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"Business Aviation Flexes Competitive Muscle as Takeover Looms; Mineta Nomination Viewed Favorably"



Monday, January 22, 2001

Business Aviation Flexes Competitive Muscle as Takeover Looms; Mineta
Nomination Viewed Favorably


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jan 22, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- At a time when more and
more people are opting for business aviation over commercial airlines, and
with the possibility of a TWA takeover reducing the number of options for
the business traveler, the business aviation sector is poised for a very
competitive year.

Further, the nomination of Norman Mineta as Transportation Secretary is
looked upon very favorably by business aviation providers.

"There is no question our growth will continue at the rate we have seen the
past several years," said Jim Christiansen, COO and Executive Vice President
of TAG Aviation, the world's largest private aviation company.

"Business aviation is a very viable option for the business traveler who
can't afford the delays and hassles of scheduled airlines," commented
Christiansen.

"In fact, business aviation is the only option for travelers. The recent
news that American Airlines intends to purchase TWA, as well as some of the
assets of US Airways means, quite simply, that there is less choice for the
consumer in the commercial sector," said Christiansen. "Fewer choices does
not necessarily mean better service," he added. "It means you have fewer
options for routes and pricing."

In contrast to commercial carriers, business aircraft take-off and depart
from smaller less congested airports that reach 100 times more destinations
than their commercial counterparts. "It's so cost-effective, and it defines
time management," said Christiansen. "There are no long lines, lost luggage,
and runway delays." Many business aircraft are equipped with all the tools
today's busy traveler needs: phones, faxes, and computers.

Business aviation, which has experienced an astounding 90 percent increase
since 1990, is expected to continue its unprecedented growth as time becomes
an even more valued commodity, and efficient, secure travel a necessity for
many business travelers. "This is an exciting time for us and the Mineta
nomination has also added to our fervor," said Christiansen.

As an informed individual, many in business aviation feel Mineta will bring
a practical perspective on issues facing the airline industry. "The business
aviation community is eyeing Mineta's nomination very positively because he
has extensive knowledge of the aviation industry," said Christiansen.

"There are numerous issues floating around that, if not approached from an
informed perspective, could have serious impact on our industry,"
Christiansen added. "These include user fees, funding for general aviation
airports, and improvements in the Air Traffic Control system. These will all
continue to require close monitoring on our part."

Mineta gained his expertise on airports and air safety when he served as
chairman of the House Public Works and Traffic Committee. He began a
sweeping review of aviation in the 1990s when he headed up the National
Civil Review Commission (NCARC). He resigned midterm, in 1995, to join the
large defense contractor, Lockheed Martin, as senior vice president of
transportation systems and services.

"This nomination will bode well for our industry," said Christiansen. "We
are at a time like no other in this industry, and we intend to get out there
and let the consumer know we are a viable, safe, efficient alternative to
commercial carriers."

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