IBM Euroflight, the computer giant’s European corporate flight department, is to close down before the end of June due to “insufficient activity.” Its two Dassault Falcon 2000 jets are to be sold and bargaining between management and the unions as to the future of the operation’s 20 permanent employees–including seven pilots and seven maintenance technicians–at its Paris Le Bourget Airport base is at an advanced stage.
NetJets Europe’s plan to take delivery of 30 new aircraft this year requires the addition of 130 to 140 pilots, said William Kelly, who just last month took over as CEO of NetJets Transportes Aereos (NTA), the operating arm of NetJets Europe. An accountant and lawyer, Kelly joined NetJets Europe in 2002 and worked as its CFO for the last three-and-a-half years.
As the debate within EBAA has raged over the past 12 months, opponents of the IWG-BAO’s recommendations for a European version of the Part 91K rules for fractional ownership have complained that the increased flexibility that these allow would give an unfair competitive advantage.
Raytheon Aircraft (Booth No. 1044) is considering plans for a new jet to fill the light- to mid-sized gap in its Hawker family. The new model would fit between the 400XP and 800XP aircraft and would compete with Cessna’s Citation XLS and Bombardier’s Learjet 45XR.
NetJets Europe has bought a pre-owned Raytheon Beech 1900D twin turboprop to ensure timely positioning of flight crews, aircraft technicians and spare parts throughout Europe. Raytheon Airline Aviation Services has laid out the aircraft with a 12-passenger forward cabin and toilet separated by a movable bulkhead from an aft freight compartment that is loaded via a cargo door.
NetJets Europe has placed a “historic” $1.1 billion order for 24 Dassault Falcon 7Xs scheduled for delivery between the first quarter of 2008 through 2014. NetJets chairman and CEO Richard Santulli said the transaction, signed in Paris this morning with Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne, is the “largest business jet order in European history and the second largest order ever” in terms of billings.
Preparing for future growth of its U.S. and European operations–and in spite of mounting losses–fractional ownership giant NetJets has placed orders for 72 business jets valued at more than $1.6 billion.
The nine-month-old NetJets pilot contract, which raised wages substantially, isn’t having the speculated adverse effect on profits at the fractional provider.
More than 20 years ago, fractional jet ownership began with NetJets and then expanded rapidly in the late 1990s with the growth of Raytheon Travel Air and Flight Options (now just Flight Options, which is wholly owned by Raytheon), Bombardier’s Flexjet and the Cessna/ TAG Aviation CitationShares joint venture, among others.
Remarkably, the two pilots and three passengers on a NetJets Hawker 800XP (N879QS) and the pilot of a Schleicher sailplane escaped serious injury when the two aircraft collided at about 16,000 feet yesterday afternoon near Carson City, Nev. The pilot of the glider bailed out and landed safely, while the jet made a gear-up landing at Carson City Airport.