Please patronize our sponsors. Ads with links are clickable.

bar_eleg.gif (11170 bytes)


Linear Air News Clips

Linear Air web-site
#####

######

Flying through loopholes
Record Editorial, Sunday, October 10, 2004

An air taxi service that just began operating at Teterboro Airport appears to be flying through loopholes in federal transportation rules.

But Linear Air's flights into this busy, metro-area airfield pose an unacceptable security risk. They should be barred, and soon.

As Record Staff Writer Daniel Sforza reported last week, Linear offers passengers convenient, low-hassle flights between Massachusetts and the New Jersey-New York area, via Teterboro.

The airline sure sounds inviting. Instead of dealing with the usual airport lines, delayed flights and cramped seating, travelers on Linear get valet airport parking and a ride on a plane with oversize leather seats.

Linear's president says the company represents the next wave of domestic flying.

The problem is one of the hassles that Linear's passengers avoid is security screening.

Because its plane carries up to eight travelers, the airline doesn't fall under federal security rules for flights of nine or more.

Baggage isn't screened. Passengers don't pass through metal detectors. And there's not even a cockpit door to guard the pilot from a potential hijacker.

Such lax security might be OK for small commercial flights in desolate areas with few possible terrorist targets and a high need for air transportation.

But in the New York metropolitan area, already the site of two terrorist attacks and at high risk of another, this laxness is foolhardy.

Another concern is what it would mean to Teterboro and surrounding towns if companies such as Linear are allowed to multiply. Linear says it's sensitive to community concerns about noise and pollution, and that it flies only small, quiet planes.

But the Massachusetts-based firm hopes to expand its fleet from one plane to five by the end of next year and to 15 the following year.

And if Linear's business is a success, that will likely draw competitors to Teterboro. Even small, quiet planes, when there are enough of them, add noise and air pollution.

It's just this kind of small commercial operation that was supposed to be prevented by the federal ban on charters at Teterboro that Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, ushered through Congress last year.

Linear says it's different from charters because it doesn't have regularly scheduled flights. And it's true that the company's service is considered "on demand" rather than scheduled. That's because Linear on its Web site proposes certain flight times, such as 6 p.m. tomorrow, but isn't obligated to make a flight if it gets too few passengers.

Mr. Rothman has asked federal officials to investigate whether Linear is violating rules. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is also looking into the situation.

Government officials should take whatever steps are necessary to keep Linear and companies like it out of Teterboro. Passenger convenience is not worth public danger.

Source: The Record Editorial Sunday October 10, 2004
######


Teterboro air taxi service could have wings clipped

Thursday, October 7, 2004

A new air taxi service has cranked up its propeller at Teterboro Airport to offer low-cost flights to the Boston area, but it may not stay flying for long.

Nearby residents and lawmakers say Linear Air may be violating a federal ban on scheduled service out of Teterboro.

The company flies a $1.8 million, eight-seat Cessna Caravan. It offers on-demand flights between Teterboro and Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass., that are booked on the Internet for $199 or less each way. And it claims its customers can avoid the "hassles'' of security checks.

"We are working to provide a private air travel experience to people who previously could not afford it," said Linear President William Herp. "The market is ripe for some new business models to come in and improve service and decrease cost."

Already, Linear has flown more than 100 people on its one-plane operation. The company hopes to expand to five planes by the end of 2005 and to about 15 the following year, airline officials said. Jets using a new class of small, quiet engines will eventually be added to the fleet, Herp said. The Cessna Caravan is powered by a turbine or jet-driven propeller.

Teterboro was added to the route list a couple of weeks ago, and Herp is investigating possible routes to Washington, D.C., and Vermont and Maine ski areas.

Before that happens, however, Linear will have to pass some political hurdles.

Teterboro Airport has a ban on scheduled charter service, something put in place through legislation last year by Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is already looking at Linear to see if the airline flies in the face of that law.

"We met last week with Linear Air's president to explain our rules," Port Authority spokesman Pasquale Difulco said in a statement. "The Port Authority's position on scheduled service at Teterboro has never been clearer or stronger: It is not permitted, period. End of story.

"We will not, under any circumstances, allow airlines to circumvent our rules and regulations, and have initiated a legal review with regard to Linear Air," he said.

Herp said that Linear does not provide a scheduled service. Rather, the airline is considered "on-demand" under Federal Aviation Administration regulations because flights are proposed for certain times, but not officially scheduled. For instance, on Monday, Linear on its Web site had proposed that flight 1750B leave Teterboro at 6 p.m. for Hanscom.

