Press & News Features

High-Flying Linear Air Strengthens Lead as First Operational Jet-Taxi Service

Posted by Abbi Hiller on Mon, Apr 10, 2006

Becomes largest operator of luxury Cessna Caravan propjets in the United States; Announces 450% revenue growth, expansion of New York operations base and Eclipse very light jet (VLJ) financing program

Lexington, MA, April 10, 2006 – Linear Air, a premier air-taxi service that is transforming the private air travel industry as the first per-seat, on-demand service in operation, today announced the achievement of significant milestones in the first quarter of 2006.

Linear Air, headquartered in Lexington, Mass., today announced it has acquired a fourth luxury Cessna Caravan propjet, making it the largest operator of luxury Caravans in the United States. Linear Air’s Caravans, eight-passenger propjet turbine powered aircraft staffed by two pilots, feature plush leather seats and luxury appointments, and are outfitted with the most advanced safety systems, including the latest navigation, weather, and traffic collision-avoidance technologies. The company’s exemplary commitment to safety has been recognized with a Gold rating from Aviation Research Group/US, an independent consulting company and the industry’s leading safety auditing service.

The fleet expansion comes at a critical time, as the air-taxi service caps 450% revenue growth in the first quarter over the same period last year, and prepares to expand service in the New York area.

“The new aircraft means we now have even more capacity to serve our customers,” said William Herp, CEO of Linear Air. “There has been tremendous demand for our service among business travelers for day-trips, as well as leisure travelers. We’ve quadrupled our fleet in less than one year, a testament to our growing popularity.”

Linear Air today announced the expansion of its metropolitan New York presence with aircraft, crew and sales staff based at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, near Fairfield County, Conn. Under the plan, two luxury Caravans are based at the Westair private terminal at Westchester County Airport, allowing Linear Air to reduce or eliminate positioning costs and offer even more affordable on-demand service for customers in metropolitan New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. “There is tremendous pent-up demand for more affordable short-hop private charter in Westchester and Fairfield Counties,” said Michael Mason, General Manager of Westair. “Linear Air’s Caravans fit this need perfectly.”

To spearhead the company’s sales effort in the New York region, Linear has tapped seasoned private charter executive Jeffrey M. Vasey. Vasey, 37, joins Linear Air from CharterAuction in Quincy, Mass., where he served as Senior Vice President of Business Development and successfully opened the White Plains sales office for the charter brokerage firm. A Chicago native who now lives in Westchester County, New York, Vasey graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1991 and received his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1998. “Jeff’s business development acumen and extensive background in private aviation made him the perfect candidate,” said Herp. “His experience serving private charter customers in the metro New York region will help catapult Linear Air to the next level as we prepare to add VLJs to our fleet later this year.”

Linear Air claims the distinction of being the first and only operational company with a very light jet—commonly known as VLJ—jet-taxi strategy. VLJs represent a revolutionary new class of business jet that will reduce the cost of flying a private jet by almost half from today’s alternatives. Several companies are developing these exciting new aircraft, and Linear Air previously announced it has ordered 30 VLJs from the leading manufacturer, Eclipse Aviation Corporation of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“The revolutionary nature of the Eclipse 500 VLJ has clearly captured the public imagination,” said Herp. “These planes feature state-of-the-art engineering and systems that make them affordable for traditional business travel, and we’re looking forward to expanding our ability to serve frustrated airline travelers and those looking for better private charter economics on short-hops.” The company’s first Eclipse 500s will be based in Boston, New York, Washington D.C., California and, seasonally, in the Caribbean. “We’ve built a sizable customer base flying Cessna Caravans, and we’re confident that the Caravan is a good proxy for the trip profile and operating cost of the VLJs,” added Herp.

Linear Air today announced it has retained structured-finance specialist Bankers Capital in Scituate, Mass. to obtain up to $50 million in aircraft financing. Proposed terms include payments matched to aircraft usage with a minimum guarantee, and residual value protection stemming from Linear’s experience operating Cessna Caravans as a proxy for the VLJs.

“Linear Air has put together an attractive program that offers investors an exceptional return with reduced risk based on the company’s operational experience,” said Ed Crowley, President of Bankers Capital. “We’re very impressed with Linear’s strategy.”

About Linear Air

Linear Air, based in Lexington, Mass., is a premier air-taxi service that is transforming the private air travel industry. Linear Air provides short-hop private air travel to executives and families with personalized customer service, flexibility and convenience at attractive fares.

See also: Business Wire

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