Surf Air Mobility says it has received a commitment for $200 million in advance of plans to go public
Surf Air Mobility, the product of a recent merger between Surf Air and Blackbird, will announce next week it has secured a $200 million investment commitment from Global Emerging Markets Group (GEM). The company bills itself as “a $3.4 billion alternative investment group that manages a diverse set of investment vehicles focused on emerging markets across the world.”
The new entity wants to ‘transform’ the 50-to-400-mile mobility market
50% of all flights are under 500 miles, it says
BlackBird was recently under FAA scrutiny
Surf Air has been trying to fly past liquidation of its European arm, a lawsuit with a former operator and IRS tax lien
Plans call for phasing out the BlackBird Air name
Los Angeles-based Surf Air said it has acquired BlackBird
Air, an online aviation marketplace that has been under scrutiny from the Federal
After years of claims about Uber for private jets instant booking technology, it’s finally arriving. Should you book a private jet online?
After years of claims about Uber for private jets instant
booking technology, it’s finally arriving. But should you use it?
Many of the broker websites and apps promising online bookings were nothing more than electronic request forms.
But that’s changing, and increasingly, you may find yourself able to rent a private jet or turboprop digitally from a broker or platform, and without much human oversight, or at least human oversight looking after your interests.
“Illegal air charter operations pose a serious safety hazard,” says the Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration yesterday issued what it called important information for pilots and passengers covering safe air charter operations.
It comes two days after sending the jet-sharing platform BlackBird a letter it has found serious issues.
In March, Private Jet Card Comparisons published an extensive report detailing potential legal risks for users
“Despite BlackBird’s assertion that the pilots are not transporting persons or property, it is clear that they are being hired for that very purpose.” – Federal Aviation Administration
BlackBird CEO Rudd Davis says the company “will pause” activity under FAA scrutiny. Calls it “a minority of our business.”
Read the full letter from the FAA to BlackBird
In a letter dated Dec. 17, 2019, obtained by Private Jet Card Comparisons, the Federal Aviation Administration tells Uber for private flight digital platform Blackbird it plans to continue an investigation into the company.
Lawsuits, closures, bankruptcies and lack of transparency show the challenges consumers face
In the two years since I launched Private Jet Card Comparisons, I’ve been surprised by the number of bankruptcies, closures, lawsuits, and lack of transparency in private aviation. In Europe, Wijet liquidated its UK subsidiary while Surf Air closed its entire operation there. Zetta Jet filed for Chapter 11 and then Chapter 7, leaving bills estimated at between $50 million and $100 million. ImagineAir just closed shop without notice. Both JetSmarter and Ascension Air find themselves facing unhappy customers, including lawsuits. Of course, there have been other failures before, including Avantair and Blackjet to name just two fairly recent ones.
How not to lose on your private jet membership
To help you avoid the same pitfalls, here are some tips I put together. While they may not be foolproof, I think they are helpful to keep in mind:
Blackbird promises to “defy gravity” with inexpensive private flights on private jets, turboprops and piston aircraft. Takeoff with the knowledge that this isn’t a traditional air charter
“We bring you the freedom of flight…No matter who you are, no matter what you do, we all face challenges, obstacles, rules, limitations and frustrations—this daily struggle is gravity that pulls us down and tries to keep us from reaching our potential. Together we will defy gravity.” – BlackBird website
I leased a private aircraft and hired a pilot in less than 10 minutes. Was it legal?
On March 12, 2019, I received a press release from BlackBird CEO and founder Rudd Davis. It was titled, “We just raised $10 million to bring you more freedom.”
It read, “We started BlackBird to make personal aviation as accessible and affordable as driving. Today, I’m excited to announce, we’ve taken another huge step toward making this a reality with the close of a $10 million Series A.”