Who needs eVTOLs? Float starts cheap, low-tech air shuttle service
As legions of eVTOL companies struggle to get their air taxi operations off the ground, one California company is saying to heck with it, we've already got the technology to make cheap, fast air commuting possible. That technology: the humble aeroplane. And a new small operator says it can get you from any of 26 Los Angeles-area airports to any other for as little as US$30 each way, soaring merrily over the congested freeways below, as part of a monthly commuting subscription.
Float Air Shuttle will use a small fleet of nine-passenger planes to make long commutes in southern California much, much quicker. Flying between Hawthorne airport and Whiteman up in Pacoima turns a one- to two-hour soul-crushing peak-hour crawl into a 14-minute flight. No demeaning TSA checks are required, and the average each-way cost is US$31.25.
Initial routes will be determined by which subscriptions fill the fastest; Float won't fly a route until it has a full plane's worth of subscriptions paid for. If you're taking a day off work and don't need your ticket, it's up to you to sell it.
A monthly commuting subscription of US$1,250 will certainly add up, and won't be within everyone's reach, but to folks who spend hours every day choking through Los Angeles traffic on cross-city runs, Float says that money will buy you an average of 60 hours a month of personal time. What's more, that money needs to be tallied against tolls, fuel and maintenance on your car.
Likewise, even if each flight takes nine cars off the road for a couple of hours, planes are not a clean form of transport as yet. But Float says it's ready to embrace electric aviation once the numbers add up.
The emerging eVTOL industry will surely be watching how Float's business model pans out. The company already has agreements with at least 40 airports around Los Angeles and San Diego, and is currently asking for detailed expressions of interest, including prospective passengers' preferred departure and arrival airports and times, to determine which services to begin with.
Source: Float Air Shuttle