Dec 30 2015

Corporate Flight Management Ranked Top 25 of US 135 Operators in 2015 by Sam Wolf

Corporate Flight Management flew nearly 5,500 flight hours in 2015, ranking it number 23 out of all US 135 operators. With rapid expansion over the previous year CFM was also named as one of the two fastest growing 135 operators. CFM is continuing to expand into new markets with new aircraft and new customers making additional gains on this list imminent in 2016. For the whole article click here.

Dec 2 2015

Tupelo Mississippi Airport Board Recommends CFM for EAS Service by Sam Wolf

Corporate Flight Management was recently recommended by the Airport Authority in Tupelo Mississippi for an Essential Air Service Route to Nashville International Airport (BNA).  See the feature article below.

http://djournal.com/news/airport-board-recommends-cfm-nashville-link/

 

Oct 12 2015

CFM Partnership with GLO Highlighted in Forbes Magazine  by Sam Wolf

CFM_Full-Logo_Webglo logo

Beginning in November CFM and New Orleans based GLO will offer daily, non- stop flights from Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport (MSY). Round trips will be offered to Little Rock’s Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT), Memphis International Airport (MEM), and Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV). For the full Forbes article click here.

Aug 14 2015

Fly Less, Pack Them In, Charge Them More… by Sam Wolf

Fly Less, Pack Them In, Charge them fees for what used to be included, increase the rates, make more money.

Now that’s innovation!

Businesses have to make a profit. Without profit a business cannot bring a return to its investors, pay more to its employees and pay its suppliers.

The market rewards businesses that bring new value to the market place. Innovation drives new value by doing something new or better than it has been done before. My new computer weighs 1/3 of the last one and runs faster and turns on in a few seconds. I am wiling to buy it because it saves me time and it is easier to carry.

The airline industry is in an interesting place these days. In order to make a profit they are choosing to bring less value and charge more to the market of travelers. This contradicts how the market should work.

Were they too cheap to start with and now they have to make it up by cutting service, unbundling their pricing structure and packing more people in the airplanes?

Has airline travel turned into a pure commodity that is totally price driven? Will people pay for service, comfort, and most importantly will people pay more for their time not being wasted?

I have compared the airlines to mass transit forms such as the metro rail systems in major cities. More and more it seems that is what they are settling into becoming. And maybe that is OK. There is a need to move masses of people between cities here in the US and between the US and other countries. The cheaper the costs the more people will travel.

So the question that begs an answer.

Is there a market of people who still believe travel is not all about the least amount of dollars spent on the seat to get them where they are going? Will some group of travelers look at the value of their time and the social or anti social experience of travel and seek for a better solution.

I believe the answer is yes.

I am starting to see companies truly innovate and come to the market with solutions to meet the needs of travelers who are willing to pay more for a better experience. Like any market experiencing innovation, some ideas will work and some will fail, but the market will adapt for the betterment of the traveler.

In our case I see general aviation doing some cool things to fill in the gaps. It is a good time to be in our business.

Apr 6 2014

Sales Tip: Key Mission(s) & Evaluation Parameters by Sam Wolf

Once you decide to begin the search for a new aircraft, you need to have a criteria for prioritizing your options.  You may like the King Air 350 but will it do what you need it to do?  Likewise you may write off the possibility of a Citation VI and not realize that it is the perfect aircraft for you and can do over 90% of the travel you need.  So how do you begin to narrow down your choices?

First, clearly establish your “Key Missions”.  Conklin and deDecker, one of the leading authorities on aircraft acquisition, says simply that, “Key missions are the ones that define success for the organization’s use of aircraft.” (1)  In order to purchase the right aircraft for your organization, it is crucial to understand these key missions.  Are most of your flights regional?  Are you travelling from 500 to 750 nautical miles?  Or are most of your flights transcontinental?  You look at the “normal” trips, the most frequent trips you expect and the likely conditions (weather, field lengths, passenger/cargo loads etc.)  If  85% of your trips are in the southeast, you have to decide if that extra $3Million of acquisition cost and $250,000 in annual operating costs are worth being able to make a longer flight just 15% of the time.  Does that cost offset making a fuel stop?  Sometimes the convenience and importance of the mission might mean that yes, you need the plane to be able to make that trip.  Other buyers might say, “No, the fuel stop is fine.”  But nonetheless, it is important to define the mission.

