Free Yourself from Flying with the Rabble
Late-model business jets aren't as cheap as they used to be, and the surplus on the market has dropped a bit, but new aircraft deliveries haven't returned to earlier levels. Flying hours have fallen, and constraints in the credit markets make it difficult for people to put the requisite cash together to buy and operate a private jet. Following five years of record growth, the NY Times reports, last year was dismal. In the second half of 2009, business jet shipments plunged 33.7 percent year-over-year to 870. High-end propeller plane sales fell 17.6 percent to 441 for the same period.
But, that's all in the past.
Flying hours are increasing, and the wealthy are loosening the purse strings. The financial crisis and subsequent recession, however, may have left a permanent mark on the private aircraft business. Flexjet and other companies in the partial/fractional aircraft ownership space have shown that you can avoid the prolies without having to spend a fortune. With airlines cutting routes in an attempt to make flights more productive despite declining traffic, it's certainly more convenient to avoid the commercial space.
And let's face it: it isn't hard to talk people out of flying commercial.
Reid told the NY Times: "One of the things that has happened is that people, for whatever reasons - financial distress, concern at the board level about public and employee perception - had to go to commercial aviation. And for people who hadn't done that in a while, they're suddenly reminded of how utterly, dreadfully inefficient that is."
Yeah, that's about right.