DayJet has announced that business travelers in the Southeastern United Sates (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) will be the nation’s first to benefit from “Per-Seat, On-Demand” jet service when it takes flight later this year. The company will launch its service in Florida with an intra-state, point-to-point, on-demand network connecting communities that today have little or no scheduled air service.
The announcement was made today by DayJet President and CEO Ed Iacobucci at a press conference with Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Enterprise Florida Inc. (EFI) President and CEO John Adams, Eclipse Aviation President and CEO Vern Raburn, and state and local leaders. As part of an innovative public-private partnership, DayJet outlined plans to make Tallahassee home to a Very Light Jet (VLJ) Center of Excellence, the world’s first center dedicated to VLJ service education. DayJet also announced that its corporate headquarters will be based in Palm Beach County, Florida.
“Florida continues to emerge as a state of innovation. We’re thrilled to welcome DayJet to Florida, and I join in applauding the company on their innovative business plan, including the use of very light jet aircraft and sophisticated technology,” said Governor Bush. “DayJet is a good example of the cutting-edge, technology-based company that Florida is committed to fostering. The strength of Florida’s storied aviation and aerospace sector, including the availability of a highly skilled workforce, played a large role in recruiting DayJet’s fleet, training and world headquarters operation. I congratulate and thank all those involved in securing this project for Florida.”
“Each day, thousands of regional business travelers struggle to get their important meetings inserted into their overcrowded work schedules,” said DayJet’s Iacobucci. “Just think of what DayJet has created as Tivo for Travel. Our ‘Per-Seat, On-Demand’ service will get you between those hard-to-reach locations on your schedule, instead of the networks’ schedules.”
For millions of professionals who live and work in the Southeast, completing intra-regional business trips is a difficult task. Almost 40 million of the Southeast’s 52 million annual business trips are driven rather than flown. Because driving is often frustrating and inefficient, regional business travelers are eager to try new alternatives. In a separate release, DayJet today announced results of an extensive market research study that indicate 64 percent of 1,350 surveyed Southeastern business travelers are ready to try “Per-Seat, On-Demand” jet service for its many workstyle/lifestyle benefits, including the ability to conduct day trips.
DayJet’s plans call for a region-by-region service rollout. Within a given region, the company will offer “Per-Seat, On-Demand” jet service between specific airports, called DayPorts, which will be announced on a market-by-market basis. The company’s first DayPorts, which will be announced early in the third quarter, will be located in Florida and operational before year’s end. DayJet’s initial service network will inter-connect central, southeast, southwest, north and Panhandle Florida communities with efficient and convenient point-to-point air transportation. Within 12 months of launch, DayJet will expand its service network to as many as 20 DayPorts in four Southeastern states.
“Per-Seat” means customers only pay for the seat(s) booked, not the whole aircraft. “On-Demand” means customers only fly on their individually negotiated schedules. The company will never publish schedules, nor operate on fixed schedules. DayJet flights will be uniquely tailored to each customer’s needs and priced at a modest premium to equivalent regional full-fare coach airfares.
“The Eclipse 500 - recently awarded the 2005 Collier trophy as one of the greatest achievements in American aeronautics - has spurred the creation of a new class of service provider that will stimulate economic development by providing a new layer of air transportation,” said Eclipse’s Raburn. “DayJet is by far the most innovative of these service providers and has used a clean-slate approach to create a completely new type of air service. DayJet will enable more people and organizations in towns across the State of Florida and in the Southeast to realize the full economic and productivity benefits that come with convenient air travel.”
Communities served by DayJet will become attractive locations for new and expanding businesses as a result of improved workforce mobility, market accessibility and employee productivity. In addition to DayJet’s direct economic contributions via fuel, rent and employee payroll, regional travelers using “Per-Seat, On-Demand” services will cause increased consumption of airport-related services, such as car rentals and taxis. Since both DayJet customers and employees will now be able to return home each day, they will also increase their contributions to local economies.
Taken together, these activities are projected to generate an average annual economic impact of $25 million for each DayPort community within the first three years of operation. By the end of its first year of operations, DayJet expects to employ 800 high-skill, high-wage personnel in the state of Florida and an additional 200 within the greater Southeast region. Within four years, the company will create over 2,000 new jobs in Florida and thousands more in the Southeast region.
“The launch of DayJet’s services in Florida is proof positive of the continued strength of our state’s economy and success of the statewide economic development initiative,” said EFI’s Adams. “Florida’s competitive business climate attracts innovative, high-wage industries, while our state’s business resources and investment help them thrive and grow.”
Enabled through an innovative public-private partnership, the VLJ Center of Excellence will be built at Tallahassee Regional Airport, making Florida the center of education, innovation and industry for VLJ-based on-demand services.
A central focus of the VLJ Center of Excellence will be the development of an education program and curriculum, in cooperation with the FAA, leading aeronautical universities, WorkForce Florida, Inc., and Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation to prepare students for careers at on-demand service providers. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2007 and, when online in 2008, will be capable of training 2,000 students a year.
“As the future home of the world’s first VLJ Center of Excellence, Tallahassee looks forward to becoming the epicenter of next-generation aviation,” said Dr. Bill Law, chairman of Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County. “Tallahassee is proud to continue Florida’s tradition in aeronautical excellence. DayJet and the new VLJ industry mean more jobs and a better quality-of-life for Tallahassee-Leon County residents.”
In addition, DayJet will base its corporate headquarters in Palm Beach County. Scheduled to open by year’s end 2006, this facility will employ managers, engineers, operations, and marketing specialists and support staff.
Senator Jim Sebesta, Chairman of Senate Transportation Committee said: “DayJet is making great strides modernizing and maximizing Florida’s community airports - existing public resources that are currently underutilized. By linking communities across the state, DayJet will make it easier to work, conduct business and see all of Florida, easily and quickly.”
Representative John Mica, Chairman of House Aviation Subcommittee stated: “Aviation is critical to Florida’s economy, and DayJet introduces a major innovation in air transportation that will bring great benefits to the state and the nation.”
Denver J. Stutler, Jr., Florida Department of Transportation Secretary said: “For more than 50 years, Florida has been the cradle of innovation and growth in the aviation industry. The state has supported commercial aviation with outstanding airports, infrastructure and technical education. Florida is the Aviation State, and today’s announcement is proof of that.”