Secondly, “Evaluation Parameters” describe other criteria that affect the ability of the organization to achieve its mission with an aircraft.  If you are an air ambulance company, door size will be an important evaluation parameter.   Perhaps you are going to be moving a number of people and need airline-styled passenger seating.  Or maybe your aircraft will only move 8 or 10 people and an executive seating arrangement makes more sense for your needs.  Are there special avionics needs or certification needs for your airplane?

It is vitally important to do this work before you move too far down the road toward acquisition.  In the end, it will save you time and potentially a lot of money.  So, determine your key missions and spend some time working through the evaluation parameters with your flight department and aircraft broker.

Remember you don’t just need a plane, you need the right airplane for you.

We’d welcome the opportunity to serve you!  We offer a FREE evaluation of your current plane!

We also can provide a FREE initial consultation to discuss your aircraft needs and what might be the best aircraft for your mission!

Contact us at 615-669-9393 or chris.findley@flycfm.com

Apr 1 2014

The Opportune Time by Sam Wolf

Ancient writers often referred to two types of time: kairos time and chronos time. Chronos is linear time and measures things in a sequence. First this, then that. Kairos time can be loosely defined as the “right” time or the “opportune” time. Think of it this way, if you stand over home plate and repeatedly swing a baseball bat in regular intervals, you are participating in a chronos event. If, however, you wait and swing just as the baseball crosses the plate and make solid contact that sends the ball over the left field fence, you have just participated in a kairos moment.

In your business, which type of time do you prefer?

At Corporate Flight Management our motto is “Because Time Creates Opportunity”. But it isn’t just any time. It is kairos time that creates the opportunity. Private corporate aviation can create this opportunity for you and your business. It is about being in the right place at the right time, whether that is closing a critical deal or being home in time for that important family event.

If you’re trying to achieve this with the airlines, you’re stuck in their time –chronos time. And you know that it is anything but opportune and eminently frustrating. The good news is that there is an alternative to the norm of airline travel and it is far more available and affordable than you might imagine.

Corporate aviation can help you and your company manage the one resource you simply can’t create more of: time. When you are able to manage your time and your company’s time more efficiently and cost-effectively, you generate many more kairos moments.

Don’t just swing and hope the bat connects. Be in the right place, at the right time and swing for the fence.

After all, “Time Creates Opportunity”.

Aug 11 2011

By the Numbers (Sort of…) by Sam Wolf

As you look at various aircraft to fulfill your mission needs, one of the criteria to examine are the numbers.  Many buyers look closely at acquisition cost and seek to (understandably) obtain the aircraft for the best sales price they can negotiate.  However, what is often neglected are the “real world” operational numbers –how the plane actually flies when the conditions are less than ideal, how routing can effect block speed, and the costs associated with operation and maintenance.  Our Vice President of Sales, Mark Stear has said,  “Buyers need to remember that the acquisition cost is a one-time decision.  Operational costs occur every time you decide to fire up the engine.”

Often, potential buyers depend on data provided by aircraft manufactures to evaluate whether or not the aircraft being considered will meet their needs.  The data provided by manufactures is indeed (in most cases!) honest and trustworthy.  However, they are also “best case scenario” numbers.  They have a vested interest in making the aircraft look as attractive as possible so their numbers will reflect that desire.  For instance, you may see performance numbers that show a certain speed and range.  But you need to understand the conditions those numbers assume.  Planes perform best in cool, low-altitude (field elevation), zero-wind settings.  But seldom will you face such a situation.  If you are flying on a hot day from a airport 6000 feet above sea level, your performance will be significantly reduced.

