Further doubt was raised over the future of the six-seat very light Safire jet, after the company failed to appear on the stand it had booked in the US International Pavilion at the show.

It follows a damaging posting on the website of competitor, Eclipse Aviation, which is developing its own six-seat very light jet, the Eclipse 500. Eclipse Aviation questioned the long-term viability of Safire Aircraft and offered Safire jet customers a chance to exchange their refunded $8,000 deposit for an Eclipse 500 position.

The appeal, posted on the Eclipse website, says: You recognised the promise of the very light jet category. But you may be having doubts about Safire's long-term viability. Eclipse recognises the enthusiasm and foresight you've shown and has an offer for you: Simply transfer to Eclipse your refunded Safire deposit of $8,000, and we'll reserve an Eclipse 500 in your name.


Safire president and chief executive Camilo Salomon has dismissed the tactic, claiming the company has only lost four customers out of 400 following its temporary suspension last month.

The Opa Locka, Florida-based aircraft developer was reported to have reopened last week with a fresh round of funding from a group of investors in Europe and the United Arab Emirates.

Salomon confirmed the company would not be represented at Farnborough and admitted negotiations with unidentified investors were still not finalised, with a round of intensive negotiations continuing.

He conceded that the late cancellation, which prevented the organisers of the pavilion, Kallman Worldwide, from reallocating the vacant space would result in a forfeit of the reported $20,000 fee which had been paid.

First flight of the aircraft was planned for the end of September, with deliveries beginning in 2006. A delay to this schedule is now inevitable, Salomon commented in recent press reports, "but not significant". He was reluctant to send out any new message to current Safire customers and said cancellations still stood at four. He suggested Flight Daily News contact him in the middle of the week for an update on the situation.



Source: Flight Daily News