure. Safety is so important to Sentient Jet, it has established a safety program that is one of the most stringent in the private aviation industry.

Andrew Collins Sentient Jet

The Sentient Jet mobile app

Will you elaborate on Sentient Jet’s newest digital innovation, automated text-to-book, and how this will further simplify the digital transaction process for its members?

Boasting a robust digital heritage, Sentient Jet continues to innovate in the digital space as card owners embrace mobile and the desire for more straightforward transactions’ increases. For background, Sentient Jet launched a mobile app in 2016, allowing Cardholders to book private jet travel on-demand. Since its launch, Sentient Jet’s recently updated mobile application continues to have unique paths to upgrades and various automated service layers that align seamlessly with the world-class service interactions of Sentient Jet’s senior client management teams.

Sentient Jet continues to recognize its card owners’ buying behaviors by recently creating the technology to provide instant, automated booking capabilities via text. A private aviation industry first, auto text-to-book allows card owners to book travel to and from anywhere in the world from the messaging application on their smartphone through a user-authenticated, automated, and Artificial Intelligence-like interaction. We’re big believers in the future of ‘text-based commerce’ and are working to pave the way to introduce more AI-like interactions into the travel industry using ground-breaking technology for secure, authenticated messaging. This new way of booking is a real innovation in an already incredibly dynamic and complex market.

Will you discuss Sentient Jet’s commitment to the environment and its implementation of sustainability initiatives?

In 2021, Sentient Jet launched a unique and industry-leading sustainability program that offsets 300 percent of the flight emissions on each and every customer flight at no additional cost to the traveler. Sentient Jet has already offset 291,630 metric tons of CO2 this year and it is projected that we will offset over 300 percent of emissions across 30,000 legs flown through the year. These offsets represent the equivalent of planting 345,000 acres and nearly 5,000,000 trees in the U.S. or providing the energy for an entire average U.S. town for a full year. This multi-million-dollar investment continues to set industry standards while offering a more thoughtful way to fly.

What do you see as the keys to effective leadership?

Providing guidance, communication, and company education are keys to effective leadership, especially during challenging periods. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that leaders must be willing to take on the difficult times. Additionally, seeing the big picture is essential, including understanding your ownership group, investor base, board of directors or partners, along with key performance indicators. My management style is direct and transparent, yet informal, and most importantly analytically driven.

What are your priorities for Sentient Jet as you look to the future?

Looking ahead, Sentient Jet will continue to prioritize and evolve its multi-million-dollar sustainability program and digital booking tools as Cardholders utilize mobile transactions on a regular basis. Internally, organizational and talent growth will remain some of our focuses while partnering with our parent company, OneSky, continues to be at the forefront of our strategy. As we look beyond the present, the future of flight and innovation guides our objectives to ultimately keep providing a more thoughtful way to fly for our customer base. Sentient Jet strives to make each private jet travel experience an extraordinary one.