What began as a concept that met with outright skepticism and indeed some hostility by the established aviation industry has blossomed into a viable branch of business and personal transportation that continues to fuel manufacturers’ production lines, gobbles up flight crews and, at least for now, staves off recessionary pressures by keeping order books fat.
NetJets aircraft will fly 300,000 occupied hours this year, chairman and CEO Richard Santulli told reporters during ceremonies in Columbus, Ohio, to announce a rebranding that changed the company name from Executive Jet Inc. to NetJets Inc. Citing confusion among the press, prospects and customers, Santulli noted that “changing our corporate name to NetJets Inc.
Users of business-aircraft charter who prefer to purchase travel in advance now have another option that the service’s provider claims is different from other products. Under a program introduced early last month, global charter broker Air Partner is offering its new Jet Membership card program as an alternative to the group’s long-established classic charter operation.
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.
Since parent company General Dynamics acquired Galaxy Aerospace last year, Gulfstream has been on a program to improve the performance of the Gulfstream 200 (nee Galaxy) to meet a request by NetJets that it be able to fly London to New York in 85-percent winds with four passengers at Mach 0.75.
Executive Jet named Jim Christiansen vice president of national accounts for its NetJets fractional aircraft ownership program. For the peripatetic bizjet executive the appointment comes as something of a reunion–Christiansen served with Executive Jet back in the early 1980s when EJ was pioneering the concept of professional business jet management. Christiansen recently left TAG Aviation USA, where he was executive vice president and COO.
Executive Jet has named former communications and entertainment executive Mark Booth co-chairman of its NetJets Europe fractional aircraft ownership program. Booth, based in London, will help expand NetJets throughout Europe. He joined NetJets from epartners, a subsidiary of News Corp., where he was a general partner. His career has spanned 20 years in the communications and entertainment industries.
Recently established Marquis Jet Partners of New York City has purchased shares in several NetJets’ fractional-ownership aircraft and is marketing prepaid, 25-hr block-charter times to Marquis card holders on these aircraft, which will be operated by NetJets under its Part 135 certificate. Aircraft initially in the program include the Citation X, Ultra, and Excel, the Hawker 800XP and the Falcon 2000.
The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended the trading of Connect-A-Jet securities until October 12, due to alleged “deceptive practices” and “inaccurate assertions by Connect-A-Jet.” Paul Montoya, SEC regional director for the division of enforcement, told AIN he could not comment on the specific allegations, but explained that the SEC institutes a 10-day suspension when questions arise regarding a company’s assets, o
Business aviation continues to be a bright spot in the FAA’s annual aviation forecast, with top executives of two business jet manufacturers and the leading fractional ownership provider presenting generally upbeat assessments at the agency’s Aviation Forecast Conference in Washington, D.C., in late March.