DayJet is expanding its per-seat, on-demand air taxi service to 28 new destinations across Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The expansion comes 60 days after DayJet launched operations with service between five Florida destinations using Eclipse 500 very light jets.
Beginning on 10 December, DayJet members will be able to fly to the 28 additional destinations provided they begin or end their travel at one of the five initial DayPort locations in Florida: Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola and Tallahassee. DayPorts are network locations where aircraft and crews are based. The new destinations include Dothan, Alabama; Key West, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; and Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Chief executive Ed Iacobucci says the decision was taken to accelerate plans to add "bonus locations" from the existing bases before adding more DayPorts to the system. "We shuffled some of our priorities to give our existing customers more options," he says. Existing members in the five DayPort locations "can now get to 32 cities - for them it just got eight times better".
Iacobucci expects to get better aircraft utilisation from the expanded network. DayJet has taken delivery of 23 of its initial batch of 28 Eclipses, and typically has six to eight aircraft in service and on standby each day, he says.
The remaining aircraft are used for training or are in maintenance status. "We are still catching up on the service bulletins", he says. DayJet´s early aircraft need installation of Eclipse´s performance improvement package, while all will be upgraded with the Avio NG avionics package beginning in January.
After 60 days, Iacobucci says demand for DayJet´s per-seat, on-demand service is "a lot better than our worse-case plan and not as good as our best case". Feedback from customers has been "overwhelmingly positive", he says. "Passengers love the aircraft. We´ve had zero complaints about the size and plaudits about the quiet," Iacobucci says.
The company has around 1,000 registered active members, of which more than 30% have flown more than once, he says. One customer has flown 12 times. "He had never chartered an aircraft and was driving all over Florida," he says.