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King Air 350s are a charter winner for Clipper
Clipper Aviation flies two King Air 350s on the west cost of the US and it says that uptake so far has been tremendous.
Charter sales director Darren Shankly is pleased with how the Part 135 operation is going so far.
Read this story in our July 2024 printed issue.

Van Nuys Airport-based Clipper Aviation is enjoying success with its recently launched fleet of two dual pilot and wifi-enabled King Air 350s. The operator is focusing on the western states of the US such as California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Oregon, where it is seeing a lot of traction. Flights of two hours or less are where Clipper is finding the best value. “With eight seats the King Air 350 is a really versatile platform,” says director of charter sales Darren Shankly. “I think it’s unique in the LA and California area to have King Air 350s, so we’re excited about offering this aircraft to the local market, and we’re getting a lot of business here with regional charters. May was our first full month of charter ops on the 135, and we also have a Part 145 FAA-approved repair station, so we do a lot of turboprop work with other operators; we have deep expertise there.

“We also maintain a flight school, which is also really exciting as it gives a pathway for students and ambitious pilots to go into the industry. Crew shortage is a threat, and Clipper Aviation is excited to contribute more pilots to the industry.”

Shankly goes on to say that uptake so far has been tremendous, as he focuses on the regional market. “The King Air is not a coast to coast aircraft so we’re limited there. We can do Cabo in Mexico so we’re able to do some longer distances, international into Canada too.

“Right now we have two King Air 350s. We are due to have a couple of other product offerings here in the next couple of months once we have all the pieces in place to offer that. We’re excited to be of service to brokers and operators in the area who require supplemental lift. It’s been really enjoyable to add value to the local market and work alongside the brokers and operators, so we’re excited about the momentum we have, and we want to continue being of service.”

The company's three business lines are charter, the Part 145 repair station, which focuses on turboprops, and the flight school. Charter is the newest service to be launched and is Part 135 approved.

Clipper was founded by brothers Charles and James Raffini.

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