DayJet Folds, but Air-Taxi Operators Remain Hopeful

Business Jet Traveler » December 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008 - 4:00am

Per-seat, on-demand charter operator DayJet has ceased operation. The Boca Raton, Fla.-based company was in business barely a year, offering an air-taxi service covering much of the U.S. Southeast. DayJet blamed its September shutdown on its inability to arrange financing in the midst of the current global financial crisis.

Despite the economic crisis, however, other air-taxi operators remain upbeat. Speaking at a conference in October, Air Taxi Association president Joe Leader said worldwide demand is increasing for air taxis, which he defined as "more affordable on-demand transportation" than traditional aircraft charter. Linear Air president and CEO Bill Herp, meanwhile, blamed DayJet's failure on the fact that it didn't test the per-seat, on-demand model in a primary market like the Northeast. Herp said Linear Air is now doing that with its Eclipse 500s between Bedford, Mass., just outside Boston, and White Plains, N.Y., in the New York City metropolitan area.

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy