Reacting to pressure from the White House, Citicorp (the Citibank holding company) has decided it isn't such a good idea after all to buy that new $50 million corporate jet. Citicorp, of course, has about $45 billion in taxpayer-supplied federal bailout money in its pocket.
ABC News has the story today.
And by the way, every time a corporation pulls a stunt like this, it sets the business-aviation industry back years. Best prior example: the three big Detroit auto makers who swanned into Washington in their private jets in November to ask Congress for federal bailout money.
I pointed it out immediately that this was a truly outrageous and invincibly dumb thing to do, and that it was almost as dumb for the business-aviation industry to get all defensive about the perfectly understandable public outcry.
Last week, Bill Garvey, the editor of the respected trade publication Business & Commercial Aviation, wrote about the "symbolic bone-headedness" of the Detroit worthies' trips to beg for bailouts in their Gulfstreams, and called the ferocity of the public and political backlash "breathtaking."
He also quoted a corporate flight manager saying of the Detroit debacle: "That single day set corporate aviation back 25 years."
Add another couple of years to that, thanks to the Citibank stunt.