BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: Business
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Market Data 
Economy 
Companies 
E-Commerce 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Thursday, 15 November, 2001, 11:58 GMT
Business demand for air taxis
Citation aircraft
Air taxis offer a cost-effective method of transport
The BBC's World Business Report's Alex Ritson looks at how private aircraft charter firms are benefiting from the troubles afflicting the aviation industry.

It is no secret that the aviation industry is in crisis.

Many airlines were in trouble even before the attacks on the United States.

Flight schedules have been cut and thousands of staff laid off.

But business people still need to travel and private aircraft charter firms are reaping the benefits by offering services that are in some cases cheaper then ordinary flights.

'Viable alternatives'

There are two reasons why people have not used air taxis much in the past, according to Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, chief executive of the small charter firm, London Executive Aviation.

"Firstly, there is lack of knowledge - people have not thought about air taxis as an option," he said.

"Secondly is perception - September 11 has acted as a catalyst and people are looking for viable alternatives."

There are also other benefits, such as less formal pre-flight checks, which could be very attractive to some business travellers.

Financial Sense

Jennifer Palmer of the US-wide private charter website, Skyjet.com, says, "Private jets can be a very practical business tool, it's not just about luxury."

"The cost of taking six or seven people on a small business jet can be less than the full fare paid with a larger airline."

For example, a business class day return from London to Frankfurt with a regular scheduled airline for six people would cost $4,600.

The same journey for six in a private turboprop would cost barely $3,500.

Privacy

Mr Margetson-Rushmore said his customers appreciate other advantages, such as privacy.

"Once they are on the aircraft they can hold meetings and talk about company business," he said.

"There is also security and flexibility - you can delay or advance your time of departure."

Getting cheaper

But if you are still worried about justifying the cost to shareholders, private charter could be about to get cheaper.

Northern Ireland-based inventor Ajoy Kundu has designed a new type of small aircraft, and is currently looking for financial backers.

These smaller air companies could remain attractive until customers decide it is time for them to start travelling with the larger airlines again.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Alex Ritson
"Private charter could be about to get cheaper"
See also:

12 Nov 01 | Business
BAA sees no pick-up in air users
13 Nov 01 | Business
Further blow to troubled airlines
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories