By March 2014, Hopscotch Air had become the largest small plane air taxi operator in the northeast, with eight Cirrus aircraft under management or proposed management. Our mission: To operate a transformative air taxi service that provides clients with safe, reliable, and affordable private air transportation while offering our employees a workplace environment of respect and personal growth.
How we got here:
Hopscotch Air is incorporated by a group of business people and aviation enthusiasts who were looking to transform the way people fly. With the belief that far more people should have access to affordable, private aviation, the company begins the process of certification, raising funds, and preparing to be a disruptive force in the commercial airline industry.
We choose to fly the Cirrus aircraft. Cirrus, considered one of the most technologically-advanced general aviation airplanes in the world, delivers low operating costs, a comfortable cabin (designed by BMW), and unprecedented safety with its unique whole airplane parachute system. Taken together, we’re able to offer customers a high quality service at prices often competitive with the airlines.
Within months, Hopscotch receives substantial industry press coverage, with articles in Global Flight International, Flying Magazine and others.
We receive FAA certification under Title 14 USC Part 135, allowing the company to perform on-demand flights for paying passengers. The Part 135 certificate we hold is the highest level certificate the FAA issues under Part 135 and allows us to add as many aircraft and pilots as we choose. As with many air carriers before us, we launch service with just one aircraft, based at Republic-Farmingdale Airport in Long Island, NY.
We perform our first revenue flight, from Long Island to Morristown, NJ. By the end of 2009, we have flown only 36 flights. Within three years, we increased that number by ten fold.
December 2009 through March 2010
We add our second and third Cirrus SR22 airplane and expand our base of operations to Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY.
Our CEO, Andrew Schmertz, becomes a subject matter expert for the media on both aviation and small business topics. He was a frequent guest on Fox News Channel.
We earned certification from the Canadian Transportation Authority and Transport Canada to operate flights to and from Canada, thereby greatly increasing our service area.
We sign a unique marketing agreement with Swiss International Airlines, one of the world’s premier aviation companies. Under the deal, Hopscotch Air returns the iconic brand to the skies. Now in our fifth year of the deal, SWISS continues to provide marketing and mentoring support.
We add Cirrus aircraft number three to the fleet.
We added Cirrus aircraft four and five and launched a new base from Bedford, MA to service the Boston market.
We also signed a marketing partnership with the New York Islanders Hockey Club, which positions our brand in front of fans of the four time Stanley Cup champions. As part of the agreement, we fly fans to watch the Islanders play against the Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres.
We currently have eight Cirrus aircraft under lease and we plan to expand our base of operations to San Diego, California. Through our partnership with Boston-based Liner Air, our flights are now offered through the on-line airline ticketing service, Kayak (a unit of Priceline.com). The company provides both on-demand flights and limited per-seat flexible schedule flights.