Surf Air announces plans to deploy light jets in Europe
November 22, 2016
Surf Air has announced plans to deploy light-jet aircraft when it launches European operations in early 2017. The company’s management has already opened negotiations with different light-jet aircraft manufacturers. According to Kerry Lynch’s news article published at the AINonline website on 21 November 2016: “California-based Surf Air is in discussions with Cessna and Embraer over a light-jet fleet order as the company lays the groundwork to launch its membership-based all-you-can-fly charter service in Europe early next year.”
The company plans to order light-jet aircraft that will suit the delivery of its services in two different categories. As Lynch reports: “The company is planning two tiers of services – one involving PC-12 single-turboprop operations between closer niche markets and another involving light-jet operations between longer-haul markets.” Surf Air believes that this segmentation will accommodate the needs of people who travel frequently between close destinations.
Surf Air’s management team is yet to disclose the exact number of turboprops and jets that it will be procuring. However, Surf Air’s CEO of European Operations, Simon Talling-Smith, is certain that the company will use a jet in its initial operations. Lynch reports that Surf Air “is considering either the CJ4 or Embraer Phenom 300.”
Since last summer, Surf Air has been laying the groundwork for its inaugural operations in Europe. The company has already set up shop in London, from where it is recruiting staff and conducting introductory transatlantic flights. It is undergoing these preparations in partnership with TAG Aviation (UK).
The company is betting on its signature tiered pricing model to optimise market opportunities in Europe. According to Lynch, Surf Air operates a “tiered pricing system ranging from £1,450 ($1,800) per month for the turboprop flights and £2,950 ($3,680) per month for the jets.” The company’s management says that the model is picking up well so far as customers in Europe gradually sign up for the programme.