GEBTA: Business Aviation, falling back in love with flying

Gerardo Manzano (eng)

It may seem impossible nowadays, but just a few decades ago airports used to be glamorous places for the selected few, where every process was designed with the travellers' comfort in mind. The aircraft may have been noisier and more polluting, but they represented a symbol of good manners and elegance.

Things have changed radically over the last few years, with current trends leading to the mass-use of air travel: more airports, more aircraft and more seats on board. The growth of low cost carriers has made it possible for us to develop unrealistically low price expectations, where a 3-hour flight may turn out to be cheaper than the taxi ride to the airport.

Airports themselves have turned into massive ant-nests stuffed with people, with increasing restrictions, regulations, safety&security checks. Not only are these changes making us waste time, they are making us forget about the thrill of travelling.

Am I the only one who is feeling every time less inclined to travel by air? Am I wrong in thinking that we have traded comfort for excessively low prices that are in fact endangering the routes, the frequencies or even the very existence of the airlines we fly?

Luckily, there are still alternatives to this. The world of business aviation is a universe with clearly-defined advantages, where service and attention to passengers' needs are still key factors. A world where the schedule of your flight is decided by your agenda, not the available airfare, and where you can choose which airport to fly into according to your convenience, and not according to the policies of the local government.

Chartering a private flight is no longer extravagant: it is an affordable solution that enables frequent flyers who normally travel in so-called Business Class cabins to stop wasting precious time, which is more valuable than money saved through discounted airfares. A private charter flight allows us to become the leading actor in our trip and optimize our time.

It looks as if business jets are the only option to once again enjoy business trips, a solution whose cost is entirely justified by avoiding all of those inconveniences that modern air travel has forced us to get accustomed to.