Possibly the world’s most recognized advocate, if not expert on the value of Business Aviation,... Read More
Accessing an Ordinary Travel Option
Companies throughout the world realize that neither the Internet nor cell phones have replaced the requirement to conduct business face-to-face- asserts Jack Olcott.
Globally there are about 20-000 companies and entrepreneurs operating nearly 35-000 turbine-powered business airplanes. Furthermore- those entities purchase airline tickets worth billions of dollars annually. Such is the magnitude of their need for fast- efficient and safe transportation. Some travel can be satisfied best using scheduled air carriers. Other trips call for the unique capabilities of business aircraft.
Business Aviation is- in effect- a partner with the scheduled Airlines in meeting the ever-present transportation requirements of business men and women throughout the world. While slowed from time to time by disruptions in the global economy- the growth of Business Aviation has been steady over several decades. As plotted in the accompanying charts (below) as exponential lines through the last 25 years of data (i.e.- from 1989 through 2013)- the number of business aircraft and flight departments has grown consistently.
Since the introduction of business jets and turboprops in the late 1950s and early 1960s- Business Aviation has steadily gained acceptance as an ordinary travel option- uniquely suited to serve travel needs of many companies and individuals. Never a threat to the growth of scheduled air carriers (which transport many more passengers today than in past decades)- Business Aviation connects more city pairs than do the Airlines. Even where Airline service exists- the ability of a business aircraft to be available on-demand is often a necessity as the pace of business quickens each year.
The need for travel is steadily trending upward- yet the number of major air carriers is shrinking as consolidations continue. For example- not long ago Continental became part of United- and American and USAir are about to become one. Furthermore- the number of available seats on airliners has shrunk by about 12 percent over the last five years as existing carriers reduce schedules in their quest for higher load factors and profits.
By including the use of Business Aviation in their company’s transportation policy- Boards are wise to follow the lead of the 20-000 or so global companies that operate their own airplanes. Many means are available for chartering- sharing or owning a business aircraft. Be prepared. Develop a Business Aviation addition to existing travel policy. Identify and vet potential providers. Include Business Aviation as one of your firm’s accepted travel options.