More Airline Troubles -- GA Is The Cause?

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Microjets Seen As New Threat...

When Forbes Magazine this week came up with a David Letterman-style Top Ten list on why U.S. airlines are in trouble, it saved some of the blame for GA. What's more, the sector it singles out doesn't even exist yet. The venerable business journal claims that "a new generation of microjets ... will forever change air travel. Small jet air travel is quickly becoming more affordable, allowing travelers to bypass congested big-city airports." And while such sentiments might be music to the ears of the folks at Eclipse, Adam, Diamond and Cessna, for the majority of us still working on our first million, the harsh realities of the business are perhaps more relevant. Juxtaposed with the Forbes assessment was an ad for Citation Shares, a fractional company (75 percent owned by Cessna) that runs a fleet of Cessna jets. Last summer it unveiled the Vector JetCard, in which customers pay up front for 25 hours of flight time in their choice of a CJ1 ($84,995), Bravo ($99,995) or Excel ($144,995). Federal excise tax pushes the CJ1 price to $91,370 for the 25 hours and comes to $3654.80 an hour. Even if you fill up all five seats all the time it's not likely to give Jet Blue a run for its money.