No Plane, Some Gain?

 - May 6, 2008, 6:21 AM

For years the conventional wisdom has been that to make money, you have to spend money–on facilities, workforce, R&D and, of course, business aircraft to move key personnel quickly to where the opportunities present themselves. Sadly, to make money in not-so-good times you have to save money, and to do that one of the first items to go to the selling block is usually the corporate aircraft. Then, if all works well, the operating funds freed by sale of the aircraft can be reinvested into the company, and the effects of the business crunch ameliorated. All of which is what seems to have happened at Aetna, which is reporting a sharp jump in second-quarter profits. Among several factors cited by the company for its second consecutive profitable quarter in some time was the layoff of some 1,400 employees, or 4 percent of its workforce. Aetna also sold one of its two helicopters and put its corporate jet on the market.