Air-limo Service Set to Streamline Corporate Jet Travel

DayJet Corp. of Delray Beach, Fla., says it plans to be the nation's first air-limo service.

The company wants to offer regional service that allows a passenger to pay only for the seat reserved -- as opposed to chartering an entire aircraft -- and fly directly to wherever he or she wants to travel.

Calling it "per seat, on-demand" jet service, DayJet says it will make corporate jet travel more practical, more broadly available and priced only a little higher than walk-up commercial coach airfares.

To help it launch the service, the company placed an order for 239 Eclipse 500 very light jets with an option for 70 more.

Deliveries of the jets, which retail at about $1.175 million each, are expected to begin next year.

"We are at the threshold of a new era in aviation that will redefine regional transportation," DayJet chief executive Edward Iacobucci said in a statement.

A project to restore a historic B-29 Superfortress inside a Boeing Wichita hangar is nearing a major milestone.

In the next month or so, workers are expected to complete the structural repairs on the bomber's wing, said Dick Ziegler, Boeing spokesman and B-29 project manager.

After that, the wing and landing gear will be reattached to the plane.

Then the Wichita-built World War II aircraft "will be free to roll on its own wheels," Ziegler said.

The National Business Aviation Association, a Washington trade group for the business jet industry, has taken up a fight against charging general aviation aircraft operators "user fees" for using the nation's airports.

In testimony before a House Aviation Subcommittee last week to assess the financial condition of the Aviation Trust Fund, NBAA president Ed Bolen said that operators pay their share of the costs of the aviation infrastructure.

In recent weeks, some government and aviation industry officials have said that the Federal Aviation Administration is facing declining trust-fund balances, reduced general fund contributions and increasing operational costs.

"These claims have prompted questions about how FAA services are funded, and whether changes to the funding mechanism -- including user fees for general aviation -- are needed," the NBAA said last week.

In last week's testimony, Bolen outlined the seven taxes and fees that users pay, including the fuel tax, which is paid at the pump when fueling aircraft.

Last year, fractional and charter operators contributed more than $600 million into the trust fund, Bolen said.

Brazil-based Embraer announced two new business jets last week -- a light and very light jet.

The very light jet is designed to carry up to eight people. Priced at $2.75 million, the aircraft is expected to enter service in mid-2008, the company said.

The light jet will carry up to nine people. Priced at $6.65 million, it is expected to enter service in mid-2009.