In the beginning, the air taxi services were not well organized like the private jets of the day. Mostly single ownership proprietary aircrafts were run as air taxis. There were many disadvantages as 'frequent flyers' soon found out. The safety of the flight depended entirely on the Pilot's skill.
No special safety precautions were taken, and as a result there were accidents. Lives were lost; in fact, the passengers flew at their own risk until the Government stepped in and formulated certain rules and regulations which would cover the flights; insurance was made mandatory. The pilots were to be certified by the Federal agency as competent. Aviation was serious business.
There were many companies building airplanes; some of the popular ones were Cessna, Beech-craft, De Havilland, Douglas, to name a few. Four and Six seater aircraft were the most popular for hauling passengers as well as cargo and mail. Almost all the cities were connected by air-taxis. In 1936, the Douglas Aircraft Company of USA designed and built a twin-engine passenger aircraft known as the DC-3 (popularly known as the DAKOTA) capable of carrying up to 32 passengers. This was the most famous airliner of all time and considered the safest ever built. More than 20,000 of these aircrafts were built both for military and civil use, and were used in nearly every country in the world.
Even as late as 1971, about a thousand of them were in use by the military and 600 were in use in different countries around the world. The DC-3 was the standard air-taxi around the world for many years, until Commercial Aviation became popular. The air-taxis had no set programmes.
As and when the passengers were gathered, they would fly. They would fly to any destination that the passengers wanted to reach. Usually the pilot decided when to start and how to get to another point on the map. All this changed with the entry of commercial aviation. A company would own a fleet of several aircrafts, and after studying the traffic patterns, would set up a daily schedule to connect various cities; the routes were fixed, and even the rates were fixed.
Elaborate safety precautions were taken. Commercial flying was for the common man whereas private jets were for the business tycoons and other big money earners. When thirty-odd people fly from point A to point B, they can share the expenses and so the fare works out more economical than private jets.
Jason Uvios writes about "Private Jets : Air Taxis" to visit : jet powered private planes, private jets and private jets north america.