As more workers return to in-person meetings and business travel picks up, more businesses are turning to private air travel.
With the business world adjusting to the new, post-covid normal, more and more businesses are turning to private air travel. With the easing of travel restrictions and the return to face-to-face meetings, business travel is booming again. And that’s meant a big surge in private aviation.
Savvy businesses have long recognized the many benefits of flying private. And in fact, business aviation contributes $150 billion annually to the US economy. For other companies, the world of private planes is still a mystery wrapped in misconceptions. But the advantages are real, so let’s examine why private business travel makes more and more sense today.
What is Business Aviation?
The world of air travel is divided into two big components. First, there’s commercial aviation. That’s all of the scheduled flights operated by commercial airlines flying in and out of public airports.
The second is general aviation. That’s all the flights not operated by commercial airlines (or the military). General aviation uses public airports, thousands of private airports, and Fixed Base Operators(FBOs) around the US and the world.
Business aviation is the part of general aviation solely dedicated to serving business travelers. The aircraft used for business travel range from turboprops to helicopters, from small jets to heavy jets capable of transcontinental flights.
What Kinds of Businesses Use Private Air Travel?
Many people think that only large companies use private air travel and that the most frequent travelers are CEOs, board members, and other top executives. Forget the image of one or two top people flying in isolated luxury. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Industry statistics show that top corporate executives are on board business flights less than 50% of the time. The truth is that almost three-quarters of all business travelers on private planes are non-executive level.
Hard-working sales, technical, and marketing people – companies’ front-line employees – are far more likely to be using private planes than top executives. And the number of customers flying privately with a company’s employees is increasing yearly.
As for the businesses using private air travel, it’s not all large, Fortune 500 companies by a long shot. Instead, 97% of the businesses and not-for-profits using private planes are small to mid-size. Companies having less than 500 employees make up nearly 50% of the private business air travel market.
Benefits of Private Air Travel for Businesses
Anyone who flies regularly knows commercial aviation has become less passenger-friendly in recent years. That means longer lines, cramped seats, more baggage restrictions, and far more cancellations and delays. Busy commercial airports are noisy, crowded, and stress-inducing.
Using private planes for business makes those aggravations non-issues. Add in all of the other benefits and convenience of private air travel, and it’s easy to see why more and more businesses are flying privately.
Go Where Your Business Is
Across the US, scheduled commercial flights only serve about 500 airports. And of those, only about 70 are served by large jets. Trying to schedule convenient flights to some of the smaller destinations – where service is often infrequent – isn’t easy.
In many cities, it’s not unusual to have just one or two daily flights and possibly no daily service. Planning your business around that kind of service adds extra time and expense.
And private jets? Try the ability to fly into at least ten times as many airports and FBOs. That’s right, with private air travel, over 5,000 destinations are within reach.
A recent study indicates that nearly a third of business flights were made to locations with no scheduled commercial service. In addition, more than 40% of private business flights go to destinations with little or no scheduled airline service.
That means companies can serve their customers – and grow their businesses – without all the hassles and cost of flying commercially. No more flying to the closest city and then renting a car. Far broader reach, less outlay for car rentals and other expenses, and less wasted time add to big plusses.
Your Schedule, Not the Airlines
You’ve got a critical breakfast morning meeting with a new client, but you have to fly in the day before. That’s because there isn’t an early-morning flight. That means you rent a hotel room and pay for meals. That’s a waste of your company’s money. More importantly, it cuts into your productivity. And of course, it means you’re on the road when you could be at home.
Even if there is an available flight, do you really want to risk being late? Putting your trust in the ability of commercial airlines to get you there on time is a risky bet. Unfortunately, all too many flights are delayed or canceled these days. In the US alone, nearly 20% of all flights are delayed – and a whopping 4% are canceled.
With private planes, you set your schedule. Need to depart Cleveland in time to be in Portland by eight AM? No problem. Private business aviation is available 24/7. And because even the best plans change, private flights can often be available with just a few hours’ notice.
Putting together an efficient multiple-stop trip via commercial airlines is next to impossible. And if you can, it magnifies the risks of delays and cancellations. Flying privately lets you schedule multiple meetings and appointments in the way that makes the most sense for your business.
Multiple stops on a single trip are standard procedures for private pilots. So if your plans change en route, private planes can often accommodate changes to the original flight plan.
Time-Saving vs. Time-Wasting
You know the scene at major airports. First, you fight traffic to get there at least an hour early. Then you deal with the endless security line. You battle your way through the crowd to get to your gate. It’s noisy, frequently dirty, and always stressful.
You look at the departure sign, only to see your flight’s delayed – or canceled. So then you struggle to re-arrange your schedule and try to get some work done while you’re waiting.
