"Beacon": Uber for the skies


With Uber having staked its claim on land transport, a new business is looking to “Uberise” another form of travel. Beacon, an aviation start-up that launched flights in September, offers unlimited private air travel to customers on the east coast (New York, Boston, Nantucket or the Hamptons), whenever they want it.

The company is CEO Wade Eyerly’s second attempt to revolutionise on-demand air travel. His first brainchild was Surf Air, which offered unlimited private jet flights on America’s west coast. But, while Surf Air was saddled with the burden of maintaining its fleet and procuring the necessary licences, Beacon partners private air carriers that already possess the required government authorisation to operate. Indeed, Beacon is all about ease and convenience for the customer, who can book up to four flights at once, for a monthly membership fee of US$2,000 (S$2,849). Using a mobile app, it takes mere seconds to pick departure/arrival cities and confirm availability, and you can do this up to 15 minutes before take-off , in order to secure a seat.

At the terminal, you won’t have to suffer through long security lines – Beacon does prior checks to ensure customers are cleared from the No Fly list. The only downsides: There’s no Wi-Fi or flight attendant to ply you with drinks. Then again, flight time from New York to Boston is only around 35 minutes.

Beacon has plans to expand to Washington, and Eyerly has identified potential markets in Australia, Europe and China. Singapore businessmen who fly frequently to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta have reason to hope that Beacon will land in South-east Asia someday.

Read the full story at The Peak.

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