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Former United Pilots (& Mike Ditka) Need Your Help to Start a “Country Club of the Air”

Former United Pilots (& Mike Ditka) Need Your Help to Start a “Country Club of the Air”
Taylor Rains

22-year United Airlines pilot David Koch is starting a new private jet service called AirChicago, “The World’s First Country Club of the Air.” The airline will target frequent business travelers. Renowned Coach Mike Ditka is already onboard as an AirChicago Barnstormers Club member. He’s also their spokesperson, a senior advisor, and an investor.

Jet Card Membership Required

Barnstormers put down a $2,500 deposit for a Jet Card membership to the shuttle service. Koch says he needs at least 1,200 memberships before he can commit to purchasing the aircraft, setting up a clubhouse at the Chicago Executive Airport, and establishing the planned routes.

Koch has already secured $1 million in outside investments and said that a single route, such as Chicago to New York, can be launched by obtaining at least 80 memberships. He says 200 Chicagoans have already signed up.

New York is the first market the airline plans to serve from the Chicago Executive Airport but expects to add Washington D.C./Baltimore, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Kansas City, and Boston as well.

Reasoning Behind the Concept

This is not the first private airline to be envisioned out of Chicago, but it is the first that focuses on allowing people to buy individual seats and share the plane with other travelers.

Koch explained the concept in a statement, “Airlines experience about 20,000 delayed flights a day out of approximately 100,000. That makes it an unreliable transport system for someone who has to get to New York for a $50 million deal. Our planes (will be) parked in the hangar overnight from the departure airport. We fly to the destination city and the plane and crew stay there all day and flies it back in the evening.” The founder estimates travelers will save about three hours on each trip.

Founder and editor of Private Jet Card Comparisons, Doug Gallan, gave his input on the airline, “In theory, it’s a great concept. Who wouldn’t want to avoid the hassles of going through a big airport? The challenge is having enough frequency to meet the needs of the business traveler whose schedules change and then flying from and to the right airports.”

A Luxury Travel Experience

AirChicago plans to operate Gulfstream G-IV jets. The aircraft seats 14 passengers and will include inflight meals and drinks. Furthermore, the airline will set up clubhouse lounges at each destination airport that will have food, beverages, and gym equipment available for members.

View Comments (4)


  1. ezefllying

    February 23, 2020 at 2:33 am

    One day, someone will explain to me why the endorsement of Mike Ditka should persuade me to buy a corporate-jet membership. Until then, I’m not sure I see a ton of executives buying into a program that attempts to compete on some of the most high-volume routes in the country.

    Yes, flights get delayed. But weather and ATC delays affect Gulfstreams too. And, if your CHI-NYC flight’s delayed, there’s likely an earlier one to switch to unless the weather’s so bad that nobody, including a G-IV, is taking off.

  2. edgewood49

    February 26, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    How many times have we seen this “picture show ” before?

  3. Danwriter

    February 29, 2020 at 8:26 am

    If you need to do a “$50 million deal” you’re in a league that has plenty of other bizjet options.


    March 2, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    What are they offering that is really not anything different or special, compared to what already exists.

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