Forbes Article Shines A Spotlight On The Positives of Business Aviation


Bucking the prevailing trend that characterizes general aviation as “luxury jets” that are no more than play toys of the economic elite, Forbes Magazine recently published an article titled, “What You Didn’t Know About Private Jets.” Cribbing heavily from statistics published in the National Business Aviation Association’s updated 2021 Business Aviation Fact Book, Forbes contributor Doug Gollan opines of private flying, “The core of the industry has little to do with the clinking of champagne flutes.”

He then pours on the NBAA talking points:

“80 percent of business airplane flights are to and from small communities, with 42 percent into communities with no or infrequent [airline] service—over 5,000 airports just in the U.S., compared to under 500 served by the airlines.

“[Despite the predominant image of the ‘corporate fleet’] 75 percent of companies that use business aircraft have only one airplane.

“Perhaps most surprising is that private jets are not merely a chariot for the CEO. Some 86 percent of flights carry technical, engineering, marketing, sales, middle management personnel, and customers.” And that system seems to work for the bottom line. “Virtually all (98 percent) of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies use business aviation. S&P companies that use business aviation outperform those that don’t by 70 percent and private aviation users outsell non-users by 23 percent.”

Forbes also points out that nearly half of all the companies that use private aviation are not mega-corporations, but businesses that have fewer than 500 employees. “Eighty percent of the 17,000 business aircraft registered in the U.S. have cabins the size of an SUV,” wrote Gollan.

And in addition to leading the pack in green, sustainable fuels, business aviation gives back and “pays it forward,” says Forbes. “Private jets are often first responders in a crisis with 38 percent of pilots saying they flew humanitarian missions in the past year.”

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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    • Certainly popular, voters are fools.

      Listen to federal NDP leader Sing and to Bernie in the US with their explicitly Marxist promises.

      They come from the fixed-pie and drive-to-bottom presumptions of Karl Marx, who denied what makes aviation – the human mind.

      The Karl Marx who lived in London on his fathers’ money, having escaped from Germany after advocating violent revolution.

      The Marxism that never feeds people. Yet look at the beliefs of climate catastrophists and you’ll typically see Marxist economic beliefs – their psychology is against humans.

  1. Indeed, I saw examples:
    – BC Tel had a Citation IIRC, on a milk run around the province, would head out at 7am northbound with spare parts and pax, dropping off and picking up northbound, getting back to YVR in early evening. Pax were typically specialists, even accounting people.
    – BC Hydro did similar around BC out of YVR, using an MU-2.
    – GTE Northwest operated a turboprop out of PAE, similar activity.
    – I read that Generous Motors operated turboprops such as CV580 carrying priority parts and people among its plants in the US Midwest and Ontario-Quebec.
    – I read that WasMart had a fleet of various aircraft to visit stores, had few people in head office in Bentonville, most typical HQ functions were performed by people in stores.

    Turboprops typically being more useful because utility operations and WasMart stores were often in small towns or settlements. (Which for a utility might be not much more than people working at a power plant or substation. BC Hydro of course has the huge power dam at Hudson’s Hope. Most of BC is mountainous so pressurization is very desirable.)

  2. Good information. Unfortunately not many “ordinary” people read Forbes, so it is kind of preaching to the choir. When I was working, I flew my Cardinal on business trips and saved many hours of pounding the highways. Good for me and the company.