Linear AirStraight air
This includes the company's own very lightweight Eclipse 500s, Cessna Caravan's single-engine turbo-props and the Cirrus SR22 twin pistons, which are the world' most rapidly expanding fleets on the US air taxis today, Herp says. This four-seater plane is much less expensive to run than a small commercial plane or even a turbo-prop, he says, and its attractiveness is widely used by passengers wishing to travel to destinations poorly serviced by airline companies.
"As far as the commercial viability is concerned, these small aeroplanes hardly scored at the surface," says Herp. It refers to the US inland air transport sector, where 40 million passengers' tickets carried each year by regular carriers are charged at'a prime or unlimited bus fare'. Herp says the costs are often similar to those of a small aeroplane charter.
In order to further reduce the cost, Linear Air is starting a new campaign on 11 April that will allow clients who have charters an airplane through its on-line charter platform to buy free places on their flights. "Our next move is to provide empty legroom on a per-seat base and start a planned shuttleservice with our partners by the third quarter," says Herp.
According to US Federal Aviation Administration regulations, nine or fewer seat prop aeroplane owners with a 3,400 kg (7,500 lb) load capacity can operate four planned round-trips per weeks, says Herp. "There is enormous commercial growth to be had by these providers on high-volume routes," he added. Linear Air is trying to substitute its Eclipse 500 couple - of which it was one of the first users - with Pilatus line of administered airplanes.
While Herp says the 500 firm has been "relatively successful" since its inception in 2007, the firm is poised for change. This super-light commercial airliner is due to go into operation this year, and Herp is hoping to be able to add the first planes "as soon as possible". The US Air Force has never had to face an enemy army with camouflage airplanes before.