Status of air taxi services

Here is the wikipedia list of very light jet (VLJ) operators. Many of the VLJ operators are starting “air taxi services”.

Dayjet which is flying with 12 aircraft in Florida has an on demand service.

DayJet brings affordable, on-demand regional jet service to poorly connected businesses, communities and individuals across the Southeast. Today’s service launch directly links Gainesville to an initial four Florida DayPort™ airports, including Boca Raton, Lakeland, Pensacola and Tallahassee. Gainesville business travelers can now book just the seat they need aboard DayJet’s fleet of Eclipse 500™ very light jets (VLJs); customize travel according to their time and budget requirements; fly point-to-point between designated DayPort airports; and return home in a single day. Prices start at a modest premium to full-fare economy coach airfares.

The Eclipse 500 set the NAA speed record on October 7, 2007 for a flight from New York (Westchester) to Atlanta (Peachtree-Dekalb), with a new record time of one hour, 55 minutes, and eight seconds (1:55:08), averaging 393.32 miles per hour (341.79 knots). The previous record holder, a Cessna Citation Mustang set the record on September 22, 2007, flying the same route in two hours, 23 minutes, and 44 seconds (2:23:44), averaging 318.87 miles per hour (277.09 knots). The Eclipse 500 exceeded the previous record time by 20 percent, while using approximately 25 percent less fuel.

The financial times discusses the new air taxi business. Dayjet is aiming to serve 40 airports within three years. It is also studying an eventual launch of similar services in Europe.

The US transportation department is also looking at how VLJs could provide a radical solution to the declining airline service to rural communities.

Linear Air is aiming for whole-aircraft operations when its Eclipse 500s arrive, launching from a small airport near Boston and targeting bases near New York, Washington DC and then on the West Coast. Linear Air plans add 1000 and 300 VLJs within 5 years for its air taxi service. They plan to have a fleet of 30 VLJs within 2 years.

Pogo Air, a start-up with managers including former American Airlines chief Bob Crandall, is also eyeing the east coast corridor with Eclipse 500s.

Globe air is planning to have about 30 VLJ in 2008 and 2009. They are planning to fly in Austria in the summer of 2008.

Imagine Air is flying in Georgia and plan to have 25 VLJ by the summer of 2008.

There are a large number of additional VLJs that are likely to be certified from 2008-2010.

I had prediced in early 2006 that there would be Jet airtaxi services in 2006-2008. There are likely to be several hundred VLJs flying by the end of 2008. There could be over one thousand VLJs flying by the end of 2008. Air taxi services will be flying in several additional states and countries by the end of 2008.

It appears that by the end of 2008, Dayjet will be servicing as many as 40 airports.