The term "air taxi" refers to aircraft service, which transports people on demand. That is, you can fly on a private plane when you want to go, rather than book a pre-planned trip. Air charter is a form of air taxi, but the new aircraft class and new business models reaffirm "air taxi" as something more expensive than traditional charter. The idea behind the air taxi system is that the aircraft operator will be able to reduce the number of empty flights.
Let's & # 39; let's say you're flying a Cessna Citation S / II (CE-S550). This light aircraft can hire anywhere from $ 1,500 to $ 3,100 per hour depending on the age of the aircraft, facilities and operator qualifications. For our purposes we & nbsp; Assume a standard rate of $ 2,000 per hour. This price includes aircraft operating costs such as pilots' salaries and fuel costs, but does not include some additional charges that can significantly increase your costs, such as:
Taxes – 7.5% of the total price.
Recovery Fees – Say you want to fly to Santa Monica, California, but the plane is in San Diego. The aircraft operator should send the aircraft empty to pick you up, then return it to San Diego straight after landing at the end of the trip to Santa Monica. This reissue adds cost to the operator and bottom line and generally increases your expense at a reduced hourly rate.
Overnight and Waiting Fees. Let's say your same day trip back from Santa Monica to Las Vegas. Your pilots would wait for you for a few hours, and the pilots will be charged an hourly charge & # 39; time If your trip calls for an overnight stay, it may be charged for pilots & # 39; hotel rooms and overnight airfare. These fees will vary depending on local prices.
Daily minimum charge. Most airports have a minimum operating time of two hours for charter aircraft. If you need a flight that lasts one hour in each direction and you complete both legs in one day, you meet the minimum requirement for use and will only have to pay on the day the aircraft is used. are you? If, on the other hand, your trip is scheduled to fly for one hour on Friday and then return on a one-week trip Saturday, then you are likely to be charged two hours on Friday and two hours on Saturday for a total of four hours, although the flight only took two hours. This industry standard practice operates on the principle of "time is money". Aircraft incur costs even when they are simply idle.
There are two distinct pricing structures in the air taxi model that can be used, and each aircraft operator decides which one to operate: "Whole aircraft or one seat".
Whole aircraft – Again we will use the Cessna Citation S / II for this example, but the hourly rate will be higher than the air charter. Let's say you have about $ 2,500 for this example, but you will no longer be charged for reloads, overnight stays, landings, or other fees. It will be a simple price of one hour for pickup and exit. After landing, the plane can travel to another customer. Your return may be on the same plane, or it may be on another plane or even in another company. Such an air taxi service may only be available between certain airports that have sufficient traffic to operate the aircraft.
One seat – The Citation S / II has 7 seats. If they fly more than 7 passengers, the aircraft will lose money if the fare is divided by the number of seats. So they will adjust their prices in one of two ways:
1) Divide the total price for each flight by the number of passengers actually on board. Let's say you are traveling with two partners, and there are two more groups that will take you on this flight with a total of five passengers. The place price would be $ 2,500 / 5 = $ 500 per place. If your group were on the plane alone, the one seat time would be $ 2,500 / 3 = $ 833 per seat.
2) Divide the total price by the average number of passengers carried out by the operators on each trip. Let's say the operator was flying from SMO to LAS for some time, and they decided that for each flight they made they could usually get an average of 2.9 passengers. If the operator uses this pricing strategy, they will charge you $ 2,500 / 2.9 = $ 862 per hour. This will be the same price, regardless of the number of your party.
Single seat pricing will only be available between limited city couples that have the volume of traffic to keep passengers occupied by aircraft. If you want to fly out of a single city airport lane, you probably need to take over the whole plane, as there is no possibility of pricing seats.
Everything about efficiency.
The emerging airline business model brings more efficiency to the air charter model. Fewer waste will be equivalent to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, more productivity, and lower costs. It is expected that air taxis will become more affordable and more expensive as many light aircraft (VLJs) are manufactured and will be accessible by air charter and airline flights. These planes promise to offer discounts of up to 20% to 40% on light aircraft such as example. As of this writing, about 100 VLJs have been produced, and some have found air taxi businesses to the East Coast and Chicago. But that's another story.