A manufacturer’s claim for maximum range usually assumes that the airplane will climb directly to its maximum altitude and fly at a long range cruise power setting and airspeed, having departed with a full load of fuel.  That’s the ideal scenario.  In the real scenario you may have to reduce your fuel load to carry all your passengers; not get ATC clearance to your desired max altitude; and/or prefer to stay at lower altitude to realize a faster true airspeed, either of which means you’re burning more fuel per minute.  As a result, you’re now making a fuel stop on your way to the west coast when the sales materials said you could make it non-stop.  It’s still a great airplane, but it is operating in the real world, not the ideal world.

This is why a broker or specialist can be very helpful.  He or she can show you real-world data both in terms of performance and operational costs.  Here at CFM, we charter over 15 various aircraft and manage many more.  We have real-world cost and performance data we can offer to our customers.  So when it comes to operational cost and performance, as you search for your next aircraft, be sure you go “by the numbers”…the “real” numbers.

Aug 1 2011

Business Aviation: Another Perspective by Sam Wolf

Recently I was talking with a friend about business flying.  He is not in business nor is he a pilot.  But he had trouble getting around the notion that business aircraft are all about excessive luxury for the super-wealthy.  I commented that there might be some merit to his claim if the majority of business aircraft owners were all super wealthy individuals.  But they aren’t.  This opinion also belies a scarcity mentality that assumes if someone “has” then it is because they have taken it from someone who, as a result, “has not”.  Funny, but we forget that the vast majority of the world lives on less than 2$ per day and considers anyone who has an automobile to be “rich”.  Perspective and assumptions are often overlooked in these discussions.   Personally,  I reject the idea of a closed economic system and the resulting scarcity mentality that accompanies it.  But, alas, I digress.

Yes there are aircraft owned by the super-wealthy who utilize them mainly for pleasure.  But that is the exception (as well as their prerogative, by the way.)  However, according to a 2009 study from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) small businesses own the majority of business aircraft.  Less than 1 in 4 passengers on business planes are top level leadership.  More often, 70% of the time, business aircraft are used to transport mid-level mangers, sales, support and technical staff. [1]  The image of the aircraft being utilized only by the CEO or COO as a luxury is simply not factual.

The practical uses of business aircraft are many.  You can more efficiently fly into airports not serviced by the airlines and reduce the expense of hotel stays and car rental.  Employees can work during the flight and not waste precious time standing in line at security or waiting for standby flights because their original flight was cancelled.  Those travelling on business aircraft said that they felt 20% more productive on the plane than in the office and felt that on the airlines they were at least 40% less effective.[2]

The larger businesses that operated corporate aircraft are reguarly among the most profitable (which means, in turn, they are able to hire and employ) and respected in our country.  NEXA Advisors, LLC, conducted a study to see if business aircraft ownership actually had a correlative effect on the health of the business operating the aircraft.  In short, yes, it did.  It made a solid positive difference in these companies.  The report’s conclusion was, “Business airplane users continue to outperform nonusers in terms of revenue growth, profit growth, and asset efficiency.” [3]

Moreover, what is lost in the grandstanding on Capitol Hill and the media’s constant badgering of Business Aviation is how much business aviation contributes to our economy and to the success of companies that employ tens of thousands of people. Aviation and it’s related businesses directly employ more than 1.2 million people and infuse $150 billion into the economy.  Aviation is a signficant contributor to our nation’s health.[4]

The businesses operating their own aircraft were to be found on lists such as: Business Week’s 50 Most Innovative Companies, Fortune’s 50 Most Admired Companies, Business Week’s 25 Best Customer Service Companies, Fortune’s 50 World’s Most Admired Companies, and Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens.[5]  Again, the caricature of the business jet operator is found to be just that -a caricature that does not accurately represent reality.

