As Economy Takes Off, Companies Return to Flight

by Chris Bahn  on Monday, Jul. 1, 2013 12:00 am  

Beaver Lake Aviation has operated at Rogers Municipal Airport since 1986 and been a wholly owned subsdiary of Wal-Mart since 2002.  (Photo by Ryan Miller)

Keet, who along with his family owns and operates two Taziki’s franchises in Little Rock and plans to open locations in Bentonville and Fayetteville, is a good example of that.

While Keet has had success with restaurant and real estate ventures, nobody would confuse his annual revenue with those of public titans like Wal-Mart or even large privately held companies like George’s Inc. of Springdale, which has annual revenue nearing $1 billion — and a corporate plane.

Still, ownership and use of a plane are critical to his own operations in the state and getting him to Birmingham so he can oversee corporate operations.

After trying to operate without a plane for two years — the longest he’s ever gone without access to a company plane — Keet decided to invest again this year.

He stressed that businesses have to evaluate how much financial sense it makes to purchase a plane and then pay for upkeep, fuel and storage.

Buying a plane to seat multiple people can be done for less than six figures, but should only be done if it can save or help make money.

“There’s an old adage that says, ‘The two happiest days of my life are the day I bought my airplane and the day I sold it,’” Keet said.

“And any airplane that you buy, if you don’t have a legitimate business purpose for it and if you’re not confident you’re willing to use it frequently, it becomes a real drag on your P&L and doesn’t accomplish anything.

“Regrettably, some people make an important business decision based on ego and not the economics of it.”

Aircraft Registered to Arkansas’ Largest Companies

Private Companies 2012 Revenue Aircraft
Stephens Inc. $1.8 billion 7
Mountaire Corp. $1.8 billion 1
Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield $1.3 billion 0
Simmons Foods Inc. $1.2 billion 0
Riceland Foods Inc. $1.2 billion 0
Public Companies    
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. $469.0 billion 12
Tyson Foods Inc. $33.3 billion 11
Murphy Oil Corp. $28.6 billion 5
Dillard’s Inc. $6.5 billion 2
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. $5.0 billion 0
Aircraft Registration by County Total Planes Corporate Planes
Pulaski 434 213
Benton 266 112
Washington 225 88
Lonoke 184 60
Craighead 181 86
Statewide Totals 3,898 1,464

Source: Federal Aviation Administration. Data does not include leased planes or chartered flights.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.