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After reading about Avtrak in some aviation news I had a look at there operation. They are here close to me in my area and I wanted to get familiar with their operation. AIN reports that Avtrak is expanding its operations in Mexico and is soon growing beyond its capacity at its current location and will be moving its headquarters to Centennial Airport in Colorado. This is good news for companies in the aviation industry and it shows that this company is working hard to get ahead during down times. Their VP of marketing, Dennis Steinbeck, echos that sentiment in his statement to AIN, “We are one of the fortunate companies that have been expanding during one of the worst times in our industry.”
Avtrak is a maintenance tracking company and from their site they state:
Avtrak’s easy to use, web based services are recognized as the preferred maintenance tracking service by maintenance professionals worldwide. Avtrak’s services are considered the perfect blend of technology and highly qualified support people.
It is good to see that there are companies still expanding and growing and taking advantage of their hard work during this time of difficulty in the economy. If they can do it, I am positive we can all benefit from some hard work and some hustle.
I wanted to highlight the fact that we take for granted the “no frills” flights of commercial airlines and many people only dream of being able to have the best possible experience with first class flights, if they can afford what that ticket will cost them. I get a chance to see first hand some of the interiors of corporate jets and they are far above anything that even first class commercial flights can provide. I was reading recently at AirlineTrends.com that Virgin America is stepping up its game with in flight entertainment or “IFE”. The article states:
Virgin America has upgraded its ‘Red’ in-flight entertainment system with a number of innovative features, including the first ever seatback digital shopping platform, an open tab service, and Google Maps with terrain view. Already on Virgin America, passengers can use the IFE system to watch live satellite television, chat with other passengers, play 3D games such as Doom, and offset carbon emissions for their flight. Passengers can also purchase snacks, meals, and alcoholic beverages from their seats via Red. Flight attendants receive the orders via a tablet PC and bring the ordered items to the seat.
I love that commercial airlines are trying to make the experience of flying that much better for those that don’t have the use of their corporate private jets. I wonder when we will have headsets with a virtual screen where we can wear a helmet and get the feel of flying in a Gulstream or a or that Dassault Falcon while sitting in the back of the plane listening to soft music while the child behinds us screams because their ears hurt. Until that time, I will let companies like Virgin America try to keep up with the world of luxury flights.
There is always a number of people buzzing in the technology community when Apple comes out with a new product or there is a new press conference about its latest news. The Apple community is very loyal and they have a very sought after following in the mobile market. I am an Apple user in their laptops and computers, but I have not yet adopted the iPhone. It has to do with the service I use, but I still look forward to seeing what is the latest in the world of Apple. On Friday, Steve Jobs the leader of Apple held a press conference on the latest iPhone4 and I was one of the ones that paid attention to what was being said. The conference ended and they opened it up for questions and right out of the box, the first question asked Jobs how he was feeling and about his health. He responded by saying he felt better last week while he was on vacation in Hawaii and not working. This made me think about the way he travels.
Steve Jobs has been known for his salary of $1 per year, but he also has a number of things that are required under his compensation agreement. Part of that is his corporate travel. Steve Jobs chooses to travel on a corporate jet owned by the Apple company and I assume his latest trip to Hawaii was no different. What business jet does Steve Jobs use? He travels around in a well publicized Gulfstream V. The Gulfstream which is pictured here is top of its class and a great way for the Apple executive to get around on his many travels.
Jobs no doubt has many reasons to travel on the Gulfstream and security is probably a main component of that idea. With the secrecy of what goes on in Apple and the number of corporations looking to beg, borrow or steal from the innovations and for journalists looking to get the scoop on what is going on at Apple, I can bet that security is a big decision why Gulfstream is sailing through the skies with this top executive. You too can own a Gulfstream V for your corporation.
[Photo via John R. Beckman at Airliners.net]
I have been giving some thought to a few of the posts that talk about security and ease of travel that is brought out by many companies as to why they have decided to purchase a corporate jet or have decided to go with a private aircraft for their executive travel. It has to do with the flexibility issue of travel. I have been sitting in a line at an airport wondering if I had any chance to make my flight due to some mishap or weather problem or perhaps just a broken light that needs replaced in the galley. I also sit and wonder if I will make that connecting flight or if I will be sleeping in my own bed at the end of the day.
