A group of buyers making a low bid for the former DayJet Eclipse 500 fleet has run up against two lien holders: Eclipse Aviation itself and UT Finance, a subsidiary of United Technologies which, in turn, owns Pratt & Whitney, supplier of Eclipse 500 engines.
The would-be buyer is Houston-based JetsAmerica, a management firm serving Eclipse 500 owners. JetsAmerica wants to buy the 28-aircraft DayJet fleet for $500,000 each.
Speaking at the recent NBAA convention, Eclipse chairman and CEO Roel Pieper said that JetsAmerica can’t buy those jets without Eclipse’s explicit approval.
The airplanes don’t belong to DayJet, he said. They belong to UT Finance and Eclipse.
“We have the responsibility to refurbish the aircraft and bring them back into the market,” Pieper said, claiming that prices for used Eclipse 500s should trend upward, not down.
“I’m pretty sure that a number of the new markets, including Eastern Europe, Russia and India, will gobble up these aircraft pretty quickly,” he said. According to Pieper, Eclipse wants to help fleet buyers so they can start business that, otherwise, would have to wait in line for deliveries of new Eclipses.