Surf Air acquires RISE


The Pilatus PC12 NG turboprop in flight.

Surf Air has acquired RISE, the second largest competitor in the ‘all-you-can-fly’ membership-based air travel category.

The consolidation will establish Surf Air’s presence in both California and Texas, bringing the total number of weekly flights to 445, across 17 destinations. As part of the agreement, the combined entities also announced plans to quickly expand to additional markets within the next 18 months, including: Las Vegas (NV), Bentonville (AR), Midland (TX), New Orleans (LA), Scottsdale (AZ), and Taos (NM), with certain membership levels offering weekend service to Cabo San Lucas (Mexico), Aspen (CO), and Sun Valley (ID).

Since their inception, both Surf Air and RISE have experienced escalating demand for increased service, flights and destinations. To date, Surf Air and RISE have – combined – flown 69,383 flights and 203,908 passengers. By integrating the platforms and creating seamless connections between the networks, existing Members of both providers will see immediate benefits with expanded access to the existing “all-you-can-fly” monthly membership model.

“For nearly five years we have been drastically and fundamentally changing the way frequent business travellers in California fly.”

Sudhin Shahani, chairman and CEO of Surf Air said: “For nearly five years we have been drastically and fundamentally changing the way frequent business travellers in California fly. Before Surf Air, professionals throughout California wasted hours traveling through commercial airports, waiting in security lines, and stealing precious time from business and family. Today, the all-you-can-fly membership model is here to stay by taking frequent flyers off commercial airlines across major short-haul business cities and onto an easier way to travel. Our current routes from the Los Angeles to San Francisco areas already corner one of the largest short-haul markets in the country, now, with our acquisition of RISE, we’re taking a significant step into expanding this footprint across the South-Eastern U.S. through the substantial operation already established by RISE in Texas.”

As part of the agreement, the RISE brand will transition to Surf Air and a new fleet of Surf Air aircraft will be brought to Texas to fly the scheduled RISE routes between Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Surf Air’s corporate and operational headquarters will remain in Santa Monica, with a significant presence in Dallas.

Former founder and CEO of RISE Nick Kennedy is taking the role as president of the Texas and South-East region for Surf Air, reporting to Shahani.

Kennedy added: “RISE was founded in 2014 to give frequent business travellers more of the most valuable commodity in the world–time. Since we first took to the skies, we have saved our Members more than 45,000 hours through the elimination of airport hassles. By joining forces with Surf Air, we’ll be able to reach even more frequent business travellers and those simply looking to travel better with more flights to more destinations, including–eventually–creating a direct connection between the Texas and California networks which is a total game changer.”

Core topics