AIG Getting the Message on Corporate Jets?

Insurance giant sells two jets, setting 'example for other bailout companies'.

ByABC News
March 23, 2009, 4:51 PM

March 24, 2009— -- In a sign that citizen outrage is beginning to have an impact, embattled insurance company AIG has sold two of its luxury corporate jets in the last two months and cancelled delivery on two aircraft, company officials tell ABC News. AIG has received around $180 billion in taxpayer bailout funds.

"As part of a comprehensive expense reduction plan, AIG has dramatically reduced airplane usage and sold several aircraft," said AIG spokesperson Joe Norton.

AIG sold two jets in its corporate air fleet in the last two months, a Dassault Falcon 900EX and a Falcon 2000EX EASy. It has also cancelled a 2010 order for a Dassault Falcon, and was able to transfer the sale of another Falcon to a third party, according to Norton. Norton says the use of corporate jets at AIG is down about 70% from last year.

Indeed, CEO Edward Liddy opted for Amtrak over a G-5 when he went from New York to Washington D.C. last week for hearings on the contentious bonus issue. Liddy also has a home in Chicago and the company says he flies coach when visiting the windy city, upgrading when possible.

"It would be a very good thing for America for these executives to learn to fly coach," said Nell Minow of the Corporate Library, an independent research group.

"It's one small step in a very long journey for them to return to some kind of credibility," Minow said. "In this one area at least they are setting an example for the other bailout companies to follow."