Air travel has become a big enterprise in college athletics. Our schools spend over $200 million annually on air charter travel to ferry teams and players to games and back to school.
Recently, air charter has had its challenges, including pilot shortages, safety issues, and lack of availability of planes. You may have heard about the recent air travel woes of Old Dominion and Boston College. Pro teams have also been affected by these issues as well, including the New York Yankees.
For two years, we at LEAD1 have been working on a program for collective air charter purchasing for our schools. We are thrilled to launch this five-year program on February 15.
We have partnered with Private Jet Services, the largest corporate aviation consultancy in North America. PJS will secure air transportation from licensed carriers for the benefit of our member schools, starting with regular season travel for winter and spring sports.
A great benefit of this collaboration would most certainly be student-athlete safety. We also believe the result will be lower costs to our universities. A collective purchasing effort just makes sense when you have 130 schools individually contracting for air travel.
The air charter program is an example of one of the ways LEAD1 provides services for its members and helps address critically important issues in college sports.