Federally Funded Service Flies SR22s For You

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A small air-taxi service in North Dakota is ramping up operations, thanks to an injection of federal funds under the U.S. Dept. of Transportation Small Community Air Service Development grant program. A contract signed earlier this month released $1.25 million to launch Point2Point Airways. The company must match the funds with its own money. Point2Point says it will provide affordable, customized air travel to businesses in Bismarck and other communities in the region. The company has two Cirrus SR22 aircraft and plans to have 5 to 10 airplanes operating by the end of this year, company spokesman John Boehle told AVweb last week. Boehle says the company will sell blocks of time similar to bizjet programs ... but these are at roughly $350 an hour. The service accommodates three passengers on an on-demand itinerary. Considering the alternatives of long drives or multi-leg airline trips, he said, the time savings and cost comparisons make sense. "Especially for lawyers, doctors, engineers, professionals who bill by the hour, time really is money. A trip from Grand Forks to Pierre, for example, can be done in under two hours, on your own schedule. It can mean going there and back in one day, instead of having to stay overnight."

The model is more competitive than traditional air charters, Boehle said, because the new aircraft are more efficient. He plans to fly them about 800 to 1,000 hours per year, which will help to decrease hourly costs. Also in the works is a computerized scheduling program. "There's a tremendous need for service like this in the large parts of the country that are detached from the airline's hub-and-spoke system," Boehle said. "We're at the cutting edge of where air travel is going. Stay tuned." Point2Point serves North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming and portions of Canada.