Although it may seem that Jet Venue has gotten off to an inauspicious start, there has been a flurry of behind the scenes action taking place. More than one dozen of you have signed up with the forums, three four resumes are posted to this site, several fresh new pages have been added and I’ve been in personal contact with several former members of the other board.
That being said, I don’t hold any illusions that Jet Venue will become what once was. Indeed, when I launched the original site in August 2002, business aviation was struggling post-9/11 but it was also on the brink of a remarkable five year run which saw NetJets grow to become a major force, new large cabin class aircraft introduced by Dassault, Bombardier and Gulfstream, and business expand to welcome more corporate flight attendants than many people would have thought possible. At its peak that community, ancillary aviation sites and related work comprised about half of my own business.
Life was good, but then the bubble burst.
When I sold CFAC in June 2007, business aviation was still going strong but within the year things began to change until by the end of 2008 the bottom fell out. Though not directly involved all that much with business aviation, I couldn’t help but follow the Senate proceedings when the automotive industry executives arrived in Washington asking for government assistance, arriving in their corporate jets.
Sure enough, business aviation came under attack as the automotive executives were considered to be clueless and, by golly, they should have flown to DC on a commercial air carrier just like everyone else.
As you know business aviation today is but a shell of its former self. I saw the Aviation International News article earlier this month that said without parent Berkshire Hathaway’s guarantee, “NetJets would have been out of business.” With NetJets suffering to the extent that it is–$711 million loss in 2009 plus heavy debt—then the business aviation segment is certainly grave.
But I’m not writing this update to rehash what is going on with specific companies, rather to talk about people I have gotten to know over the years.
I’ve learned that quite a few people have left business aviation—some permanently, some temporarily—just to survive. A number of you are holding on to your jobs but you aren’t as confident as you once were. More people than I expected aren’t as easily reachable as they were in the past which means that getting in touch with them will take some time.
In any case, Jet Venue is here to be used by you in whatever capacity you want. There is no pressure for anyone to post to the forum or to try to resurrect something that once was. The gist I am getting from some is that it may be too painful for them to try to connect with others as in former times. Since not much is going on in their world flight-wise, other pursuits have taken precedence—such as their personal financial survival.
Perhaps as the previous community found its way during tough times this one will do the same. And please remember this: Jet Venue is available to be used by you when and if you want it.
Photo Credit: svilen001
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