I spent a good chunk of my Tuesday at Burbank Bob Hope Airport waiting to tour an airplane belonging to a new airline you've probably don't know.
The airline - if you want to call it that - is JetSuiteX. You might be familiar with JetSuite as a private jet operator, but the company has not previously offered scheduled service. Now, though, JetSuite is adding 10 used Embraer E135s and flying them in an executive-style configuration around the Western United States. The company added an 'X' to the name to differentiate this service from its private jet business.
Aviation regulations are complex, but the idea is that JetSuiteX can sell tickets on what are called public charters. It's starting small, mainly flying from Burbank, near Los Angeles, to Concord, in the Bay Area, with a couple of other routes throw in. One benefit is that JetSuiteX is using private hangers, so there's no need to go through typical TSA security. Introductory Burbank-Concord fares are as low as $108 one-way, but you must visit JetSuite's website to book them.
Here's the initial route network:
Fellow blogger Brett Snyder - you may know him as Cranky Flier - wrote an excellent analysis on JetSuiteX, so if you're looking for more information, I recommend heading to his blog. You should know Brett was skeptical. "I get that the low cost of the airplane and the current price of fuel means that they can do pretty well if they sell even half the seats," he wrote. "But even that is going to be a challenge."
Brett has the facts, but if you prefer pictures of JetSuiteX's first airplane, you might stay here. When American Eagle flew this plane years ago, this Embraer E135 had 37 seats. Now it has 30, with at least 36 inches of pitch at every seat. So it looks like a decent ride.
I didn't fly, but I spent some time on the plane on the ground.
Here's some of what I saw.