Originally published in The Washington Examiner on April 5, 2007
By Michelle Frederick
WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Linear Air has begun operating a light-jet “air taxi” service in the Baltimore/D.C. region, the company announced this week.
The air taxi will fly out of a private terminal at the Manassas Regional Airport, Linear Air CEO William Herp said Wednesday.
The company hopes to serve business customers who don’t want the expense of hiring a private charter flight, but want more personalized travel than that available from Dulles or Reagan International airports.
The air taxis can be used for weekend travel as well. A trip from D.C. to New York or the Outer Banks in North Carolina would cost about $3,000; a weekend trip to Martha’s Vineyard would average $6,800, Herp said. Linear Air, which also operates in Boston, New York and Puerto Rico, has a goal of serving around 1,000 passengers in the D.C. area by year-end, Herp said.
It uses eight-seat Cessna Grand Caravan propjets and plans to switch over to the faster, four-seat Eclipse 500 Very Light Jets once the models become available later this year.
James Butler, CEO of Bethesda-based Shaircraft Solutions LLC, a consulting firm that advises private air travelers, thinks a service like Linear Air would appeal to clients in the area.
“Certainly the arrival of very light jets has spurred a lot of interest, what you call an air taxi shore-hop business,” Butler said. “So theoretically there is a market for it, especially in the Northeast where people have second homes or otherwise want to fly to places that aren’t serviced by hub airports.”