Private aviation is a crowded, fragmented market. There are some 2,500 charter aircraft operators in the country. Most of them own just three or four planes. There have also been a number of players trying to address the online booking market, among them Blue Star Jets and AirCharter.com. John Maguire, who runs JetTrip.com, says it's very hard to get up-to-the-minute pricing and availability information from the charter operators: "We spend 10% of our time on the phone with customers and 90% tracking down available jets."

Virgin Charter hopes to bypass some of those problems by creating what's essentially an eBay (EBAY) for private jets. Customers will input their desired trips and charter operators will bid for their business. The customers will then choose which operator they want. Virgin Charter, based in Santa Monica, Calif., will get an unidentified cut of each sale.

One of the biggest issues in dealing with charter operators is the lack of information about their safety records and the quality of their planes. That's why many private aviation customers tend to choose one charter operator and stick with them.

Get the full story at BusinessWeek