European members-only operator Surf Air is expanding its route network and business aircraft fleet to exploit growing demand across the continent for its low-cost, all-you-can-fly, subscription-based model.
The company launched services on 23 June, providing thrice-weekly flights from London Luton to Cannes and Ibiza using an Embraer Phenom 300. The light business jet connects with the airports' VIP terminals for a more efficient and personalised service, says Surf Air.
It is now preparing to launch its Luton-Zurich route on 25 September. A London-Milan route will be added to the network in the fourth quarter, followed by Zurich to Luxembourg and Munich in early 2018.
A second, undisclosed light business jet will be join the fleet before the end of 2017, and up to six Pilatus PC-12NGs will be added next year, says Surf Air chief executive Simon Talling-Smith. The single-engined turboprops will be taken from a 2014 order for 65 aircraft placed by its US sister company.
Talling-Smith describes the subscription model as “an economical and efficient solution to the increasingly chaotic air travel experience – with reservations made at the touch of a button from any handheld device”.
He says the Cannes and Ibiza services have proved popular with leisure travellers and local residents, and he hopes the new routes will a have a similar appeal to Europe’s business community. The London-Zurich service will initially operate three times a week, but Surf Air plans to increase the frequency in October to one per day.
“This is a powerful product for frequent flyers,” says Talling-Smith. “In a short amount of time, Surf Air has begun to revolutionise European travel with its unique service that enables members to fly quickly, simply and comfortably on executive aircraft from private terminals.”
Monthly subscriptions start at £1,750 ($1,880), which entitles members to an unlimited number of flights on routes with a distance of up to 325nm (600km) – such as Zurich to Milan and Luxembourg. For a higher monthly fee of £3,150, members can fly on all Surf Air routes, including those covering longer distances, such as London to Cannes, Ibiza and Zurich.