By Andy Warfield
Jet It, a private, fractional ownership private aviation firm headquartered in Greensboro, is employing its unique business model to assist patients in need of bone marrow transplants.
Through its new partnership with Be The Match, Jet It, with its fleet of 10 HondaJets and growing, can provide a private air travel service for donors and life-saving donations for bone marrow transplants at a moment’s notice. Since April 2020, Be The Match and its partners have assisted with 36 donated private flights for cell donors and couriers.
The cost to operate a HondaJet, built by Greensboro-based Honda Aircraft Co. (NYSE: HMC) is approximately $1,600 per hour,
“We are in a position now with our Jet It fleet to assist individuals that need medical transport so they can provide their donations,” said Akir Khan, Jet It’s vice president of strategy. “As a company focused on helping those in need, we strive to put others ahead of ourselves to close the gap, build community and ensure no one is left behind.”
As the global leader in blood stem cell transplanting, Be The Match helps patients find their donor match and delivers the cure from across the country or around the world. Because 70% of patients needing a transplant will not have a family member match, the Be The Match registry is often a cancer patient’s last hope for a cure.
Once the donor’s cells are collected, they are transported within 48 hours by a volunteer courier, via ground or air transportation, such as Jet It, to patients regardless of location. Jet It co-founders and aviators Glenn Gonzales and Vishal Hiremath are donating their own flight days to the cause.
“We depend on help from partners who can connect us with private flight solutions in emergent situations when we are unable to utilize traditional transportation options,” said Alex Zweig, general aviation flight coordinator for Be The Match. “I am excited, honored and humbled to have Jet It as a new partner to help fill that need.”
Transplant timing is always critical, but Covid-19 has presented new obstacles and costs for delivering cures. Patient families are navigating new financial barriers in getting to and through transplant, resulting in a 50% increase in Be The Match grants given in the past year. For donor and courier trips requiring air travel, more than 90% of trips are being re-booked more than once because of commercial flight availability.
Founded in 2018, Jet It has raised more than $575,000 for various children’s charities.