New ‘all-you-can-fly’ airline to cater for Brexit demand

Surf Air will arrive in the Republic next year, and allow unlimited flights for a flat fee

A Surf Air aircraft. There is a captain and co-pilot on each flight but no cabin crew

A Surf Air aircraft. There is a captain and co-pilot on each flight but no cabin crew

 

A new “all-you-can-fly” airline that allows customers to fly as many times as they like for a flat fee will arrive in the Republic early next year to cater for an increased demand for air travel when Britain exits the EU.

Surf Air describes itself as a “membership airline” that enables customers to travel on executive aircraft from private terminals. “There will be no airport queues as such,” said a spokeswoman for the company.

“Everyone who travels with us goes through non-financial background checks, so once they’re cleared to travel they no longer have to do that again. Of course, you need passports and identification, but there’s no customs, immigration etc.”

Members can book via the Surf Air app, and can arrive at the terminal just 15 minutes before departure.

“With Brexit, for better or worse, it seems clear that tens of thousands of jobs will be relocated to different cities in Europe, which means tens of thousands of people will either have to relocate or find a commute option,” said the spokeswoman.“We want to facilitate that process. There’s going to be an impact on the travel and airline industry, and we can step in and support ‘the Brexpats’ as we’re calling them.”

The model is aimed at frequent fliers and the business community as individual membership starts at £3,150 per month. For that customers can fly as many times as they like on any of the airline’s routes in Europe and the United States.

Memberships

The airline plans to offer future memberships covering a shorter list of destinations for less than £2,000 per month. There is also a “pay-as-you-fly” annual membership that costs £2,500 plus the cost of one-way or round-trip flight passes.

Corporate members receive 10 per cent off the standard monthly subscription fee and 25 per cent off additional flight passes.

Surf Air, which has more than 4,000 members in the US, said members save four hours between the departure and arrival processes during each return flight.

“Let’s say you’re currently travelling at least once a week for business by scheduled airline,” said the spokeswoman. “Using Surf Air instead will save you around 200 hours a year – equivalent to more than eight days.”

In Europe the airline currently flies between London/Ibiza, London/Cannes and London/Zurich, and is preparing to service Luxembourg, Munich and Milan. Other destinations will be added over the coming year.

“Our expansion is demand driven,” said the spokeswoman. “The cities we move into are determined by where people want to fly next. We already have people on a waiting list for the Dublin service.

Short-haul flights

“It’s a small aircraft so it’s only intended to fly for about 2½ hours. It’s for short-haul flights. Irish members would be able to access routes in the US where we fly through California, and into Texas, Nevada, Georgia and the northeast.”

Surf Air has 12 aircraft in the US and one Embraer Phenom 300 jet in Europe, which is an eight-seat executive aircraft. It will shortly add a Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12, and expects four more aircraft to join its European fleet by the end of next year.

In terms of the service, there is a captain and co-pilot on each flight but no cabin crew. “We carry complimentary food and drink on board, and since it is a small aircraft our members simply serve themselves,” said the spokeswoman.

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