Business travel has traditionally been defined by a professional traveling to meetings out of town via rental car or boarding a commercial plane traversing and oftentimes needing additional services such as a rental vehicle or a hotel room.
Companies are now looking to private jets to cart professionals from city-to-city to keep business in operation.
“There is a misconception that private air travel is mostly used by CEOs. Businesses rely on middle management to travel and make face-to-face contact with clients to build business,” said Bart Giesler, a spokesperson for the Aviation Association of Indiana.
For businesses that aren’t yet convinced, Jet Charters, a company where prospective flyers can research private planes available at charter airports around the world, said there are many reasons to choose private aviation for air travel needs. They believe the benefits of private aviation outweigh those associated with commercial air travel.
One reason is that commercial air travel has become a complicated process. Due to heightened security measures, commercial passengers are often required to arrive several hours prior to their flights. This cuts into personal and business efficiency time – one of business’ most valuable commodities.
A private jet allows travelers a non-stop, direct route to travel destinations and gives them the opportunity to work aboard the plane without many distractions.
Jet Charters said private aviation also offers businesses flexibility, helps boost business relationships and contributes to the local economy.
“Not only does business aviation create jobs for more than 1.2 million people, it also contributes $150 billion to our national economic output,” said Jet Charters.
Private air travel has only gotten more accessible through the years including in Central Indiana. There are various airport locations including Eagle Creek Airpark, the Indianapolis International Airport and Mount Comfort airport.
There are also private plane companies sprouting up across the U.S. that are framing their business like Uber, a taxi, private car or ride-share program easily accessed from one’s mobile phone, or offering “subscriptions.”
This summer, Beacon began a subscription service for private planes on the East Coast. Wheels Up recently developed a ride-sharing app that allows members to hitch rides and split costs on planes. The corporate rate to join is $29,500 with annual dues of $14,500 for unlimited flights. Cities included in the Wheels Up subscription include Miami, Boston and Philadelphia.
Matt Morchower, president of ClipperJet, said despite steep fees, the company is targeting more than the wealthiest of executives.
JetMe, reminiscent of Priceline, targets the everyman and says they are a membership-free name-your-price private jet brokering service empowering anyone with Internet access the ability to fly like a rockstar for just a fraction more than flying first class.
JetSuite offers seats for about $100 per person.
“(Private jet travel) allows my team to travel from office to office and be home for dinner that evening,” said Craig Cortamanche in a previous interview.