Europe Embraces Air Taxi Concept

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The freshly minted Air Taxi Association (ATXA) wasted little time fanning enthusiasm in Europe as several players get ready to launch services on the continent that the association says will generate $1 billion in economic activity annually. ATXA President Joe Leader delivered the keynote address at the Very Light Jet-Europe conference last week in Vienna, Austria. He told delegates that U.S.-based DayJet will launch the first air taxi service using Eclipse 500 jets and JetBird plans to follow with the yet-to-fly Embraer Phenom 100. Other companies are also planning European services, but are busy getting their businesses going in the U.S. first. He mentioned EarthJet’s imminent launch of BusinessJetSEATS, a service the company claims will offer by-the-seat charters at 50 percent of the current cost of light jet charter seats. Also gathering momentum is Linear Air, SATSair (using Cirrus SR22s) and Pogo, which is the brainchild of former American Airlines CEO Robert Crandall. ATXA says air taxis won’t replace the airlines, but they will offer another type of air travel and relieve traffic congestion around major hubs by siphoning some business to smaller airports.