Some business travelers afford the luxury reserved for last-minute meetings or short-distance jumps by buying a fractional ownership, although the indulgence can hurt execs’ image in a cash-strapped economy.
The private jet industry has been a bit more optimistic lately, in part because of business travelers like Mark Dowley who use it to patch holes in the domestic air travel system.
Mr. Dowley, an executive for a private equity firm and a marketing consultant, said he still flew commercial planes on the long, nonstop routes that airlines offer in abundance. But he will sometimes take a business jet to a smaller destination — the kind of place that could take an additional three hours or more to reach by commercial plane. So he may fly commercially from New York to San Francisco for a meeting in San Jose, and then fly by private jet to San Diego for more meetings.
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