"We don't operate with a schedule because scheduled operations are excluded at Teterboro," Herp said. "We have four round trips per week, which meets the definition of on demand. Scheduled service is more than four flights a week.

"If there is more demand [for flights]," Herp said, "we can do that."

Rothman pledged to pull the plug on Linear if its operation violated the "letter or spirit of the law that I had passed in Congress last year."

"It is my understanding that the Port Authority lawyers are now combing through Linear's business plan and operations to determine whether they will be offering scheduled service," he said. "If so, our immediate response will be to shut that operation down."

Rothman also sent letters to the Port Authority and the Transportation Security Administration requesting both agencies to review Linear's operation for security and compliance with the law.

Rothman sought the ban on scheduled service last year after another company, Indigo, tried to start passenger service as a public charter airline. Passengers could "charter" a seat on an Indigo jet for daily scheduled flights to Chicago. Indigo ran into financial trouble and stopped operations before the federal ban went into effect.

"It's proposed, it's not scheduled," Herp said, explaining the difference between Indigo and Linear. "It's out there to provide a framework that our customers can build around. We adjust to their demand."

Passengers who fly Linear are treated as if they are boarding their own private plane. At Teterboro, a shuttle takes passengers directly from the terminal at Jet Aviation to the plane.

A big draw to the service is the chance to avoid the inconvenience of using a major airport such as Newark Liberty International.

"Obviously, you get around all those hassles with security checks and lines," Linear spokeswoman Carrie Schuller said. "Someone will valet your car. The pilots will greet you and handle your baggage right in front of you."

Herp, 41, said passenger names and identification are checked against the federal terrorist watch list and that Linear reserves the right to inspect all baggage, something not required of an airline this size. "We don't accept baggage unless we are handed it," he said.

"We are not subject to Transportation Security Administration rules," Herp said. "The TSA regulations apply for entities that carry more than nine passengers or operate in secure areas. We are neither."

Passengers are not screened using metal detectors, he said.

Luggage is handled by the pilots and stowed below the passenger compartment. Once onboard, up to eight passengers sit in oversize leather seats that have power outlets for laptop use. Refreshments for the 90-minute flight include beer, liquor and soda.

Flights are booked and paid for exclusively online or by calling the airline - a method Herp said keeps down costs. And the more passengers that board the plane, the lower the fare. If the plane is fully loaded with eight passengers, a round trip will cost $360 instead of $400.

"It's our belief that these aircraft will become the preferred mode for businesses, people and families that need regional travel," he said.

Herp said he expects some resistance, but is also "sensitive to the community" because he lives in the Hanscom Field community of Lexington.

"The point we are trying to make is we are flying small, quiet airplanes," he said. "The aircraft we are flying has a [propeller] heritage that communities generally find acceptable."

Community activist and Hasbrouck Heights Council candidate Carol Skiba was unimpressed.

"Linear Air and their proposed service is just another lame attempt to find a loophole in the ban of regularly scheduled service," she said. "It's an embarrassment that our elected officials continue to let this happen."

E-mail: sforza@northjersey.com
Source: The Record, Thursday, October 7, 2004


######

Linear Air Launches Air-Taxi Service

Source: www.yenra.com/air-taxi/

Linear Air is launching service between Bedford's Hanscom Field near Boston and Teterboro Airport just outside of New York City.

"The service is ideal for businesspeople who are seeking alternatives to commercial airlines," said Linear Air CEO Bill Herp. "Passengers with frequent travel needs between Boston and New York will quickly discover that our shared charter model is the preferred way to travel."

Herp noted that Teterboro Airport is actually closer to midtown Manhattan than LaGuardia Airport. "The airport is just 12 miles from midtown Manhattan, via the George Washington Bridge or Lincoln Tunnel, so it is ideally located for businesspeople with demanding schedules," said Herp.

New Jersey Transit provides express shuttle bus service between Teterboro Airport and the Port Authority terminal one block west of Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

Personalized ground transportation at Teterboro will be offered through Linear Air's partnership with premier executive car service provider Boston Coach, a Fidelity Investments company.

Service will be offered daily, as dictated by customer demand. Prospective passengers can search for flights and make flight arrangements through Linear Air's website.

