AS SCHOOLS across Europe break for February half-term, it is not just the Alpine pistes that are congested: private-jet terminals across the continent are also full to bursting. The number of bookings for private aircraft to the Alps in the week ending February 19th is 40% higher than in the same period last year, says Adam Twidell of PrivateFly, a booking service. Although about half the bookings were made by firms, not all those on board will be working much. For executives are using corporate jets less for business, and rather more for their leisure.

Video-conferencing cuts the need for face-to-face meetings. Scheduled flights link more destinations directly than ever before. And corporate jets are hard to justify when squeezing costs elsewhere. At companies acquired by private-equity firms the number of private flights falls by a third within three years, according to research by Jesse Edgerton, now at J.P. Morgan, a bank.

But bosses are increasingly using executive jets for both work and play. The average value of this perk per executive in Fortune 100 firms has risen by about 10% since 2013, says Equilar, a research firm….Continue reading