Bizav Must Portray Right Image, Stand Firm in Fight

 - May 13, 2009, 5:25 AM

It is the perception of business aviation as a luxurious form of travel that has put a target on the industry’s back, EBAA chairman Brian Humphries said today at an EBACE luncheon. “I’m not sure flutes of champagne and luxurious interiors are what we want to be portraying right now,” he said. “[Magazine advertisements] should show people getting ready for the meeting they are traveling to, hunched over laptops working.” And while politicians are starting to get the message that the industry contributes substantially to the economy and provides jobs to tens of thousands of highly skilled workers, Humphries said, the media still appears to be on the attack. At the same gathering, GAMA chairman Pete Bunce urged aircraft operators to put up a strong defense of their use of business aircraft when they come under the microscope of public scrutiny. “If the Detroit auto CEOs would have just said something, or Citibank would have said something, this all would have blown over,” he said. “A story that lasted all of 30 seconds was J.P. Morgan,” which defended its order of two Gulfstream G650s by saying the jets would help it compete globally and promising not to take delivery until it had paid back federal bailout funds. The media latched onto the story but backed off when J.P. Morgan took a stand. “They did it right,” Bunce said.