Business aviation is defined as the use of a general aviation airplane for a business purpose. It is essential to tens of thousands of companies of all types and sizes in the U.S. that are trying to compete in a marketplace that demands speed, flexibility, efficiency and productivity. The vast majority of these companies – 85% – are small and mid-size businesses, many of which are based in the dozens of markets across the country where the airlines have reduced or eliminated service.
A company’s decision to utilize business aviation for any mission depends on a variety of factors, including availability of commercial service in the departing or arrival destinations, the number of sites to be visited in a single day, the number of employees traveling, the need to discuss proprietary matters en route, the need to move specialized equipment and a host of other considerations. The following list details some of the primary reasons companies utilize business aviation as a solution to some of their transportation challenges.
- Accessing communities with little or no airline service.
Business aviation serves ten times the number of communities (more than 5,000 airports) served by commercial airlines (about 500 airports) This means business aviation can allow companies to locate plants or facilities in small towns or rural communities with little or no commercial airline service. Since nearly 100 communities have lost airline service in the past year, this is important.
- Reaching multiple destinations quickly and efficiently.
Companies that need to reach multiple destinations in a single day may elect to use business aviation, because that type of mission could be hard or impossible to complete with other modes of transportation.
- Supporting the travel needs of many types of company employees. An NBAA survey revealed that 72% of passengers aboard business airplanes are non-executive employees. Companies often send teams of employees to a given destination because it is the most cost-effective means of transport.
- Ensuring flexibility.
Business people don’t always know in advance where or when opportunities will present themselves.In today’s business environment, companies need to be nimble enough to move quickly.Business aviation provides flexibility for companies that need to ensure employees can respond to changing demands and circumstances.
- Increasing employee productivity and providing security.
Business aviation is a productivity tool – when traveling aboard business aircraft, employees can meet, plan and work en route. Business aviation also allows employees to discuss proprietary information in a secure environment and without fear of eavesdropping, industrial espionage or physical threat.
- Providing a return to shareholders.
Studies have found that businesses which use business aviation as a solution to some of their transportation challenges return more to shareholders than companies in the same industry that do not utilize business aviation.
Demand for charter flights this month is expected to be up from last year but softer than last month, with the July 1 forward-looking demand index generated by online charter portal Avinode standing at 186.80. This was almost 13 points down from June 1, but still 33 points ahead of where it was 12 months earlier.
For example, the average hourly rate for a Cessna Citation Excel in North America stood at $4,378 on July 1–7.9 percent higher than on March 30 and 4.5 percent above Dec. 30, 2011. By contrast, the average rate paid for a Hawker 800 outside North America increased by just 0.37 percent in the 30 days up to July 1, reaching $5,297.53, which was 2.5 percent below the average rate from three months ago.