Citing Recession, Flight Options Furloughs More Pilots

 - January 20, 2009, 9:53 AM

In a letter sent to all pilots and flight attendants last Wednesday, Flight Options vice president of flight operations Bob Tyler announced furloughs that took effect yesterday “due to reduced demand due to the ongoing national recession.” The furloughs affect 63 crewmembers, including “13 Beechjet PICs, 11 Beechjet SICs, 28 Hawker SICs and 11 Citation X SICs,” according to the letter. This latest reduction is in addition to the more than 100 pilots furloughed in late November. “The economics require that we reduce an additional number of aircraft that we fly daily,” Tyler wrote. “This reduction of aircraft means we need fewer pilots and fewer support employees for now.” Furloughs were done, working with the pilot union, in inverse order of seniority. Affected pilots receive 41 days of furlough pay and medical coverage through February 28 and Cobra coverage paid through March 31. The news came as no surprise to Dan Dugger, president of fractional share trading company Fractrade. “This is not isolated to Flight Options,” he said. “Fractional companies are having to do what is necessary to make it through to continue to serve this market.”