VLJ air-taxi start-up DayJet of Delray Beach, Fla., announced today that it had secured $140 million in debt financing, which it will use to buy its fleet of Eclipse 500s. Previous rounds of private-equity financing had raised $68 million, bringing total financing to $208 million. DayJet founder and CEO Ed Iacobucci said last month at a seminar in New York that raising money for the company has been the hardest thing he’s had to do.
Air-taxi operators and potential operators used a recent VLJ forum, “Business Models for VLJs and Light Jets,” to outline their plans for using the new class of jets to offer point-to-point service.
After five years of study and planning and spending and simulating, DayJet is within weeks of flying paying passengers on its small but growing fleet of Eclipse 500s. DayJet founders Ed and Nancy Iacobucci developed the DayJet idea after running a traditional charter operation and deciding that very light jets (VLJs) offered a unique opportunity.
DayJet founder, president and CEO Ed Iacobucci dropped by AIN’s offices last month to provide an update on progress with his per-seat, on-demand VLJ air-taxi service. The company had 100 employees and had taken delivery of the first three of 310 Eclipse 500s it has ordered or taken options on. The aircraft awaited installation of a third attitude indicator before they could be used for Part 135 pilot training and operation.
Just a week before EBACE opened, air-limo start-up DayJet of Delray Beach, Florida, announced it would start its “per-seat, on-demand” jet service in the southeastern U.S. this November with Eclipse 500 VLJs.
The much-anticipated very light jet (VLJ) air-taxi market is beginning to take shape with operators gearing up for the start of service in the eastern U.S. and Europe. VLJ fractional ownership companies also have been formed in Canada and California, a sure sign that the era of the VLJ is about to begin in earnest.
It’s all too easy for industry analysts to say that if the air-limo concept–point-to-point service for the masses–is possible, someone would already have done it. Perhaps they’re missing the bigger picture, which is that all of the ingredients to create a viable air limo aren’t yet available.
Ed Iacobucci, founder and former chairman of software maker Citrix Systems, on April 25 announced his latest project–regional, per-seat, on-demand air-limo service using Eclipse 500s. His company, DayJet, has placed a firm order for 239 Eclipse 500s and taken options for 70 more and plans to start service with the very light jets by the middle of next year. Iacobucci hopes to transform regional business travel in the U.S.
Air-limo startup DayJet of Delray Beach, Fla., late last month revealed its launch region–the Southeast–and said it would start on-demand, per-seat operations with Eclipse 500 VLJs in November. DayJet president and CEO Ed Iacobucci said the service will initially be among five airports in Florida–which will be announced next month–and then spread to 20 airports throughout the region by the end of next year.
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