TRUCKEE, Calif. — Truckee Tahoe Airport has a new charter operator available for flyers with the distinguishing characteristic of having scheduled flights.
Surf Air, a Santa Monica-based all-you-can-fly membership airline, added Truckee as one of its five flight destinations, effective May 2.
“Any way to improve access to the area is a benefit to the community,” said Kevin Smith, airport district general manager.
Currently, 25-plus charter operators use the Truckee Tahoe Airport any given month, he said.
Surf Air decided to join that fleet based on client demand, said Louise O’Riordan, senior vice president of brand development and partnerships for the airline.
“Opening up a destination as beautiful as Tahoe gives our existing members … another destination to explore,” she said.
As of Tuesday, 60 people have used the Truckee route.
A daily flight arrives at the Truckee airport at 4:25 p.m. and leaves at 4:50 p.m. On Sundays, Surf Air operates two Truckee flights — one that arrives at 11:25 a.m. and departs at 11:50 a.m. and the other arriving at 5:25 p.m. and departing at 5:50 p.m.
Those flights go directly to San Carlos, but from there, passengers can make a connecting flight to any of the other locations Surf Air services — Santa Barbara, Burbank or Hawthorne.
In order to fly Surf Air, one must be a member.
Dues start at $1,599 a month, plus a $500 one-time initiation fee for unlimited flights with Surf Air. A three-month commitment is required.
Surf Air has 610 members, with 30 of them signing up since Truckee was added on its list of destinations, O’Riordan said.
“I think we’re filling a niche for savvy, frequent flyers and taking the hassle out of flying and putting the enjoyment back in,” she said.
Users of Surf Air don’t have to go through security, wait in line or arrive hours before departure.
Flights range from 55 minutes (San Carlos) to 170 minutes (Burbank), are manned by two pilots and can hold up to seven passengers.
“It’s just a quick, efficient way to get from A to B,” O’Riordan said.
She added that while the airline is concentrated in California, it’s looking to expand its destinations to such places as Las Vegas, San Diego and beyond.
“We are excited to expand Surf Air’s service to Truckee/Tahoe, which was a natural addition to our existing route system,” said Jeff Potter, CEO of Surf Air. “The response from our members and the Truckee community has been one of the most positive to date. ... We look forward to working with the Truckee community to continue to expand our service and solidify our long-term partnership.”
Smith added: “We’re just watching it and working with Surf Air to make sure it fits our mission and community.”
To learn more or to sign up to be a member, visit surfair.com.