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With DayJet’s scale back announcement, I have been asked repeatedly what I thought and what this meant for the air taxi marketplace. I have also spent the past few days reading most of the news reports and analysts’ statements. Here is what I think, much of which has been stated in one way or another in previous posts this year.

This is an emerging market based on disruptive technology. It will take many, many years to define. There are multiple operators, multiple pricing models and multiple aircraft types - many of which we have not yet even seen in the sky. The free market will help define which combinations are the best models for the air taxi marketplace

It’s a tough time all over for aviation. Economically, there could not be a more difficult time to start a new company and seek additional capital, especially in aviation. Fuel is at a historical all-time high price with no end in sight to its weekly increases. Major air carriers — most of whom have just emerged from bankruptcy — are racing to try to merge with each other to survive or they will likely face additional bankruptcy filings. At least four or five smaller Part 121 air carriers like Hawaiian Airlines have filed for bankruptcy and some of those like SkyBus will be liquidated. Traditional air carrier on time performance in March was the worst ever. On Tuesday, May 6th, the Wall Street Journal ran an article called “Flying Foul:Passengers Behaving Badly,” about all the foul habits of passengers on packed airline flights that we have all seen and experienced. The same day, the GAO released its report based on testimony before a U.S. House Subcommittee entitled,”NextGen and Research and Development Are Keys to Reducing Emissions and Their Impact on Health and Climate.” However, a few months ago, the federal rule proposing the implementation of NextGen and ADS-B was met with an overwhelming barrage of industry and political opposition in DC. The FAA has no confirmed Administrator and as of yesterday, the FAA Funding Bill was stalled once again in the Senate.

We are still at the infancy stage of the “crawl, walk, run” transition of air taxis. There are indeed a few positive indicators. The back orders and demand for all sizes of new aircraft from Airbus 380s to vljs are breaking records. The aircraft are coming and people still want to fly. The time for the true measure of success or failure of the air taxi marketpace is likely five to ten years away.
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