Sat, Aug 22, 2009
New Company Could Open As Early As September 1
Mason Holland, the new owner of Eclipse Aviation, says he
plans to focus on profitability first, and growth second, as he
tries to revive the Eclipse Very Light Jet program.
A federal bankruptcy judge approved the $40 million sale of the
company to Holland and three other investors Thursday.
* The Associated Press reports that the company will continue to
do business as Eclipse Aviation. Eclipse Aerospace, the parent
company led by Holland, has no immediate plans to restart
production of the Eclipse 500. Holland has said all along that he
plans to begin by servicing the existing fleet of Eclipse jets. He
decided to attempt to buy the company when he lost his deposit on
an aircraft after Eclipse Aviation folded. He had considered
pursuing legal action against the company, but decided on a
different course after talking to Eclipse owners.
"The old Eclipse was a great company. They made a great product,
but the fatal flaw was they focused on growth first and profit
second," Holland said. "We're going to focus on profitability first
and growth second."
Eclipse 500 File Photo
Eclipse Aerospace Co-Founder Mike Press said the company's
initial business model will come from refurbishments of the 259
jets already in service, worth between $100,000 and $500,000 each,
though the company has not determined how much it will charge for
the upgrades. "We're going to price it with some profit, but we're
not going to gouge the owners," he said. He also told AP they plan
to purchase some of the existing planes from fleet operators and
refurbish them for resale.
Holland and Press hope the company will eventually employ about
500 people. They also said some of the upgrades planned for the
Eclipse jet, such as a new fire suppression system, could be
offered for other aircraft, diversifying the revenue stream.
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