DayJet finally takes off

 - November 1, 2007, 5:15 AM

On October 3, per-seat, on-demand air-taxi firm DayJet marked its official grand opening in a ceremony at the Tallahassee (Fla.) Regional Airport. It has been five years in the making, and overcast skies and a little rain didn’t dampen spirits during the festivities, which drew Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, Florida Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, Eclipse Aviation president and CEO Vern Raburn and Pratt & Whitney Canada president Alain Bellemare, among other state and local officials.

DayJet flew “several dozen” revenue trips for a limited customer base in the two weeks before the official launch to ensure a smoother rollout. DayJet has 1,500 business travel members who can book point-to-point flights among the initial five Florida DayPorts–Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola and Tallahassee–aboard DayJet’s Eclipse 500s. The fleet includes 12 aircraft, but delivery of eight more Eclipse 500s was said to be imminent at press time.

During the ceremony, DayJet president and CEO Ed Iacobucci also confirmed the company’s plans to expand the service to dozens more DayPorts within the next two years. He told AIN that more DayPorts will be announced as early as this month, but he declined to specify which airports.

However, an FAA Web site offers some clues as to where DayJet might be expanding its service. According to a story published on the site, DayJet’s FAA proving runs were flown among 10 airports–the five aforementioned DayPorts and Key West, Miami (Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport), Fort Myers, Sarasota and Jacksonville, Fla.; and Savannah, Ga.