Business Aircraft Aren’t Just Luxurious

The Mile-High Office
William Garvey, NY Times, January 31, 2009

The general public who begrudge the executive her Learjet don’t know what they’re talking about. Business aircraft are an engine of commerce, not just an extravagant luxury. The news media and the public seemed to delight when the executives of the major American auto companies drove cars to Washington D.C. to testify before Congress. I thought it was a stupid waste of time; a gimmick to appease the idiot populace. These guys’ responsibilities are far too important to have them stuck in highway traffic or airport security.

If two companies are competing for business, the one using a business aircraft can fly directly to one of those smaller airports and get to lunch with the client before the other guys taking the commercial airlines show up.

And the business people with the corporate jet won’t just arrive faster; they’ll also show up better prepared. After all, most companies send teams of people, and in their own airplane they’re free to discuss confidential information or polish up that PowerPoint presentation. What’s more, they can use the phones, their BlackBerrys and the Internet en route. In other words, these jets are offices that move.

Bombardier Business Aircraft Services in Wichita, Kansas, where I used to work
Bombardier Business Aircraft Services in Wichita, Kansas, where I used to work

4 Comment

  1. Clearly, the general public typically knows not of what they discuss. Business aircraft are indeed an engine of commerce….BUT….perception is often as important as reality…..yes this is a sad truth. Even the educated and informed were disturbed by the paradox of private, jet-flying executives, extending their tin cups for tax payer funded bailouts. Concerning the responsibilities of these executives, they are responsible to return profits to their shareholders. They have failed in this endeavor. It appears that the efficiencies gained in traveling by corporate jets, were not efficiencies at all. Perhaps a little more time stuck in traffic, on the ground, will help clear their heads. In the end, corporate jets will prove their advantages, but let us not mix them with nationalized health insurance, welfare, unemployment benefits, and the like.

    1. Lloyd…Buddy…Nice to see you here!!!

      Concerning the responsibilities of these executives, they are responsible to return profits to their shareholders.

      I think this is part of the problem. Chasing a stock ticker is a horrible way to run a business. Who plans for the future when investors want immediate gains and when bonuses aren’t calculated by long-term growth and CEO turnover is high?

      I’ll be the first to criticize American auto. I only used them as an example because they are the ones who got attention for their aircraft use. A good executive will value the employees and brand well above the investors. Shareholders don’t add value to a company.

  2. Brent…my friend….nice to be here! Additionally, it is refreshing to discover your kind reply to a quasi-opposing view, quite gracious.

    We cannot forget, if it were not for investors, there would be no brand, nor employees for that matter. Most businesses/industries are unable to operate without the capitalization afforded by stock issuance. This is not in any way “chasing a stock ticker”, but instead rewarding those who rolled the bones and invested in the companies venture, also ensuring a continuing stream of investors. An employees value should be recognized by allowing him/her to benefit as the employer benefits; the equitable distribution of stock options is a great way to accomplish this. This scenario can create a synergystic relationship between the investor/company/employee. Again, no investor=no brand, no company, no employee. Shareholders are not to be expected to “add value” to a company, but merely finance that company, enabling the entity to add value to the investors porfolio. It is all rather self-serving, but capitalism is such, by design.

  3. […] aviation industry is hurting, especially because of the stupidity of the media and public over the auto industry executives’ flights to Washington. I digress. I hope my friends in Wichita who work in aircraft still have their jobs. Learjet, where […]

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