2:41 PM

One heckuva great
way to get around.

We’ve all heard of air charter, and we’re beginning to learn more about a new variation of that called air TAXI. It’s a bold concept that until recently had been built around the VLJ platform, usually the Eclipse 500 or Adam A700.

But SATSair is changing the playing field on air taxi big time by providing their air taxi service using Cirrus SR22s. The reduced operational costs of the –22 combined with a significantly lower initial aircraft acquisition costs create a business model that can be very, very attractive on short hops for business or pleasure within a 300 statute mile radius.

This concept will never replace full-blown air charter or the Flight Department model of a corporation owning their own plane and pilot. But for a company just big enough to require important staff to get there in person for valuable face time, meetings and hand shaking, or for the family or golf buddies who want some quick R & R without factoring in driving time, the SATSair model is ideal.

By far the most important advantage to this air taxi service over commercial air travel is that a Cirrus SR22 can operate into and out of damn near any airport. This means a quick trip by car to the little GA patch down the street, for a flight culminating at a destination just minutes from where you plan to work or play.

Seems this idea is catching on too:

SATSair will expand its service area to include Florida by November 1, 2006. They've also signed a contract with Cirrus Design to acquire 50 more Cirrus SR22 aircraft with options on an additional 50 in a deal valued at over $45 million.
The SATSair model can look expensive at first glance, until you look at what it would cost you to own and operate an SR22 and hire a pilot with 1,200 hours to fly it. Their basic time per Hobbs hour is $595, but with block time purchases, that can be reduced to $420. So for a 2.7 hour r/t, 203 NM trip from Eugene, OR to Seattle, regular price would be $1606. But when you buy the block and split that three ways to fill up all available seats, it is only $378 each r/t. Very respectable when compared to the airlines. And when you factor in the time, cost and hassles for parking, security and check-in flying the bigs versus the time savings of driving up to the SATSair SR22, jumping in and launching within minutes, that $378/pax seems mighty attractive to get your best people somewhere fast and back in the same business day.

And when those people get home and can catch Johnnie’s Little League game or Susie’s ballet recital, they’ll thank the CEO who made the brilliant decision to download the SATSair brochure and then made the call.

UPDATE 1 @ 637P: I just got an interesting email from someone asking why I was promoting SATSair like I was a spokesman (which I am not)...and so here is the quick and dirty answer: I have never spoken with anyone from the company – I'm just very envious of their forward thinking. But the big reason I wrote up this company on WoF is that I am a HUGE proponent of all pilots doing everything in their power to help the public accept general aviation. I see no better way right now than to fly a bunch of people around in luxury SR22s so they can go back to the office or country club and rave about how cool it was to fly in an air taxi. GA needs lots of new converts out there touting the respectability and efficiency of GA air travel, and SATSair is putting those people up in my sky. For that, they deserve a medal, and a post on this blog - dp

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