Fractional pilot hiring down significantly

 - July 28, 2008, 11:36 AM

The growth of fractional aircraft share sales has cooled recently, reflected by delayed and canceled orders for new aircraft by fractional providers (AIN, May, page 1). Another apparent reflection of the downturn is the sharp reduction in total pilot hiring by the major fractional providers. According to AIR Inc., an Atlanta firm that tracks flight-crew hiring statistics, the four largest fractional operators–NetJets, Flight Options, Bombardier Flexjet and CitationShares–hired 92 pilots in the first five months of this year, compared with 559 in the same period last year. In May, the major fractional operators added just 22 pilots versus 100 in May last year.