Per-seat, on-demand very light jet (VLJ) air-taxi firm DayJet on November 14 filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation), just four days after company founder Ed Iacobucci expressed doubt at a VLJ air-taxi conference (see page 40) that the Boca Raton, Fla.-based charter operator would be resurrected. The company ceased operations on September 19 and its fleet of 28 Eclipse 500s was subsequently repossessed by Eclipse Aviation and United Technologies Finance, a sister company to Eclipse engine supplier Pratt & Whitney Canada.
DayJet leaves behind a 60-page list of creditors, most of them customers who used the per-seat, on-demand service. The bankruptcy documents, filed in the Delaware District U.S. Bankruptcy Court, list DayJet Corporation, DayJet Leasing LLC and DayJet Services LLC as debtors, with $3,277,180.47 in assets and $3,871,666.51 in liabilities. The largest debts owed include $1.2 million to Eclipse, which is listed as a disputed amount; $574,000 to WingedFoot Aviation Holdings, a charter company owned by Iacobucci and holder of DayJet’s Part 135 charter certificate; nearly $370,000 to Avcard; and $312,000 to Eclipse’s training division, among others.
Troubles for DayJet surfaced in early May, when the air-taxi firm announced it was unable to secure another $40 million of operating capital, forcing it to scale back expansion plans, ground 16 of its aircraft and lay off 100 employees. In September, it laid off all but a few executives, who tried several last-ditch efforts to save the company, according to minutes of the last board meeting included in the bankruptcy filing documents.