Between exhausting lines at security and countless flight delays and cancellations, the concept of a “quick flight” no longer exists.
In reaction, many corporations are taking matters into their own hands by investing in corporate jets to fly executives and employees on business trips.
For many companies, it is the time savings that turns them onto private jetting. Daniel Jennings, CEO of the Private Jet Company, said that since October 2010, his inquiries from companies looking to purchase private jets have doubled.
“Once you are a company that starts having operations regionally and nationally, it gets difficult to do visits in a timely manner without going privately,” Jennings says. “You can do four-to-five locations in a day, instead of over four or five days. And, they can do work on the aircraft.”
Paul Cardarelli, director of sales and marketing for JetNet LLC, says that while there has been an uptick in sales for 2010, the market still remains somewhat bloated with jets for sale. In 2010, JetNet found that a total of 1,989 jets were sold, 1,454 of which were previously owned; compare that to 2009, when 1,885 jets were sold, with 1,210 being pre owned. Since the start of 2011, JetNet reports 284 jets have been sold, 234 of which were pre-owned, Cardarelli said.
“Airplanes have never been cheaper, and people want to cash in,” he says. “Business aviation in itself has never been more attractive, because the whole airline experience has frankly never been worse.”
He continued to say many companies are investing in their own jets to avoid the hassle of having their executives battle crowded airports. “Why unnecessarily submit yourself to waiting in line for two hours at the TSA? If you have the wherewithal for business aviation, it’s a very attractive option.”
This year looks strong for business aviation, according to Jennings, who cites more companies starting to turn a profit and some even looking to expand. Supply of private jets is starting to go down while demand is on the rise.
“They see the economy turning in their own business, and they don’t want to miss an opportunity to acquire [jets] at low discount prices,” he says.
Cardarelli estimates the typical business aircraft operator is flying about 300 hours a year, and when the economy was stronger, that number was closer to 400 hours annually. This year will continue to be a year of recovery, he said, because GDP is up and that directly impacts business aviation.
All in all, it is time and convenience that leads these companies to opt for private jets, Jennings says. This trend will continue to pick up over the course of the next year.
“It literally conducts business anywhere, anytime, with no security or headaches,” he said. “It literally buys them time. We call it a time machine.”