Flying Privately: With the economy still in a downturn, many companies - and individual travelers - are taking into serious consideration the use of private aircraft when traveling. But as the commercial airlines continue to slash flights left and right, charge fees for checked baggage, and increase wait times in security and baggage lines to double (and sometimes triple) the length of what they used to be, there are many compelling reasons to fly privately for both business executives and the average consumer.
For business executives, nothing is more valuable and beneficial than being able to travel efficiently from point to point, while at the same time having the ability to hold confidential meetings on board a private aircraft. Flying privately also enables these busy individuals to relax and prepare for their upcoming meetings instead of worrying about where to pick up luggage, or how long it'll to take to disembark, walk from the plane through the airport and out to ground transportation. Additionally, the convenience of being able to travel to airports closest to their meeting locales eliminates unnecessary wait times, which more often adds to a company's bottom line, instead of detracting from it.
Here are some interesting statistics for business travelers:
According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, more than 26 percent of all commercial airline flights were delayed, diverted or cancelled in 2008;
Passengers were delayed a total of 299 million hours in the same year, with conservative estimates placing the annual cost of these delays at $8.9 billion in lost productivity to the nation's economy;
In a recent study comparing business aviation users and non-users, it was found that the average earnings growth was 434 percent higher for users, and average annual revenue growth was 116 percent higher for users (Business Aviation: An Enterprise Value Perspective, NEXA Advisors, LLC, 2009).
For consumers who think they cannot afford to fly privately, there are options to secure "true one-ways" or "deadheads" that are comparable to the cost of flying first or business class. True one-ways are comprised of filling an aircraft that is either leaving or returning to its origin empty. Charter operators want to fill these empty legs, and brokers can help locate and secure empty legs for clients at a fraction of the cost of a roundtrip quote, saving clients anywhere between 30-40 percent. When these empty legs are successfully matched up with an individual's itinerary, it's a win-win for all parties involved - the charter operator, broker, and traveler. The broker serves as an important contact and as the "glue" between the charter operator and client.
Benefits of Using a Broker
Brokers provide an invaluable service for both business and individual travelers in that they are able to locate any size aircraft (from helicopters to jumbo jets) at a moment's notice. An experienced broker has forged relationships with hundreds, if not thousands, of charter operators worldwide, and has access to more aircraft than a fractional company that owns and operates a limited fleet of aircraft. Brokers are not limited to one specific fleet but are able to call on a number of different operators, which gives them - and their clients - the widest selection and access to thousands of aircraft worldwide.
By Anthony Newcombe JustLuxe Contributor
Managing Principal, ANJET
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