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.
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.
Contract talks between NetJets management and pilots broke down once again on September 12, three days shy of a scheduled 30-day marathon bargaining session. The pilots’ union negotiation committee said it walked out of the talks “because the company has continuously failed to respond to the union’s position regarding the pilot group’s bargaining thresholds,” namely salary expectations.
Fractional ownership provider NetJets Europe has launched a dedicated operation for the Scottish market. Through NetJets Scotland the company will offer flights to and from 17 Scottish airports, including the Royal Air Force bases at Lossiemouth, Leuchars (close to the exclusive St. Andrews golf course) and Kinloss.
Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options announced three new buyer-incentive programs. Until December 16, buyers of a three-thirty-second share (75 hours of annual usage) in a new Hawker 400XP will get an extra 25 occupied hours per year (a total of 100 hours) with no additional capital outlay.
A new European fractional ownership program that will begin operations this month is offering shares in pre-owned Cessna Citation CJ1s. UK-based European Business Jets (EBJ) was launched through a $3.7 million share flotation on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM small companies market in April. It expects to operate a fleet of five CJ1s by year-end and to double that number by the end of next year.
Marquis Jet card owners and guests now have access to medical support from the famed Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minn., while they are on a NetJets aircraft or at their destination anywhere in the world, 24 hours per day. Marquis Jet sells 25-hour blocks of travel time exclusively on NetJets aircraft.
Fractional provider NetJets has ordered 50 AirCell ST 3100 Iridium satellite communication systems for its fleet of Hawker 400XP light business jets. The satellite phones will be installed in the 400XPs before retail delivery at Raytheon Aircraft Services in San Antonio, in the coming months, according to AirCell, which began marketing Iridium services in 2002.
Contract negotiations between NetJets management and the leadership of Local 1108, which represents the fractional provider’s pilots, seem to have gone from bad to worse, according to the union. The union said that mediated negotiations last month didn’t bring the two groups together but split them farther apart. NetJets management declined to comment.
It appears that the informational picketing by NetJets pilots, who are represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1108, is having the desired effect of putting pressure on company management to hammer out a new contract with the pilot workforce. On May 27 the pilots conducted simultaneous informational picketing sessions at Teterboro Airport, N.J., and West Palm Beach Airport, Fla.