Corporate Jets, Capitalist Excess, and Airline Delays

I have been interested in corporate jets as an exemplar of capitalist excess. Here is an article describing how corporate jets contribute to airline delays. Here is the punch line:

“The users of corporate jets defend this practice, saying they deserve equal takeoff rights. “On a business flight, you might have people going to Wall Street from companies who are creating jobs and generating billions of dollars in commerce,” Mr. Brown says. “People on a commercial flight might be going on vacation or going to New York to go to the theater”.”

Did you know before that private equity companies and hedge funds are intent on creating jobs? Which of their takeovers bulked up their labor force? In my ignorance, I though that they tended to lay off workers to increase profits.

Here are some notes from the article:

Schwartz, Nelson D. 2007. “It’s Bird Eat Bird in a Cluttered Sky.” New York Times (26 August).

“The summer travel season is building toward its Labor Day peak, and fliers are growing ever angrier about delays.”

“Now, the beleaguered airline industry … has charged that has charged that the explosive growth of corporate jets is the real culprit.”

“The vast majority of delays are caused by weather,” says Steve Brown, senior vice president for operations at the National Business Aviation Association, a group representing owners of private business aircraft. “The airlines have overscheduled everything so if the smallest weather pattern develops, you have cascading delays all day long.”

“Corporate jets may be smaller, but they still take up space,” says Steve Danishek, an independent travel industry consultant based in Seattle. “There’s just a finite number of slots, and we have no wiggle room left.”

“First come, first served is the model we use to operate the aviation system,” says Laura Brown, a spokeswoman for the F.A.A.

“The users of corporate jets defend this practice, saying they deserve equal takeoff rights. “On a business flight, you might have people going to Wall Street from companies who are creating jobs and generating billions of dollars in commerce,” Mr. Brown says. “People on a commercial flight might be going on vacation or going to New York to go to the theater”.”

“To stoke populist outrage, the airline lobby has designed an online calculator that lets travelers compare fees. For example, a Boeing 737 flying from New York to Chicago pays $1,356 to the F.A.A.’s Airport and Airway Trust Fund, while a top-of-the-line Gulfstream contributes $161.”

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