In conjunction with the service to New York City, the company is unveiling its Linear AirCard, an innovative member card offering discounted travel to qualified passengers. The card will be unveiled on Sept. 21 during a celebration at Hanscom Field for the company, which recently gained its certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The first 100 qualifying members will receive $500 of free travel credit pre-loaded on their Linear AirCards. Those seeking to obtain the Linear Air Card can visit the company's web site and complete a registration form to determine if they are eligible for the card.

"We want to introduce people who have not been charter customers to the concept of private air travel," said Herp. "We think this member card will give incentive to frequent business travelers to give the concept a try. This is, in effect, a discount off of what already is the most affordable private air option available."

Unlike most air charter companies that charge thousands of dollars per occupied flight hour in a typical aircraft, Linear Air charges only $750 per hour for its aircraft. Passengers fly in a brand new Cessna Caravan, an eight-seat executive airplane, which is staffed by two pilots.

Passengers using the Linear Air Card will reap instant benefits. For instance, a qualified Linear Air Card holder flying to Teterboro Airport can apply the $500 credit for a free round-trip shared charter flight.

Herp noted that cardholders can reload the card in the future at significant discount rates under the company's Fly Buy program.

Brad Rosse, regional director of AirShares Elite New England, a shared ownership aircraft company based at Hanscom Field, commended Herp for his business plans to New York City and the member card offering.

"I think Linear Air's approach is to change the thinking on air charter with a very cost effective solution for the business traveler," said Rosse. "Their business model is well thought out and well executed. We have referred numerous clients to Linear Air and--without exception--all have been impressed with the high service level and attractive rates."

The service is the latest in a series of announcements for the company, which launched earlier this year. Linear Air previously announced service to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket in August and its launch of charter service to more than 200 cities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic in July.

Linear Air provides short-hop private air travel at airline rates.

Source: www.yenra.com/air-taxi/

#####

Linear Air Announces Premier Air-Taxi Service

Tuesday September 21, 8:01 am ET
Source: www.pilotinterviews.com

Passengers also have opportunity to use new valued member card to gain $500 worth of free travel; business model lauded for its innovation

LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 21, 2004-- Linear Air, a premier air-taxi service that is transforming the private air travel industry, today announced that it is launching service between Bedford's Hanscom Field near Boston and Teterboro Airport just outside of New York City.

"The service is ideal for businesspeople who are seeking alternatives to commercial airlines," said Linear Air CEO Bill Herp. "Passengers with frequent travel needs between Boston and New York will quickly discover that our shared charter model is the preferred way to travel."

Herp noted that Teterboro Airport is actually closer to midtown Manhattan than LaGuardia Airport. "The airport is just 12 miles from midtown Manhattan, via the George Washington Bridge or Lincoln Tunnel, so it is ideally located for businesspeople with demanding schedules," said Herp.

New Jersey Transit provides express shuttle bus service between Teterboro Airport and the Port Authority terminal one block west of Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

Personalized ground transportation at Teterboro will be offered through Linear Air's partnership with premier executive car service provider Boston Coach, a Fidelity Investments company.

Service will be offered daily, as dictated by customer demand. Prospective passengers can search for flights and make flight arrangements through Linear Air's website at www.linearair.com or by calling 1-877-2-LINEAR. Fares are $199 each way.

In conjunction with the service to New York City, the company is unveiling its Linear AirCard, an innovative member card offering discounted travel to qualified passengers. The card will be unveiled on Sept. 21 during a celebration at Hanscom Field for the company, which recently gained its certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The first 100 qualifying members will receive $500 of free travel credit pre-loaded on their Linear AirCards. Those seeking to obtain the Linear AirCard can visit the company's web site and complete a registration form to determine if they are eligible for the card.

"We want to introduce people who have not been charter customers to the concept of private air travel," said Herp. "We think this member card will give incentive to frequent business travelers to give the concept a try. This is, in effect, a discount off of what already is the most affordable private air option available."

Unlike most air charter companies that charge thousands of dollars per occupied flight hour in a typical aircraft, Linear Air charges only $750 per hour for its aircraft. Passengers fly in a brand new Cessna Caravan, an eight-seat executive airplane, which is staffed by two pilots.

Passengers using the Linear AirCard will reap instant benefits. For instance, a qualified Linear AirCard holder flying to Teterboro Airport can apply the $500 credit for a free round-trip shared charter flight.

Herp noted that cardholders can reload the card in the future at significant discount rates under the company's FlyBuy(TM) program.

Brad Rosse, regional director of AirShares Elite New England, a shared ownership aircraft company based at Hanscom Field, commended Herp for his business plans to New York City and the member card offering.

