Although during the midst of our economic crisis, a lavish perk such as a private jet may have been frowned upon-with awful dirty looks and a lot of envious hatred, it now seems the prior trend for the most affluent spenders is back.
Business jet manufacturers delivered 615 in the first three quarters of 2009, 37.8% less than year-over-year according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. According to Jack Petlon, CEO of Cessna, there are signs of life. “With the financial collapse that occurred there was a lot of anger, a lot of hurt, a lot of people reaching out and striking at what became an image and the image was a corporate business jet,” he told Forbes. “We as an industry are now spending our time righting that wrong perception.”
Here are four reasons why private flying is back in style:
1. It’s not just for those on top
85% of the companies that use private jets are small and medium-sized, according to Ed Bolen, CEO of the National Business Aviation Association. Also, between 70 and 75% of the flights are flown by middle managers.
2. Multi-city business travel
Business private jet travel is usually used for various travels to different cities in a single day, according to Bolen. If you’re a manager or executive who needs to go to three or five cities, and still needs to make it home for a client dinner, a private jet is the only option.
3. Privacy and product
If a business man (or woman) has to travel carrying around their business equipment or discuss confidential business matters, airports and commercial flights can completely blow up your spot. Any slip in public could end up costing much more than a trip on a private jet.
4. An IPO comeback leaves no other option
Frederico Curado, CEO of Embraer, explains that you have to put points #2 and #3 together. If you’re on a road show, you may have to be in up to 20 cities over three days, discussing the most sensitive of information along the way. “But, that’s not to say you can’t enjoy private jet travel. I covered the new Flexjet 25 program for the Winter Olympics over at Gadling and can’t imagine a better way to take in the experience,” he says. And it sure beats hunting around an airport for a power outlet and wireless connection.