Surf Air’s website has added, “Now serving 10 cities with more to follow.” But what’s actually coming?
After nine months of minimal growth, including reducing or restructuring staff recently, Surf Air in Europe may finally be ready to spread its wings. Then again, maybe not. From what it looks like somebody has been updating its website with possible routes that may be in the offing. On the home page of Surf Air, a headline reads, “Now serving 10 cities with more to follow.”
However, the only route that we could find flights scheduled is between Zurich and London, where it looks like the schedule shown currently has been reduced from five weekly roundtrips to just two (below). Others show “No flights found” when searching the proposed route.
Bizarrely, Surf Air refers to Geneva as Le Grand-Saconnex, the actual municipality where Geneva’s airport is located. At the same time, a little know airport that looks to be part of the future schedule is Grosetto, in this case, a former air force base in Tuscany.
According to the airport’s website, there are currently no scheduled flights although there are seasonal charters. The airport is about 20 miles from the Mediterranean coast on a latitude about halfway between Rome and Florence.
It’s also not clear what type of aircraft you will be flying on. So far it has been a single Embraer Phenom 300 but the original plan was to also use the Pilatus PC-12 which is used by the U.S. version of Surf Air. Yet, it looks like additional aircraft types are in the offing. “Some Surf Air routes may be operated with other jet aircraft from the Cessna Citation family,” according to its website.
Flexjet Ltd. in the U.K (FlairJet) has been operating the Phenom for Surf Air, which also outsourced flight operations in the U.S. last year as well. The Flexjet website lists the Embraer Legacy 600 and Nextant 400 XTI additionally as part of its fleet, so it’s not clear who will operate Surf Air Europe flights with the PC-12 or Citations.
By the seat flying in Europe is seeing a trio of competitors with JetSmarter, JetClass and Surf Air each offering a variety of routes. While JetClass sells seats on individual flights and JetSmarter requires buying a membership, and then provides seats on shorter flights as part of the membership, but charges for longer flights, typically over three hours, Surf Air offers both.
Surf Air offers two membership levels where you pay a monthly fee and then fly as much as you want, however, it also sells single seats on “leisure flights” for as little as 350 GBP each way. It had previously been 650 GBP.
One criticism of the current LCY to Zurich schedule is that there is already was a high number of flights between the two cities (over 30 roundtrips daily between British Airways, Swiss and Easyjet) and both airports are relatively easy to get in and out of. The primary benefit of Surf Air and other similar offers is the time you save at the airport – showing up 15 minutes before your flight, using the private jet terminal instead of the congested main terminals, and an easy getaway when you land, generally five or 10 minutes, including immigration.
A number of the possible new routes per its website includes connecting cities and airports without any nonstop commercial flights such as Milan-Basel, Milan-Nice and Milan-Geneva.
We have called to Surf Air executives to see what they can confirm, and will update as we hear back.