Business aviation, put simply, is the use of an aircraft for business purposes. This segment of aviation consists of professionals, entrepreneurs, companies, organizations and private entities that rely on various types of aircraft to conduct business dealings, 85% of whom are small and medium enterprises. This segment also caters to individuals who prefer private flying for travel and leisure. It falls under “general aviation,” which is defined by the Federal Aviation Administration as flights that are not operated by commercial airlines or the military.
Business aviation makes up 60% of general aviation and the types of aircraft that its constituents use range from small, single-pilot helicopters to turbojet aircrafts that can fly overseas, from a humble Cessna 172 to the mighty BBJ.
In the Middle East, business aviation continues to grow as the demand for efficient, flexible, and reliable modes of transportation continues to rise, as more and more businesses start to expand their presence and venture into new markets. It is estimated that by 2020, business aviation will be worth US$1 billion in the region.
Companies who are utilizing business aviation for their many different tasks, projects and missions have to take into consideration a number of vital factors before they charter their own aircrafts. These factors include the following, among others:
● Frequency of use of these aircrafts and how they can be maximized
● Destinations that need to be covered
● Number of employees that need the service
● The need to move special equipment or confidential articles
● Number of sites to be visited in a given day
Businesses take advantage of the use of small aircrafts in order to reach destinations that are not accessible by commercial flights. Many companies rely on private jets when transporting their employees, especially key executives who are expected to nimbly go from one site to another in order to grab the opportunities that present themselves spontaneously.
Business aviation has become a crucial tool among many Middle Eastern companies—a result of globalization and the region’s ardent push for industrialization. For example, a firm headquartered in Dubai who wants to expand its reach to its neighboring countries could highly benefit from having their own private jet to ferry themselves to and from new target locations. It not only saves the company a lot of time and money, it also gives the impression that the company is reliable and dependable.
For most companies, business aviation has proven to be a highly efficient productivity tool and not just a transportation option for executives. Top-level executives and business owners, when travelling via their own aircraft, can use the time to work in route, and private planes serve as a safe venue to commune within confidential confines and discuss proprietary information with utmost privacy.