Remember when business aviation was a luxury that only leaders of the largest companies or the wealthiest individuals could afford? Or perhaps that’s what you still think. Many business leaders no longer think the corporate jet is a luxury or status symbol. And, according to a National Business Aviation Administration (NBAA) survey, “Business aviation is the sign of a well-managed company, and a tool that provides unique advantages for American companies.”
Business aviation is up
More and more savvy company leaders are realizing the value proposition business aviation offers. According to Argus TRAQPak data, business aviation activity increased more than 5% in August, making it the largest month of operations since May 2008. Those results included a 10.9% year-over-year increase in Part 135 charter activity and a 7% increase in Part 91K fractional activity. Activity for large-cabin aircraft was up 7.2% while midsize jets were up 4.8%. All this increased aviation activity is considered a good indicator of future jet deliveries.
Justifying the cost
The NBAA report concluded that companies with business aviation departments had a greater level of financial success than those without, and those who cut back on their aviation departments experienced financial downturn. In addition to increased shareholder earnings, the report shows that business aviation increases market share, profit and asset efficiency as well as non-financial benefits such as employee and customer satisfaction.
Saving time is one of business aviation’s biggest benefits. And since time is money, it is one of the biggest cost-saving factors the sector offers. In today’s fast-paced international business arena, staying competitive means being able to get as close to your destinations as quickly as possible with little notice. It might even require traveling to more than one meeting location in a day. With commercial air travel, it might take days to make it to the same destinations with connecting flights, fewer airport locations, ground transportation hassles, and more. Commercial airlines cannot provide the flexibility that business executives require.
Business aviation also lets you make better use of in-flight time. Most jets offer internet and satellite communications capabilities as well as meeting rooms and office space. And you can customize your jet to meet specific needs to maximize productivity — or relaxation. Business aviation also allows you to provide more in-person contact with customers, employees, and partners; perks and convenience for colleagues, employees, and family members; and, yes, it can even increase your company’s status in the eyes of others.
A good time to purchase?The NBAA survey also points to a growing confidence in business aviation. Many respondents indicated they believe we’ve passed the low point in this cycle and are on an upswing. In addition, according to AINonline, “the percentage of survey respondents who indicated a better than 60 percent probability of purchasing a new jet over the next year is the highest in the past two years.”
As business aviation rebounds from the recession, manufacturers are gearing up to meet new demands and are offering great deals on existing inventory. That, combined with a decrease in young used jet inventories, means that this might be a great time to purchase a new jet. Business aviation just makes good business sense. Company leaders who embrace it will likely find themselves in better positions to take advantage of today’s global marketplace.