Here's a story you might expect more from Formula 1 than NASCAR: team owners say that you simply can't be competitive in the sport if you don't have a plane to shuttle your crew around. Rick Hendrick, for instance, has three 50-seat regional jets, Joe Gibbs has another three, and Jack Roush has two Boeing 727s. Meanwhile, Formula 1's Jensen Button and Ross Brawn left the Malaysia after the grand prix on commercial flights.
When the CEOs of the three Detroit based automakers used corporate jets to fly to Washington in late 2008, they were eviscerated by the national media and grandstanding politicians. Within weeks, all three companies had canceled the leases on those aircraft and all future travel by Detroit executives would be happening on commercial aircraft.
Late last year, Rick Wagoner, Bob Nardelli and Alan Mulally each climbed aboard their own company-provided private jets in lieu of commercial flight – or, alternatively, one of their company's own vehicles – to go before Congress and ask for a bailout. In the public eye, at least, that move was – to put it mildly – a mistake.
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
General Motors has an early New Years Resolution: to be more fiscally responsible when it comes to corporate travel. With six short, direct sentences (see official press release after the jump), GM has declared that its Corporate Aviation Operations are to be shuttered. It might not seem like a big deal on the surface, but there are apparently numerous contractual agreements that need to be reworked to make this a reality. First, the jets themselves need to be returned, sold or transferred to an
Bad idea: Detroit 3 CEOs showing up for a Congressional hearing to beg for money in private jets. Good idea: said CEOs showing up at Congress' curb in their respective company's greenest vehicles. Just such a caravan has been proposed by Tim Leuliette, CEO of supplier Dura Automotive Systems Inc., and it's gaining steam. The idea is to highlight how integral the Detroit automakers are to the lives of many who work outside the companies themselves, and to showcase their latest fuel efficient mode
A great deal of fuss has been made over the last week or so about the travel arrangements of the leaders of the Detroit 3 automakers. By now, you're surely aware that Rick Wagoner of General Motors, Alan Mulally at Ford and Bob Nardelli at Chrysler traveled to our nation's capital to discuss Federal loans for their prospective companies in private jets. Yeah, not the smartest way to travel when you are begging for money. So, have you really explored all of your cash-saving options? Perhaps not.
The Flightshare Private Members Guild has been created by Farnborough U.K. based David Lacy, an "aviation veteran of 26 years who was the first to introduce carbon offsets to the European private jet industry last year." Honorable, the idea of reducing the impact that carbon emissions is having on the environment. Now, his new goal with this Guild is to entice jet-setting upper-class customers into sharing their private jet flights. Nice idea, but will it work? Carpooling makes a good deal of se