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NBAA, NATA Debunk Bloomberg’s Caricature of COVID Impact on Business

"Your Recent Story Promotes An Unfortunate Caricature Of Business Aviation"

A recent Bloomberg article missed the astounding impact of the Covid-19 crisis on charter operations, and the citizens, companies and communities relying on this American industry, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen and NATA President and CEO Tim Obitts told the publisher in a letter to the editor.

"'...in this Covid-19 moment, companies have widely halted business travel, causing charter flights to fall so dramatically that air-taxi providers have requested aid for the same reason countless other small businesses have taken the same step: to keep employees on the job. It’s too bad those employees — line workers, pilots, maintenance specialists, facility managers, customer-service representatives and others — didn’t warrant your attention,' they wrote."

From the letter: May 19, 2020
Re Ryan Beene and Saleha Moshin’s story, “Luxury Jets in Florida, Sea Planes in Alaska Get Virus Aid” (May 13):

"Your recent story promotes an unfortunate caricature of business aviation, including charter companies, while missing the astounding impact of the Covid-19 crisis on charter operations, and the citizens, companies and communities relying on this American industry.

First, your description of charter companies failed to note that most of them are small enterprises employing about 20 people and offering one or two aircraft for hire. Charter customers rely on the aircraft to boost employee efficiency, productivity and scheduling flexibility.

However, in this Covid-19 moment, companies have widely halted business travel, causing charter flights to fall so dramatically that air-taxi providers have requested aid for the same reason countless other small businesses have taken the same step: to keep employees on the job. It’s too bad those employees — line workers, pilots, maintenance specialists, facility managers, customer-service representatives and others — didn’t warrant your attention.

Also unmentioned were the critical missions these on-demand aircraft providers support, as part of an industry that generates more than 1 million jobs and $247 billion in economic activity. Charter businesses are spread across all 50 states, helping connect companies and communities. That’s especially critical during this crisis, in which charter aircraft are flying medicines, specimens and testing supplies, medical personnel and patients in need of specialized care (including patients with compromised immune systems), repatriation flights and other critical missions.

As we emerge from this crisis, mobility will be essential to restoring our economy, and charter companies will play a vital transportation role. Instead of focusing on sizzle in describing these companies, let’s provide the substance about their importance."

  • Ed Bolen; President and CEO
    • National Business Aviation Association
  • Tim Obitts; President and CEO
    • National Air Transportation Association
FMI: www.nbaa.org. www.nata.aero

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