The recent rash of airline travel horror stories in the news “won’t result in a big flood of business for private aviation, but it does strengthen the overall business proposition,” according to aviation analyst Brian Foley. “Well-heeled travelers have the choice to skip the experience altogether and fly privately, but at a cost premium. The question is whether these high profile incidents will be enough to cause an exodus to private aviation.”
Business aviation proponents have long touted the convenience, privacy and time savings of flying privately, while the commercial flying misery index has continuously risen. “Private fliers don’t have to remove their shoes and belts, and the airplane waits for them before departing,” he pointed out.
However, those benefits come at a financial premium. “One has to weigh the $350 round-trip airline ticket against a private flight that can easily run five figures,” Foley said. “For some that’s not an issue, and they can see the value. Others may still consider it an extravagance.”
The recent airline/passenger incidents “will cause a few to explore their options and leave the airlines, and [the incidents] support the decision made by those who already use private aviation,” he noted. “In any event, the airlines have become business aviation’s 24/7 salesforce.”