Commuting via Private Aircraft: A Pricey Luxury or Smart Economics?

With affordability being an factor, getting to work in an airplane can depend on circumstances.

Commuting in Your Airplane Economics

Commuting in Your Airplane Economics

** Photo courtesy of Frank Honorof**

As the airplane rose to prominence as a viable means of transportation in the early 1900s, so too did the idea of a future where individuals would commute everywhere via personal aircraft. But a century later, the lack of the necessary infrastructure and the high cost of flying continue to make commuting by airplane an option available only to a select few. Yet when it comes to the affordability of getting to work in an airplane, circumstances matter.

For those like Dennis Baer, who commute to an area easily reachable by car and can’t write off their use of an airplane as a direct business expense, the costs can be steep. For others who live in a region where getting around via car is a more difficult proposition, the economic rationale for commuting via airplane is much more robust. Frank Honorof computed that using his Maule MX7, purchased for $61,000, as a means of transportation in remote northern Idaho was actually cheaper than traveling around the area in a car. “When one compared cost of operation with mileage generally cut by 65 percent and gas usage about the same as the Suburban, it was not only more convenient to fly but economically sound, as well,” Honorof writes in his memoir.

For many, the monetary benefits of commuting via airplane can’t be viewed through an apples-to-apples comparison of what it might cost to travel by car. In a world where time is money, the long-term financial benefits of commuting via private airplane are ultimately well worth the up-front costs for many employees who can increase their business productivity thanks to the quick and efficient means of travel.

For those individuals who can write their airplane costs off as business expenses, the financial appeal of flying to and from work commitments is even stronger. While not applicable for many commuters, it can be a great advantage for smallAs the airplane rose to prominence as a viable means of transportation in the early 1900s, so too did the idea of a future where individuals would commute everywhere via personal aircraft. But a century later, the lack of the necessary infrastructure and the high cost of flying continue to make commuting by airplane an option available only to a select few. Yet when it comes to the affordability of getting to work in an airplane, circumstances matter.

We welcome your comments on flyingmag.com. In order to maintain a respectful environment, we ask that all comments be on-topic, respectful and spam-free. All comments made here are public and may be republished by Flying.