Corporate leaders know all too well that when it comes to executing successful special events involving tight schedules, out-of-the-way locations, and moving a lot of people, commercial air travel can be a tough way to go. While this kind of corporate travel on commercial airlines was doable in the past, albeit with a few headaches, new FAA regulations limiting pilot and crew flight times have now made it extremely difficult at best, and impossible at worst.
Multi-national corporations need alternatives to what the commercial air travel market offers these days – offerings that unfortunately include limited flight scheduling options,limits on destinations, no guarantee of on-time arrival, and a lack of services that promote comfort or the conducting of on-board business.
In May of this year, CSI Aviation planned and successfully executed a corporate charter mission (challenged by everything mentioned above) on behalf of one of the world’s largest luxury automobile manufacturers. This European-headquartered company was in the process of finalizing and announcing a major deal in the U.S. – its joint venture with an American-owned carbon fiber manufacturing plant located in a tiny town in the Pacific Northwest. The activities were to span two days and include press events, receptions for executives and employees, and more.
Late arrivals, lost bags, or substandard amenities could not be risked.
As is often the case with air charter, CSI Aviation found out about the mission on very short notice. Referred by another charter broker out of the UK, New Mexico-based CSI Aviation bid the job in late April and flew it during the first week of May. In the end, 56 company executives and foreign journalists travelled to LAX from all over the world, and from there, the CSI transport charter took over.
“They weren’t looking for luxury. They were looking for a cost-effective solution for transport given some pretty tough logistics,” said Marc Ramthun, Director-Sales.
The trip had to be scheduled around unchangeable event times in Los Angeles, San Francisco and the hometown headquarters of the carbon fiber manufacturer. Commercial air travel was not an option at all as the manufacturing plant’s closest airport is not serviced by any major airlines. CSI Aviation looked to an MD 83 that seats 150 people to make the trip from LAX, up to the manufacturing plant on the coast, and then down to San Francisco. Onboard amenities included a light catering service and room to move and work. Ground transport logistics were also handled by CSI Aviation.
“Corporate travel planners know that air charter can be cost-effective,” said Ramthun. “In most cases, unless a client is requesting certain luxury services or accommodations, our costs are equal to or less than what they would pay for commercial travel.”
Ramthun credits the many years of experience and military background of the CSI team for its ability to move quickly with scheduling logistics, and to do it right. “We do a lot of air ambulance transport so that means we are used to getting things done under pressure and in less than 48 hours. That skill has huge value in the corporate world,” he said.