Eclipse Claims Co-lienholder Role in DayJet Fleet Sale

 - October 14, 2008, 11:45 AM

An attempt by a group of buyers to make a low-ball bid for the former DayJet Eclipse 500 fleet appears to have run into a snag: Eclipse Aviation isn’t about to let those airplanes go cheap. The group, formed by Houston-based Eclipse 500 management company JetsAmerica and its president, Brandon Carlson, wants to offer $500,000 each for the 28 Eclipses that used to be operated by air-taxi firm DayJet. According to Eclipse chairman and CEO Roel Pieper, interviewed at last week’s NBAA Convention, JetsAmerica won’t get to buy those jets without Eclipse’s explicit approval. Those airplanes, Pieper said, “don’t belong to DayJet, but they definitely do belong to [UT Finance] and Eclipse. We have the responsibility to refurbish the aircraft and bring them back into the market.” (UT Finance is a subsidiary of United Technologies and a sister company to Eclipse 500 engine supplier Pratt & Whitney Canada.) Prices for used Eclipse 500s, Pieper said, should “slowly trend upwards, and I’m pretty sure that a number of the new markets, including Eastern Europe, Russia and India, will gobble up these aircraft pretty quickly.” Eclipse will help fleet buyers purchase some of those used jets, he added, “so that they can start their business earlier.”