California’s Surf Air transitions into a virtual carrier

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2579Surf Air (AN, Santa Monica) has officially transitioned into a virtual carrier following the return of its Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate (ACC) to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) earlier this year.

According to AIN Online, the California-based subscription specialist has now outsourced its flight operations to Encompass Aviation (ROM, Hawthorne) which secured its own Part 135 ACC back in March.

Encompass president and CEO Steve Harfst told AIN his airline has been responsible for carrying out Surf Air’s seventy daily flights since May. As part of the transition, Encompass Aviation absorbed more than sixty Surf Air PC-12 pilots as well as its operating structure. In addition, it has also introduced a safety director position and is in the process of implementing a safety management system.

Aside from the Surf Air contract, Harfst said Encompass Aviation is also talking to other new-model business aviation travel service companies about managing and operating their fleets. It has also applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for authority to conduct scheduled passenger flights as a US commuter air carrier. This application is currently pending.

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