First it was NetJets’ pilots who picketed and finally got a new labor contract; now it’s the fractional’s mechanics and other support personnel who on Friday began “informational picketing” at the company’s headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. Their contract became renewable in January last year.
Charter and Fractional » Fractional
News and issues concerning the fractional-ownership industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Piaggio shipped only three Avantis in the first nine months of this year, hardly enough to keep up with demand, particularly from one of the OEM’s largest single customers, fractional provider Avantair. Lack of new Avantis is the primary reason that Avantair will record a loss of nearly $21 million this year, according to a recent SEC filing by the company’s new owner, Ardent Acquisition.
The union representing some 760 Flight Options pilots is charging that the Raytheon-owned fractional share company is engaging in a pattern of harassing and hostile behavior as both sides continue negotiations toward an initial contract. Under terms of the National Labor Relations Act those talks can continue through August 2007 before a strike could be called.
Global charter broker Air Partner International has acquired UK executive charter operator Gold Air for around $8.1 million. From its base at London Biggin Hill Airport, Gold Air now operates six new Bombardier Learjet 45s and a British Aerospace HS 125-800 under management contracts for their owners.
Scara, a French association of leisure and executive air charter operators, is urging CRPN, the French crew retirement fund that collects contributions from all French-employed pilots, to file a lawsuit against fractional operator NetJets Europe for allegedly violating French labor laws.
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.
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.