NBAA Flying Safety Award

Posted by William Herp on Thu, May 03, 2012

"Is it safe?"

That’s the central question – and selling point – of a current commercial for the Volkswagen Jetta. Maybe you’ve seen it. In four quick clips it follows a boy through the key transportation stages of his life. As a 10-ish kid shopping for a 10-speed bike, as teeny-bopper checking out a scooter, and as an older teen kicking the tires on a used muscle car, he asks: “Is it fast?”  But now, as a young father with an infant strapped to his chest, he peers into a new Jetta and asks the salesman: “Is it safe?” Volkswagen smoothly identifies their Jetta as the answer to two key issues in the buyer’s transportation decisions: his life-long need for speed, and his newly-recognized need for safety.

Those are the same key issues in the minds of business people who are considering whether to switch to using regional business jet charter services like Linear Air for some or all of their business travel. The answer to the question - “is it fast?” is easy. Of course our service is fast. We fly at about the same speeds and at the same smooth altitudes as commercial airliners. And because we typically operate from uncongested airports where there are few or no commercial flights - and no long security lines and airport terminal waits - we usually can shave 30% to 40% off a business person’s door-to-door travel time.

The second question – “is it safe” is, perhaps surprisingly, easy to answer too. It’s surprising only because historically aviation companies have shied away from talking about safety. It’s almost as if by talking about their safety records they believe they’ll jinx themselves into an accident.

I reject that approach. I’m proud – and quick - to say that Linear Air has a remarkable safety record. We’ve been flying for seven years and over 13,000 hours and never have had a safety incident. In fact, the National Business Aircraft Association recently recognized our record with a distinguished Flying Safety Award.  And luck has nothing to do with it. Our safety record is the product of diligence and competence. Safety is at the very core of our values system. In fact, you’ll see the word “SET” printed on the ID card lanyards worn by all our employees. It’s an acronym.

“S” stands for SAFETY, which is the first and highest consideration in everything we do. So what does that look like in practice? It means we are committed to flying the most modern, most technically-advanced twin engine aircraft. Our Eclipse Jets are equipped with all the latest navigational and weather gear, including air traffic avoidance radar. They have the most up-to-date cockpit instrumentation and communications equipment. And even though FAA regulations allow us to operate with only one pilot, all Linear Air flights are flown by a pair of pilots, both of whom are rigorously trained to the same or higher standards as airline pilots.

“E” stands for ENTREPRENEURSHIP, which is the attitude we want each of our employees to bring to everything we do, including safety. They work and live within our personal ownership corporate culture. Each team member believes in our entrepreneurial approach and works as if the safe operation of each flight depends entirely upon them doing excellent work every time.

Finally, the “T” stands for TEAMWORK. And it refers to the requirement that in addition to thinking and taking responsibility like an entrepreneur every employee at Linear Air also must support - and push - every other employee to maintain the highest level of excellence.

We think that acquiring, equipping, maintaining, and operating our planes that way provides a real and measurable added margin of safety. Just as importantly, we think it sends an important message to our passengers. We want them to not just to BE safe in reality, but to FEEL safe; to feel comfortable with all that Linear Air does to get them to their destinations efficiently and comfortably. One of our biggest selling points is that we can do all that for a price equal to, or even less than what last-minute business travelers typically pay the airlines. But we never forget that our top selling point is - and must always be - that safety comes first.

See you on board!

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