NetJets Europe pilots are preparing to establish trade union representation at the fractional ownership company. According to Teamsters union officials, a group of the European pilots is now evaluating four possible options for union representation and it expects to launch the new organization by year-end.
Flying Group, the Antwerp-based aircraft charter, fractional ownership, management and handling company, views France as the main outlet for its growth strategy. It is putting this theory into practice by establishing substantial new bases at both Paris Le Bourget Airport and Cannes-Mandelieu.
Europe’s business jet fleet has enjoyed double-digit growth over the past year, according to the latest statistics from UK-based aviation data group Airclaims. Tracking jets registered in 38 European countries, the figures show 1,407 aircraft as of last December 31–a 12-percent increase on the tally of 1,260 at the end of 2004.
NetJets Europe’s plan to take delivery of 30 new aircraft this year requires the addition of 130 to 140 pilots, said William Kelly, who just last month took over as CEO of NetJets Transportes Aereos (NTA), the operating arm of NetJets Europe. An accountant and lawyer, Kelly joined NetJets Europe in 2002 and worked as its CFO for the last three-and-a-half years.
A decade ago, many U.S. charter operators were voicing the same anxieties that their European counterparts are expressing today in their opposition to proposed new part-private part-commercial operating rules for fractional ownership. In short, they too believed that the major fractional providers would wipe them off the face of the earth, having been handed an unfair competitive advantage.
As the debate within EBAA has raged over the past 12 months, opponents of the IWG-BAO’s recommendations for a European version of the Part 91K rules for fractional ownership have complained that the increased flexibility that these allow would give an unfair competitive advantage.
The leadership of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) believes it has now reached a workable consensus on the complex and contentious issue of how to regulate fractional ownership operations. According to EBAA chief executive Brian Humphries, the key to achieving a solution that all parts of the industry can accept is an anticipated breakthrough in getting U.S.
Charter broker Air Partner will this summer relaunch its Jet Membership block charter program under the new name JetCard. The new offering will promise maximum flexibility with customers free to opt for a full, no-quibble refund on flight hours bought at any time.
NetJets Europe has bought a pre-owned Raytheon Beech 1900D twin turboprop to ensure timely positioning of flight crews, aircraft technicians and spare parts throughout Europe. Raytheon Airline Aviation Services has laid out the aircraft with a 12-passenger forward cabin and toilet separated by a movable bulkhead from an aft freight compartment that is loaded via a cargo door.
If Berkshire Hathaway’s first-quarter results are any indication, its NetJets subsidiary will record a profit this year, which would be a reversal from $80 million in losses incurred by the fractional aircraft provider last year.