Compare that with flying privately out of an FBO like Republic Jet Center on Long Island. From the time you arrive until the time you board your plane often takes less than 30 minutes. And that includes security. And getting to the airport is far easier than getting to one of the over-crowded commercial airports – less traffic, easier parking.
There are no crowds to battle through, no long lines, no surly staff to contend with. With concierge and lounge services specifically designed to serve private air travelers, your experience flying out of an FBO couldn’t be more different. Personable, friendly, and knowledgeable staff are there to make private business travel a pleasure – not a hassle.
You know your flight won’t be delayed by mechanical breakdowns or air traffic control – it’s right outside the executive lounge waiting for you. And it won’t leave until you’re on board. You’ll never worry about an airline’s check-in time with private air travel.
Once you are in the air when you’re flying privately, your plane can take a shorter route to your destination. That’s not so with commercial aircraft, which are restricted to a limited number of air corridors.
A Boost to Productivity
Once you board your plane, you can settle back and enjoy the flight or get to work. Luxurious seating, peace and quiet, attentive cabin staff, and privacy. It all adds up to a far more productive atmosphere for business travel.
For many business travelers, their plane is an ultra-comfortable conference room in the sky. Cabins are designed to facilitate both solo and teamwork. Seating is often flexible with swiveling and reclining seats. In addition, most larger planes include internet, phone, and conferencing capabilities.
One industry trade group found that business people flying aboard private planes are 66% more productive than they are in the office. No distractions, no interruptions, and the amount of time spent working are, on average, 63% of the flight time.
Try being that productive on a crowded, noisy commercial flight. It’s next to impossible. That’s why nearly nine out of ten business travelers on commercial flights are less productive than they are in the office.
It’s no secret that flying privately is much safer than flying on commercial airlines. It starts with maintenance. All private planes must meet the same inspection standards as commercial planes. And they often receive better, more frequent maintenance.
Remember that commercial planes are kept in the air as much as possible. That entails flying numerous trips a day in and day out with minimal time between flights. The aircraft you’re boarding for Dallas at eleven AM might have already flown three trips that day.
Cleaning between flights on commercial airlines is a quick and superficial process – at best. Commercial planes are lucky to get thoroughly cleaned once a month.
That’s not so with the private airplanes serving the business market. First, the planes are spotless. They undergo thorough, deep cleaning after every flight. And because many of them are based at FBOs offering superb maintenance and repair facilities, they often receive more regular – and better – service.
The pilots of private aircraft are equally as well trained as commercial pilots – if not better. And that’s because they often fly the same plane day after day. They know the plane inside and out – all of its systems and intricacies.
In the event of bad weather, private planes have several advantages commercial flights don’t. First, they aren’t restricted to the same limited number of crowded flight corridors as commercial airlines. That means they can often fly around bad weather. And because many private jets can climb faster and often higher, getting through and above turbulence takes less time.
Privacy and Security Reign Supreme
From the moment you arrive at the airport for your private flight, you enter a world where your privacy takes priority – no long lines standing shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of other passengers. Passing through security is a breeze – a matter of minutes.
And FBOs like Republic Jet Center offer superb, well-equipped lounges and a range of personalized concierge services designed with private travelers in mind. Your plane’s destination is only known to you and your plane’s crew. For businesses, the ability to travel with far less visibility is a major advantage when pursuing important negotiations and deals.
Flying privately you are assured that your company’s sensitive information and data stay secure. Because you control who’s aboard your plane, there’s no chance of being overheard, no chance that strangers will be looking over your shoulder. You’ll be working in complete privacy from lift-off to touchdown.
Your security is enhanced, too. Private flights are subject to the same security screening that commercial flights are. But the process is far less intrusive, much faster, and much more pleasant. Plus, the only baggage onboard is yours – giving you additional peace of mind.
Speaking of baggage, flying privately means you have far fewer restrictions on what you can take on the flight. No one carry-on limit. No risk of not finding space in the overhead bins.
Many private flights can accommodate items that commercial flights can’t – materials and equipment for presentations and displays, for instance. Just ask when you arrange your flight.
Bottom Line: Flying Privately is Good for Business
With all the advantages of private air travel, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are steering away from commercial flights. Ten times as many possible destinations and vastly better scheduling and flexibility add up to far better reach and efficiency for your business.
Plus, you’ll often be able to avoid the big, crowded commercial hubs in major cities. That means less congestion, less stress, and less time wasted.
Eliminating all of the distractions involved in flying commercially lets you be far more productive onboard. And flying privately from premier FBOs like Republic Jet Service puts your comfort, safety, and privacy front and center. You, and you alone, are in control of who – and what – goes on your flight.
It all adds up to making private air travel a smart move for today’s savvy businesses!