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Business aviation makes more than $ense

Added benefits of private air travel

The decision to operate a private aircraft for business can’t be made solely by plugging numbers into a financial formula. While in many cases the calculator alone will support the use of business aviation, there are other less-quantifiable benefits to consider.

One of the most apparent is swapping the long commercial airport baggage check and security lines for the short-distance walk at a fixed-based operation to a parked business aircraft. The airplane is ready to depart when you are, flying directly to your destination’s regional airport. You can walk off the aircraft, and into your rental vehicle. The FBO employees may even load your bag for you.

A recent study by the National Business Aviation Association of business travel options proves the practical benefits. Researchers calculated travel times for a typical round trip from Des Moines, Iowa, to Chattanooga, Tennessee. They found travelers save more than seven hours of ground time and three hours of air travel time by flying on a business aircraft. Those passengers also reap nine business hours of productive time and an additional 22 hours of non-business time away from the office on a single trip by flying in a private aircraft.

Des Moines business trip to and from Chattanooga

* The best option for scheduling purposes takes passengers through different cities for each connection
** Calculated using a Beechcraft® King Air® 250.

  • Commercial aircraft – 8:15
    3:50 with layover in Chicago*
  • Business aircraft – 4:09
    1:51 out 2:18 back**
  • Automobile – 24:00
    12:00 each way

When companies choose business aviation as a solution to some of their transportation challenges, the result is an easier and more comfortable travel experience.

Business aviation travelers have incredible flexibility

Business teams don’t always know in advance where or when opportunities will occur. Companies need to be nimble enough to move quickly by traveling on their own schedules, not a commercial airline’s schedule.

Business aircraft provide companies with the flexibility necessary to adjust to changing schedules or to respond to business situations where time is of the essence. A business aircraft also gives you a way to move parts and equipment that cannot be shipped or carried on commercial airlines in a matter of hours.

Business aviation travelers leave the hassles at the ticket counter

Travelers on private aircraft face fewer hassles before, during and after the flight, such as no security lines or the need to get to the airport hours in advance, a comfortable cabin with room to work or relax and a simple de-boarding process. Business aviation travelers arrive at their destinations prepared for big meetings, and they return home less frazzled than when flying commercially.

Business aviation travelers are efficient

With access to a private aircraft, it’s not uncommon for a business traveler to visit multiple cities in a single day. That type of mission can be difficult or impossible to complete otherwise. With the right aviation plan, companies can save money on hotel rooms, rental cars, meals and other expenses that employees usually require when they make similar trips via car, train or airline.

Business aviation travelers are productive

A business airplane boosts employee productivity and morale. Employees are away from home less, and they get more done while en route and on the ground. This is one of business aviation’s most apparent and measurable benefits, and it’s why many owners call their aircraft “time machines.”

Business aviation travelers have a secure environment to turn air time into work time

When traveling aboard business aircraft, employees can meet, plan and work en route. Business aviation allows employees to discuss proprietary information in a secure environment without the fear of eavesdropping or industrial espionage.

Business aviation travelers stay connected during flight

Many private aircraft have technologies that allow passengers to remain in communication with people on the ground throughout the duration of their flights. This can be critical for companies managing rapidly changing situations or for an executive or others who simply want to answer email and phone calls in real-time.

Business aviation travelers arrive on time

Private flights are more likely to be on time. More than three percent of all commercial airline flights are cancelled. Nearly one quarter are delayed. With record load factors on commercial airlines, if a flight is cancelled or a delay causes a missed connection, the odds of getting on the next flight are significantly reduced.

Business aviation travelers have access to non-commercial airports that are closer to their destinations

Business aviation serves 10 times the number of communities (more than 5,000 airports) than served by commercial airlines (about 500 airports). Without having to rely on major international airports, travelers can often get closer to their clients’ locations and save time on ground transportation. This access also allows companies to visit plants and facilities in small towns or rural communities that have little or no commercial airline service.

10x as many airfields in the United States are available to business aviation than commercial aviation. This gets passengers closer to their final destinations.
Source: NBAA

The non-financial benefits of business aviation may not seem obvious at first, but when you add them up, the choice is clear—switching to business aviation makes real $ense.