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JetSuite Brings Efficiency and Speed to the Private-Jet Set JetSuite's founder sees smaller planes as the solution to the "broken" $14 billion private-aviation industry.

By Katherine Duncan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Smooth Sailing

Talk about inefficiencies: Over the last 20 years, the average private-jet trip carried two passengers and traveled less than 1,000 miles, according to Alex Wilcox, founder and CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based JetSuite. However, he points out, the planes typically seat eight or more and are capable of crossing oceans. "It's kind of like buying a Winnebago to go on a two-week vacation to Yosemite, but then using it to drive to work every day," he says.

In Wilcox's world, smaller is better, in the form of JetSuite's 13 Embraer Phenom 100s, which swaddle four passengers in premium-class comfort. JetSuite took off in 2006 with Wilcox's discovery of the smaller planes, which he sees as the solution to the "broken" $14 billion private-aviation industry. "We saw an industry whose expenses were completely out of line with its costs," he says. "It was using the wrong tools for the job."