Charter-Sharing Company Ready To Expand
Efforts to bring Uber-like flight sharing to private aircraft, such as FlyteNow and Airpooler, have been derailed by the FAA, but similar efforts that use the power of apps and easy online reservations to fill empty seats on commercial charter aircraft are booming. Blade has done so well selling helicopter service from Manhattan to the Hamptons that it sparked an uproar among beachgoers annoyed by the constant roar of rotors. Now another service, Rise, which launched last summer in Dallas, says its service booking charter jets and turboprops has completed 1,500 flights and is ready to expand into six additional cities, in Texas and beyond.
Rise doesn't operate any aircraft of its own, but partners with local vetted charter providers, serving five airports with 60 flights a week. Members pay a monthly fee, starting at $1,650, which provides unlimited access to flights. Members say they like that they can catch a plane from an FBO just minutes before departure and avoid the long lines at the terminal. The service also helps charter operators make better use of their fleet, according to Rise CEO Nick Kennedy. "In the first six months of operation, we have transformed business for operators by enabling them to increase aircraft utilization from 20 percent to 80 percent," Kennedy said in a news release last week.