Flexjet is offering voluntary separation agreements to its pilots as the company begins to phase out certain aircraft models and shift others from fractional ownership into charter. The company further is requesting approval to make a similar offer to pilots at affiliate operation Flight Options.
In a March 31 letter to pilots, Jason Weiss, Flexjet executive v-p of operations, outlined plans to retire the Learjet 40XR and Challenger 604/605 fleets and move the Nextant 400XT and Citation X out of the fractional business model into on-demand. “Our companies have seen a significant shift in the fractional marketplace over the past year and a half,” Flexjet said in a statement to Aviation International News. “While customer demand has historically been high in the light- and midsize-cabin segments, much of it has since shifted to on-demand flying.” At the same time, the growth in the fractional programs has trended toward larger, longer-range aircraft.
The company has not determined the actual number of pilots that will be needed once the fleet adjustments are made, but acknowledges fewer pilots will be required for fractional operations. It has begun by offering voluntary separation agreements that range from six months to a year of salary and other benefits. Flexjet believes the program will take effect over then next 12 to 18 months.