Without a doubt business aircraft have a degree of luxury about them.  And why not?  Do you chastise someone for having leather seats in their car?  An .mp3 player?  Satellite radio?  GPS?  But those things are pretty standard these days in our cars.  Perhaps one of the major issues is that business aviation stands in stark contrast to the miserable state of the commercial airline experience that we all know only too well.  If you had the choice of driving in a 76 Plymouth or a 2011 MKZ, would you really have to think long about the choice? (And for the record I drive a decade-old Ford Taurus with 140,000+ miles)  If it’s your car or boat or plane, why not make it comfortable and functional?  But at the end of the day, that’s not the point as my friend’s faulty assumptions illustrate.

Most businesses don’t operate aircraft because they simply like the luxury.  They operate them because they make practical and financial sense.  They don’t buy an aircraft so they can look cool and yet lose money.  No, they have learned that business aviation can make good business sense.  And the business aviation industry stands ready to be an integral part of the equation to help individuals and business achieve the success that, in the end, makes us all stronger.

Jul 20 2011

5 Steps to Finding the Right Plane for You by Sam Wolf

It’s about time for our family to replace one of our cars.  I don’t relish the process, but I enjoy the results.  As we start to look at what’s available and for what price, we also begin examining things such as fuel efficiency, safety, maintenance and seating.  Of course, I also want a car that offers a nice driving experience.  Frankly, the more it reminds me of an aircraft, the better!

When we look at cars we take into account a number of factors. The same should be true when we examine potential aircraft.  And like cars, there’s always a buzz from our friends or from slick advertisers that bring certain models to mind.  But because an aircraft works for Company A doesn’t mean in any way that it would be a good fit for Company B.  Just because there’s a really great ad that makes an aircraft look great and fun, doesn’t mean that it would be a realistically viable option for you.

So what are some the things to consider as you shop for a new or used aircraft?  This list is a summary and eventually you’ll drill down into more and more specificity, but this will help you begin the process:

  • First of all, what are your travel needs?  Where do you need to go?  How often do you fly and how much is that currently costing you in terms of both direct travel cost (tickets/charter etc.) and indirect cost (lost productivity,  per diem, lodging etc.)   Try to establish whether you need an aircraft that will take you on repeated short trips or regular transcontinental trips.
  • Secondly, and related to the first, how many people do you need to carry on a regular basis?  If 85% of your flights involve less than 4 people, you might not need to invest in the acquisition and operational costs of a 10 seat jet.
  • Third, decide on what features are essential and what would just be “nice to have”.  Is a stand-up cabin a requirement?  Cruise altitude? What type of toilet facilities?  What size door and seating arrangement are preferred?  It’s important to work through these early so that you can focus on aircraft in your search that truly fit the parameters you want in your next aircraft.
  • The fourth consideration is very important and that is performance.  Many people focus on range.  That is, “How far can this airplane take me on a single leg?”  But this is only a partial indicator of performance and is dependent upon things such as prevailing winds, air traffic delays and atmospheric conditions.  You’ll also want to consider speed.   For short hauls (say under 500 miles), a jet may not give you much of an advantage in speed/time over a nice turboprop.  Keep in mind too, that aircraft tend to perform less efficiently in high elevations on hot days.  So it is vitally important to examine the field elevations, weather patterns, and runway lengths from which you will operate your plane.
  • Finally, after reviewing your basic needs, passenger requirements, features needed/desired and performance, consider the basic cost of the available aircraft that seem to generally fit this mold.  At this point, you are not getting too specific, but in a basic sense, what are the costs of the aircraft that can do what you desire.  Be sure to go past acquisition cost and consider operational, maintenance, and training costs.  Purchase price is a “one-time” cost while operating costs occur every time you start the engines.  As your search becomes more specific and starts focusing in on particular planes, you can work with your broker to develop a comprehensive picture of the likely annual cost of the aircraft.

It’s exciting to be in the market for a new or used aircraft.  But it is important to find the right airplane that fits your operational needs and makes solid financial sense.  If we can be of any assistance to you in this process feel free to contact us at CFM: 615-669-9393 or sales@cfmjet.com

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