NetJets trims workforce by 5 percent

 - September 29, 2009, 7:12 AM

Fractional provider NetJets on September 11 announced the first major workforce reduction since David Sokol took over in early August as chairman and acting CEO, following the resignation of company founder Richard Santulli on August 4.

Last month’s layoffs were precipitated by “severe economic conditions facing the aviation industry” and affected some 350 non-union employees–about 5 percent of NetJet’s total workforce. No unionized employees were affected, including pilots, maintenance technicians and flight attendants. The reductions were spread across various departments in NetJets’ U.S. operations, the company said.

“This was a very difficult but necessary step, as the company must reduce its costs to the levels necessary to maintain NetJets’ business,” said Sokol. “Along with the reduction in workforce, we have initiated other actions to reduce expenses throughout the business.” He added that the reductions would not affect safety or customer service in any way.

“As we move forward, we will continue to monitor business conditions and adjust and adapt our operations to meet our customers’ needs and act in a fiscally responsible manner,” Sokol said. NetJets reported a loss of $350 million for the first six months of this year.

According to a reliable source, these layoffs are likely just the start of workforce reductions at NetJets. The company would neither confirm nor deny this speculation.