DayJet Dispels Air-Taxi Misconceptions
Before DayJet begins the first very light jet air-taxi service this summer in Florida using Eclipse 500s, company President and CEO Ed Iacobucci wants to clear up some myths about the air-taxi industry. "The biggest misconception is that the air-taxi model is about the airplane," he said Tuesday at a VLJ conference in West Palm Beach, Fla. "The VLJ is evolutionary, not revolutionary. It's the VLJ price point and air-taxi business models that are revolutionary." Iacobucci believes the Eclipse 500 is the best airplane available for the air-taxi mission, which he said requires an airplane with the lowest operating costs and not the lowest per-seat costs. Further, he maintains that DayJet has a solid model for on-demand, per-seat air service. According to Iacobucci, "air taxis are a new market game" since they give travelers a heretofore unavailable option where point-to-point airline service is limited or nonexistent, prompting them to drive long hours to get to their destination. The size of the Eclipse 500 cabin was an initial concern for DayJet, but customer focus groups and simulated 45-minute flights in cabin mockups put those worries to rest. Iacobucci said the consensus about the Eclipse 500 cabin among testers was, "It's small, but it's better than the alternative."