The Seattle Times’ recent article “For Starbucks execs, ‘to go’ may mean a hot corporate jet” [Business / Technology, March 1] unfortunately neglected the most crucial point about why companies make use of their own aircraft.
The truth is that American companies are operating in a fiercely competitive and increasingly global marketplace, and having a business aircraft means the ability to quickly fly nonstop to virtually any destination is the country or the world, as well as reach multiple locations in much shorter periods of time.
Even in the Internet age, face-to-face communication is still the most effective way to open markets and solidify business relationships. That is particularly true in certain emerging markets. And, by necessity, the airplane has become not only a flying office but also sleeping and eating quarters as many trips can often last more than twelve hours and employees are expected to arrive prepared to jump directly into meetings with their counterparts.
For all these reasons, owning and operating a business aircraft is more about competitiveness than mere convenience. In fact, studies have consistently shown that companies that utilize business aircraft outperform those that don’t.
Ed Bolen, president and CEO National Business Aviation Association