I had a really terrific experience with satsair this week that I think was a glimpse of the promise of the SR22, Eclipse, and other VLJs (hopefully the SRJet). Full disclosure: i’m in no way related to the company, just a pilot and aviation buff who hopes and hopes that some of these innovations in GA have a big impact.
I’m based in N.California but had a week of east coast meetings from DC, NYC, RDU, CHO to BOS. A gruelling schedule, particularly b/c it started with a sunday night redeye. Go Jetblue!
On Weds, I had a business meeting in Raleigh that was scheduled to end around 11am and another in Charlottesville scheduled to begin at 3pm. The meetings were for me and 2 others on my team. I had to make the RDU and CHO meetings happen on the same day given availability of all parties. I checked commercial options and they were a) expensive and b) impossible because all options required connections. Impossible was really the key problem.
I recalled seeing a post for SATS on COPA so I found them and gave a ring. . . They quoted me about $550.00 all in for the 1hr flight. 3 people, $550 total, one hour. I also priced a B200 and a Lear 35. those costs around $4k and up given deadhead costs. So $500 vs $4000.
I chose the SR22 and it worked seemlessly. we were greeted by our pilot up at the local FBO, loaded up, launched, driven, then dropped off at our destination. the G2 was comfortable for 3 of us (i sent our weights the day before to dispatch). bose headsets and a smooth ride made it great for our one non-small plane passenger. the SATS plane was fully loaded, all the jepp charts and wx displayed on the MFD. as an aside, i was really impressed with both the wx and the approach chart experience. it sure sold me (although i’m already sold)…
Our pilot was a high time military/airline ATP. great guy and very seasoned. we flew IFR, and it was a really professional operation. felt just like we were flying netjets, but for the cost :).
For me (a west coast pilot with some regional flying needs out east), this was an exceptionally affordable and convenient way to get around. they sell packages of 10hrs for around $450 per hr, which lowers the hourly cost (all costs hobbes with 15 mins taxi alloted, or so i was told).
it was really impressive. rumor has it that they are growing covg areas across the US and taking lots of deliveries of new '22s.
just thought i’d share with the group. it might be soon that the dream we’ve all shared about low cost vlj and other new platforms is around the corner.
best to all for a great holiday.