German entrepreneur Karlheinz Koegel has a back-up plan to ensure business travel efficiency. "I own a Hawker 400XP and frequently fly for business but having a private jet card gives me greater flexibility. If my own aircraft is not available, I can simply call NetJets and have access to their fleet and the aircraft type that suits my needs. It makes perfect sense."
Koegel, Netjets' 3,000th cardholder and ceo of holiday company L'tur, points out that the last minute holiday provider is represented in six countries across Europe. "My other business, Media Control, is a media and market research company based in 19 European countries. While travel is necessary for both, I find that, because Media Control is very human business, I need to motivate people personally to ensure we reach our business goals. This means I need the flexibility to move around at short notice and on my own schedule."
Koegel chose to acquire a Hawker 400XP, he says, primarily because of its price/performance ratio and economies of use. "However, with my NetJets PJC I have access to an entire fleet which means I can choose the aircraft that's most appropriate for each individual trip."
A pilot himself, Koegel enjoys flying himself to business appointments. But: "In times when my aircraft is not available NetJets Europe offers the ideal bypass. I now have the freedom to book meetings where travel is required without worrying about my aircraft's maintenance intervals, pilot training or aircraft range."
During the formative period of Media Control 30 years ago, Koegel flew a Cessna 172. "As the business flourished I upgraded to various aircraft ranging from a turboprop such as a King Air to a Beechjet, which I can also fly myself."
Now the tourism business flies 800,000 people on holiday every year and he says: "I'm lucky that my passion and profession have found each other."
Flights can be national or Europe-wide. Koegel believes the advantages of private aircraft is obvious. "I need to get to a number of airports that commercial carriers won't fly to. It has been said more than a thousand times in different ways but it is the truth: the biggest privilege of a manager is flying privately. It's not only the absence of crowded airports, delayed flights and bad connections that saves you time, it's the flexibility. You are in complete control of when you fly - no adherence to airline schedules."