Seattle's Newest Airline Is Basically a Private Plane
Arrow Airlines is looking to launch service to the Bay Area, minus the usual commercial hassles.
A new airline in Seattle? It's surprising news out of the aviation industry—lately all we've heard about are grounded Dreamliners and merging bankrupt airlines. But the new Arrow isn't here quite yet.
In many ways, Arrow will operate like a corporate jet service, requiring membership ($500 per month, with a year commitment) before you can access $500 tickets for flights to Oakland and San Jose. The price—minus the membership fee—is about what you'd pay for a first-class ticket.
But the service is first-class too: Seats are leather, wifi is available, and flyers don't have to show up until 10 minutes before the flight takes off. They get to depart from Boeing Field, which is both closer and doesn't have a TSA security station. When Colin Cook from AirlineReporter.com flew the airplane Arrow plans to use (backwards propellers!), the Piaggio P 180 Avanti II, he called it "comfortable," "quiet," and with very little turbulence.
But oh yeah—Arrow doesn't actually have the plane yet. (Details.) As GeekWire puts it, "Arrow is taking a Kickstarter-esque approach to getting the airline off the ground." Once they get 200 paying members, they'll buy the plane and start service three months later. Kenmore Air—the mostly float-plane operation out of Lake Washington—will operate Arrow and possibly own a stake in it. The airline's founders are Seattle-area entrepreneur (and yacht designer, and aircraft designer) Russell Belden and BuddyTV founder Andy Liu.
Will it work? Maybe; there is a lot of tech business done between Seattle and the Bay Area, and the airline advertises a more than two-hour time savings. But the up-and-comer has a small presence so far (just try Googling them—it's hard to find the real link). But with big legacy airlines falling left and right, maybe small is the only way to be airborne.