Hawker Beechcraft Joins Biz Defense

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Hawker Beechcraft has launched an ad campaign promoting business aviation but it's taken a different tack from Cessna's challenge to CEOs to keep their jets. Instead, Hawker Beechcraft is recommending CEOs to ditch their jets—and buy a King Air. "If the three Detroit CEOs had arrived in Washington in the Beechcraft King Air 350, they might have received a warmer reception from their legislative hosts," the company says in a cheeky reference to the incident that started the latest backlash against the use of business aircraft. Beech isn't afraid to name names in its comparison of the King Air's speed and fuel efficiency in comparison to the jets used by the CEOs and also claims the latest incarnation of the venerable turboprop is the "world's greenest and highly efficient aircraft."

Hawker Beechcraft's ad campaign comes literally a few hours after Cessna launched a controversial series of ads that directly challenged the perceptions of business aircraft as luxurious perks. Hawker Beechcraft is taking a lighter tone but its message isn't much different. "We are having a little fun with the Detroit CEOs in this advertisement," said Charles Mayer, Hawker Beech's vice president of marketing. "More importantly, this is an opportunity to show a sensible way for this type of business travel and the value of the aircraft manufacturing industry. Our industry not only offers valuable business tools that dramatically increase efficiency, it also contributes $150 billion annually to the U.S. economy and employs more than one million Americans."