DayJet to dawn with Eclipse

Washington DC
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By Graham Warwick in Washington DC
Florida based operator names home state as launch site for air-taxi service

DayJet plans to begin its per-seat, on-demand air taxi service in Florida in mid-November, expanding to cover the seven-state southeast USA launch region within two years. The launch date is predicated on certification of the Eclipse 500 at the end of June, and Eclipse Aviation is “confident” its very light jet (VLJ) will be approved then.

DayJet expects to begin receiving the 239 Eclipses on firm order early in the third quarter, and to have 10 aircraft when it launches with service between five locations – or DayPorts – within Florida. President and chief executive Ed Iacobucci says DayJet can accommodate a slip by using experimental-certificate aircraft to begin working up.

The locations of the initial DayPorts will be announced in June. They will be within fixed-base operations at general aviation airports near small to medium-sized cities with little or no scheduled service. By the end of 2007, DayJet plans to have 20 DayPorts in four south-east US states. The company’s headquarters will be in Palm Beach county, Florida. A VLJ service training centre is to be established in the state capital Tallahasee, as a public-private partnership, capable of training 2,000 students a year by 2008.

DayJet has received its Part 135 operating certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration and is validating the operating procedures using its Wingfoot business jet charter subsidiary, says Iacobucci. DayJet is looking for pilots with a minimum 3,000h, including at least 500h commanding jets, and starting salary will be “over $45,000”, says Iacobucci.