Picture: Surf Air
As if traditional network airlines were not facing enough competition from low cost carriers, Surf Air, a new aviation start-up based in Santa Monica, California, is proposing a business model that, if generalized, could put under strain their grip on business travelers and major corporate accounts.
The recipe is similar to that you can find in other industries such as telecoms or cable tv: an all-you-can-eat (or in this case all-you-can-fly!) flat fee...to use an executive aircraft!
What I found quite interesting, though, is the pricing: from $800 to $1500 a month, which seems quite a reasonable amount for frequent fliers, particularly when taking into account the additional advantages of flying in an executive jet.
The carrier, that is still awaiting FAA approval, is planning to fly 8-seat Pilatus PC-12 aircraft between several Californian airports, starting possibly this summer. In the meantime it is taking applications to join its member's list (again a marketing trick that is common in other industries, such as e-commerce).
While I ignore what are the economics that would make it possible to sustain its operations, expect frequent fliers and small airports to benefit greatly if surf Air's business model takes hold!