The media loves to make an example of corporate extravagance. Private air travel is seen as luxurious, extravagant, and unnecessary to those on the outside looking in. But is it really? Or is it possible that a corporate jet is a much better investment than just an exciting, unattainable mode of travel for the corporate elite?
CEOs are often justified in using private jets for travel. Often, these are busy professionals who are charged with running multi-billion-dollar companies with global brand presence that may require frequent travel within the U.S. or worldwide. A private jet isn’t an extravagance; it’s a resource.
It’s all about perspectiveHe named the jet “The Indefensible.” Just a few short years later, however, he renamed it “The Indispensable.” Why? Because his perspective changed. The jet wasn’t a symbol of extravagance; it was a resource for effectively running his $537 billion company.
The benefits of private aviation
Warren Buffet isn’t the only CEO justified in using the company jet to conduct business. Walmart maintains the largest corporate fleet in the country. Apple, the first public company to reach a trillion-dollar valuation, has mandated CEO Tim Cook use the company jet for business and pleasure!
The focus on private jets has nothing to do with showmanship or an excess of cash. It has everything to do with efficiency, availability, and quickness. Here are just a few of the top reasons CEOs need (and deserve) access to private aviation:
- Speed. CEOs can’t spend time waiting in TSA lines or checking on a delayed flight. They need access to direct travel right now, without setbacks.
- Efficiency. Layovers and changing flight paths can increase travel time substantially for CEOs. Nothing beats a direct flight in terms of efficiency.
- Availability. The CEO needs to be in Los Angeles today, Houston tomorrow, and New York on Friday. The private jet is ready and waiting to easily keep this schedule.
- Accountability. There isn’t room for excuses at the top of the business food chain. CEOs need to control the variables to their success, starting with travel.
- Safety. High-profile individuals are always the subject of security precautions. Private air travel goes a long way toward satisfying strict safety requirements.
- Duty. Business is always happening. Imagine trying to conduct high-level meetings on a commercial flight. Private aviation keeps a CEO focused on the business at-hand.
These benefits are exemplified the more an executive travels. Whether it’s across the country or around the world, there’s immense value in wholly controlling the mode of travel.
Look beyond the image
It’s easy to fall for the caricature of a fat cat CEO, laughing all the way to the bank as they board a private jet and set course for a private island. But this is rarely the case. A business jet is as much a tool for business as it is a perk — often more so. CEOs aren’t sipping mai tais and eating grapes on a jet; they’re conducting meetings, catching up on emails, practicing their speeches, and focusing on high-level business. They deserve a little peace and quiet, from a flight that’s ready on-demand.