Even in these difficult economic times, companies are still seeing value in business aviation and are looking to increase business jet travel in 2010.
The time-saving convenience of a private jet remains a prized competitive edge, according to a new international survey of business jet passengers and bookers, undertaken by London Executive Aviation (‘LEA’).
George Galanopoulos, managing director of LEA, says: “The results of the survey clearly show that even when cost-cutting is a priority, successful companies still understand the long-term benefits of business jet travel.” More than half of the respondents (55%) expect to book more business jet flights in 2010 than 2009. “They know that cutting back would be a false economy. Equally, we can see the predicted rise in business jet travel – predicted not by industry analysts but by actual passengers and bookers – as an encouraging sign of a wider economic confidence, particularly in the UK.” Just over 75% of respondents to the survey were UK-based.
LEA chief executive Patrick Margetson-Rushmore adds: “I think the survey proves that business jets represent a commercial advantage, not a luxury. The predicted increase might well indicate that some companies that instinctively cut back on jet travel in late 2008 and 2009, perhaps afraid of appearing profligate, are now realising the error of their ways. Exactly 30% of our respondents, based on their experiences, believe reducing business jet travel in a recession is immediately damaging to business prospects. While we know that many members of the public and media perceive business jet aviation to be an unnecessary luxury, the reality is clearly different. Successful companies, and their top executives, are not in the habit of wasting money.”
The survey shows that business jets are not seen by companies as merely occasional requirements for exceptional projects. In fact, a majority of respondents (34.5%) said they most commonly expect to book jets for routine business operations in 2010, ahead of rarer demands like acquisitions and corporate activities (21.8%) or investor meetings (14.5%).
The ‘LEA Business Travel Survey 2010’ was carried out in January and February 2010, through an online poll of business jet passengers, brokers, tour managers, personal assistants and corporate travel procurement executives.