Former Wall Street stockbroker Ricky Sitomer (below) is CEO of Blue Star Jets, which claims to be the world’s most comprehensive and efficient private-jet brokerage company. Soon to open its first London office, and with access to more than 4,000 executive private jets, the US-based firm arranges charter of private aircraft for flights to any destination in the world at a moment’s notice.
Tell us about Blue Star Jets – what are the ideas behind it and what inspired you to get it started?
Blue Star Jets is one of the largest private-jet brokers in the world. The main idea behind the company is to offer clients the flexibility to fly on whatever aircraft they need for a specific trip. This ultimately leads to tremendous savings of around 40 to 50 per cent, compared to the other fractional ownership and card programmes out there.
What do you think sets you apart from other private-jet companies?
It’s our customer service. Each client is assigned a personal Blue Star Jets representative, who looks after their every onboard need. This could be anything from lobster and caviar to flowers for their wife.
Why do you think people should fly privately?
Everyone has a different reason for flying privately. For some people it’s about convenience and not wanting the hassle of dealing with commercial airports. For others it’s time. Some of our clients need to go to several different places over a short period. Then there are those who just love the luxury.
Do you think private jets have become more accessible to ‘normal’ people? Is it cheaper, for example, for a group of friends to hire a plane than all fly business class to a destination?
I think private jets have become more accessible to everyone – something, I’m proud to say, that Blue Star Jets has been instrumental in. By making airline owners compete against each other for business,
we have brought down prices. If you can find enough friends to fill a small aircraft, then the travel costs are now not much more expensive than business- or first-class tickets.
How do you think that the Blue Star Jets brand fits with Mr & Mrs Smith?
Well, Mr & Mrs Smith now has around 500 boutique hotels and self-catering properties all over the globe, and Blue Star Jets lets you fly from A to B anywhere in the world. This means we can meet any of your customers’ requests. We also firmly believe, like Mr & Mrs Smith, in the value of high-end customer service.
Describe to us your perfect weekend away…
For me that would be heading to my house in the Hamptons in winter. I’d light a fire, open a nice bottle of wine, and just savour the peace and quiet.
What’s the first thing you look for when you’ve checked into a hotel?
I personally like to check out the decor, the bathroom and the bed. My fiancé goes straight for the bath products and the minibar.
My American Express Centurian card. I never know what life will bring and, as it’s got no spending limit, I’m ready for anything that comes my way.
What’s the most romantic thing you’ve done with your partner?
Even though we live in New York, I frequently surprise my fiancé by booking a hotel room in the city. It’s completely spur of the moment, and it could be on any night of the week. It always goes down very well.