Following up on a tentative agreement reached nearly nine months ago, Raytheon Aircraft and NetJets signed a contract for the purchase of 50 Hawker 4000s (née Horizons) for the latter company’s fractional fleet. In addition, there is a separate 10-year guaranteed maintenance program. Raytheon Aircraft said the combined total value of these contracts will exceed $1 billion, the largest single commercial order in the company’s history.
NetJets chairman and CEO Richard Santulli announced that long-time business aviation leader Jim Christiansen “will be assuming the position of president of NetJets Aviation,” in Columbus, Ohio. Santulli said, “With Jim's depth of experience, there is no one who knows our business better.” The position has been unfilled since Bill Boisture resigned in January 2006 after joining the fractional operator in October 2003.
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.
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 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.)
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 French Ministry of Employment has launched an investigation into NetJets Europe flight crews at French airports, after an association of air charter operators alleged the fractional ownership giant is breaking the country’s employment law.
Bloomberg News reported on November 14 that, according to J.P. Morgan Securities analyst Joseph Nadol, fractional provider NetJets might have canceled its order for as many as 100 Gulfstream G150s. “Gulfstream’s backlog of funded orders from NetJets declined by about $600 million during the third quarter, which suggests NetJets canceled its G150 order announced in September 2002,” said Nadol.
NetJets Europe pilots are preparing to establish trade union representation at the fractional ownership company. According to Teamsters union officials, a group of the European pilots is now evaluating four possible options for union representation and it expects to launch the new organization by year-end.