"Pity the poor executive who blinks. ... True visionaries will continue to fly," a new ad campaign by Cessna Aircraft defiantly states. The company saw a "sudden drop in demand for private airplanes of all sizes," which it believes is due not only to the recession, but also to the "unexpected public backlash that erupted after the chief executives of Ford Motor Co., Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. traveled in private jets last year to ask Congress for billions of dollars in aid." Cessna CEO Jack Pelton said, "We think it's time the other side of the story be told," that private corporate jets can "not only help their businesses survive the current financial crisis, but more quickly forge a path toward an economic upturn." While Cessna is the only company to challenge the anti-jet backlash with ads, others make similar arguments. "These jets are private offices, where people can conduct business and have confidential discussions that could never occur on a commercial jetliner," argued the CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, a group that "represents corporate-jet owners."
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