SLATON, Texas (KCBD) - After two years of operations Raider Aviation, based out of the Slaton Municipal Airport, is spreading its wings in order to add charter flight services.
“The flight school has been really good for us,” Sonny Borba, Chief Pilot and Director of Operations said. “We’ve probably, through private pilot and instrument rating and commercial and multi-engine, put close to 100 certificates through. It’s been really good. We felt like there was a need in the community for it. Since then, we’ve just been continually trying to seek opportunities to grow as a business.”
Borba said one year ago Raider Aviation began to explore providing charter services. However, they had no idea a pandemic would lead to more demand as more seek private flights instead of commercial travel.
“We spent quite a few months actually just determining what the best airplane was going to be,” Borba said. “We started getting into the actual certification through the FAA and it’s a pretty lengthy process. Currently, we’re going to be the only FAA certified private charter operating out of the Lubbock area.”
While not competing in pricing with commercial flights, Borba tells KCBD that Raider Aviation will be competitive with other charter options.
“We’re running a piston airplane rather than a jet or turboprop,” Borba said. “On average, depending on where you’re going, we’re half price or less to a lot of some of the bigger turboprops and especially the jets for some charters. Now, it’s all on an individualized basis, per flight. But, one of the real benefits that you get with the private charters, we can get into a lot of smaller airports.”
Borba hopes this fills a need on the South Plains, just like the flight school.
“I think the word is getting out,” Borba said. “It feels like it’s going to be something that’s good for the community.”