Flight Options agrees pay deal with pilots union


US fractional jet company agrees five year contract with Teamsters.

Flight Options, the fractional jet company, has agreed a five year contract for pilots with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union. The union represents about 500 pilots at the airline.

The contract, which has taken over three years to negotiate, should be agreed formally within a week. It is the first formal agreement between the union and the airline.

“One of our fundamental principles is that we believe employees are the foundation of a service company,” says Mike Silvestro, chief executive officer of Flight Options. “This agreement demonstrates our commitment to that principle.  Even in this difficult economic environment, our company has achieved a level of success that allows us to make this long-term commitment.  I would like to thank the national and local members of the IBT and members of the Flight Options senior management team for working together to finalize this agreement.”

All pilots will receive a pay rise, with future salary increases based on length of employment. Pilots will also get scope and job security presents. The union says there is a mechanism that increases pilot compensation as the business rebounds.

In a statement on its website the union says it needed to deal with: “Circumstances that few pilot groups have ever faced. Ownership and senior management changes several times during the long bargaining process and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, that disproportionately impacted the entire fractional aviation sector made reaching a first contract exceptionally difficult.”

Flight Options owns and operates a fleet of more than 100 aircraft consisting of the Hawker 400XP, Hawker 800XP, Citation X, and Embraer Legacy 600 jets. It will take delivery of its first Embraer Phenom 300 aircraft in March 2010.

The union also represents pilots working for NetJets, Cessna’s Citation Air and Bombardier’s FlexJet fractional ownership businesses.


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