DayJet Scales Back after Failed Capital Infusion

 - May 6, 2008, 10:59 AM

Eclipse 500 air-taxi operator DayJet has “reduced its employee base across most areas of its business,” according to president and CEO Ed Iacobucci in a statement released earlier this afternoon. DayJet hoped to raise another $40 million of operating capital in the first quarter of this year, he wrote, “but suffice it to say that given the current state of the U.S. capital markets, the timing of our planned financing could not have been worse.” DayJet has proven that its per-seat, on-demand, air-taxi business model using Eclipse 500 VLJs works, he added, but until now, the operation has been running as a “proof-of-concept,” which is “only the first step to profitability.” Without the needed money, DayJet needs to “scale back to a size that is consistent with the demand of our existing customers and service region.” The reduction in personnel was necessary because DayJet had hired and trained to levels anticipating the infusion of capital, Iacobucci explained. DayJet will continue to serve its existing 1,500 members, who include more than 550 active travelers and nearly 200 frequent fliers, and the company will expand in the Southeast U.S, but at a slower rate “in response to customer needs.” One person close to the industry said that the DayJet layoffs totaled 100 people, although DayJet did not confirm this number. The news about the DayJet layoffs, a charter industry source told AIN, “was disappointing but not surprising.”