Filed under: Wings
At the recent Farnborough International Air Show, usually abuzz with the latest in jet envy, market experts were instead agreeing that the U.S. demand for business jets has softened considerably. And some companies are pulling the plug on private jet travel unless the circumstances truly justify it. Supposedly due to the current economic downturn and not a response to surging fuel costs, the decrease in U.S. demand for corporate jets is in stark contrast to burgeoning sales in Russia and the Middle East, whose new moguls are shelling out between $3 and $40 million for aircraft ordered at the air show.
It's not that execs are flying commercial -- the rough equivalent of trading in your Lamborghini for a used minivan full of crying babies -- but they are chartering flights instead of buying their own wings. Business jetsetters are turning more frequently to NetJets fractional ownership or a Marquis jet card, a kind of jet use debit card. Not exactly the Greyhound of the skies just yet, a Marquis jet card starts at $126,900 for 25 hours of flight time. And you won't have the joy of pimping out your cabin like that renowned Airbus A380, whose on-board hot tub and "desert oasis" tacked on an additional $150 million to the aircraft's pricetag.