The Silver Lining on GM's Private Plane PR Problem: At Least GM Leased.
Posted by: Peter Burrows on November 21, 2008
If you’re going somewhere with tin cup in hand, it’s probably best to leave the corporate jet at home. That’s what GM CEO Rick Wagoner and other Detroit car execs found out the hard way, when they were lambasted during Congressional hearings on the auto industry bail-out on Nov. 20.
In retrospect, they probably should have flown to one of the smaller airports in the DC area; maybe they could have avoided the press. Or maybe, gasp, they should have flown plain old first class.
Now, GM is saying it has been planning to get rid of two of its leased jets. I don’t know if the company is breaking a lease or incurring early termination fees. But I’d bet the company will fare better on the transaction than whoever owns the jets. Companies including Bristol Meyers, Lucent-Alcatel and Lehman Brothers (no surprise there) and many others are currently selling off planes to save money. That’s creating a glut of inventory in the once-overheated used jet market.