Saturday, January 28th, 2023

Is it really about the money?

Why do people buy Ferrari sports cars? Prices start at around $250,000 with the most expensive production models topping out around double that. The performance is not legally useable on any public road, but the sales figures show Ferrari sold over 11,000 last year.

Why do people buy Rolex watches? Prices start at around $10,000 (just under the average cost of a pilot license) and go up from there. They’re not as accurate as the GPS-derived time our smartphones display, but Rolex still sell about 1,000,000 watches each year.

Do La Cornue Grand Palais 180 ranges ($48,000) fry eggs better than a GE range? Do Meneghini La Cambusa fridges ($40,000) keep vegetables fresh for longer than a Samsung fridge?

Why are some people choosing one of these expensive products instead of a more common alternative AND a private, instrument and commercial pilot’s license?

Those of us in General Aviation often say we can’t attract more people to become pilots because it costs too much. This is despite the fact that there are plenty of customers for the products like the ones I’ve listed above.

Here’s the thing … according to a recent study by Credit Suisse, there are almost 22-million millionaires in the USA. To put that into perspective, that means there are more millionaires in the USA than the entire population of Florida!

I’d like to hear your opinion: is learning to fly really too expensive, or are we spending time and money marketing to the wrong customers? Please hit reply and tell me what you think.