Virtual startup Costa Rica Air Shuttle (Sheridan, WY) plans to offer an exclusive members-only air service for wealthy US owners of 13 luxury holiday home estates along Costa Ricaʼs Pacific shoreline in Guanacaste and northern Puntarenas provinces.

A regulatory filing reveals the applicant, a Wyoming limited liability company, has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for an exemption to arrange indirect, interstate air transportation of persons and property between the US and Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Air Shuttle proposes to contract with an as yet unnamed US-certificated air carrier to operate commercial-size aircraft non-stop between four continental US cities: Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Miami and Guanacaste Guanacaste International Airport in Costa Rica. According to its submission, Costa Rica Air Shuttle is already negotiating for a long-term charter contract with a US-certificated carrier; but it may also rely on more than one such carrier. It anticipates operating two-weekly rotations for each airport pair, but lower member demand could reduce the frequency from time to time.

The company will qualify prospective members, who will be limited to 400. Membership tiers will entitle a varying number of annual flight segments and priority reservations. Flights will be limited to members, their families, their household staff, and invited guests. Flights will not be sold, traded, or otherwise exchanged.

The applicant's capital and operating expenses will be funded by membersʼ substantial, up-front initiation fees and annual dues. These funds will cover the flights, ground services, and associated management fees. Members will not be charged per flight.

The housing estates involved include Los Sueños Resort and Marina, Hacienda Pinilla, Zapotal Beach Club, Flamingo Beach, Reserva Conchal Beach and Golf Resort, Las Catalinas, Los Delphines Golf & Beach Club, Peninsula Papagayo, Coco Bay Estates and Pacifico Beach Club, Tamarindo Park, Senderos, and Costa Elena.

The business case relies on Costa Rica Air Shuttle providing an attractive alternative to seasonal, time-consuming, scheduled, commercial air services between the US and Costa Rica, which often require multiple transfers and generally offer only limited first and business-class seating. It would target owners who have come to rely on expensive business-jet charters. The DOT has approved similar operations in the US, the Caribbean, and Mexico.