After nine months of intense bargaining, NetJets’ unionized pilots (represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters) and management reached a tentative agreement (TA) on Saturday. The move comes four years after the pilots’ contract became amendable in October 2001.
Cleveland-based fractional provider Flight Options yesterday announced three new buyer-incentive programs. Until December 16, buyers of a 3/32nd 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. According to Flight Options, this equates to a savings of nearly $200,000.
NetJets Europe (NJE) sold shares in 18 complete aircraft last year, representing an 80-percent increase in sales over 2003. By the end of last year the European fractional ownership program’s fleet consisted of 58 aircraft. That number is set to grow to 91, with 33 deliveries scheduled for this year.
Marquis Jet is now marketing a 25-hour card that gives users access to 12.5 hours in each of two different aircraft types. The new card combines aircraft types with different seating and baggage configurations, amenities and distance capabilities. The company offers two different versions of the new card: a Citation Excel/Hawker 400XP combination and a Citation X/Citation Excel combo.
Last year charter/management provider Executive Jet Management added 38 aircraft and a dozen bases bringing its total fleet size to more than 100 aircraft based at more than 50 locations in the U.S. As a division of NetJets, Executive Jet provides charter backup for the fractional aircraft ownership operator.
In the single largest training agreement in its history, Dallas-based CAE SimuFlite will soon start training all 900-plus pilots of Flight Options, the second-largest fractional aircraft ownership operation in the world. The exclusive three-year agreement, with an option for two more years, is valued at about $28 million and is effective starting this month.
Lufthansa passengers can now book NetJets Europe aircraft to fly them to and from the German flag carrier’s main long-haul hub at Munich. The new Lufthansa Private Jets service, which was set to begin at the start of the summer airline schedule on March 29, will offer passengers fast and direct connections between the Lufthansa airliners and their chartered business jet.
Raytheon Aircraft last month reached a “tentative agreement” for NetJets to purchase up to 50 Hawker Horizons for its fractional aircraft fleet. The deal is expected to be finalized before the end of this month. In mid-2003, NetJets canceled a 1999 order for 50 Horizons due to “developmental and certification delays.” Full certification of the Hawker Horizon is still not expected until around midyear.
While the fractional providers said publicly that switching to the more stringent rules of Part 91 Subpart K on February 17 was a nonevent, a look behind the scenes at NetJets reveals a somewhat more chaotic transition. It appears that the duty-time and crew-rest limitations of the new rule threw a proverbial monkey wrench into operations.
A day after news of the NetJets order for 50 Hawker 400XPs, Cessna Aircraft parent company Textron announced that it expects no financial impact from the fractional provider’s earlier cancellation of an order for 50 Citation CJ3s. The company expects the canceled order, applied to jets slated for delivery in the late 2005 to 2008 timeframe, to be reallocated to existing customer orders.