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.
Flight Options pilots are using the NBAA Convention to let the fractional provider’s customers know that the pilot group is only marginally closer to having a negotiated contract nearly a year and a half after voting for a union. The fractional provider’s more than 600 line pilots are represented by International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1108, the same group that represents NetJets’ pilots.
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.
Mark Wilson, chief executive of the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA), is set to leave the organization this month to assume a new position as director of regulatory affairs with NetJets Europe. Wilson joined the General Aviation Manufacturers and Traders Association in 2003 and led its merger with the UK’s Business Aircraft Users Association to create BBGA.