A membership-based, all-you-fly airline hopes to add service to the Lake Tahoe market next year.
Surf Air, headquartered at Santa Monica, is signing up members for its first routes, which will link Palo Alto, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
But expansion into the Lake Tahoe market is one of the company's priorities, says Wade Eyerly, a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who is Surf Air's chief executive officer, says the carrier hopes to tap a market of Bay Area residents who want to avoid the hassles of driving to second homes at Lake Tahoe.
The company expects to add Lake Tahoe service by early 2013. It expects to launch its first service in California this summer, although it still needs approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Eyerly, who founded the company with his brother, David, a licensed commercial airline pilot, says Surf Air executives haven't decided which airport in the Lake Tahoe area the company might use. Possibilities include the airports at South Lake Tahoe and Truckee.
The company expects to employ about 30 people at each of its service locations. Among them will be an on-site concierge.
Members of Surf Air get unlimited flights. For $790 a month, for instance, a member has unlimited travel while making two advance reservations at a time. For $1,490 a month, travelers can book up to six reservations at a time.
The company will begin service with Pilatus single-engine turboprop aircraft with capacity for eight passengers. It has two aircraft now and will add more as it extends its service, Eyerly says.