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Subscription-based air travel to hit Europe

Airline Surf Jet launches its membership-based service in Europe with cloud-based subscription management software at the core of the business

Cloud-based software is enabling subscription-based private jet service Surf Air to enter the European market and grow its existing US operation.

The private jet company launched in the US in 2013 and now has more than 3,000 subscribers. It is using subscription management software from Zuora to manage its business.

Many companies are transforming how they operate to take advantage of providing subscription services to consumers, rather than selling hard products. 

Zuora’s cloud-based software helps companies that are used to selling a physical product get into the subscription economy and take a recurring fee for their services.

It removes the complexities of the business model, automates processes, helps companies to understand what customers require through business intelligence, and enables them to customise services to meet this demand.

From the European launch in May for £1,750 per month and an initial membership fee, customers in Europe will be able to subscribe to Surf Air and receive unlimited flghts. The European launch will initially have flights between London, Zurich, Luxembourg, Ibiza and Cannes.

“We are bringing Surf Air to the European market as a result of three successful years in the US built on our member-first strategy to disrupt the airline industry,” said Simon Talling-Smith, CEO at Surf Air Europe.

“Zuora is essential to the success of our subscriber-centric model, as the agility we gain from their subscription management system is critical to scaling our international operation effectively.”

Read more about subscription-based business

  • Advances in technology are changing the way consumers buy and use goods and services, but technical complexity is a concern
  • Zuora's billing software helps companies manage the subscription lifecycle for their customers, including pricing and packaging, acquisition, billing, collection, renewal and analytics on subscriber data.
  • Zuora, a cloud startup partly financed by Salesforce.com king Marc Benioff, has created a market out of subscription billing services in the cloud.

“The airline industry has been ripe for disruption for decades, with customers demanding greater autonomy and control over their experiences,” said Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora. “There are 180 million worldwide frequent flyers and ,as customer preferences shift, every one of them is up for grabs.”

Zuora’s customers include data storage-as-a-service supplier Box, as well as the Financial Times and the Guardian newspapers. These companies have something in common – they already get their revenue from subscriptions or are increasingly selling services rather than products.

It also works with Norwegian telco Telenor, which is expanding its subscription internet of things (IoT) services that are targeted at enterprise customers.

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