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There is a lot of buzz around air taxis lately. The goal is to create airspace where pilots can fly at speeds up to 180 mph while leap-frogging traffic. This would be done by using air taxis that are capable of cruising along the ground with an altitude around 1,000-2k feet or more (depending on which report you read). But NASA says they can achieve flight paths lasting 5 thousand yards! But what exactly are they, and how can you plan for a successful air taxi service? Air taxis have the potential to be a very successful business venture. However, success is not guaranteed - it takes careful planning and execution to make your air taxi service thrive.
What Is An Air Taxi
An air taxi is a commercial flight in which the passenger pays for the on-demand trip. The trips are usually short in distance, because of this, they can be very profitable if planned correctly. The air taxi can be used to get between localities not served by scheduled airlines.
In this blog post, we'll outline some tips for planning and launching your air taxi service.
Tips To Successfully Launch An Air Taxi Service
1. Start Small Like Rob Wisenthal
Start small and expand your service by building your customer base. One way to plan for an air taxi service is to not go straight into providing flights across the country! But instead, start with short flights around your area or in nearby cities. This entry point allows you to gain experience and learn more about what works best when planning an air taxi. You see this approach even with mainstream travel companies. This strategy has served Rob Wiesenthal, the Founder, and CEO of BLADE, well. Rob was successful by starting closer to home to perfect his business before expanding.
2. High Utilization
As your company grows and demand increases for air taxi services, it may be beneficial to provide flights on a greater capacity aircraft such as a regional jet or turboprop airplane than an air taxi. However, even though you might have the option of flying on larger planes which means shorter flight times and more passengers per flight; if utilization is not high enough then the airline will not be operating efficiently and profitability could suffer greatly. For that reason, it's best to think about how many people you can bring on each flight before renting a larger plane.
3. Marketing Tools
You can leverage the Internet for your marketing efforts if you know where to look. One of the greatest ways to do this is by utilizing social media platforms. By creating a Facebook page or Twitter account, you can easily build up your market and create opportunities for customers to become familiar with your service. Marketing is important, and so is building your online presence.
4. Review Cargo Capacity
Before you make any purchases, consider how much cargo your passengers are bringing on the plane. If they're only traveling with small bags or backpacks, then there is no need to purchase a larger plane for that reason alone. However, if clients will be boarding with many suitcases and large duffle bags, it might be time to buy something more suitable. A second option would be buying an additional plane specifically for cargo transport. This plan must include every detail of what you want to accomplish before moving forward.
5. Finish Your Licensing Requirements
One of the first things to do when getting started in the world of air taxi services is to finish your licensing requirements. You can't move on to the next stage until you have the proper permits in hand. You might consider purchasing a larger plane before finishing all your licensing requirements. It's not ideal, but it will get your business off to a flying start!
6. Start Putting Together Your Team
It's great that you want to fly solo at first, but it might be better for your air taxi service if you hire someone to help with bookings and scheduling. This is when hiring additional staff members becomes very useful. Even when moving forward with an existing company, you should always think about hiring additional employees when the time comes. A solid team can make or break any business venture.
7. Market Analysis
No matter what types of planes you end up using as part of your air taxi services, such as a King Air 200 or Cessna Citation XLS+, it's essential that you think about the markets in which you plan on serving. While there may be some overlap between different areas; each city has its unique characteristics and culture which means not every location will bring equally high revenues. Once you know where demand is strongest and weakest, you can make sure these locations are prioritized over others.
Planning for the right types of aircraft, routes, and destinations is just one facet of success. You also need to understand how your customers will interact with all aspects of this new business venture from marketing campaigns to payment processes. To ensure you have everything covered before taking off on your next aviation adventure, keep these tips in mind!