Global Exec Aviation and Blu Cigs partner to keep smokers satisfied

Global Exec Aviation would like to thank you for smoking. Sorta.

The charter airline is sympathetic to the feelings of smokers, a rarity in today’s world. Spend a few hours on a plane, if you’re in the habit of puffing, and the result is a nic fit with an intensity determined by the length of your flight. Cross the Atlantic, and that first opportunity to light up is impossible to describe.

No, Global Exec Aviation isn’t going to let you fire up in flight, but it will give you the next best thing. The airline is partnering with Blu Cigs, which makes electronic cigarettes. The devices emit a mist rather than smoke, and the vapor contains the nicotine that makes a long flight easier to bear. So, if you fly Global Exec, there will be Blu Cigs on hand for you.

According to USA Today:

“Definitely it’s the first step,” Jason Healy, president of Blu Cigs, says of the partnership with Global Exec Aviation of Long Beach. “It’s largely to gather feedback … and just highlight the fact it’s an option.”

Smoking has been prohibited on all commercial flights to, from and within the United States since 2000, USA Today reports, but charter flights can choose to allow smoking as long as they provide a non-smoking section.

For those hoping the Blue Cigs will be provided on commercial flights … don’t hold your breath. Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins told USA Today, “We have no plans to offer e-cigarettes, and we currently do not allow their use in-flight.” A spokesman for American Airlines says the same.

Jason Holi, one of the operations managers at Global Exec thinks that perspective might be a bit hasty:

“We’re in a customer-service industry,” Holi says. “If I have a passenger who’s a white-knuckle flier but a heavy chain smoker, I want to make it as accommodating as possible for him.”
Keeping your customers happy – what a novel concept!

[photo by Vanessa Pike-Russell via Flickr]

News from Sugar not sweet: Pay up front

Brits interested in chartering jets may have to crack out the checkbook up front from now on. Sir Alan Sugar, owner of luxury charter service Amsair, says credit won’t cut it, as he tries to whittle down his company’s bad debts. For some, being given the choice to pay up front is fortunate … others are just being turned away.

In what can only be described as a “no shit” moment, Sugar explains to The Sun, “The whole industry is suffering in the current economic climate.” After proving that his head was indeed not buried in the sand, he continues, “We have had to make changes to some parts of the business. In some cases we have taken the decision to not take on some high-risk, third-party charters.”

In other news, the infamous UK tabloid can’t seem to find decent experts. To supplement Sugar’s opinion, The Sun was only able to come up with, “Experts said the move reflected the growing pressures on corporate jet firms. Customer numbers have tumbled as bankers lose their jobs.”

By June 30, 2008, the last period for which information is available, Amsair’s profits had fallen 41 percent. And, let’s face it; the financial world’s gotten a lot tougher since then.