NetJets Pilots Sign New Pay and Scheduling Deal

 - January 4, 2021, 8:22 AM

NetJets pilots last week voted to ratify changes to their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the fractional ownership group. Following talks between NetJets management and both the U.S.-based NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) and pilot union representatives in Europe, new agreements have now been reached with flight crew for the company’s U.S. and European fleets.

The new agreement with NJASAP extends the CBA until the end of 2026, with an option for the company to extend this until the end of 2029. The NetJets U.S. pilots are getting annual pay increases that COO Alan Bobo said “will help ensure our pilots remain at the top of our market with respect to compensation.”

For European pilots, the revised CBA introduces a new variable compensation and scheduling program covering Europe’s peak summer season. According to NetJets Europe COO Thomas Born, this gives pilots opportunities to boost their pay while also enabling the company “to meet the service and coverage demands of the peak season.”

In the U.S., the new CBA expands on the existing variable compensation program that the company introduced in 2018. It also includes additional compensation and scheduling features, providing opportunities to increase pay for each flight hour beyond a certain threshold for each tour.

The new agreement includes a lower flight hour threshold at which the additional compensation is payable. It also offers increased pay for additional hours and there is no cap on how much salaries can increase under the terms of the deal. Under the new scheduling option, pilots can elect to fly a longer standard tour.

According to NetJets, the new CBA is helping the company to contain costs and avoid increases in aircraft shareowner costs. “Through improved productivity, we are able to reduce our pilot per aircraft ratio and overall operating costs,” Patrick Gallagher, president of NetJets sales, marketing, and service told AIN. “One example of how we are passing on these savings along to our shareowners is that we held our aircraft sales prices flat year over year despite increasing acquisition costs in 2021.”

The agreement was announced to all NetJets employees in a December 30 letter from the company’s chairman and CEO Adam Johnson. The company has not published details of the new pay rates or pilot-to-aircraft ratios.

Capt. Pedro Leroux, who is president of NJASAP, expressed strong support for the new agreement, which is the result of the second interim bargaining initiative between the company and pilot unions in the past couple of years. “Adam Johnson has often emphasized his work to build a business for all economic conditions and he has certainly done just that,” Leroux commented. “Not only has NetJets weathered an unprecedented time without relying on government funds, but also it has not forced concessions on the pilot group. Quite the contrary, the parties have negotiated an agreement that gives the brand more flexibility and rewards pilot performance and productivity.”

The new CBA was also endorsed by Capt. Spencer Davies, chair of Skyshare, the union representing NetJets Europe flight crew. “This creative and long-sighted deal creates a triple-win situation,” he said. “For us a step rise in reward and job security, for the company an elegant solution to the demand/capacity challenge, but most of all for the aircraft owners whose anytime, anywhere service is now more certain to be satisfied in-house by the safest, most professional and customer-focused crews in the industry.”