Analysts Predict Eclipse Aviation Will Crash

 - October 30, 2008, 12:15 PM

Two industry analysts now predict Eclipse Aviation will run out of cash and cease production of the Eclipse 500 very light jet early next year. Connecticut-based Forecast International on Tuesday said it believed Eclipse would not be able to attract the new investment necessary to allow continued aircraft production beyond the first quarter of next year. Eclipse, it said, “has been unable to realize the economies of scale it needs to meet its price target,” while still making a profit. Forecast International predicts the Albuquerque, N.M.-based manufacturer will complete only a dozen aircraft next year before shutting down. And earlier this month, Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for the Virginia-based Teal Group, called Eclipse “the single worst aviation program Teal Group has ever covered” in a scathing overview of the company’s high-volume business plan and the VLJ air-taxi industry it helped promote. Aboulafia predicted Eclipse will complete about 65 Eclipse 500 jets next year before mounting supplier and customer lawsuits and tight credit markets cause it to run out of money. Eclipse declined to comment on the analyst reports.