We live in an age of increasing urgency and complexity. Significant business decisions are made in the blink of an eye. An error of judgment can cost major contracts, risking thousands of jobs or millions in tax liabilities.
The business world is driven by people, even the largest and most successful companies will rely on the skills, experience and instincts of key executives. Technology has created great efficiencies in business, but physical presence is an absolute requirement to move a business forward.
If speed, accuracy of timing and delivery are the key objectives, a chartered aircraft will often be the best option, particularly if the two ends of the journey are not close to major airports, or if more than one destination is on the itinerary. Aircraft charter provides a fantastic ability to move quickly, discreetly and flexibly. Flying in a chartered aircraft has nothing to do with fat-cat luxury or ostentation – it’s about time efficiency, not simply cost.
In terms of cost, it is clearly cheaper to fly on easyJet from one major destination to another. However, the cost to the business could be radically different. A business might have a key contract worth £50 million in revenue each year. That equates to nearly £6,000 per hour.
Problems with the operation of that contract may require an executive to visit three destinations, perhaps Milan, Florence and Valletta, on the same day. The contract might be time critical; failure to resolve the issue on the day could lose the contract and also lead to a claim for breach of obligations. A major contract failure could cause significant reputational harm and damage that could take years to recover.
That trip would not be logistically possible on scheduled airlines. It is only possible on a chartered aircraft with the help of specialist advice, such as that provided by a BACA-member broker.
Aviation is heavily regulated because safety is the number-one priority for any legitimate operator of aircraft. Specialist brokers will know and work with the best operators, carefully planning any proposed itinerary. They will work hard to ensure they meet timings, match the best aircraft to the routes and be there to help if something unforeseen occurs, such as a last-minute change of schedule.
BACA: The Air Charter Association is a global air charter broker association that requires its members to follow a code of conduct and rules, and to adhere to the highest standards of market conduct. The BACA logo indicates that brokers and operators are members of the association and are bound to meet those standards in pursuit of excellent customer service.
There are a host of other reasons to use chartered aircraft. These include: chartered aircraft are discreet and, contrary to what some might think, a low-profile way to travel; there are thousands of airfields worldwide and dozens of aircraft types available for charter, allowing the broker to plot a more efficient route to save time and increase efficiency; the time from crossing the airport threshold at the start of the journey and leaving it at the end can be massively reduced – in many airports, a car can drive straight up to the door of the aircraft and another be waiting at the other end; helicopter transfers can be arranged to depart directly from the arriving aircraft and transport the travelling customer to their final destination; and many aircraft have the latest technology on board, allowing the executive to work efficiently and confidentially while in the air.
In summary, jet charter is cost effective, efficient and flexible, provided it is carefully planned and sourced. There should be plenty of time to draft and send that key message to the business traveller’s customer to let them know everything will be OK. In fact, it might be possible to send it from the aircraft on the way home.
Article first published in Aviation for Business, Raconteur, April 2017