Understanding why companies do—or do not—charter aircraft can be mysterious to those not directly familiar with business aviation, which begs a few questions:
Why not just fly via the airlines?
The airlines often are the appropriate way to go. However, depending on a specific trip’s itinerary and the value placed on passenger time and productivity, travel by business aircraft often is the least expensive way to go when all costs and benefits are considered. Consequently, business aircraft often better pass a cost/benefit test. These employee travel judgments, typically made on a trip-by-trip basis, are subject to the same cost/benefit considerations and analysis applicable to any business decision. There also are some important trips that are just too difficult and time consuming to make on the airlines, making the trip untenable and subsequently untaken unless a more effective form of transportation, such as business aircraft, allows the opportunity to be realized.
Why are business aircraft sometimes a better alternative to commercial air travel?
Business aircraft can fly directly between any two locations served by nearly 3,500 airports in the contiguous U.S.—over ten times the locations served by scheduled airlines. “On-the-road” costs, such as hotels, meals, airport parking, rental cars, taxis, etc., can be minimized by efficient, shorter itineraries. Further, because of the privacy and quiet (no competitors watching/listening) available to business aircraft passengers, a lack of interruptions (no strangers or crying babies aboard), the availability of club seating and tables (to spread out, share, work), and access to office equipment, the office-like environment on business aircraft can facilitate unusually high levels of collaboration and productivity.
Saving Employee Time
“Efficient employee scheduling” and “employee time saved” are key advantages of business aircraft use. Because business aircraft have the ability to fly nonstop between 3,500 small, close-in airports—ten times the number of locations served by scheduled airlines in the United States—highly efficient employee time management becomes a very real benefit. Additionally, the value of employee time often exceeds its cost to the company by substantial margins, further increasing the importance of employee time savings. Simply stated, business aviation helps a company obtain maximum productivity from its two most important assets: people and time.
Increasing Productivity Enroute
Employee productivity sustained en route to a business destination—in a secure office environment, free from interruptions, distractions or eavesdropping—can have substantial value to an employer. Group productivity, maximized due to the common availability of club seating and tables, often is unique to business aircraft. Strategizing before meetings and debriefing afterwards are common practices often facilitated and encouraged by business aircraft cabin configurations.
Ensuring Industrial Security
For many companies, the protection of personnel from uncontrolled public exposure alone is justification for business aircraft use. Avoiding eavesdropping, reducing travel visibility, eliminating unwanted and unnecessary conversations and interruptions, all support the use of business aircraft to safeguard company employees and the sensitive information they carry.