The bankrupt status of Eclipse Aviation finally ended in August after Eclipse Aerospace bought the assets of the very light jet manufacturer for $40 million. On September 1, Eclipse Aerospace founders Mason Holland and Michael Press joined Albuquerque mayor Martin Chávez to celebrate the reopening of the factory at Eclipse’s headquarters at Albuquerque International Air- port.
Eclipse Aerospace, the reincarnation of defunct Eclipse Aviation, has vacated its $8 million factory service center and told Albany County Airport Authority officials not to expect it to return. Doug Myers, director of public affairs for the Authority, told AIN that five years ago the airport authority began an economic development initiative to attract new businesses and jobs to the Albany, N.Y. airport.
On Tuesday morning at Albuquerque International Airport, Mason Holland and Michael Press were joined by Albuquerque mayor Martin Chávez to celebrate the reopening of formerly bankrupt Eclipse Aviation.
The long-awaited auction of the assets of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation might be held on June 24, according to Mike Press, owner of Eclipse 500 S/N 004 and president and CEO of Single Pilot Jet Management. Press and Eclipse depositor Mason Holland have formed a company, now named Eclipse Aerospace, to bid on the Eclipse assets.
While various entrepreneurs have tried to buy and resell the 28 Eclipse 500 very light jets that were flown by bankrupt air-taxi firm DayJet, none has succeeded. Now Randall Sanada, chairman of aircraft charter and management firm Jet-Alliance of Westlake Village, Calif., has proposed a new way to market those jets, still owned by UT Finance, a subsidiary of United Technologies.
UT Finance has asked the bankruptcy court overseeing the liquidation of the assets of Eclipse Aviation to allow it to take possession of the 28 Eclipse 500 very light jets that were operated by bankrupt air-taxi operator DayJet. UT Finance–a division of United Technologies and sister company of engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada–along with Eclipse and Bank of Utah loaned money to DayJet Leasing to buy the 28 jets.
Eclipse Aviation filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware on November 25, leaving creditors holding $702.6 million in claims. The move closely followed two major achievements in the company’s history, EASA certification of the Eclipse 500 very light jet and FAA certification of the Avio NG 1.5 avionics system.
Per-seat, on-demand very light jet (VLJ) air-taxi firm DayJet on November 14 filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation), just four days after company founder Ed Iacobucci expressed doubt at a VLJ air-taxi conference (see page 40) that the Boca Raton, Fla.-based charter operator would be resurrected.
Despite intensified speculation about an impending collapse, Eclipse Aviation remained in business as this issue went to press, with company leaders still seeking new sources of funding and anticipating the long-awaited FAA certification of the Garmin 400W navigator upgrade and European Aviation Safety Agency certification of the airplane.
Just days after Eclipse Aviation achieved two key milestones–EASA and Avio NG 1.5 certification–the pioneering VLJ manufacturer this morning filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. At the same time, Eclipse Aviation entered into an agreement to sell “substantially all of its assets” to an affiliate of Etirc Aviation of Luxembourg.