Keeping a competitive edge. Maintaining a personal or corporate private jet is not the only option available. The industry's adaptability has brought new air travel options, such as fractional ownership.
While some individuals and corporations are cutting down on foreign travel because of the global economic slowdown, for many managers these trips are not a choice but a necessity. Meetings and conferences in far-flung destinations that cannot be missed, multinationals have by definition remote teams and assets.
We all know the downside of jetsetting. Traveling on business is not just about getting from A to B. Scheduled flights can be frankly inconvenient, and seven hours in economy is just not fun. When you reach your destination airport, the biggest challenge is often getting from there to your hotel.
Just one of the solutions for making business travel more bearable is chartering your own private jet. Many flyers are turning their backs on commercial airlines to access the flexibility and first-class technology of business aviation.
The general feeling you hear expressed is that business aviation is something for the very rich. This could not be further from the truth, in fact, because it needs to be looked at as a tool. It is a tool for economic growth in Europe and beyond.
Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions in terms of business aviation traffic and infrastructure development. New corporate jet facilities at Beijing International Airport were heavily tested during last year's Olympics. International jet chartering companies and aerospace developers are looking to Asia for possible business opportunities including executive air charter and air taxis.
However, owning a private jet is becoming more difficult to justify in the recession, even for the biggest multinational enterprises. The good news is that selling the company's own airplane does not automatically mean losing all its benefits. Innovative solutions such as chartering and fractional aircraft ownership, which are in growing demand, can help cut expenses. In fact, eliminating the cost of maintaining a private jet may well be one of best ways of making business jets less exclusive.