One of the most obvious perks of being President of the United States of America is Air Force One. But this week the US elected its first president who already owns his own business jet.
All of the major candidates in the primaries chartered business jets – including Bernie Saunders. Michael Briggs, Saunders’ campaign manager, put forward a strong argument worthy of NBAA saying: “There are circumstances when using charter airplanes is the best way for him to get around the country and communicate with as many people as possible.”
But Trump’s Boeing 757-200 was the star aircraft during the very long campaign. He even used it to fly to Washington DC yesterday to meet President Obama. (Trump’s Cessna Citation X also gained prominence when it was found that the registration had lapsed.)
Trump has been a proud jet owner for many years - in his 1987 book Art of the Deal, he outlines how he bought a 727 from a Texas oil and gas company by low-balling. He is arguably the best known business jet owner in the world.
It will be interesting to see if having a pro-business aviation President actually makes a difference.
President Obama attacked business jets – most specifically accelerated depreciation – several times. We will never know if these comments genuinely stopped anyone from buying or flying on a business aircraft. But it seems unlikely. If they did, Trump’s election could convince them that now is the right time to buy.
The most important thing to help improve sales is – of course - a strong economy. Trump has – of course - promised that, but we will only be able to judge that in four years.
Presumably completion centres are already working on new cabin mock-ups involving more gold to pitch to the President-elect for Air Force One.
But at a micro level it may hit the values of certain models. Trump must be tempted to sell his Boeing 757-200 now.
Editor, Corporate Jet Investor