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In recent years much has been made about the relative benefits afforded by new generation aircraft versus existing pre-owned models. That argument, championed primarily by sellers of fractional jet programs, promotes the notion that “newer aircraft are far superior to pre-owned jets and provide increased safety and reliability."

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The practice of using independent third-party auditors to rate a company's performance dates back to 1909 when a financial analyst named John Moody first assigned letter grades to railroad bonds. This innovation made it easier for investors to evaluate a rail company's debt and launched an industry that has become a powerful force in modern capitalism.

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A few days ago, we celebrated the end of a very eventful decade and the beginning of another one equally so. Lessons learned from looking backward would have to include the importance of remaining guarded with the next "new thing"; a most notable example would be the over-hyped advent of the Very Light Jets (VLJ's). Most early adopters who bought into the vision of airborne taxi's by the thousands bringing private jet travel to the masses are smarting from the experience.

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The value-proposition offered by private jet travel has always been centered on convenience, like being able to: use regional airports closer to home, park your car just a few steps from the airplane, and escape the time-eating experience of the major airline terminals.  

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The other day a client made the remark, “Mark, there are few things I enjoy more than flying in a private jet.” His comment struck me as probably the most succinct justification for using private aircraft I’d ever heard and reminded me of where we always need to focus our efforts.  

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