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From status carrier to steppingstone: NetJets continues freefall

NetJets, the global leader in private air transportation, continues its freefall from career destination to industry steppingstone as executives steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the reality of the worsening pilot labor crisis.

This theme connects sentiments shared in a long-form video published to the pilot union’s YouTube channel earlier this week.

An independent labor advocate, NJASAP represents the professional interests of the 3,100-plus pilots who fly in the service of NetJets Aviation, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary.

“Historically, airline management teams have been quick to dismiss the pilot advocate’s concerns, insisting the union is making much ado about nothing. NetJets is no different in that regard,” NJASAP President Capt. Pedro Leroux explained.

“Our newest video tells ‘The Pilots’ Story,’ reaffirming NJASAP is, in fact, speaking on behalf and with the full support of its members.”

To its detriment, NetJets has buried its head in the sand to the realities of the sustained pilot labor crisis. In a puzzling turn of events, management has minimized the essential role talented aviators play in delivering the peace of mind for which its high-end clientele pays a premium.

“Considering the complex nature of our unscheduled operation and the 5,000-plus airports to which we provide service, NetJets clients want and deserve experienced pilots on the flight deck,” NJASAP Vice President Capt. Paulette Gilbert said.

“Talented aviators will not stay at NetJets where they will make 60% of what their peers will earn elsewhere across a 30-year career,” Leroux explained.

“Pilot compensation at NetJets not only trails that of the legacy carriers, but also low-cost carriers like JetBlue, ultra low-cost carriers like Spirit and regional airlines such as SkyWest.”

The Union president added the NetJets pilot contract continues to lose ground in wages, benefits and working conditions as regional and mainline carriers ratify amended contracts or exercise wage snap-up provisions.

“Watching NetJets – once a career destination for professional aviators – transition into the industry’s steppingstone is disheartening. Long-tenured aviators are moving on, and more and more new aviators are coming to NetJets to build time, rather than a career,” Gilbert remarked, explaining that, year to date, 62% of pilots who have separated from NetJets have been in their first three years of employment.

In recent weeks, NJASAP has published a series of advertisements in The Wall Street Journal that shares departing pilots’ observations about their experience at NetJets and their motivation for moving on. The content is available at GenuineQS.com.

In early February, NJASAP and NetJets convened a voluntary bargaining measure to negotiate what NJASAP thought would be competitive adjustments to its current agreement.

That, however, has been far from the case. “Our most recent bargaining session clocked in at 32 minutes, dashing any remaining hope we had that NetJets was committed to good faith bargaining,” Gilbert said, adding management remains resolute in its belief that the pilot group is content to make approximately half of what their peers at mainline and regional carriers will earn across a career.

“In short, management’s head-in-the-sand posture remains fully intact.”

NJASAP discusses the Fractional’s continued, but entirely avoidable and reversible decline in its September 2023 Aero Crew News Digital Takeover.

Moreover, NJASAP members and their families will travel to New York City next Thursday, Sept. 14 to engage in informational picketing outside the New York Stock Exchange, 20 Broad Street, New York City, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.­

“Wall Street is the perfect venue for an informational picket: It is filled with financial professionals who understand the importance of investing in an entity’s most valuable resource,” Leroux said.

“NJASAP members will be standing outside the Stock Exchange to remind NetJets and Berkshire Hathaway of the essential role the pilots play in ensuring the company is positioned to meet its lofty promises to owners and customers.”

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