Snapshot Into the World of Corporate Jet Travel
Want to know where business is flying higher or taking a dive? Check out the type of companies logging more or fewer hours flying corporate jets.
A new report by JSSI, a company that provides support and services for more than 1,800 corporate jets, gives insight into what types of companies have been flying business jets and where they're flying.
"What we're seeing is people are flying internationally more, going into new markets, developing markets. However the industry as a whole is still somewhat down, about 5 percent compared to 2012," said Neil Book, CEO of JSSI. "
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"It tells me people are being a little more judicious about how and when they fly. The guy who used to fly 600 hours a year is now flying 500 hours."
Autos and Transports Seek New Markets
JSSI data for the first quarter shows transportation related companies flew 117 percent more hours than in the same quarter last year. Meanwhile automotive companies logged 60 percent more hours in business jets.
By comparison, healthcare (down 27 percent), consumer goods (down 33 percent) and business services (down 16 percent) all showed a decline in the number of hours flown.
And while Wall Street had a solid 2012, financial service firms cut back on their use of private jets.
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"We've seen the banking sector and financial services sector come back since the recession, but we're still seeing some hesitation to fly at the levels they were pre-recession," said Book.
Bigger Jets to Newer Destinations
While the use of business jets remains 10 percent below the pre-recession flight hours, JSSI is noticing companies changing how they use corporate planes.
Increasingly, they are putting a more executives on larger corporate jets to make trips to developing markets.
"There is certainly demand for larger cabin aircraft, especially in some of the emerging markets," said Book. "They've got the range to take more people and go a further distance."
Book added companies are taking more flights and more time spent in developing markets of Eastern Europe and Russia.
Biz Jet Stigma Still Lingers
Admittedly, the JSSI data is merely a snapshot into the world of business jet use. Some of the data seems counter the perception of business picking up in certain sectors.
For example, first quarter flight hours for real estate and construction dropped 19 percent and 13 percent respectively. By comparison both sectors clocked at least 20 percent more time in corporate jets last year.
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One perception that has been slow to change is the stigma that surrounds the use of corporate jets.
During the recession, many companies were criticized for having a private plane or even a fleet of planes. It forced some, like the Ford Motor Company, to sell its jets in a scramble to save cash.
While balance sheets have improved, some executives and companies remain reluctant to talk about how much they are flying the corporate jet.
"I think the stigma has not gone away," said Book. "The public perception and attitude toward business aviation is getting slightly better, but we still see a hesitation by our customers to talk about flying and talk about taking their business jet."
—By CNBC's Phil LeBeau; Follow him on Twitter: