Sokol Begins Integration Plan at NetJets Aviation, NJI
NetJets yesterday announced the start of an operational consolidation plan for two of the company’s North American fractional aircraft subsidiaries–NetJets Aviation (NJA) and NetJets International (NJI). Columbus, Ohio-based NJA flies everything but the Gulfstream fleet; NJI, based in Okatie, S.C., operates the fractional Gulfstream fleet. “Through this effort, we will be relocating most of the NJI business functions from South Carolina and Georgia to our corporate and operational headquarters in Columbus,” NetJets chairman and CEO David Sokol told AIN. He expects this process to be completed by October. “The decision [to consolidate] was made after detailed analysis and careful deliberation and is the result of NetJets’ ongoing, long-term business planning process that began in the fall,” Sokol said, adding that the consolidation will not affect safety or service. A spokeswoman from the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP), the in-house union that represents NJA pilots, told AIN that it was initially surprised by the announcement. However, by yesterday evening NJASAP president Mark Luthi had met with NetJets executives to address the merger of the unionized NJA pilots and non-unionized NJI pilots. The NJA pilot contract amended in 2008 contains a provision to integrate the two pilot groups, with the combined group to be represented by NJASAP.