DayJet Edges Closer To Launch
One of the business aviation industry's most anticipated new-service launches in recent memory edged closer to becoming a reality this week. DayJet, the start-up "per-seat, on-demand" operation based on what many believe will be the coming horde of very light jets (VLJs), announced Monday its first regional service area would encompass Florida and the southeast U.S. The announcement, by DayJet President and CEO Ed Iacobucci, came at a press conference with Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R.), Enterprise Florida Inc. (EFI) President and CEO John Adams, Eclipse Aviation President and CEO Vern Raburn, plus state and local officials, and involved the company's naming Tallahassee, Fla., as the location of DayJet's first Very Light Jet Center of Excellence. According to the company, that means the new facility will be dedicated to VLJ service education. As part of the announcement, DayJet said it will first provide its non-scheduled, per-seat service to locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. DayJet's business model is based, in part, on providing point-to-point, on-demand air service connecting communities that today have little or no scheduled air service. Essentially, DayJet is marketing its operations to small businesses and mid-level managers who travel to or from communities without frequent scheduled service. DayJet is basing its operations around the to-be-certified Eclipse 500, which is expected to obtain FAA approval by late June.
"Each day, thousands of regional business travelers struggle to get their important meetings inserted into their overcrowded work schedules," said DayJet's Iacobucci. "Our 'Per-Seat, On-Demand' service will get you between those hard-to-reach locations on your schedule, instead of the networks' schedules." DayJet's plans call for a region-by-region rollout, with the initial network based in Florida and centered on what the company calls "DayPorts." Within 12 months of launch, DayJet will expand its service network to as many as 20 DayPorts in four Southeastern states. Of course, DayJet's launch hinges on FAA certification of the Eclipse 500. To date and including options, DayJet has ordered 307 Eclipse 500s during the first two years of the aircraft's production. Eclipse estimates it will produce more than 1,100 aircraft during the two years, making DayJet responsible for some 28 percent of Eclipse Aviation's airframe production.