Robert Herjavec, one of the dragons on CBC's The Dragons' Den and CEO of the Herjavec Group, zips around on a private plane he partly owns through AirSprint Inc., the first Canadian company to sell fractional ownerships in small corporate jets and turboprops.
How much do you travel ?
"I typically fly between 75 and 100 hours per year - which is nowhere near what I used to fly.
But it's substantial for a person like me who really doesn't like the process of flying - hence the plane, which makes it a lot more fun."
Where does your plane fly from?
"I live in the east end and my office is right downtown at One Yonge Street [in Toronto.]So like I'm going to New York tomorrow for a dinner meeting. I have a meeting until 1 p.m. here in the city, I'll be on my plane at the island [airport]by 1:20, and I'll land back at Buttonville [airport] which is close to my house, that evening. I'll do anything and everything I can to avoid Pearson."
What happens when you cross the border ?
"Whenever you fly to the States, you have to file a schedule of everybody that is flying with you and their passport number.The end result is we drive to the plane and it's wonderful because you're not in a hurry. The plane leaves when you leave, so it really de-stresses you."
Especially with all the traffic, you're always wondering if you're going to make it on time.
"Yeah, with this you just show up and hop on, and I would say that 95 per cent of the time you are pre-cleared even before you land."
"Yeah. Sometimes there is a customs guy who comes out to the plane and says welcome or asks you a couple of questions. But I've never had it take more than a few minutes. ...The other advantage is that you can land in smaller airports where, in some cases, they'll even bring your car to the plane."
So what is the downside of this?
"The downside is that you get really spoiled. We love to ski and we always go to Mont Tremblant. And people say, 'Why don't you go skiing in Calgary or Vancouver, where there are better mountains?'. . . The reason is because our plane can't get there in one hop. We have to stop, which is rather inconvenient."
What don't you like about travel? "I don't like to travel for two reasons. One is I have little kids and I hate to be away from my kids and family. The second reason is that I hate wasting time, I hate crowds and I hate waiting in line. . . . I kind of feel like air travel today is like taking a Greyhound bus. I feel like they're rude, they treat you like masses of humanity. . . . I think you'd have a hard time finding people who'd say, 'Oh my God, we love to fly.' "
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