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Companies that use Business Aviation have earned the reputation of being well managed and effective in their use of talent and time. Efforts to associate business aircraft with corporate excess have proven to be misguided- notes Jay Mesinger.

Jay Mesinger   |   1st July 2013
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Jay Mesinger Jay Mesinger

Jay Mesinger is the CEO and Founder of Mesinger Jet Sales. With over 40 years’ experience in the...
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Removing concepts of excess to focus on value.

Companies that use Business Aviation have earned the reputation of being well managed and effective in their use of talent and time. Efforts to associate business aircraft with corporate excess have proven to be misguided- notes Jay Mesinger.

Excess is a big word with pejorative implications. In fact- it was used by the leading Airline lobby in its unsuccessful attempt during the mid-2000s to shift fees from Airline passengers to users of business jets- at the time the biggest battle Business Aviation had ever fought.

Then came the debacle of the Big Three auto makers testifying before Congress for bailout funds in November of 2008 but refusing to discuss their need for business aircraft. That situation really sealed the deal for an optics war based on Excess. Our industry quickly engaged in full-scale damage control. We found ourselves being distracted from the real business of Business Aviation. Knowledgeable individuals as well as large and small corporations felt compelled to divest themselves of an important and highly effective tool- the business aircraft.

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and many other aviation associations such as the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) resurrected effective initiatives to create a positive image for Business Aviation. No Plane No Gain and Alliance for Aviation Across America are programs that moved into high-gear. Powerful alliances in Congress were formed. All these efforts combined to emphasize the real value proposition of business aircraft.

Once again there is positive acknowledgement that American industry needs Business Aviation. Nevertheless- our community is very careful to portray itself along the lines of prudent users of a very effective business tool—the company aircraft. We are mindful of critics who wish to label our community with terms such as ‘Excess’.

Excess: The state of exceeding what is normal or sufficient. One could imagine how those unaware of Business Aviation’s benefits could confuse Corporate Jets with excess. Without solid evidence of value- such as getting out ahead of the competition and getting in front of customers first- often the message is not appreciated by the naysayers.

They fail to understand the eloquent message of Warren Buffet who asks “How will you ever see eye-to-eye if you are not face-to-face?” The discussion worth having removes the idea of excess from the conversation and focuses on getting the most out of the resources available to create value. To me- that is the core of the business aircraft conversation.

Business Aviation enables a company to create more from what it has. It is this slant on Business Aviation that will change the mind-set of people who have been sitting on the side-lines waiting for someone to say it is OK to fly corporate again. Stockholder value and individual accomplishment should be the focus of Business Aviation.

Our industry is poised for a recovery. An uptick in activity always precedes a price recovery in our industry. Signs of activity start with more calls to offices like ours to discuss Business Aviation with sales professionals. From those discussions come the sharing of specific aircraft data between the prospect and the sellers. The actual transaction is next. It is through the transaction activity that the supply of available aircraft begins to shrink and prices begin to firm and ultimately increase.

Perhaps it is a bit early to send up fireworks. However- the first piece of the recovery puzzle is beginning to fit; more calls are coming in and more transactions are taking place. These actions signal the beginning of a recovery- even though we have a fair distance to traverse to get back to a place where we can collectively shout for joy.

Baby steps were always the way our community achieved a more normal and balanced market after a downturn. The message from this article is simply to watch carefully- listen intently and continue to be proud of this industry and what it can do for business.

There is no doubt that the mantra of value and importance to business growth can lead to a quicker recovery. In fact- any positive encouragement about our use of Business Aviation can and will bring about a return of stability to our market. This is a collective effort that cannot be done in a vacuum. It must resonate across a global setting.

World Aircraft Sales Magazine encourages each reader to take a look at the No Plane No Gain website (www.noplanenogain.org) and the Alliance for Aviation Across America site (www.aviationacrossamerica.org). Both can help you with the facts of Business Aviation having been developed specifically for advocacy for our important industry.

Do you have any questions or opinions on the above topic? Get them answered/published in World Aircraft Sales Magazine. Email feedback to: Jack@avbuyer.com

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