The major U.S. fractional providers appear to be poised for growth this year, if estimates of pilot hiring and aircraft delivery intake are accurate. NetJets recently said it plans to hire 450 pilots this year, and New York-based analyst UBS Investment Research predicts that the New Jersey-based fractional provider will take delivery of 76 business jets by year-end.
Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, in his latest annual letter to shareholders issued Saturday, said the company’s flight services division–FlightSafety and NetJets–reported $120 million in pre-tax earnings versus $191 million in 2004. According to Buffett, “Earnings improved at FlightSafety as corporate aviation continued its rebound…[but] operating results at NetJets were a different story.
A little over two years after joining NetJets as president, Bill Boisture Jr. resigned from his position and formed W. Boisture & Associates. Immediately thereafter, he announced he would be retained as a consultant to NetJets under a long-term agreement. About five months later, he joined The Carlyle Group as senior advisor.
It has been a long road for Raytheon Aircraft, but on November 21 the Hawker 4000 (née Horizon) super-midsize received full FAA certification, following the award of provisional certification almost two years earlier, and more than 10 years since the program was announced at the 1996 NBAA Convention.
NetJets subsidiary Executive Jet Management (EJM) told AIN last month it logged record revenues last year but declined to reveal a dollar number. It did note, however, that 32 of its managed aircraft each generated more than $1 million in charter revenue; four generated $2 million each; three $3 million each; and one $5 million.
NetJets Europe (NJE) has offered its flight crew new onshore contracts and improved pay. Proposed raises for pilots and flight attendants range from 4.6 percent to 26.7 percent, and new roster arrangements will limit maximum duty days to 50 days per quarter. AIN obtained a copy of the contract offer, which was sent to NetJets staff on December 1. (See box on page 30 for details.)
The Wm Wrigley Jr. Company of Chicago has a rare bird, one of only two Gulfstream G550s equipped with a second crew-rest area, divided from the remaining aft end of the cabin by a sound-damping lead curtain. The second crew-rest area was built and installed at Gulfstream’s Long Beach, Calif. completion center. The other aircraft with a second crew-rest area is operated by NetJets.
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.
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.