JSX Inc., a small carrier that offers private-jet style travel at close to commercial-jet prices, will cut nearly all of its flights out of Austin after losing access to one of its original operating facilities.
(Bloomberg) — JSX Inc., a small carrier that offers private-jet style travel at close to commercial-jet prices, will cut nearly all of its flights out of Austin after losing access to one of its original operating facilities.
Starting Oct. 1, the carrier will drop as many as three flights a day between Austin and Dallas, according to Ben Kaufman, a spokesman for JSX. It will also cut flights out of the Texas capital to Las Vegas, and seasonal flights to Gunnison/Crested Butte, Colorado. Seasonal winter flights four times a week to Taos, New Mexico, won’t be affected.
The change will be a blow to travelers and commuters who use the service to save time and eliminate hassle. JSX passengers board in private hangars, skipping long security lines and crowds. The carrier caters to people who want a better flight experience than with commercial airlines, but can’t afford the normally high price tag of flying private.
“It just saves so much time,” said Taylor Green, 31, who works for a commercial construction company and has flown JSX about 10 times. “No security — you literally show up, get on.”
JSX, which refers to itself as a “hop-on jet service,” was operating out of a Signature Aviation facility with a customer lounge at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Kaufman said recently Signature told JSX it “would no longer agree to accommodate” the company in its main facility. The carrier moved to another location “more akin to an unfinished garage” that has ramp limitations and is too small to maintain its current flight schedule, he said.
A Signature spokesperson said JSX volunteered a year ago to move to a separate space in its facility that included a private lobby, bathroom and parking lot, but declined to renew its contract when it expired recently.
“Any decisions made by JSX to leave our locations have been made of their own volition,” a Signature spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
JSX is also moving its operations at Miami International Airport to Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport starting Sept. 26, and from San Diego International to McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, California, on Oct. 5. The company didn’t provide a reason for the moves, but Signature said JSX also chose not to renew contracts at its facilities in both Miami and San Diego.
The carrier isn’t cutting any flights from Opa Locka or Carlsbad, Kaufman said, adding that the Austin changes weren’t due to a drop in demand.
“We certainly plan to return to the market with gusto once we can locate a more suitable place from which to operate,” he said in an email about the Texas flight schedule changes.
JSX has attracted attention recently as part of a brewing regulatory battle involving small charter carriers, which operate under less-stringent safety and pilot-training standards than larger airlines. Federal regulators said last month that they’re considering imposing stricter regulatory standards on such carriers.
Green, who was on the Austin-Dallas JSX flight Tuesday, said about 90% of the people in her office take JSX flights, and she isn’t concerned about the security. To board, passengers must go through metal detectors and their bags are scanned.
JSX’s security program is accepted by the Transportation Security Administration and “is every bit as thorough” at procedures at commercial airport terminals, Kaufman said.
Passengers can book some JSX flights on JetBlue Airways Corp.’s website. The carrier, an early investor in JetSuite which also maintains a seat on its board, and United Airlines Holdings Inc. allow members of their loyalty programs to earn credit for flights with JSX.
–With assistance from Julie Fine.
(Updates with Signature comment, additional details starting in sixth paragraph.)
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