Just like Surf Air, the new subscription service offers an unlimited flight membership to select locations from private air carriers. The main difference is in the destinations served. Surf Air currently flies to seven California locations and Las Vegas. Beacon will serve the Northeastern United States, including Boston, the Hamptons, White Plains and Nantucket.
For Eyerly, the launch of Beacon is his second shot at reinventing private air travel. He was forced out from his role at Surf Air close to a year ago and replaced by the more experienced former CEO of Frontier Airlines Jeff Potter.
He says this is a chance to start over with the knowledge he gained building his first unlimited private flight startup. “It’s the innovators that do all the heavy lifting and the imitators that reap the rewards. I’m the first to come up with the all-you-can-fly private flight model and others come to me and my co-founders for advice on disrupting the airline industry. I feel I can take all the trials and experience I gained at Surf Air to making a successful company here.” said Eyerly.
Part of what he learned will be applied in adapting the business model to make it more efficient. Surf Air operates its own private planes, but Beacon does not. Instead, it operates by hooking members up with private air carriers owned and operated by those holding the necessary government authorization to fly.
Owning its own planes caused Surf Air to hit an 18-month roadblock in the early days of operations. The issue surrounded gaining the necessary licensing from the FAA for its private flight service.
The new model allows Beacon to operate without having to go through the same initial struggles. “It’s like Delta partnering with SkyWest. We’re doing that with private carriers who already have the license to fly,” explained Eyerly.
Beacon will fly to the aforementioned four locations starting this Summer, but it could easily expand with partnership deals in the more than 1500 privately owned charter jet companies throughout the United States.
Eyerly hinted this was on the roadmap with plans to expand into D.C. next. “There is a lot of travel to and from the Northeast and D.C. It’s the natural next step,” he said.
Eyerly will most likely face some backlash from his former startup over the new endeavor. Though on opposites sides of the country, the two are very similar. Eyerly maintains this won’t be an issue because he never signed a non-compete.
He also still owns part of the company he started with his brother David in 2012. “I don’t think this will be a big deal. I have a reason to want Surf Air to do well. I own stock in the company and so do my co-founders,” Eyerly said.
Eyerly brought in former Mitt Romney campaign finance director Ryan Morely as well as his former Surf Air co-founders Cory Cozzens and Reed Farnsworth to work with him at Beacon.
The new travel startup has also nabbed an undisclosed amount of funding from Boston-based Romulus Capital and a host of angel investors, including New York Times bestselling author of “Never Eat Alone” Keith Ferrazzi and former NBA basketball player Danny Ainge.
Beacon passengers will pay $2000 per month for unlimited flights on a maximum 10 passenger air craft. (Surf Air costs $1750 per month.) Concierge services such as car rentals, drinks and even flowers will also be provided at each private air terminal where Beacon operates.