NetJets To Lay Off 495 Pilots

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The slowdown in corporate flights has forced NetJets Inc., which early this year initiated voluntary unpaid leaves of absence and early retirements, to lay off up to 495 pilots early next year. NetJets currently owns more aircraft than demand warrants as business clients seek to cut expenses. The pilots could see pink slips as early as mid-January 2010. The company has contacted the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP), which has for nearly a year been working to create pilot assistance initiatives should mass layoffs come to pass. Affected pilots will be provided a Web-based resource center that includes guides for financial, unemployment and retraining benefits along with insurance options. Dues collected from the pilots for the past seven months will be refunded and subscriptions to two aviation job Web sites will be provided for a period of one year.

NetJets also has plans to keep in touch with its furloughed pilots by connecting them with active pilots. The idea is to keep avenues open that might best facilitate the return of furloughed pilots to the line when conditions prove the move would be economically sustainable.