Jet Republic Fights NetJets Poaching Ban

 - August 11, 2009, 12:56 PM

Lawyers acting for European private jet club start-up Jet Republic are seeking to lift a legal injunction secured by rival fractional ownership provider NetJets Europe that has prevented it from hiring NetJets employees. A Portuguese court granted the injunction in July last year, three months before Jet Republic was officially launched. It specifically bans Jet Republic CEO Jonathan Breeze and COO Luis Vianna from making any attempt, directly or through intermediaries, to contact employees of operating company NetJets Transportes Aéreos. “NetJets Europe welcomes new entrants to the business aviation market and wishes them the best of luck,” NetJets said yesterday. “We have a highly skilled workforce that is in high demand. We cannot comment in detail on the case but, as ruled by the Portuguese courts, there is an injunction regarding recruitment activity which was deemed unfair competition.” The company emphasized that its injunction applies only to its current employees. However, according to Jet Republic, its own lawyers have advised the new company not to process applications for employment even from former NetJets staff. Jet Republic claims it will recruit 500 pilots out of a total new workforce of 1,000 over the next five years and said it will soon receive the first of up to 110 Bombardier Learjet 60XRs.