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New community offers cut-price private jet rental

A new community promising to sell spare seats onboard luxurious private jets launched last week, potentially putting private aviation within reach of mere mortals for the first time.

Victor is billed as the world's first private jetshare community and acts almost as an AirBnB for private jets - matching operators with spare seats to fill with travelers who are willing to pay for them.

The idea was conceived by serial entrepreneur Clive Jackson and launched to the public August 15 after six months of testing, during which some 60 Victor-enabled flights have taken off.

Now, it's aiming to take on the wider world, allowing its members to pay far below the odds for a flight on a small private jet.

"Victor is the world’s first ‘one stop’ quotation, comparison and transactional online platform for chartering aircraft or purchasing a seat and will be a massive game changer for the private aviation industry," said Clive Jackson.

"Consumers are able to unite and leverage their considerable buying power under one brand and unifying transactional platform and have the freedom to choose and compare quotes from any major operator," he continued.

Although the website is necessarily limited by where its jets are flying to, it initially appears to have been successful in bringing down the cost of private jet use - current seats showing as available on its website include a trip aboard a Learjet 40XR from the UK's Farnborough Airport to Mallorca for just £750 (€855)

The system is also set up to reduce prices as seats are sold - meaning, for instance, that the seats aboard a listed flight from Paris's Charles de Gaulle to Farnborough have dropped in price from £2,185 to £846 (€2,490 to €965) as more users joined the flight.

Alternatively, users can bid for a seat, and the flight's operator can decide whether or not to accept the price they have offered to join them on board.

Victor says that it currently uses a contracted fleet of 120 jets across Europe, a number which is likely to significantly expand if it takes the service global, as planned, in 2012.