Frequent travelers know that they can log solid productivity hours when they log distraction-free flight hours. Delays, crowding, constant cancellations, and the unpredictability of modern commercial air travel make it impossible to alchemize travel time into useful time. That’s why so many executives and CEOs are feeling the strain of economy-driven cuts that are putting the brakes on private jet travel.
“The catalysts for this change have come in the forms of sagging stock and bond markets, inflation, rising interest rates, reduced virus anxiety and the looming threat of a recession,” suggests a Forbes report looking at the sliding popularity of private jets.
Corporations and high-net-worth individuals are scrambling for ways to reduce expenses and tighten balance sheets. The ongoing costs of private aviation ownership make scrapping the company jet an obvious choice. Of course, eagerness to cut costs from the ledger doesn’t necessarily translate to an eagerness to give up the freedom and flexibility of private jet ownership. As a result, former devotees of private aviation are now getting creative when it comes to cutting costs while preserving some of the perks of skipping the check-in line.
For many, the obvious choice is to wean off of private jet ownership by switching to charter flights. However, the limitations of standard charters can quickly erode the benefits for people who are used to traveling with complete freedom and control. It’s not just about a charter flight feeling like a “step down” from fully private travel. Charter companies can’t guarantee that customers will have access to the same aircraft each time they fly. The same dedicated crew certainly cannot be guaranteed. That means that a consistent experience remains elusive. Pricing transparency can also feel elusive with charter companies.
Four Corners Aviation provides an antidote to the restrictions and unpredictability of charter flights by offering a guarantee of the same aircraft and crew with price transparency for every flight through its Freedom Program. Four Corners uses a unique model that releases the capital tied up in an aircraft or fleet purchase by purchasing aircraft at market value. Four Corners then takes over aircraft management, crew management, and flight operations. While clients are able to push the hassles and costs of owning an aircraft from their balance sheets, they retain the predictability of committing to a single aircraft and crew. The Four Corners Freedom Program also guarantees aircraft and crew availability using fixed monthly costs and hourly rates.
“No other provider offers a similar program whereby they purchase the aircraft outright and take over all management,” shares Vincent Kavanagh, Executive Vice-President and Head of Sales for Four Corners Aviation. “We take away the cost of capital and the significant cost of depreciation that an owner/fractional owner will incur and cannot scale or forecast.”
The experience is nothing like being tangled up in a lease. The Freedom Program operates like a service agreement with guaranteed availability that enables customers to remove exposure on balance sheets by converting personal aviation costs to monthly costs spread over a five-year period.
What does it all mean for the future of private air travel? While the private jet may need to go, the fully private experience doesn’t need to do the same. Four Corners Aviation shifts a jet to its own balance sheet. However, the ability to fly on demand with the same aircraft and crew remains an irreplaceable asset for the customer.
The future of corporate travelers looks a lot like owning the travel experience without owning the plane.