The stress of travel can take its toll over time and it does take a lot of that — Time. I have no control over the time I leave or the delays that occur and have no flexibility in how I travel. If a company has a private business aircraft that changes drastically. Yes, it still has to deal with weather issues, but ti does not have to deal with weather in other cities that cause delays in the system. It doesn’t fall prey to the problems of schedules and can be ready for travel anywhere in a short period of time. Executives like to have that flexibility and that is not as much of a perk as it is a business necessity in some cases.
Today at the Air Transport World 3rd Annual Eco-Aviation Conference, J Randolph Babbitt spoke about the environment and how the FAA is working to make it better. He states that over the last three decades aviation has done an exceptional job of reducing the noise and emissions of aircraft. He gave us an example of that reduction by stating that a fully loaded 787 flying from San Francisco to Kennedy yields fuel efficiency that’s similar to a 2010 Honda Accord at almost 10 times the speed. Very impressive statistic being that we are moving 3 times the amount of passengers as the 80’s.
In addition to the remarks about how well the industry has done over the last thirty years, Babbitt stated that the FAA is launching the CLEEN program. The CLEEN program, Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise, will award $125 million in contracts today to five separate companies to develop and demonstrate technologies that will reduce commercial aviation jet fuel consumption, emissions and noise. These five year contracts are going to: Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt and Whitney, and Rolls Royce. Babbitt stated:
“The bottom line here is that we want engine and aircraft technologies that can be incorporated into the U.S. fleets by 2015 and will produce a 33 percent reduction in fuel burn regardless of the aircraft class. We want to cut nitrogen oxide emissions by 60 percent. And we want to make a cumulative reduction in aircraft noise levels by 32 decibels. These are ambitious goals, but they are achievable goals.”
Babbitt stated that this new technology could be seen in commercial aircraft as soon as 2015. This seems to be a new strategy for everyone as we begin to see how we can become more eco-friendly in out industry and how we can make our world a better place. These companies and the FAA seem to be leading that new directive well.
If you’d like more information about GE Aviation’s commitment to reduced emissions and fuel consumption, visit their website: www.geaviation.com
I have been looking around recently at the business that must be conducted on aircraft and how we as a business world are staying connected. Part of the business of owning a private aircraft is the ability to conduct business while on that aircraft. I have also been looking at some of the solutions for staying connected on flights and was particularly interested in how we stay connected via the Internet. There are many enterprise software systems and applications that allow us to conduct business virtually and can eliminate some of the travel that has been necessary in the past. There are times however when travel is a must and on a corporate jet flight business can be conducted during travel. Staying Internet connected during the flight allows the business traveler to get to the business of business.
Aircell is such a company that is providing a solution for the business traveler to stay connected while on a corporate or business jet. Aircell tells us how they can keep us connected:
With the arrival of Aircell High Speed Internet, business aircraft passengers on U.S. flights can now use their laptops or PDAs to enjoy a true high-speed Internet experience – from full-on web surfing, to real time e-mail with attachments, streaming video, transferring large files, and accessing corporate VPNs. Simply stated, Aircell High Speed Internet represents the absolute best combination of speed, size and cost available today for any business aircraft.
Imagine you are having to take a quick flight across the country without having he opportunity to prepare for that sales meeting or get prepared for that presentation that could spell disaster or make you a huge success in your company. You did not have the proper time to prepare but could prepare on the trip to the location of the presentation. With the ability to have High Speed Internet in flight, that time spent could be invaluable. Not only were you able to drop everything and have the flexibility of having your own private jet take you to your destination but now you have the ability to prepare in flight. Technology is gaining ground in this area as well with the invent of Apple’s iPad, making it even easier to conduct business on the fly.
This is an idea that is not lost on those in the industry as XOJet is installing the Aircell solution on its entire fleet by the end of July as was announced June 10, 2010:
Business aviation leader XOJET, Inc. announces that its fleet of Bombardier Challenger 300 and Cessna Citation X jets will feature high speed Internet. In partnership with Aircell, the world’s leading provider of airborne communications, XOJET is currently installing Aircell High Speed Internet on all aircraft in the fleet. With more than 70% of the fleet installed by the end of June and the entire fleet scheduled for completion in July, XOJET will become the first business aviation operator to offer wireless service on every flight in the Continental United States.
I am looking forward to seeing how technology changes how we stay connected in the sky. If you are purchasing a private aircraft or a business jet, make sure you can conduct business while enjoying the new purchase.
[photo via aircell]