NBAA this year is introducing the Albert Ueltschi Award, created to honor individuals and groups in business aviation who support humanitarian causes. The inaugural award is being presented to the Cessna Citation Special Olympics Airlift at today’s Awards Luncheon in recognition of the mission’s “humanitarian leadership” in business aviation.
Raytheon has announced that it is broadening its Hawker product line by introducing the Hawker 900XP and the Hawker 750, both derivatives of the Hawker 850XP. The models will replace the Hawker 850XP when they begin entering service next year.
After the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) voided the late October MEC elections due to balloting concerns, the NetJets pilots finally were scheduled to vote in new union leaders on December 22 (results are posted on www.ain-online.com). The pilot group has been without peer representation since November 1, when the terms of the former MEC members expired.
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.
David Calvert-Jones was promoted to chief executive of Los Angeles-based Helinet Aviation Services. He was previously senior v-p of corporate strategy and most recently served as interim CEO.
Alexandria, Va.-based Flight Explorer named James Kelly president and CEO. Kelly, who was founder, president and CEO of SynXis, replaces Walt Kross.
Increasing demand from wealthy individuals for the Bombardier Skyjet International fixed-rate block charter program has prompted the company to experiment with a new option called Jet Membership Light. This option–which gives customers 25 hours in light jets for $135,000 (€112,500)–is currently available only in Europe.
The unionized NetJets pilots, represented by IBT Local 1108, on November 21 overwhelmingly ratified the tentative labor agreement signed on October 8, nearly four years after the pilots’ contract became amendable. Of the valid 1,924 ballots received (about 91 percent of the NetJets pilot workforce), 1,616 (84 percent) voted for the work contract and 308 (16 percent) opposed it.
The late Randy Kennedy, who wrote a chapter or two in the book for corporate pilots in the U.S., once said, “Don’t tell anyone, but you can teach monkeys to fly these airplanes safely. The hard part of this job is acquiring the correct service mentality.”
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.