Four Reasons Business Jets Are Back in Style
Private jet travel is back! When we were in the depths of the financial crisis, the best way to fly was a sure way to attract criticism, especially when the Detroit auto executives showed up before Congress a year ago and had to explain why ailing companies were forced to shell out for the perk. Well, the private jets are coming back into style, but it's more for pleasure than business.
Business jet manufacturers delivered only 615 in the first three quarters of 2009, a steep decline of 37.8 percent year-over-year, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. According to Jack Petlon, CEO of Cessna, though, there are signs of life. "With the financial collapse that occurred there was a lot of anger, a lot of hurt, a lot of people reaching out and striking at what became an image and the image was a corporate business jet," he told Forbes. He continued, "We as an industry are now spending our time righting that wrong perception."
Here are four facts you may not have know about business (and private) aviation:
1. It's not just for the big guys
According to Ed Bolen, CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, 85 percent of the companies that use this form of travel are smaller and medium-sized. And, between 70 percent and 75 percent of the flights are flown by middle managers.
2. There's no time to breathe
Usually, business jet travel is used for multi-stop city in a single day, Bolen explained to Forbes. If you're a manager or executive and need to hit three or five cities -- and still need to make it home for a client dinner -- a private jet is your only option.
3. Privacy and product
If you have to tote around business equipment or need to discuss confidential business matters, airports and commercial flights are totally unacceptable ... and a slip of the lip in public could wind up costing much more than a trip on a business jet.
4. An IPO comeback leaves no other option
Put points #2 and #3 together ... and then some, Frederico Curado, CEO of Embraer, explained. If you're on a road show, you could have to be in up to 20 cities over three days, discussing the most sensitive of information along the way.
But, that's not to say you can't enjoy private jet travel. I covered the new Flexjet 25 program for the Winter Olympics over at Gadling and can't imagine a better way to take in the experience. It sure would beat the hell out of hunting around LaGuardia for a power outlet and a wireless connection.