After the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) voided the late October MEC elections due to balloting concerns, the NetJets pilots finally were scheduled to vote in new union leaders on December 22 (results are posted on www.ain-online.com). The pilot group has been without peer representation since November 1, when the terms of the former MEC members expired.
Charter and Fractional » Fractional
News and issues concerning the fractional-ownership industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Assuming the next six months or so do not see a deterioration in trading conditions, the NetJets Europe fractional-ownership program should finally achieve an operating profit in the second half of this year.
On behalf of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), two separate task forces are tackling the vexed issue of regulating fractional ownership operations in Europe. One group is focusing on safety and licensing concerns and the other on security. Neither is expected to complete its recommendations until the middle of the year, according to an ECAC spokeswoman.
Corporate jet-card services company Sentient Jet has acquired charter operator Atlantic Aviation Flight Services of Teterboro, N.J., from Voyager Group, a private-equity firm based in Pittsburgh. To AIN’s knowledge, this marks the first acquisition of a charter operator by a fundamentally jet-card company.
Last month, the Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (ASAP)–the union representing NetJets pilots– began its “informational picketing,” a campaign that includes this billboard near Teterboro Airport, N.J. The billboard notes that the pilots and NetJets management have been in negotiations for about three-and-a-half years, and suggests that a strike is possible after June 24.
What is the role of an aircraft charter broker, do current regulations support this role and who has operational control on brokered flights? The FAA and DOT are seeking answers to these questions in the aftermath of the nonfatal takeoff abort of a Challenger 600 at Teterboro Airport on February 2.
Bombardier’s fractional operation, Flexjet, said last month that after a decade it has turned the corner and is making money. Based on year-end projections, it will be an extremely thin margin, but a gain nonetheless. Founded in 1995, Flexjet currently has a fleet of 80 Learjets and Challengers.
The unionized NetJets pilots, represented by IBT Local 1108, on November 21 overwhelmingly ratified the tentative labor agreement signed on October 8, nearly four years after the pilots’ contract became amendable. Of the valid 1,924 ballots received (about 91 percent of the NetJets pilot workforce), 1,616 (84 percent) voted for the work contract and 308 (16 percent) opposed it.
Piaggio Avanti frax operator Avantair has a new owner–Alfred Rapetti–and in the middle of next year will relocate its headquarters from Caldwell, N.J. to Clearwater, Fla. The company originally opened the Florida facility this summer as a southeast maintenance and operations base. Avantair currently operates 21 Avantis and plans to double that number by the end of the year.
At the EBACE gathering in Geneva earlier this year, the joint industry working group on business aircraft operations (IWG-BAO), which includes NBAA, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), presented the initial findings of its work on corporate, fractional and commercial operations, with a view toward making a recommendation to the ECAC Task Force on fractional ownership.