Business Aviation A Job Creator: NetJets CEO
On the 50th anniversary of NetJets (May 21) the company's CEO came out swinging against critics of corporate aviation. But Jordan Hansell didn't rely on the tired-sounding justifications like efficiency, productivity and competitive advantage that have zoned out many on the issue of whether Citations and Gulfstreams pull their weight. Hansell told Bloomberg that the business jet industry is a job creator and those who work in it are tired of being criticized for making a living. “I know the people who work for me when they hear what I’ll call rhetoric, it really makes them angry,” Hansell said. “They say, ‘You’re messing with my livelihood.’ And I understand where they’re coming from.” He said there's a market for the company's product and it's a major contributor to the economy with jobs that pay well so there's some irony in Hansell's comments in that the company is locked in contentious negotiations with its unionized employees, including the Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots.
The union's position is that with aircraft usage up and more money flowing into the company, it's time for NetJets to ease the cutbacks it imposed several years ago. “They’ve cut and cut and cut,” said John Malmborg, president of the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots. “There was very much a need for the cutting some time back when we were losing lots of money every day. But things are coming back.” Hansell said he'd like labor peace sooner rather than later but only if the two sides can reach a deal that is "sustainable" for the company. “We don’t have any desire on our side to extend it," Hansell said. "If we could be done tomorrow with a deal that made sense, we’d do it.”