No Room for Error

Low level aerobatics, Combat sorties; Bush pilot flying. Not much margin for error.  

Commercial Aviation start-ups? Even less margin for error.

 Flying passengers can be a tough, tough business with many crashing against the shoals of a hard economic climate, thin margins,  and the vagaries of consumer sentiments. The siren song of this fast moving industry has lured many onto the rocks. Still, I’ve frequently wondered what it might be like to make money in anything related to flying. This recent article suggests it’s not for the faint hearted

Those who start airlines are “either visionaries or lunatics, and they’re both defined the same way: They’re people who see things the rest of us don’t,” ….”I don’t know why anyone would want to do it… “There’s no room. And it’s a lousy investment.”

 Since the industry was deregulated in 1978, the Department of Transportation has granted operating certificates to 533 air carriers, including scheduled passenger, charter and air cargo operators. Only 121 certificated air carriers are flying today. Since 1990, 98 commuter air carriers have gotten certificates, and 46 are operating.

It takes a compelling idea, skill, and tremendous quantities of drive and money to make it. Jet Blue was one that succeeded. Commercial Aviation entrepreneurs share this pilot tendency: We both manage risk and no one expects they will become a statistic.


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