In the court of public opinion, the slightest whiff of irresponsible corporate spending always sets off intense scrutiny. So when some prominent CEOs chose to fly in corporate jets rather than drive to Washington, D.C., from Detroit for last year’s TARP escapades, the media vilified them for their seemingly insensitive use of an extravagant luxury. Somehow their use of an ordinary business service got blown out of proportion into the eight miles high equivalent of a diamond-studded shower curtain frivolously purchased on a corporate expense account.
Business aviation or travel by company-owned or leased aircraft remains one of the least understood tools in corporate America’s arsenal, but it would be much better if this particular corporate secret got out. Business aviation is actually an affordable and highly efficient solution for companies that use it responsibly, helping executives maximize productivity for themselves and their teams. And today’s bargain basement pricing affords them that operational advantage with more bang for the buck than ever before.
“Business aviation is not a perk, it’s an enabler of productivity,” explains Michael Riegel, president of Aviation IQ, a business aviation consulting firm based in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. “There’s often a lot of pressure from shareholders to reduce business aviation travel, but companies need to push back harder against that notion.
In fact, shareholders should demand that their company’s executives use it it’s a business requirement, and there’s no reasonable alternative.”
With virtually no privacy on a commercial flight, inconvenient travel times, and long delays passing through security, at boarding gates, on tarmacs and during transfers, it’s a wonder that C-suite executives actually choose not to afford business aviation. Those who opt to travel in business jets enjoy expedited security checks, virtually no waiting and the freedom to use their computers and phones on the ground and in the air in short, the ability to minimize their travel time and to make effective use of every possible minute. And they’re less likely to arrive at their destinations exhausted from having spent an entire day getting there.