Filed under: Wings
Various sources are reporting that Eclipse Aviation is converting its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to Chapter 7. The move suggests that Eclipse might not have been able to complete its proposed sale to ETIRC Aviation for $188 million. Now, instead of a sale to a new owner, Eclipse may be looking at liquidation to pay off its debts. KOAT, a news station in Albuquerque received an e-mail from an Eclipse employee signed by a company vice-president that indicated that the company's shutdown was permanent, that e-mail would be turned off and employees would be given a time to pick up any belongings left behind at the facility.
This is bad news not just for fans of private aviation or those who had ordered planes but even for the state of New Mexico which had invested $19 million in the company and the business it would bring to the state. A few years ago, Eclipse was seen as the future of flight, a relatively inexpensive plane which could take a few passengers on shorter journeys. A cluster of air taxi services that planned to use the plane sprung up and then, just as quickly, disappeared. There is still the possibility that someone could buy the assets and the plant and reopen operations but right now that seems unlikely. Workers were furloughed earlier this month and there are still planes in various states of completion inside the plant.