Fractionals Poised for Growth This Year
U.S. fractional providers appear to be poised for growth. NetJets recently said it plans to hire 450 pilots this year, and New York-based analyst UBS Investment Research predicts the company will take delivery of 76 business jets by year-end. Bombardier Flexjet plans to hire 135 pilots this year, and a source close to the company said the operator will take delivery of 20 Learjets and Challengers during the same period. UBS estimates that Flight Options and CitationShares, which didn’t provide pilot-hiring expectations for 2006, will take delivery of five and 24 business jets, respectively. Avantair told AIN it plans to hire between 80 and 100 pilots and take delivery of 24 Avanti IIs by year-end. Aviation employment consultant AIR projects that fractionals will hire 1,000 pilots this year.