Eclipse Downplays DayJet Shutdown

 - September 23, 2008, 12:11 PM

After Boca Raton, Fla.-based DayJet–the per-seat, on-demand charter operator of the Eclipse 500–on Friday ceased operations and let go most of its employees due to “economic conditions,” questions arose as to what this would mean for Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aviation. Less than 24 hours after DayJet’s shutdown, Eclipse issued a statement downplaying the fate of the air-taxi firm. “While DayJet was Eclipse’s largest customer, Eclipse’s business model and success has never relied solely on DayJet. Eclipse still has hundreds of orders to fill independent of DayJet.” However, the aircraft manufacturer’s statement glossed over the fact that DayJet accounted for 1,429 of Eclipse’s once-claimed backlog for 2,700 Eclipse 500s. Today, an Eclipse spokeswoman confirmed to AIN that the DayJet orders have been removed from the Eclipse 500 backlog, which now stands at “less than 1,000.” This number includes 180 aircraft on order from Etirc, which is now the majority owner of the aircraft manufacturer. Eclipse is having funding issues of its own and is currently seeking a reported $200 million investment to continue operations. Meanwhile, the Eclipse spokeswoman would neither confirm nor deny reports that the aircraft company repossessed DayJet’s airplanes on Friday, saying she “couldn’t discuss the financial arrangement between Eclipse and DayJet.”