JetSuiteX will begin flying public charter flights from Santa Monica Airport (SMO) in Southern California starting on February 6. The flights will be scheduled twice daily—in the morning and evening—on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and will connect Santa Monica with McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, California, near San Diego, and Mineta San Jose International Airport in the San Francisco Bay area. Service will also be available to Las Vegas beginning February 10, with a Friday departure every week from SMO, returning on Sunday.
JetSuite's Embraer Phenom 100s and Citation CJ3s have been serving charter customers at SMO for seven years, with more than 5,000 flights flown to date, and JetSuiteX adds scheduled service in Embraer ERJ135s, as well as the Phenoms and CJ3s. The ERJs are outfitted to carry up to 30 passengers in a more comfortable configuration than the original airliner layout, with 36-inch seat pitch and leather-covered business class seats. All of the jets are equipped with power outlets at each seat, and passengers can access free entertainment content delivered to their mobile devices, as well as free Gogo Wi-Fi, and drinks and snacks.
"JetSuiteX customers have been asking for Santa Monica service," said JetSuite CEO Alex Wilcox. "It's one of the busiest markets for us for light jets. We think we need to give the city and its residents a reason to use the airport. You don't have to own an airplane. You can walk from your nearby residence to the airport and be [in San Jose] in an hour or less." No membership fee is required for JetSuiteX customers.
Passengers will board at Atlantic Aviation at SMO, although the company plans to work on leasing a dedicated JetSuiteX facility at the airport. While JetSuiteX isn't required to obtain permission from the city of Santa Monica to fly out of SMO, it will have to file for a commercial operation permit to operate from its own facilities, according to Nelson Hernandez, the city's senior advisor of airport affairs.
JetSuiteX will offer incentives for Santa Monica residents to encourage them to get more utility from the airport—this includes 25 percent off all their JetSuiteX flights to and from SMO after they fly one round trip. Introductory one-way fares will be Carlsbad for $29, San Jose for $79 and Las Vegas for $99 (lowest fares might require advance purchase). JetSuiteX's other routes, launched in April, serve Concord, Burbank and Mammoth Lakes, California, and Bozeman, Montana. JetSuiteX started selling tickets for the new SMO service today.