NetJets Europe has offered its pilots more pay and new contracts as it seeks to retain existing flight crew and hire 180 more personnel next year. Annual starting salaries will increase by between 12 and 35 percent, with first officers getting €56,500 ($73,450) and captains being offered €95,000 ($123,500).
Fractional ownership operator NetJets has increased its flights to Le Bourget airport by 70 percent since the last Paris Air Show in 2003, the U.S.-based company announced here on Monday. NetJets figures show a jump from 1,400 movements over the five first months of 2003 to 2,400 movements over the equivalent period this year.
Dubai airshow organizer Fairs & Exhibitions has added a conference dedicated to Middle East’s surging business market to this year’s event. The Mid East Business Jet Conference is scheduled for November 19, the day before the opening of Dubai 2005.
The idea of aircraft fractional ownership took some time to germinate in the Middle East. But the seed NetJets Middle East planted in 1999 has now started to bear fruit, according to company president Mohammed Al-Zeer. “Our biggest challenge at this point is to add aircraft quickly enough to meet demand,” he told Aviation International News.
The French Ministry of Employment has launched an investigation into NetJets Europe flight crews at French airports, after an association of air charter operators alleged the fractional ownership giant is breaking the country’s employment law.
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.
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.