Cirrus Takes Over Air Taxi

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Cirrus is now an aircraft operator, not just an aircraft manufacturer. The company recently bought SATS Air Taxi, which has been using Cirrus SR22 aircraft to carry passengers on point-to-point trips in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The brainchild of Steve Hanvey, the company was growing quickly on a word-of-mouth reputation for safe, efficient and relatively inexpensive service. It flies customers from the airport nearest them to the airport nearest where they want to go for a maximum of $495 an hour (block time rates can shave up to 20 percent off). Cirrus President Alan Klapmeier told reporters he used to be a naysayer on air taxis but now his company owns one. Hanvey said it's an education process but customers are "seeing value" to the point-to-point travel. They can be in a destination 350 miles away in two hours, less time than many have to spend driving to the nearest airport for what might be a series of regional flights in and out of hubs. And while the electronic helpers on board the SR22, like weather and traffic avoidance, that made it his pick, it's the parachute that has been the main selling point with passengers. Many who wouldn't normally step aboard an aircraft are soothed by the presence of the chute.