What’s happening at Surf Air? A press release after midnight raises more questions than it answers (Updated)

private jet membership comes to Europe

Surf Air has switched the operator of its California flights for the second time in a year. It comes after two new route announcements that never took place and recently filed tax liens totaling nearly $2.5 million

 

Just over a year ago aviation industry veteran Jeff Potter was CEO of Surf Air, which at the time was seemingly shedding its training wheels and showing it could be a sustainable enterprise following a period of tumult when its founders left and then filed a $125 million lawsuit in 2015. Then came the acquisition of RISE, which was operating a similar concept in Texas. That is, you pay a monthly fee and somewhat like Netflix indulge as much as you would like, however, instead of movies, with Surf Air and RISE it is flights (see below), mainly short hops where you can save a lot of time by using private aviation terminals instead of the commercial ones. 

ZED Aerospace is planning to launch AURA, a luxury by the seat airline in 2019

AURA, if it takes off, will be the latest semiprivate airline, selling seats on a scheduled private jet like aircraft and avoiding commercial airport terminals at fares competitive to commercial airlines

 

ZED Aerospace, a start-up started in March 2016, according to the founder’s LinkedIn profile, will launch AURA, what it is calling America’s first Five Star flight experience, in 2019. The by the seat membership flights will link Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Denver with scheduled flights using Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft reconfigured for just 29 passengers. The aircraft will be operated by Presidential Aviation a leading Part 135 charter operator and management company. AURA joins a growing list of companies attempting to prove there is a market for scheduled alternatives to the commercial airlines that use smaller aircraft and avoid the congestion of large airport terminals.

BREAKING NEWS: OneJet to acquire Ultimate Jet Charters

The two companies sell by-the-seat scheduled flights on private jets and corporate shuttles with Ultimate using FBOs

 

OneJet, which focuses on connecting medium-size markets, is expected tomorrow to announce the acquisition of Ultimate Jet Charters. Ultimate Jet Charters operates 30-seat Dornier and ERJ aircraft for corporate shuttle clients, as well as per-seat scheduled service on select routes under the Ultimate Air Shuttle brand. 

JetSuite plans expansion after ‘significant’ investments from Qatar Airways and JetBlue

JetSuite has announced a new round of funding to grow both its JetSuite jet card and on-demand charter business and its by the seat JetSuiteX fleet and flights

 

Let the good times roll. Private aviation is continuing to attract investors from celebrities and private equity to energy companies and even commercial airlines. Earlier today, JetSuite announced that it had raised an undisclosed amount of money from Qatar Airways.

AirChicago Gears Up For June Launch

AirChicago is offering a Jet Card that provides single and guest seats on private jets with plans to fly to 30 cities using Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets with 14 executive seats instead of the typical 50 seats

 

Move over United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Here comes AirChicago, and it’s targeting those business travelers they and the TSA have helped alienate with tighter seats, rude service, nickel and dime fees and of course the hassles of transiting the commercial terminals of O’Hare and Midway. The new service, which is slated for a launch at the end of May or beginning of June, will enable travelers to buy four different levels of membership ranging from $1,750 to $14,000 per year. You then will pay per flight with pricing designed to fit between discounted and full fare first class rates, around $500 per hour, so under $2,000 for a roundtrip between Chicago and New York.