Denise Wilson, president, CEO and flight captain, founded Desert Jet in 2007 with the vision of creating an upscale “private car service of the sky.” In the last 10 years, Desert Jet has grown to fulfill that promise and more, providing executive FBO, private jet charter and management services, aircraft sales and maintenance and more from its home base in Thermal, California, near Palm Springs.
Desert Jet now manages ten aircraft on behalf of private individuals and corporations. The organization flies more than 1,500 clients to destinations across the Western Hemisphere, including North, Central and South America. To meet their clients’ diverse needs, Desert Jet operates a variety of planes ranging from smaller jets with a range of 1800 nautical miles to larger aircraft capable of flying up to 3800 miles.
As the business grew, Wilson and her team knew that they needed to keep pace with their clients’ evolving expectations – including providing inflight Wi-Fi. With a diverse set of passengers, owners and aircraft, Desert Jet required service and technology that could be added to their fleet in a strategic and flexible way that provided value to everyone involved.
Desert Jet began adding inflight Wi-Fi to its fleet 4 years ago with the purchase of a CJ3 with a Gogo ATG 5000 inflight connectivity system preinstalled. The response from pilots and clients was so positive that Wilson and her team also purchased a Challenger 300 with preinstalled Wi-Fi and chose to add inflight connectivity to another newly purchased CJ3.
“We had such a good experience with the first one, we knew we were going to go with Gogo,” Wilson explains. “The only question was whether to use the ATG 2000 or ATG 5000. We worked with the owner to determine that the ATG 5000 was worth it because of the large number of devices that could
be connected at one time.”
Installation was “seamless,” according to Wilson, and the benefits were immediate. Desert Jet customers use inflight Wi-Fi for business and pleasure, depending on why they’re traveling, from retirees planning their trip to business teams preparing for a critical meeting.
“Wi-Fi helps us significantly improve our customer experience as well as better manage that experience,” Wilson continues.
Customers want to be able to stay in touch constantly. In the charter world, an aircraft that has inflight Wi-Fi will be continuously in demand and an aircraft that doesn't simply won't.
President, CEO and Flight Captain
Inflight connectivity enables Wilson and her team to deliver the level of customer service and business excellence that have made Desert Jet successful. It allows the crew to support each other, their customers and their flights plans more efficiently and effectively.
“Customers want to fly on an aircraft that has Wi-Fi,” Wilson concludes.“We don’t charge extra for it because we believe that at this point in time, airplanes should just have it. It’s an expected part of the service.”
Wilson’s advice for anyone considering adding inflight connectivity to their fleet? Do it for the resale value. “The benefits are obvious for the owners who are using the plane, but it’s also about what’s in it for them at the end. The resale value of your aircraft will definitely be positively affected when you sell it. All other things being equal, an aircraft with Wi-Fi will book and sell before an aircraft that doesn’t have it.”
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