"I think Linear Air's approach is to change the thinking on air charter with a very cost effective solution for the business traveler," said Rosse. "Their business model is well thought out and well executed. We have referred numerous clients to Linear Air and--without exception--all have been impressed with the high service level and attractive rates."

The service is the latest in a series of announcements for the company, which launched earlier this year. Linear Air previously announced service to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket in August and its launch of charter service to more than 200 cities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic in July.

About Linear Air

Linear Air, based in Lexington, Mass., is a premier air-taxi service that is transforming the private air travel industry. With operations out of Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass. near Boston, Linear Air provides short-hop private air travel at airline rates. The company offers executives and families personalized customer service, flexibility and convenience at attractive fares.

Linear Air is supported by a robust web-based customer service system and is served by a top management team of aviation experts. For more information about Linear Air or to book a flight, please visit www.linearair.com or call 781-860-9696 or 1-877-2-LINEAR.

Source: www.pilotinterviews.com

#####


October 7, 2004

Rothman Fighting To Stop New Regularly Operated
Charter Airline At Teterboro Airport

Linear Air May Violate Federal Ban Against Scheduled Charter Service He Got Enacted Last Year; Working with Port Authority To Stop Linear Flights, Calls On
U.S. Department of Homeland Security To Investigate Any Security Lapses

Washington, DC - Vowing to protect the safety and quality of life for the people of Northern New Jersey, Congressman Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) has launched a major effort to stop Linear Air, a new airline service that is operating what appears to be scheduled charter service at Teterboro Airport. Despite a new law authored by Rothman last year that bans scheduled charter service at Teterboro Airport, Linear Air has begun operating what it describes as "regular routes" between Teterboro Airport and Bedford, Massachusetts on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays for $199 each way. Rothman has called upon both the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), which operates Teterboro Airport, as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to immediately review Linear Air's service at Teterboro. Rothman said he believes the airline company may well be violating the new ban on scheduled charter service and may also be posing a security risk because of inadequate screening procedures.

 "The people of Northern New Jersey have already suffered more than enough from airline companies trying to make a profit at their expense. Last year we defeated the threat of the Boeing Business Jet and Indigo Airlines operating at Teterboro Airport, and I am going to ensure that the safety and quality of life of our residents is not undermined by Linear Air," Rothman said. "I am working with the relevant government agencies to determine the legality of Linear Air's service at Teterboro Airport. One way or the other, we will act to keep Linear Air from offering regularly scheduled charter service at Teterboro Airport."

Last year, Rothman authored, got passed in Congress, and got signed into law, a measure to permanently ban scheduled charter service at Teterboro Airport. The provision, which is part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill, closed the loophole that allowed charter aircraft, most recently Indigo Airlines, to operate at Teterboro Airport on a regular, scheduled basis. Rothman credited U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ) with helping to ensure Senate approval of the provision he authored. President Bush signed the bill into law on December 12, 2003.

After learning of Linear's new service at Teterboro, Rothman immediately contacted Bill DeCota, Director of Aviation for the PANYNJ, and asked him to review Linear Air's operations at Teterboro. The PANYNJ informed Rothman that they have initiated an immediate legal review of Linear Air and plan to further explain Rothman's law banning scheduled charter service to the company's CEO in a meeting in the next few days. On a separate track, Rothman has called on Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, Admiral David Stone, to immediately investigate whether Linear Air is taking all of the necessary security precautions with regards to passengers and cargo on their flights to and from Teterboro.
Source: http://rothman.house.gov/news_releases/rel_100704.htm

#####

Linear Air launches Boston-N.Y. exec flights

Lexington-based Linear Air, a privately held premier air-taxi service, said it is launching a service between Bedford's Hanscom Field and Teterboro Airport just outside New York City.

Passengers fly in a new Cessna Caravan, an eight-seat executive airplane, which is staffed by two pilots. Fares are $199 each way. The flight is a little over an hour long.

The service adds to Linear's chartered flights, which are $750 per hour for use of its aircraft. Linear has charter service to over 200 cities.

Personalized ground transportation at Teterboro will be offered through Linear Air partner Boston Coach, a Fidelity Investments-owned car service based in Everett.

Linear has been operating since May.

