Many insiders in the general aviation industry are pondering whether the fateful trip of three CEOs from Detroit to Washington late last year will sound the death knell for private jet travel. Jim Schuster, chief executive of Hawker Beechcraft, says in regards to that trip, "I sat back in my chair and put my hands over my eyes and said, 'Oh, why did they do that? It was terrible, terrible judgment on their part, but I don't think they stopped to think for a minute that people were going to react this way."

Even before the public outrage directed towards Rick Wagoner, Bob Nardelli and Alan Mulally and their flight to visit Congress hoping for a bailout, the sinking global economy was hurting the sales of business aicraft; but afterwards, the industry really tanked, which is a shame. There really are instances when business jet travel makes plenty of sense, such as when traveling to a small market that's not served by commercial airlines or when shuttling dozens of people at a time. The trick, apparently, is knowing when to use private jets and when to leave them docked at the airport – a trick that some execs had obviously failed to learn.

[Source: New York Times]