Linear Air Ready To Fly Its Eclipse 500

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Linear Air, of Bedford, Mass., said on Wednesday it is ready to start booking passengers for its Eclipse 500 air-taxi service, making it one of the first companies to operate the very light jet. The company took delivery of the VLJ last summer. "For three years, the entire team at Linear Air has been working hard to bring affordable personal jet transportation to the world," said CEO William Herp. "I'm proud to announce that we have finally accomplished that objective." The company's Eclipse 500 was officially certified on Tuesday by the FAA to offer jet-taxi service. "For up to four travelers, the price and Linear Air experience will be hard to beat," Herp said. Linear Air says it can offer trips of 300 miles in the Eclipse jet for $3,590, which is about the same price as the same trip in its Cessna Caravan, but the Caravan carries eight people and the jet carries four. The jet, however, travels almost twice as fast -- a cruise speed of 345 mph versus 184 mph.

The jet, which will be flown by a two-pilot crew, will be available for trips departing from Boston, New York, or Washington. Linear Air expects to add a second Eclipse jet to its fleet soon.