Surf Air Plans Massive Fleet Growth, Raises New Funds

 - August 12, 2014, 2:59 PM

Surf Air placed an order for up to 65 Pilatus PC-12 NG turboprop singles–15 firm and 50 options–worth an estimated $312 million, the company told AIN. It has also raised another $8 million in funding, for a total of $17 million. Deliveries of the new PC-12s begin in October, with three planned this year and nine next year.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based charter operator offers an all-you-can-fly monthly membership, and members can fly as many times as they want in the service area for $1,599 a month, which escalates to $1,750 on September 1. Current airports served include San Carlos, near San Francisco; Truckee, near Lake Tahoe; Burbank; and Santa Barbara and Hawthorne in the Los Angeles area.

“Now the fun starts,” said Surf Air CEO Jeff Potter. “This is obviously a huge step for the company and a huge vote of confidence by the investors and Pilatus. We know the model is working, what it takes and now we get to implement it.”

Surf Air began operating in June last year with three older PC-12s and has expanded membership from 320 at the end of January to more than 900 now. Potter added that the upcoming Pilatus PC-24 twinjet “certainly has possibilities, but we’re focused on the business model we have currently. For us the PC-12 is the perfect aircraft.”