Citrix co-founder gets FAA OK to rev up airline

DayJet , the brainchild of Citrix co-founder Ed Iacobucci, said Wednesday that the Federal Aviation Administration has approved its use of six-seat jet aircraft for an on-demand air service that for now would link five Florida cities.In the planning stages for over five years, DayJet’s  jet aircraft will be furnished by another ex-techie bigwig, Vern Raburn who used to work for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Earlier this year  Raburn's Eclipse Aviation got the FAA  greenlight to begin full-scale production of its Eclipse 500 Very Light Jets (VLJ) , over 300 of which are slated to go to Iacobucci's DayJet, in the next two years.While it has grander ambitions to expand its services beyond Florida, the airline now will sell individual seats on flights to Boca Raton, Gainesville, Lakeland, Pensacola and Tallahassee. DayJet says it can deliver passengers to destinations faster, and have them home the same day - without the hassle of changing planes at larger, busier airports or driving for hours. Much in the same way he looked to wring expenses out of running Windows and Unix by starting Citrix in 1989, Iacobucci is seeking to squeeze the high cost of air travel. Pre-Citrix, Iacobucci worked for IBM on a team that developed components of the company's Systems Network Architecture and network management product NetView. He also was  a key part of Big Blue’s DOS and OS/2 development. Indeed software is at the heart of the DayJet operation.  Basically the company has developed a real-time operating system that uses complicated math formulas and algorithms to determine where the company can best position its planes and schedule flights to make the most money.  The system takes into account a raft of data, from income statistics and business traveler preferences to prices and schedules of local bus and train services, to come up with a sophisticated model showing how a traveler would use the system. In the next few  weeks, DayJet said it will begin activating member accounts via its online reservation system, allowing members to book reservations and fly. The company will gradually increase its active member base as it expands its operations and its VLJ fleet. The company has over 140 employees and at least 700 customers who have signed up to use its services in Florida. DayJet has raised more than $200 million to date, placing it among the best capitalized pre-operational passenger air carriers in American aviation history, published reports said.  

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