Blackbird, a charter service that will sell regularly
scheduled flights out of private terminals, is planning to launch in January.
The San Francisco-based company's first flight will go from
Silicon Valley's Palo Alto to Truckee, Calif., near Lake Tahoe.
Six more routes within California and to Nevada are slated
to launch later in 2017.
Blackbird flights will be booked exclusively on the carrier's
app, which is expected to be available for download at the beginning of
January. The company will contract with a variety of charter airlines to
operate its flights.
Blackbird's business model is similar to a handful of other
new airlines that are bridging the gap between commercial and private flying.
Its flights will go out of private airports and terminals, where there is no
TSA screening, allowing passengers to arrive just 15 minutes before takeoff.
However, the company says it will
differentiate itself from similarly positioned flight services through its use
of proprietary software that will determine underserved routes and allow for scalability in prices and aircraft
Planes flown by Blackbird’s contractors will have between five and 19 seats. Initial
fares on the Palo Alto-Truckee route will be as low as $125 one-way. Flights
will run Friday to Sunday to begin. No launch date has been set.
Along with commercial carriers, Blackbird's California
competitors will include the scheduled charter airlines JetSuiteX, which
launched early this year, and Surf Air, which has been around since 2013.
However, unlike Blackbird, Surf is a membership service.