A new company, billed as the first members-only operator to offer per-seat scheduled charter services on long-range flights, is poised to begin services on 6 December with New York-Fort Lauderdale its first route.
Known as Airspace, the venture is designed to offer an alternative to ad hoc charter, jet card programmes and airline travel, says Airspace founder and chief executive Robert Molsbergen.
The goal is to make “private aircraft more accessible and enjoyable”, he adds.
“We expect high-end consumer interest in shared private aviation as it offers value, convenience, service, privacy,” and addresses “a growing discontent” among travellers with commercial airlines.
Access to Airspace starts at $2,600 per month for an individual membership. This allows customers to select and book a “guaranteed seat” for $500 on a Gulfstream G650ER or Bombardier Global 6000, operating twice weekly return services between New York Teterboro, and Fort Lauderdale.
Airspace also offers membership plans for businesses, couples and families with “prices based on how many members and guests fly each month”, Molsbergen says.
New York to Fort Lauderdale was selected as Airspace’s inaugural service, following “extensive research” of the market, which found it to be “one of the most popular private air routes in the USA”.
The company is now exploring a more frequent service between the cities, and also plans to expand its route network in 2020 with New York-Los Angeles the next city pair.
All services will operate between VIP terminals at each airport to considerably shorten travel time. “With Airspace, members can say goodbye to the stresses of commercial travel – like arriving 2h prior to a flight, and battling TSA [security] lines, non-flexible tickets, and delays,” says Molsbergen.
The Airspace route network will be expanded nationwide, he adds, “and we eventually plan to offer an international service for our members”, with the G650 and Global 6000 the backbone of the operation.
The pair were selected for their large cabins – with seating for up to 14 passengers – long range and versatility, Molsbergen adds.
“The G650 and Global 6000 give consistency to the Airspace product and can operate on all types of routes - short and long, domestic and international,” he says.
The aircraft are operated by local charter providers, under contract with Airspace. “While we don’t own our own planes today, that is something we may consider as we expand,” says Molsbergen.