Pilot hiring by the four major fractional aircraft ownership operators is far ahead of last year’s, according to figures compiled by AIR. The employment analyst reported that in the first eight months of this year, fractional operators hired 300 pilots, compared with 198 for all of last year. AIR reports that NetJets, FlightOptions, Flexjet and CitationShares employed 3,649 pilots as of August 31.
Charter and Fractional » Fractional
News and issues concerning the fractional-ownership industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
A new Web site, scheduled to be fully operational this month, promises to provide data on the major fractional programs, including detailed descriptions of aircraft ages, flight tracker, classified ads for buying and selling shares and a “complete database” of owners.
Flight Options CEO Kenn Ricci plans to obtain Part 135 approval for the Cleveland-based fractional provider.
Executive Charter Services says its new guaranteed charter rates are significantly lower than the comparable rates for fractional and jet-card aircraft. The Boston-based company guarantees a price of $2,300 per hour for light jets and $3,350 per hour for midsize jets, with a 2.5-hour minimum. These rates include federal taxes, segment fees, overnight charges and landing fees.
The FAA extended to November 16 the comment period on its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to regulate fractional aircraft ownership operations. Just before the original comment period was about to close on October 16, NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association requested a 30-day extension.
OurPlane of London, Ontario, Canada, which has been marketing fractional shares in piston airplanes since 1998, recently introduced fractional programs for the King Air C90B and Pilatus PC-12. The company announced it is teaming with FlightExec to expand the King Air and PC-12 programs in Canada. FlightExec is an aircraft management/charter firm also based in London, Ontario. OurPlane has 15 aircraft at eight locations in North America.
It’s been 21 years since Richard Santulli opened the doors of NetJets, having figured out a way to lower the barriers to entry to business aviation by selling fractional shares in corporate jets. Now all sorts of industries that sell expensive products have latched onto fractional shares; the latest are companies that sell specialized manufacturing equipment to factories that need to switch production lines to new products quickly.
PlaneSense is the world’s largest operator of PC-12s and, according to its president and CEO, George Antoniadis, it intends to hold the same ranking among SPn operators. The company thought long and hard about how to develop its fleet to build on the success achieved by the Swiss-built turboprop single.
Flight Options pilots are only marginally closer to having a negotiated contract nearly a year-and-a-half after voting in a union. The fractional provider’s more than 600 line pilots are represented by Local 1108, the same group that represents NetJets’ pilots.
Charter operator XOJet of San Carlos, Calif., announced with Cessna on Monday that it had ordered 30 Citation Xs worth $600 million. Yesterday, Bombardier joined XOJet in announcing that the companies had signed an agreement for XOJet’s purchase of 80 Challenger 300s, 20 firm and 60 on option, the largest single order to date for the Challenger 300. Total value of this order, if all options are exercised, is $1.9 billion.