““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
A Message from BJT's managing director
The new year brings with it some good news for all of us in the business aviation arena.
As entrepreneurs and CEOs, we're all seeing renewed confidence in the general economy. If you are at all like me, you have a sense that the worst is behind us. We may not experience rocket-ship growth over the next few years, but give me 2-, 3- or 5-percent growth per year versus what we have gone through the last 24 months and I'll be happy.
The good news for our industry is that business aircraft are flying again. This statement is not based on anecdotal reports but on hard data (derived from fuel-sale figures) about overall hours flown. Charter hours are up, and overall movements were up significantly in 2010 versus 2009. We predict a continuing increase in total hours flown during 2011 and beyond. As we all know, economic recovery and aircraft usage walk hand-in-hand.
Another highly positive development is that the negative publicity business jets were receiving in 2009 has subsided. The stigma is gone and it is becoming clear to more and more people that business aircraft allow companies to operate more efficiently and effectively. As we reported in BJT's Bizav Advantage special issue last fall, study after study has proven that corporate aircraft save time and money, boost profits, provide jobs and help move our economy forward.
Speaking of moving forward, we're doing just that here at Business Jet Traveler, where we're pleased to announce some exciting changes to our team.
Jeff Burger, who is being promoted from executive editor, was the natural choice to replace the departing Stephen Pope as Business Jet Traveler's editor. When Jeff joined us in 2004-only months after BJT's launch-he already had 30-plus years of editorial experience. He had been editor in chief of several magazines and a consulting editor at Time Inc.; had written for more than 75 magazines and newspapers; and had spent 14 years in senior editorial positions at Medical Economics, the nation's leading business magazine for physicians.
Jeff has helped BJT to develop into the sophisticated, award-winning publication it is today. In fact, the magazine has just received a coveted FOLIO: Magazine Eddie Award as one of the best travel/transportation business magazines in the country (see page 7). We have won this award twice previously and more than half a dozen other editorial awards as well.
We also have created the position of editorial director, and in many ways the person we selected for this job has been doing it already. For three years, Jennifer English has been the group brand manager of AIN Publications, where she directed the marketing and public relations for our entire family of products. She has always been particularly passionate about Business Jet Traveler and has worked extensively on its marketing, its weekly e-newsletter and its Web site. Jennifer brings a fresh viewpoint to the magazine and you will find her thoughts on this page in our next issue. She will serve as our ambassador/spokesperson at events and is excited about increasing the bandwidth of Business Jet Traveler.
Under the leadership of our corporation's editor-in-chief, Randy Padfield, Jeff and Jennifer will help Business Jet Traveler further our longstanding goal of "maximizing your investment in private air transport."
I think you'll agree that the issue you're holding helps to do just that. In these pages, you'll find detailed aircraft reviews; an in-depth report on the fractional-share business; our annual look at the financing market; and much more about how to get the most out of flying privately. And because life is not all about work, we also offer such features as our "Built for Speed" special section, which covers topics ranging from auto and motorcycle racing to a school where you can learn to drive like the pros.
Happy reading. Happy flying. And happy New Year.