Press & News Features

Air taxi service takes off in District

Posted by Abbi Hiller on Thu, Apr 05, 2007

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.”

 

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