US training provider SRQ Aviation plans to launch an air taxi operation from its Florida base in the second quarter with Cirrus SR20 and SR22 piston singles.

The move is designed to plug a gap in the region for what SRQ calls a "low cost, flexible, point-to-point air service".

The company – which is set to re-brand shortly as Lift Aviation – will base the operation at its Sarasota international airport facility, from where it will service the Florida region with a trio of customer-owned SR20/22s. "Our plan is to expand the service to other states in the southeastern USA and the Bahamas as demand grows," says SRQ’s director of operations Nathan Barrett.

"We would also like to introduce scheduled routes at a later date," he continues, "but our aircraft operator’s certificate is limited to single pilot operations. It is costly to expand an AOC, but we will consider a multi-pilot, multi-aircraft AOC as business increases."

SRQ joins a growing number of air taxi companies across the US that have adopted the four-seat piston-engined Cirrus family as the lynchpin of their programme. "It all about economics and convenience," Barrett says. "The SR20/22 can carry three passengers and costs between $550 and $650 an hour to operate. It slashes travel time significantly and it can fly point-to-point across the state as Florida is covered in airports."

Source: Flight International