TAA/VLJ Air Taxis Optimistic Despite Failure of DayJet

 - October 14, 2008, 12:16 PM

Air-taxi operators employing technically advanced aircraft (TAA) and very light jets (VLJs) are upbeat about their futures, even in the face of DayJet’s demise just last month. Speaking at a TAA/VLJ Air Taxi conference during the NBAA Convention last week, Air Taxi Association president Joe Leader said that worldwide demand is increasing for air taxis, which he defined as “more affordable on-demand transportation” than traditional aircraft charter. “The air-taxi models in the U.S. and Europe are spreading to other countries,” he noted. SATSair CEO Steve Hanvey agreed, saying there is “enormous demand” to be tapped by air taxis. Theorizing about why DayJet didn’t succeed, Linear Air president and CEO Bill Herp suggested that starting on-demand, per-seat operations–an entirely new concept to the flying public–in a secondary market such as the Southeast was the wrong move. “[DayJet] should’ve tested the per-seat, on-demand model in a primary market like the Northeast,” he said. If fact, Herp told AIN that Linear Air is now doing that by offering per-seat, on-demand service with its Eclipse 500s between Bedford, Mass., just outside Boston, and White Plains, N.Y., in the New York City metropolitan area.