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Partners in Air Transportation
Complementary rather than competitive- Scheduled Airlines and Business Aviation provide efficient access by air throughout the USA- opines Jack Olcott.
The vast majority of airports in the USA are not served by the major Scheduled Airlines. Of the more than 5-000 landing facilities available for public use- only about one in ten has any scheduled service and only 1 in 100 has frequent flights that enable businesses to travel efficiently. For companies that require timely access to the many markets that exist across the USA- Business Aviation is the viable choice.
Scheduled Airlines offer excellent service to the major hub cities. But their business model- which demands high load factors- focuses their activities at hub cities. Over 80 percent of all passenger enplanements occur at about 50 US cities (see figure 1). Scheduled Airlines are designed to serve those markets.
In addition to the concentration of airline flights at hub locations- the availability of flights has been impacted by airline consolidation. Since deregulation of the airline industry in 1978- the number of independent Scheduled Airlines has diminished by nearly 75 percent (see figure 2). In effect- what had been a system of nearly 20 significant carriers has been reduced to four mega airlines: American/US Airways- Delta- Southwest and United.
The USA requires both the Scheduled Airlines and Business Aviation to serve the needs of American business. For the many locations not served- or under-served by Scheduled Airlines- there are numerous companies certified by the Federal Aviation Administration that provide charter services in business aircraft of all sizes- ranging from Gulfstream jets to Cessna turboprop aircraft.
While care should be taken to select an operator with a reputation for safe and reliable services- finding transportation via chartered aircraft is viable and efficient.
For firms that require more than the occasional charter flight- various options exist ranging from purchasing a block of charter hours to establishing a company flight department. The Business Aviation community provides a spectrum of travel options. Using a business aircraft- either chartered or owned- to reach major hubs with suitable airline schedules is an effective means for linking all of the world to rural America.
The pace of today’s business requires safe and efficient air transportation. The Scheduled Airlines and Business Aviation are unofficial partners in satisfying that need.