DayJet Names First Florida Service Locations

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DayJet, the "per-seat, on-demand" start-up operation planning to use a fleet of Eclipse 500 VLJs to provide regional air service, last week announced its first five service points, which the company dubbed "DayPorts." The cities, all in Florida, are Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola and Tallahassee, which DayJet says were selected for their strong business climate and limited transportation infrastructure (read "limited or no scheduled service.") The company said it is in "final negotiations" with FBOs and airports in each of the five cities to operate its DayPorts, the concept for which includes passenger facilities, maintenance, dispatch and administrative space requirements. “Limited transportation is the most common growth impediment for smaller, economically diverse and socially vibrant communities,” said Ed Iacobucci, DayJet president and CEO. “The Florida cities we have selected to launch our service each have a strong business climate, a well-educated and technology savvy workforce, and an unsurpassed quality-of-life but each is underserved by existing transport networks, inhibiting their full economic potential." Sounds tailor-made for general aviation, doesn't it?

Within 12 months of launch, presently scheduled for "later this year," DayJet says it expects to open an additional four DayPorts in Florida and 12 more DayPorts across three Southeastern states, connecting communities that today have little or no scheduled air service. The company also announced its “Day-Tripper” contest, winners of which will receive free travel aboard the carrier. Winners of the contest, which runs through Aug. 15, will based on submitted stories best articulating the professional and personal benefits from conducting day trips. Three winners will be selected from each market, for a total of 15 winners. According to the company, business professionals in the five markets named last week are hindered by a lack of efficient travel options and drive for 86 percent of the 592,000 annual business trips taken between these cities. DayJet noted that, between 2000 and 2006, the number of scheduled flights between all Florida markets decreased by 47 percent, while available seat capacity declined by 31 percent. Within its first three years of operation, DayJet expects to employ 2,000 high-skill, high-wage personnel. Presumably, that includes pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians.