Last summer, Keith Plumb was trying to interest potential customers in the services of Kansas City-based Executive AirShare, which sells part ownership in small planes primarily for business travel.
In his presentation, Plumb listed the monthly management fee that shareowners pay to maintain the aircraft and costs such as fuel and insurance to participate in the fractional program.
"One gentleman raised his hand and said he was currently paying that amount alone in monthly fuel surcharges with his national fractional company," recalled Plumb, Executive AirShare's president and chief operating officer.
That is the kind of value that Plumb and Bob Taylor, the company's chairman and chief executive, hope will convince customers to join Executive AirShare as it embarks on an ambitious growth plan. The company will take delivery on nine new Embraer 100 jets this year as part of an order of as many as 50 new planes over the next several years.
Some may shake their heads and wonder whether this is the best time to be aggressively growing a company, given the strong economic headwinds.
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