Pretty fly for a Wall Street guy

Wall Street and private-equity execs are having banner years — and spending their record bonuses joining the private jet set. Air-taxi services like Talon Air’s 8-seater Hawker 400XPs are seeing a 50 percent jump in business, according to this November 2006 New York Post article. 

Nov. 26, 2006

The New York Post

By Tommy Hallissey

As bonuses on Wall Street and beyond hit record levels, executives are finding new ways to pimp their lifestyles: for example, hailing air taxis instead of flying first class.

The air taxis — which afford practically on-demand jet travel complete with gourmet meals, no airport security lines and completely flexible scheduling — are priced, thanks to advancements in jet technology, just 65 percent over first-class commercial air travel.

And while most people don’t have to decide between a $1,024 full-fare first-class commercial airline ticket from New York to Miami or the $1,687 cost of hailing a Hawker 400XP eight-seater jet for a little South Beach fun in the sun, more and more Wall Street types are.

And traveling on one of the growing number of on-demand jets is becoming the latest lifestyle enhancer for the finance world’s bonus babies.

Talon Air, a six-year outfit which flies out of Republic Airport in Farmingdale, reports business this year will finish up 50 percent compared to 2005, and Adam Katz, CEO, anticipates another 50 percent rise in 2007.

For a little extra, Katz will even arrange for a helicopter to shuttle you from Manhattan to Republic Airport or for a stylist to give on-board manicures.

New York Aviation and Northeastern Aviation Corporation, two other area air taxi providers, are also adding sweet amenities. Jack Gentile, who owns New York Aviation, offers massages as the jet cruises at 39,000 feet.

One prominent real estate developer from Virginia, who wished to remain anonymous, reached out to Talon Air recently to salvage his son’s crumbling plans for spring break fun in the Caribbean.

After getting no satisfaction from other commercial airlines or from his fractional jet service provider, the developer was able to “hail” a ride with Talon Air to Norfolk, Va. at 4 a.m. where his son got a connecting flight to St. John.

Katz said he’s picking up business from the fractional jet-service sector because air taxis don’t require a huge up-front payment — although buying a block of 25 hours does a afford a 10 percent discount.