Surf Air’s shares slump after listing 

Surf Air

Shares in Surf Air lost up to 84% of their value on July 27, 2023, their first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. 

California-based Surf Air went public through a direct listing, meaning that existing shares were made available for trading. This is unlike an initial public offering (IPO), when new shares are issued for trading.  

Shares in the Californian air operator were worth $3.15 at close, down from a reference price of $20. Trading had started at $5 per share. 

Surf Air was launched in 2012 with what was then an innovative business model, offering a set amount of flights between local and regional airports for a flat fee. Using this approach, Surf Air targeted frequent flyers who wished to benefit from the speed and convenience of air travel while avoiding the inconvenience of flying through large airports on traditional airlines. The company also operates on-demand charter flights. 

To achieve this, Surf Air operates a fleet of Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12 eight-seater turboprop aircraft. 

In 2017, the operator launched a European subsidiary with the aim of exporting this model across the Atlantic. However, the market response was not as positive as expected and the new branch folded the following year. 

More recently, Surf Air had been investing in so-called green flight technologies. In July 2021, for example, it ordered 150 units of the hybrid-electric version of the Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft from Textron, plus a50 options. It also started discussions with a view to acquiring Ampaire, a startup developing hybrid-electric propulsion systems for aircraft, but ultimately that move was abandoned. 

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Miquel Ros
Deputy Editor[br][br] Miquel has been Deputy Editor at AeroTime since late 2022 and is based in Barcelona, Spain. In addition to his work for AeroTime, he has published on other international media outlets as well, such as CNN, The Points Guy and Airways Magazine. Miquel also worked at the editorial team of Flightglobal and produces Allplane.tv, a site and podcast about the aviation industry.
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