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Corporate travel policies remain a barrier for bizav
2015-07-20 15:46:16   Source:www.zgtyfly.com   comment 0
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Core tip:Airlineshavebeenfallingalloverthemselvestoimprovethepremiumtraveler’sexperience,but,accordingto KathrynCreedy,thebillionsofdollarsspentfallsfarshortofwhatthediscerningtravelerislookingfor. Infact,whatUSairlineshavedoneisnothingcomparedtothe

Airlines have been falling all over themselves to improve the premium traveler’s experience, but, according to Kathryn Creedy, the billions of dollars spent falls far short of what the discerning traveler is looking for. In fact, what US airlines have done is nothing compared to the offerings of the Big Three Middle Eastern carriers – Emirates, Etihad and Qatar – or the premium service offered by Singapore and Cathay Pacific.

Those who travel in the Middle East and Asia already know the problem and, because of that, more traffic could be driven to business aviation. A survey of some of the new business aviation models reveals that 50% to 60% of all passengers on these new models are new to business aviation, substantially expanding the market far beyond what the traditional business aviation model could deliver.

Part of the problem is the abandonment of many points that were once the bread and butter of the regional airline industry. Another factor is the fact that 20% of all airline flights fail to arrive or depart on time – a failure rate that would ruin any other industry. Still worse are the airport hassles, including connection times that are growing worse now that airlines are rebanking flights that will further exacerbate the delays and cancellations that already plague many major airports.

The last time airlines banked their flights, the business aviation side of the premium travel market rose from 16% of all premium trips to 41%, according to Stanford Transportation Group in a study published at the top of the last business cycle in 2008. This business cycle promises to be just as bad – meaning new opportunities for business aviation.

Give them what they need

Airlines are very aware that their most premium passengers need something different. Thus the reason Delta Air Lines, Qatar and Lufthansa are offering their own business aviation services.Lufthansa partners with NetJets, while Delta rebranded its 30-year-old business aviation operation in 2010 to Delta Private Jets. Business has been so good that DPJ has nearly doubled its fleet to 61 aircraft, making it the third largest Part 135 operator in the US.

The growing popularity of the new business models is owing to the fact that former airline executives are creating and running them, blending their expertise of what airline business travelers want and offering it in the on-demand environment.

Break the barrier

But there is a barrier business aviation operators must overcome: corporate travel policies. The fact that use of these new business aviation models is drawing new users means this barrier may be falling, at least for the C-Suite, but it is the use of business aviation that is most important for middle level managers. Anecdotal evidence from large bizav users such asRockwell Collins shows that the CEO uses its business aircraft only 10% to 15% of the time, while customer service and sales personnel use it to increase business and provide service to clients, especially those in off-the-airline-network map. It is these mid-level managers that are trapped by corporate travel policies.

Numerous studies show that robust use of business aviation is good for the bottom line, and it is up to business aviation executives to reach out to corporate executives – travel managers and chief financial officers – to help make the connection between business aviation travel and a robust bottom line. (Fly-Corporate)

 


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