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DayJet soldiers on despite setbacksDayJet soldiers on despite setbacks

DayJet founder and CEO Ed Iacobucci said the fledgling air taxi firm is on track to start breaking even in the first quarter of 2009.

In a speech Wednesday to the Washington Aero Club, Iacobucci said the Florida company’s strategy of selling individual seats aboard its fleet of Eclipse 500 very light jets is gaining traction among business travelers.

“The market is there,” he said. “We postulated it. We marketed it. And now we’re seeing it.”

About 1,900 people have signed up for the service designed to transport passengers between regional airports in the Southeast, and on-time performance, customer satisfaction, and repeat business measures are extremely high. DayJet typically makes about 25 flights a day.

The company raised $50 million and started operations in 2007 but scaled back growth projections last month when it was unable to raise an additional $40 million. DayJet laid off employees and said it will sell or lease about half its 28 aircraft.

Despite the setbacks, Iacobucci said DayJet is on a pace to break even in the first quarter of 2009. He said no one could have foreseen the current credit crisis, slow economic growth, or surging fuel prices when the company started flying.

“Our sense of timing couldn’t have been worse,” he said.

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.

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