SATSAir Shuts Down

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SATSAir, regarded as a bright light in the air taxi field, abruptly stopped service late Friday and isn't guaranteeing customers that it will be back. A message on the Greenville, S.C. company's main number apologizes for the inconvenience caused passengers who have already booked flights. "A combination of circumstances will preclude us from providing scheduled flights on Oct. 24, 25 and 26 and beyond," it says. "You will be notified if any circumstances allow us to return to service. SATSAir used a fleet of Cirrus SR22 aircraft on short-hop flights around the Southeast and Cirrus Aircraft was a major investor. Passengers could soon have alernatives, however as at least three similar types of operations, OpenAir, Skyway Air Taxi and ImagineAir are willing to help fill the void.

"We anticipate getting calls from their clients and if there's a need we'll do what we can to help out," OpenAir President Mike Klein told AVweb on Saturday. "It would be a shame to lose the gains we have made as an industry. We will move a portion of our fleet to the Southeast to fill the void left behind by the recent developments at SATSAir." Skyway Air Taxi CEO Carol Scott said her company had been receiving an increasing number of calls from SATSAir in recent weeks asking for help in meeting demand. "We are saddened to see SATSair cease operations and stand ready to assist SATS and their customers who may be stranded or simply be in need of affordable private air travel," she said. ImagineAir announced a codeshare arrangement with SATSAir earlier this year.