Says VLJ Maker Delayed, Then Cancelled Order
Despite great news from
Eclipse Aviation in the past few days... there are a few flies in
the ointment at the Albuquerque, NM-based planemaker. Aviace
Limited -- a Swiss start-up jet charter company, and what would
have been one of Eclipse's first big customers -- is suing the
company, after it says Eclipse first delayed, then cancelled, a
112-plane order supposedly made four years ago.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that in a lawsuit filed
last week in US District Court, Aviace alleges it was to take jet
number 31 off the line as its first jet in 2004. When Aviace made the order in May
2002, Eclipse required a $2.010 million deposit --
which Aviace says it paid in January 2005 -- and that the company
agreed to pay a guaranteed price of $1.045 million per plane.
That's supposedly some $500,000 less than today's price --
and the timeframe was shifted six months after the deal was struck,
after Eclipse's switch from Williams
powerplants to the Pratt & Whitney Canada
turbofans used today. But Aviace says Eclipse breached the
agreement by bumping its first delivery even further, to aircraft
Aviace says Eclipse then asked for a further $634,305 production
deposit -- which, Aviace claims wasn't part of its original
agreement with Eclipse. The suit alleges Eclipse canceled the order
last week, after Aviace refused to pay the additional charge -- and
that Eclipse kept $167,500 of money already paid as damages.
Aviace alleges the situation is all about money -- that Eclipse
deliberately cancelled the order, so it could sell the same planes
to another customer at greater profit.
"Eclipse desires to terminate the purchase agreement so as to
retain the aircraft under contract for sale to Aviace for Eclipse
to resell for a profit greater than that to be obtained under the
purchase agreement," Aviace claims.
The Journal reports the Albuquerque-based attorney representing
Aviace declined to comment on the matter. Eclipse spokesman Andrew
Broom told Aero-News the company could not comment on pending
On Tuesday, US District Judge Christina Armijo denied a request
by Aviace for a temporary restraining order, according to the