Posts Tagged ‘Black Friday; LSAs; Remos; flight schools’

Black Friday: Is that an airplane in my mall?

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

It’s been a bad year for aviation, and I’ve seen more news items about flight schools going under than I’d care to share. But I’m also seeing some that are digging in and going out for customers.

One school, in Maryland, is negotiating with a mall to position an aircraft outside a large department store during the holiday shopping rush. They’ll staff the airplane in the hopes of attracting potential pilots among the throngs. Another FBO is doing the same thing at an upscale mall in Texas, and just today a news release crossed my inbox in which Air Orlando said it’s going to position a Remos GX inside the Florida Mall Wednesday night so that it’ll be sitting pretty in time for Black Friday shoppers. (With its folding wings, the Remos makes this kind of display setup pretty smooth.)

And a brand-new flight school owner is using a pricing scheme for flight instruction and aircraft rental that he says gives customers a “round number” so that they can more adequately budget their training expenses, just as they would for a fitness membership or a car payment. Tim Poole, who recently opened GT Aviation at Potomac Airfield in the Washington, D.C., Flight Restricted Zone, calls it a kind of a “club” format. A monthly fee purchases five hours per month, or one lesson per week; a higher fee bumps that up to 10 hours, or two lessons per week.

What do you think of these ideas? What else could flight schools be doing to attract customers?