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71% of survey respondents confess that their busy schedule means key business contacts are neglected

British industry is potentially being hindered by inefficient business journeys, according to a new independently commissioned research report published today. The survey, by leading business helicopter organisation, PremiAir reveals that the long suffering road and rail systems are now so unpredictable that 86% of senior business leaders interviewed waste valuable time by allowing for a level of contingency time when planning journeys in and around the UK. 71% confessed that their busy schedule means some key business contacts get neglected.

Almost all (98%) business leaders in large UK companies place importance on having face-to-face meetings that realise benefits related to sales, building business relationships and reading body language. Nearly two thirds (60%) say they would spend more time visiting key business contacts if they could find a more time-efficient way to travel to business meetings.

“Queuing seems to be an integral part of the British psyche – whether in the Post Office, on the roads or rail platform,” commented David McRobert, Managing Director at PremiAir. “Yet, in the modern business environment, time is money and it’s never been more important for our senior business leaders to eliminate time wastage and work productively. This survey reveals that they’re wasting at least a working week each year by having to build in ground travel contingency plans, which is woefully unacceptable in our competitive landscape.”

“For our customers, the helicopter is an integral part of the business operation,” continued McRobert. “The hourly value of a CEO or Managing Director to a large organisation is very significant. For these people to make optimum use of their business day is absolutely crucial to success, so the case for business helicopters is very strong – particularly when more than one passenger is involved. We help executives travel by helicopter in ways that simply aren’t possible by ground. They can travel point-to-point to several destinations in one day – perhaps showing a group of key investors your UK sites, or collecting key customers and prospects arriving at Heathrow. It’s also far safer than by road – in most cases as safe as a passenger airliner,” he concluded.

In addition to long journey times, UK business leaders face other time burdens. A staggering 42% schedule an overnight stay if they have a long distance appointment and 20% will delay their return journeys to avoid rush hour traffic. In other instances, 55% will ensure they catch an earlier train to allow for any delays and those who brave the traffic jams allow up to as much as 50% additional travelling time for their journey. 37% of the senior executives interviewed for the research were unable to estimate how much time they waste in a typical working month by making such allowances in their schedule, but for some (7%) the number of hours wasted was equal to one working day.

In the findings of the survey, conducted by Dynamic Markets for PremiAir, the executives interviewed also cited several other potential benefits from reducing travel time pressure such as life being less hectic (63%), more time to plan for meetings (46%) and performing better in meetings (29%) amongst others.

According to the Department for Transport (www.dft.gov.uk) total traffic in the fourth quarter of 2004 (in Great Britain) was an estimated 2.3 per cent higher than in quarter 4 2003. Taking the year as a whole, traffic was 1.7 per cent higher than in 2003. Congestion is the most serious issue for car users in London (33%), the South East (27%), the South West (23%) and the Midlands/East Anglia (20%). 23% of people affected by congestion report that they experienced it every day, and a further 55% experienced it at least once a week.

About the Research.
The research report was commissioned by PremiAir Aviation Group Ltd. A total of 100 interviews were collected with UK CEO’s, MD’s and heads of sales and/or marketing in UK organisations with more than 250 employees. All companies are multi-site organisations. 48% of the sample are heads of their companies at CEO or MD level.

About PremiAir
PremiAir offers the largest and most comprehensive business helicopter charter service in the UK. With over 140 employees it operates from South-East bases at Denham near Uxbridge and Blackbushe near Camberley. The company has been in existence for over 20 years and is wholly owned by the Sir Robert McAlpine Group, established in 1869 and involved with commercial aviation since the 1940s. PremiAir’s charter fleet includes a mix of Sikorsky S76, Agusta 109, Bell 222 and Eurocopter Twin Squirrel aircraft. All PremiAir business helicopters are equipped with similar instrumentation to airliners, enabling them to fly in most weather conditions and at night. PremiAir pilots each have thousands of flying hours experience and are continuously subjected to stringent training programmes. All of its aircraft are maintained by the company’s own world-class engineering and maintenance team. Visit www.premiair-aviation.com, Tel: 01252 890089, Email: info@premiair-aviation.com.

For further information contact:
Natalie Sutton, Proud Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0) 7768 026197 / +44(0) 1276 679570, natalie@proudpr.com
Or
Heidi Churchill, PremiAir
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 890089, h.churchill@premiair-aviation.com

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