Written by Mick Doohan, Authorised Sales Representative, Australia/New Zealand
It is no secret that flying private has its advantages over commercial, but how can a company convince its stakeholders of acquiring and maintaining such a large corporate expense?
In most cases, it comes down to saving time and increasing productivity—two factors that always resonate with a company’s board of directors.
Difficulty in gaining buy-in for a corporate jet can stem from many areas: concern about appearing extravagant, stakeholders objecting to such company spending or potential negative public relations issues, as some corporations have experienced in the past. But the benefits of private aviation in most cases can outweigh such concerns and justify executives flying via the company’s private aircraft as ultimately being a highly beneficial business decision.
By having a business aircraft that executives can use for corporate travel, they can maximize their time, spending less of it getting to their next meeting. An average trip flown on a commercial airline typically can take longer, require multiple stops, be subjected to delays and is not able to provide a secure environment for sensitive business deal conversations or transactions.
Studies have shown that corporate executives tend to be more work-focused on a private aircraft (80% productivity) than on a commercial flight (20-30% productivity). According to No Plane, No Gain, two-thirds of corporate executives who fly by private aircraft say they are more productive when working on a business aircraft compared to working in the office.
It’s True: Time is Money
It is common for corporate executives to travel between the company’s various offices, manufacturing facilities, mining and business locations. Given that the itinerary may require flights at a short notice to international or remote destinations, they must also be executed in the most effective manner while considering time and money.
Commercial airlines utilize just over 70 airports in Australia and New Zealand, but business jets can access a network of more than 700, serving ten times more communities than can be reached by commercial flights. Similar accessibility is also found in the United States, where business aviation utilizes a network of more than 5,000 airports while commercial airlines can access only 550; and in Europe where there are 1,200 airports accessible to business jets, versus 400 for airlines.
Through business aviation, flyers avoid the hassles associated with commercial travel and can schedule the flight to fit their agenda. A 2016 Booz Allen Hamilton and Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt (DLR) study cites further time-saving benefits private aviation offers corporate travelers, which include:
- Average time saved using a private jet versus the fastest commercial alternative is 127 minutes per trip, equaling about two months of time saved per year.
- Business aviation saves on the order of 1,825 days annually from reduced delays, compared to commercial aviation.
- Although certain long-haul flights might be faster with commercial flights, about 20% of business aviation flights are more than five hours faster than the best commercial alternative.
Given such benefits, corporations can make a strong case to procure a business jet, as it can be viewed as a key element to maintaining, growing and efficiently running a business, rather than an extravagant expense.