Eclipse Aviation was within its rights to cancel an order from Swiss start-up operator Aviace for 50 Eclipse 500 very light jets because of non-payment of a $600,000 deposit, a US district court judge has ruled.

Aviace sued the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based airframer in September, alleging it bumped its first aircraft from 31 to 47 in the production line, then cancelled its 112-aircraft order, which it placed in 2002 so it could sell the aircraft to other customers for more money (Flight International, 10-16 October).

Aviace sought undisclosed damages and asked the court to reverse the cancellation of its order, reinstate delivery of the 31st aircraft on the production line, and grant a preliminary injunction barring Eclipse from reassigning its aircraft production numbers to other customers.

In denying its application for a preliminary injunction, Judge Christina Armijo said that Aviace, not Eclipse, incorrectly interpreted the terms of the 2002 agreement.

Eclipse presented evidence that it said showed Aviace was not going to start a "jet club", as the original agreement had called for, but that Aviace's current owners were instead seeking to sell the jets, which it was to receive for $1 million each, to other owners for more than $1.6 million apiece.

Source: Flight International