Less than an 8 minute walk from the London City Airport public entrance, the gateway to a new aviation concept is open.
The premise of “Surf Air”, a Californian private jet company, is to eradicate the busy nature of airports and crowds, and replace it with speedy boarding and exclusive flights. Surf Air works on a subscription basis and is best suited to those who fly regularly. It allows you to join other elite-travellers for the price of £3,150 per month, entitling you to fly as often as you like on private jets across the US and Europe, while being able to book flights on the company’s app which takes just 30 seconds.
To give you some idea of the exclusivity of the brand, each flight between London City and Zurich (which is the only route currently available from the UK) can take 8 passengers, while ticket holders are only permitted to hold two forward reservations at any one time.Simon Talling-Smith, chief executive of Surf Air Europe, tackles that issue head-on: “We aim in our business model for five or six people on average. There are a small number of services which are full. But what is important to us is that our subscribers keep subscribing, and the inability to make bookings switches people off very quickly. “So it’s more important to have availability than to fill every day.”
The news of the brand is especially important to the London City Airport team because Surf Air’s UK base has moved from Luton Airport to their site within the capital city. Simon Tolling-Smith gave a breakdown of the costing of the Surf Air product, claiming that the typical passenger makes 1 return flight a week which works out at around £400 each way. Where he believes that Surf Air has the advantage is when British Airways typically charges £439 for a short-notice, one-way business-class flight from London City to Zurich, which would work out more expensive.
He also added “Surf Air gives them back more time to enjoy their lives instead of queuing and waiting around in airport terminals.”