Executives Increasingly Use Corporate Jets For Private Use

According to a study by Equilar, an executive intelligence agency, CEOs’ and CFOs’ personal usage of corporate planes would rise to a median value of $130.1 million and $23.3 million, respectively, in 2022.

The values dropped to $80.1 million for CEOs and $22.1 million for CFOs in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown of the economy, they had been about $102 million and $16 million, respectively.

In 2022, Mark Zuckerberg of Meta and James Taiclet of Lockheed Martin were the two CEOs who used corporate jet perks the most, each spending $2.3 million.

The number of chief financial officers using corporate jet benefits increased from 54 in 2018 to 76 in 2022. Although corporate jet benefits are a significant bonus for top executives at major corporations, they only account for a fraction of their overall pay.

According to Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Administration, executives have unparalleled flexibility with corporate jets. Executives can plan multi-stop business trips, react fast to unexpected opportunities, satisfy unexpected customer needs, and be available for personal commitments when traveling. While preventing corporate espionage and enhancing the security of essential workers, this capacity helps a company achieve a competitive advantage and boost shareholder value.

With a budget of $6.6 million, Meta Platforms was the most generous in 2022 regarding the luxury of personal flights for CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his then-lieutenant, Sheryl Sandberg. The second-biggest expense was $3.2 million for airfare for four C-suite executives from casino behemoth Las Vegas Sands. Exelon, a public utility, has more than quadrupled its expenditure on CEO-free flights since 2019. In 2022, Tyson Foods, Constellation Brands (parent of Modelo Especial), and Lockheed Martin (an aerospace corporation) paid substantial sums for private trips on business planes.