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GE Shocks Private-Jet Industry That Preaches `No Plane, No Gain'

  • Industrial behemoth plans to shed fleet in bid to cut spending
  • Business-aviation executives say move won’t help reduce costs

Imagine if Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg announced he was unplugging from the internet to save time. That’s how private-jet industry executives feel about General Electric Co.’s cost-cutting move to sell the bulk of its corporate fleet.

GE’s plan to shed five company-owned planes flies in the face of the boardroom axiom that such aircraft are time- and money-saving tools, not luxury items. GE sells jet engines to planemakers and will have a large presence next month at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual conference, where the motto has been ‘No Plane, No Gain.’