London, Ontario-based OurPlane–a fractional provider of “new light aircraft”–made a bid to purchase the entire fleet of 28 Eclipse 500s formerly operated by DayJet. OurPlane said it submitted a “fair offer reflecting the current market value for the Eclipse jets.” Company president and CEO Graham Casson told AIN that the bid is more than JetsAmerica’s previous offer of $500,000 each but less than $1.5 million apiece.
London, Ontario-based OurPlane–a fractional provider of “new light aircraft,” including Cirrus SR22 piston singles and one Eclipse 500–today made a bid to purchase the entire fleet of 28 Eclipse 500s formerly operated by DayJet.
Starting next year, Eclipse Aviation plans to ramp up production of the Eclipse 500 back to a rate of about one airplane per day, chairman and CEO Roel Pieper told AIN. Eclipse has enough cash on hand to move forward with the new production plans, according to Pieper, thanks in part to a recent financial infusion from the company’s agreement to build a factory in Russia.
Since taking the helm at Eclipse Aviation on July 28, chairman, CEO and investor Roel Pieper has worked to turn the manufacturer from a development company into one that can profitably produce the Eclipse 500 very light jet. “Eclipse has to be a profitable business,” Pieper told NBAA Convention News yesterday.
A group of buyers formed by Houston-based JetsAmerica is offering to purchase former DayJet Eclipse 500s from lienholder United Technologies Finance. As of yesterday, JetsAmerica had commitments from buyers for 13 of the very light jets, and company president Brandon Carlson said he hoped to increase that number to 20 before submitting an offer to UT Finance. “We’re offering only half a million apiece; they aren’t worth much more,” he said.
A little more than two years have passed since the Eclipse 500 very light jet received FAA certification, and since then manufacturer Eclipse Aviation (Booth No. 250) has climbed the dizzying heights of volume business jet production and faced the challenge of insufficient funding to carry out its mission to build thousands of new VLJs.
Despite the recent announcement that the Russian government would build the company a new factory in Ulyanovsk, embattled VLJ maker Eclipse Aviation (Booth No. 250) is continuing its search for operating capital, perhaps as much as $200 million. Meanwhile, the company has slowed its production rate, launched a major company-wide reorganization, laid off 40 percent of its workforce, and continues to conserve cash.
Eclipse Aviation announced on September 23 that the Russian state bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) supervisory board, chaired by Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, has approved the construction of a factory in Ulyanovsk, Russia, to assemble Eclipse 500s for the European and Russian markets.
Boca Raton, Fla.-based DayJet–the per-seat, on-demand charter operator of the Eclipse 500– ceased operations and let go most of its approximately 150 employees on September 19, almost exactly a year after it started very light jet air-taxi operations in Florida and then gradually expanded service to cover much of the Southeast.
After Boca Raton, Fla.-based DayJet–the per-seat, on-demand charter operator of the Eclipse 500–on Friday ceased operations and let go most of its employees due to “economic conditions,” questions arose as to what this would mean for Albuquerque, N.M.-based Eclipse Aviation. Less than 24 hours after DayJet’s shutdown, Eclipse issued a statement downplaying the fate of the air-taxi firm.