The following article was written by David J. Wyndham, VP and Co-Owner of Conklin & de Decker, an aviation data and consulting company. It is used with permission of David J. Wyndham and applies equally well to the use of a charter aircraft or aircraft ownership.
Reason 1 Why not to have a Business Aircraft: They save too much time. Time is a non-renewable resource. In Latin, it is Tempus Fugit: Time Flies. Why use the aircraft to be in several places during a short amount of time? What’s the use? Showing your commitment and concern to your business, your clients, and your employees by making the most efficient use of this most limited resource will not pay off. Productivity is overrated.
Reason 2 Why Not to Have A Business Aircraft. They save wear and tear on valuable employees. Next to customers, employees are the most difficult part of running a business. If keeping motivated, highly productive employees and top executives were important, we’d look for ways to keep the aircraft busy helping these employees get and keep customers. As it is, these folks are overpaid, They don’t bring in new business, make the company profitable, or add value. Given the unemployment rate, you can always find another intelligent, honest, motivated senior executive to run the division, company or operating site. These folks are like laptop computers, replaceable. So let them languish on the road rather than being productive and happy.
Reason 3 Why Not To Have A Business Aircraft: Aircraft allow you to meet with your customers more often. In poor economic times, your customers don’t have any money. Why work hard to maintain that personal relationship? We’ve all heard stories about how business down cycles do inevitably turn positive and that those companies who work smarter in keeping their current customers tend to flourish when things get better. Do you really believe all that business school lecturer fodder?
In being sarcastic, I’m trying to say that a well-chosen, well managed business aircraft is not a luxury, but a necessary investment in the current and future success of a business. It can be a Cessna 172 for a small firm or a global jet for an international firm. The right aircraft can help the right people retain the right customers to both create value and ensure future growth. During these down times, we all must carefully evaluate what is important to the future success of our companies. The business aircraft can be one of those important tools. Sometimes you jet need some help in justifying one.
And please remember, the important thing is to have access to a business aircraft. You can do this by charter, ownership or, ownership with a leaseback, management agreement. The course that is appropriate to your business is dictated by how much flying you will do yearly.