Granted, the use of conference calls, webinars and the Internet have reduced the need for short-haul business travel, certain issues still require face-to-face interaction and a handshake. But with Europe’s urban areas becoming increasingly crowded, even getting to a business meeting on the opposite side of the city can consume an entire day. And trying to get to a factory on the outskirts of a city can quickly become a ‘mission impossible’.
Just as many business leaders in South American cities have already learned, business helicopters are an ideal way of zipping across a city for a meeting or site visit.
According to the EHA, the helicopter is an environmentally acceptable and viable economic
multiplier and, thanks to new safety measures, is a safe form of business transportation.
Knowing this, the European Helicopter Association (EHA), the voice of the European rotorcraft industry, is actively promoting the many advantages of the business helicopter.
According to the EHA, the helicopter is an environmentally acceptable and viable economic multiplier and, thanks to new safety measures, is a safe form of business transportation.
Finding the right option for your business needs
One solution, if you can afford it, is to own a twin-engine 10-12 seat helicopter, with its internal trappings reflecting your social and business status. Unless required daily, such an investment could well be a drain on your resources, militating against both operational efficiency and cost effectiveness. Most Fortune-500 companies own a fleet of aircraft, both fixed and rotary-wing. They invariably own two (or more) helicopters, one large and one small and use them regularly.
Smaller companies often own a three to six-seat helicopter. However, such a scheme is not without its drawbacks. Apart from the monthly rental for dedicated parking space, each trip includes operating and maintenance costs, besides heliport user charges. Like the larger helicopter, every minute that it is not flying adds to your overall costs.
Another available option is to charter a helicopter, although this requires surrendering ownership and thus control.
A unique concept gaining ground, particularly for SMEs, is fractional ownership. In fractional ownership, you (or your company) purchase and legally own a fixed share of a helicopter in an aviation company that has, say, 12 to 25 helicopters of various capacities, owned by perhaps 150-200 people. The company then looks after your aircraft and manages everything behind the scenes. You pay your share monthly and every time you fly, you pay a fixed time-based amount towards operating costs. The advantages of this approach are multifold. Helicopter availability is guaranteed 24/7 and, by controlling your own schedule, you save time and increase productivity.
In summary, with business helicopters, a one-day multiple stop trip, including remote locations, can see you meet many people face-to-face for best results, while you return home that very night, achieving a healthier balance between business and personal commitments. And most of all, it is affordable.
By Nick Klenske - FlyCorporate October 29, 2014