When Air Australia grounded all flights last month thousands of passengers were left stranded. Passengers were stuck in Bali, Thailand, Hawaii and all over Australia. The airline went into voluntary administration and had no funds to meet operating expenses. For American travelers, this left many people on the other side of the globe, looking for a long, and costly flight home. Yet for business jet fliers, this isn’t a concern.
Relying on your return flight of a round trip seems easy, but unforeseen economic pressure on a giant corporate air travel company can fall onto the shoulders of those who least expect it - the passengers. If you’ve taken your business half-way around the globe, getting back to home can be of the utmost importance in starting a new initiative or closing a deal. Choosing reliable transportation is essential.
Commercial aviation operates at the whim of airline companies that are typically merged entities which struggled in the competitive marketplace. These mergers are so focused on revenue and survival, that often the customer’s needs are overlooked - or even leave them stranded. On the opposite end of the spectrum, business aviation and aircraft ownership is privatized and even fractional. Investment models in jets ownership and operation rely on it’s ability to service multiple shareholders, with unique air travel demands.
Like the maneuverability of the Hawker 800XP versus a Boeing Dreamliner, the private air charter industry is a nimble enterprise. They operate with a significantly lower overhead, and in some cases parse out aircraft ownership so that there’s a safety net on the operation, ensuring that they will get you to where you need to go and back. Practically, business jets can land in more airports, land and take off to the accuracy of your schedule, and provide auxiliary services like ground transportation and catering. Its apples and oranges.
The private air charter industry is very specialized and extremely client-oriented. When commercial air travel providers ignore their primary customers and investors, an opportunity to provide personal aircraft arrangements to those who are able presents itself. Air charter operators and brokers should pay attention to these signs in the commercial air industry, so we can expand our share of the marketplace and air space.