Aspen entrepreneur launches bizjet service

 - May 27, 2008, 10:43 AM

Jonas Weil, 65, moved to ski resort haven Aspen, Colo., seven years ago and has since become totally disenchanted with flying to and from home on the airlines. “That industry is like a coat that needs to be turned inside out,” he told AIN. “They’ve forgotten about a person called ‘the customer.’”

His response has been to launch AspenAir, a quasi-scheduled Gulfstream II and III charter service from general aviation airports in the areas of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and West Palm Beach, Fla. Scheduled to have begun flying on December 21, the aircraft are managed by Raytheon Aircraft Charter & Management, and seats sell for between $3,300 and $4,900. “We have five primary tail numbers,” he said, “and two backup aircraft for each of those.”

Though Weil said AspenAir does not consider itself “scheduled service,” the Web site (www.aspenair.com) includes a timetable and flight numbers for all of the planned trips. Weil said he was assured by his legal counsel that flying AspenAir to and from Teterboro (N.J.) Airport (TEB) would be permissible. Chicago-based Indigo has incurred the wrath of area politicians and residents with its advertised scheduled Teterboro business jet service using the airport.