New Air Taxi Launches Flights from Chattanooga

An air taxi service aimed at shuttling business people to cities in the South will fly from Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport.

Imagine Air can fly between Chattanooga and any airport within a 400-mile radius, said Haroon Qureshi, a spokesman for the new service.

"Ninety percent of our business is business travelers who normally drive to see clients," Mr. Qureshi said.

Based in Lawrenceville, Ga., the company that recently started commercial operations is using new Cirrus propeller aircraft, he said.

Plans are to acquire jets in the future, which will permit Imagine Air to make flights throughout the United States, Mr. Qureshi said.

In terms of cost, he said the price to fly a businessperson one way to suburban Atlanta's Lawrenceville airport is about $300. The Imagine Air spokesman said, however, two other associates could fly free on the plane and they could split the cost of the 40-minute flight.

"You don't have to deal with the traffic of Atlanta to do business," he said.

Christina Siebold, the Chattanooga airport's manager of community relations, said scheduled air taxi service is a new trend in the aviation industry.

"It's a niche market. We look forward to pursuing this opportunity further," she said.

Mr. Qureshi said one difference Imagine Air offers compared to charter flights is the fee is set and there aren't added charges for waiting on a runway while taxiing, for example.

"We guarantee the price," he said. The company also can set up a rental car at an airport for clients, Mr. Qureshi said.

To book a flight, he said, customers can go to the company's Web site at or call.

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