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March 4, 2009
By Sarah Brown
Andrew Schmertz, president of Hopscotch Air
In this economy it seems that more companies are closing down than taking off, but one New York air taxi service is looking to buck the trend with a new business designed for scaled-down air travel in the northeast United States.
Hopscotch Air, a personal air limo service scheduled to start operations in April, hopes to attract regional travelers who have found that crowds, cutbacks in services, and security lines have made airline travel increasingly difficult.
“I think the point of the whole air taxi business is that the service can be very affordable, very efficient,” said Andrew Schmertz, president of Hopscotch Air, Inc. “But you really need to change the conversation among the flying public.” Most people travel via commercial airliner, he said, but they don’t need to suffer through the hassles of over-crowded airports and airline delays just to have an affordable flight. Hopscotch is designed to be a reliable, efficient, affordable alternative to commercial airline travel.
Starting in April, customers can book regional flights through the company from general aviation airports around the northeast, including metropolitan airports on Long Island and in Westchester, Conn., and New Jersey. Schmertz said the company’s Cirrus SR22 is specially suited to this type of travel, and the GA airports Hopscotch will use are often closer to a traveler’s destination than commercial airports. The company plans to start small, using two planes, and then adapt to customer demand.
Schmertz hopes the new company will appeal to people who might otherwise drive to their destinations, such as regional business travelers or weekend vacationers.
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AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.