The recently launched airtaxi operator DayJet has announced that it will layoff nearly half its staff and ground over half of its fleet of Eclipse 500 Jets.

DayJet started its service at the end of 2007, but it sounds like it got ahead of itself and added too many planes and staff before sufficient demand had built up. It was expecting to raise an additional $40m investment but in the current credit crunch has not been able to do this.

"All in all, we have signed over 1,500 members, more than 550 of which are active travellers, and nearly 200 are frequent flyers," said DayJet president Ed Iacobucci.

Dayjet is based in Boca Raton, Florida and most flights are in Florida and neighboring states. According to a recent BusinessWeek article the average flight time is one hour and fares average $600-$700.


Update 24th September 2008.

DayJet just announced that it "has discontinued its jet services and cancelled all future flights as a result of the company’s inability to arrange critical financing in the midst of the current global financial crisis." It's sad to see the company disappear like this, since the service looked like a good idea - but in todays turbulence, it's not a great time to be launching a new private flying company.