“With the economy the way it is and with key markets as flat as they are, now is the perfect time to own or use business aircraft.”
That statement was made on Jan. 12 by Brian Humphries, president of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), in a strongly-worded letter to European news media which, like U.S. politicians and media, have taken a populist stance against business aviation.
“The general consensus among the less informed…is that aircraft are merely perks for overpaid, undeserving CEOs,” Humphries wrote. “Little is written about the fact that most business aircraft are undeniably the best, often the only, way for executives to maximize their productivity; to attend multiple meetings at multiple destinations within one or two days, to get contracts signed and develop new business.
“Such destinations often are not adequately served by airlines, and seldom with schedules in line with business needs,” he explained.
Humphries stated that this is the perfect time to use business aviation, “Because with a faltering economy and diminishing business confidence, now is the time to re-establish the business by getting out and seeking new clients and deals, and servicing the customer base more proactively and efficiently.”
Humphries, a former multinational corporation’s CEO, sees the current recession as, “ironically enough, a foundation for future growth…this is the time to promote aggressively services and products, to increase profile, to cement reputations and increase market share in a diminishing marketplace.”
Short-sighted competitors, he said, “will be doing quite the opposite – cutting marketing budgets, depleting the workforce and cutting corners – in a vain attempt to rescue the bottom line.”
Humphries advised marketing teams, sales staff, researchers, engineers, company leaders and “any other employees who can help the business” to “use your company-owned or chartered business aircraft to re-ignite markets and pilot business and the economy out of recession.”
In a final comment to editors and their readers, he advised: “Don’t damn them as luxuries. Use them as the essential tools they are to re-establish business and build the foundations of recovery.”