NBAA Convention News

DayJet runs out of time and money

 - September 30, 2008, 6:32 AM

Boca Raton, Fla.-based DayJet–the per-seat, on-demand charter operator of Eclipse 500 very light jets–ceased operations and let go of most of its employees on September 19, almost exactly a year after it started its air-taxi service in Florida before gradually expanding service to cover much of the Southeast.

Company founder Ed Iacobucci immediately stepped down as president and CEO but continues to serve as DayJet’s chairman. John Staten, the company’s CFO and senior vice president of operations, was named interim CEO.

In a press release DayJet said the shutdown “is a direct consequence of the company’s inability to arrange critical financing in the midst of the current global financial crisis. The company’s operations have also suffered as a result of Eclipse Aviation’s failure to install missing equipment or functionality or repair agreed technical discrepancies in accordance with the terms of DayJet’s aircraft purchase contract.”

DayJet parked its entire Eclipse 500 charter fleet at Gainesville Airport in north-central Florida, where 16 of its 28 Eclipse 500s were also parked for a time in early May following the news that DayJet was unable to secure $40 million of operating capital to proceed with expansion plans. However, an FAA spokesman said DayJet does plan to operate one of the Eclipse 500s for “executive transport.” DayJet did not respond to NBAA Convention News’ requests for comment.

Meanwhile, Eclipse Aviation downplayed the effect of the troubles at DayJet on the Albuquerque, N.M. manufacturer, saying, “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.”