D-Jet Financing Alternatives Explored
Diamond Aircraft President Peter Maurer says the company isn't ruling out anything, including Chinese investment, to get the D-Jet to market. As AVweb reported last week, the Canadian government turned down Diamond's $35 million loan application to finish the development program. In a podcast interview with AVweb, Maurer said the government loan, despite the dire scenarios portrayed by the Ontario media, was a "long shot" and the company has been working on other potential funding solutions throughout the politically charged talks with the government. Although Chinese involvement is a possibility, it's not the only one and Maurer said Diamond didn't start that discussion. "We've never talked about it. We've been asked about it a lot, though," he said.
Maurer noted Diamond has a long history of working with the Chinese and is involved in a joint venture to build diesel-powered DA40s in the country. Regardless of how the D-Jet is funded, the company and the private investors who have poured $120 million into the project have no intention of walking away from it. He said that when it comes to market, it could have the personal jet market virtually to itself, which is a far different scenario from five years ago when the project was launched and the light jet market was viewed as the next big thing. Diamond has about 200 firm orders for the D-Jet.