CNN Contacts Jet Advisors for Expert Opinion
With lots of discussion amid big corporation’s financial decisions (specifically Citigroup’s potential $45 million jet acquisition) CNN directly contacted Jet Advisors President Kevin O’Leary for his educated opinion of the situation. O’Leary was interviewed on the January 26th edition of CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer for a report entitled, “Bailed-Out Bank Buys Jet.”
The New York Post reported Citigroup is purchasing a Falcon 7X Aircraft manufactured by Dassault with a price tag of 45 million. Citigroup has stated they are financially strapped after accepting $45 million in federal bailout money, sparking the controversy over the aircraft purchase. The Post also reported that Citigroup ordered the jet two years ago, when they were in a better financial situation.
As an expert on advising corporations about jet acquisitions, O’Leary told CNN reporter Mary Snow, “I would think that it would be almost foolish to walk away and pay all those penalties and not take delivery of the airplane.”
O’Leary also stated that the private jet’s expected residual value would most likely come around and potentially improve as the economy improves, based on Dassault’s historical residual value and market demand backlog. The decision is prudent; The Falcon 7X is more fuel efficient than any other ultra long-range competitor.
Another key benefit O’Leary mentioned in the interview was the aircraft’s time-saving capabilities, emphasizing the value of corporate aviation. Saving about 20-21 days of unproductive time traveling commercially, corporate aviation allows executives and middle managers to be more efficient on the road, being able to conduct meetings in a secure environment. With more quality time to produce revenue, large companies could reduce or even eliminate the actual cost of operating the private jet.
Although Citigroup has since cancelled delivery of the private jet, Jet Advisors defended corporate aviation as no more than a business tool that saves time, which saves money and increases revenue.