Responsible users of business jets
f you go to one of the major OEM’s website you can sign up to receive emails from their ‘Business Benefits Series,’ which promises “stories about how responsible owners and operators use their aircraft.”
We all know exactly why they are doing this (automakers flying to Washington, Obama’s speech mentioning business jets six times, etc), but maybe now the industry should start loosening up a little.
The NBAA’s No Plane, No Gain campaign makes a lot of sense. We do, however, need to make sure that the glamour and fun does not leave the industry. The super yacht industry (which clearly could not claim to be selling business tools) has instead highlighted the number of skilled craftsman it employs. This is also true for aircraft.
As well as brilliant technical brains, a finished aircraft requires skilled upholsters, tanners, carpenters, leatherworkers and other people with jobs that would have allowed them to join a Medieval Guild. Gulfstream alone employs 290 carpenters and around 100 upholsterers and seat experts.
“We have people that can paint carbon fibre to look exactly like marble,” says Richard Ganao, CEO of Comlux, a VIP aircraft completions company. “Only someone who is a true craftsman and loves what they are doing can do that.”
A jet can be a fantastic business tool or it can be a luxury product. It can even be both at the same time. It is up to the owner to decide what they want it to be. If they want to be irresponsible let them. And I would love to sign up to that email too.