Founder Hoped For Unique Rural Service
Morrow, the Salem entrepreneur, who is best known as a pioneer in aviation navigation systems and his excursion into the snowboard manufacturing business, helped start SkyTaxi last year. The company’s strategy is to provide air service to towns overlooked by the major airlines through a network of SkyTaxi franchisees. Several of these franchisees, in communities such as Klamath Falls, Newport, Corvallis and Medford, originally agreed to buy $500,000 Cessna 414 airplanes to get their foot in SkyTaxi’s hangar door. Morrow claims the initial operations were fairly smooth. In October, however, SkyTaxi’s business hit some turbulence when a key operations manager abruptly quit. The position needed to be filled to meet FAA requirements and, during the hiring process, SkyTaxi was forced to suspend its flights for several weeks until a replacement was found. SkyTaxi briefly resumed operations, but the nearly month-long suspension of its flights stretched its finances. The company decided it was best to stop operations and look for additional capital. “I think it has proven it’s a valid concept,” said M.C. “Bic” Bickert, an investor in Sky Taxi.