Source:  Boston Business Journal
September 22, 2004

######

Linear Air launches service from Hanscom to NYC

BEDFORD Linear Air, a Lexington-based air-taxi startup, said has launched a service between Hanscom Field and Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, N.J., just outside New York City. Passengers fly on a Cessna Caravan, which seats eight and is staffed by two pilots. Fares are $199 each way on the hourlong flight, which is offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Linear also offers chartered weekend flights from Hanscom to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The privately-funded company, which was has been operating since May, offers charter service to more than 200 cities.

Source:  www.Lowellsun.com
########


Jet Taxi Company Linear Air Flies Away With $1M In First Round
By Jonathan Matsey
5/28/2004


Lexington, Mass. -- Linear Air Inc., a company offering private jet services, said that it has raised $1 million in its first round of financing.

Individual investors provided the funding. Bill Herp, founder and president of Linear Air, said that many of these individuals are from the Northeast and are affiliated with venture capital firms. In addition to the equity funding, he said that the company has also taken on $2 million in debt and will take out about $1.5 million more in debt in the next few months.

Linear Air will use the funds to purchase its first two aircraft, eight-passenger Cessna Grand Caravans. Herp said that the company will purchase the first one in July and the second later in the fall.

With its small fleet in place, Linear Air will begin operations catering to what Herp said he believes is a small but growing segment of the aviation market. "The industry is ripe for a shift," he said. "We're bringing private air travel to people who have never experienced private air travel before."

The base of operations of Linear Air will be Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass., near Boston and will focus on junkets to resort areas like Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Provincetown as well as business trips to New York. For instance, Herp said a trip to Martha's Vineyard will likely cost $169 and a trip to a New York-area airport like Teterboro, N.J., or White Plains, N.Y., will cost $370 to $400.

Herp said that by focusing on smaller airports, it will be able to offer convenience - shorter security lines, easier parking, quicker luggage pick-up, for example - unavailable in larger airports, such as Boston's Logan Airport. He also said he believes that Linear Air will be cheaper than charter services by flying regular schedules and not penalizing last-minute business travelers.

Herp's last venture was e-Dialog, a Lexington, Mass.-based direct e-mail marketing company, which has raised three rounds of venture financing. He said that Linear Air reflects a long-held personal interest of his: he has been a licensed pilot since 1996. But he also said that it makes good business sense. "I think it has the potential to become a hot area," he said, "just like e-mail at the beginning of the decade."

As with many start-ups, the company is banking its future on technology. Herp said that the company is anticipating FAA approval for a class of very light jets, expected to be out by next year. As Linear Air builds up its fleet - three more planes in 2005 and five more in 2006 - he said he expects these to be the light, four-passenger jets. At least one other startup, iFly Air Taxi Inc., which the Wall Street Journal reported has raised $6.3 million, is planning on buying the same light aircraft from Adam Aircraft Industries Inc. and operating a similar air-taxi service.

Herp said he believes that by buying the Cessna turbo-prop planes, Linear Air will gain an advantage by getting a toehold in Hanscom airport and in building a clientele. "While the new generation of jets don't exist, their customers do," he said.

In the next few years, Linear - as in the shortest distance between two points, Herp said - will be looking to raise additional funding. He said that the next phase of growth - the three planes in 2005 - will require $6 million in purchase and working capital costs. While he said he would like to fund the vast majority of this with raised revenue and debt, he said that Linear Air will most likely look for at least $1 million in equity financing, and may go outside of its current flock of angels.


http://www.linearair.com

Source: Dow Jones VentureWire Newsletter

######

What is a "public charter"?
A public charter is a convenient, long-standing form of service authority authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation that allows individual passengers to share chartered aircraft flying between cities on a frequent and regular basis.


######


Please patronize our sponsors. Ads with links are clickable.

bar_eleg.gif (11170 bytes)


  Photo Features 
George Washington Bridge
[Index]
Paterson Great Falls [General Photos][Background info][Hydroelectric plant]
Secaucus Junction
Grand Opening  [Index]
Mail Factory Migrates To Teterboro [ Sneak preview][Ribbon cutting]
"The Wright Stuff"100 Years of Aviation [Index]





Please patronize our sponsors. Ads with links are clickable.

bar_eleg.gif (11170 bytes)

regional news, information and features
  LOGO.GIF (7473 bytes)
[Advertising Information]  [Policy Statement]      MAIL.GIF (4196 bytes)   [E-mail: Webmaster]      
   Please report broken links.  Submissions welcome.  Site established 1998.   1998-2008.  All Rights Reserved
Premission required for any commercial reproduction of photographs used herein.
Site developed and maintained by [The Iron Horse Advertising & Marketing Co. Inc.]
####