Flexjet to hire pilots to meet demand for fractional and card programmes

This story is sourced from Flight International
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Rising demand for its fractional ownership and jet card programme has persuaded Flexjet to escalate its recruitment of new pilots to satisfy the uptake.

The Bombardier-owned company and second largest fractional ownership operator recently reported a 112% increase in fractional ownership shares between January and June this year, compared with the first six months of 2012. Jet card sales climbed by nearly 70% during the same period.

The 18-year-old company has taken delivery of more than 225 Bombardier business jet types since its inception and currently operates a fleet of 35 Learjet and 44 Challenger-series aircraft

Flexjet is the launch customer for the midsize Learjet 85 - earmarked for service entry next year - and the Learjet 75. The first superlight twin jet - an upgraded version of the 45XR, which it replaces - will be handed over later this year.

Flexjet says it plans to add 20 new pilots to its line-up by the end of December.

Candidates should have at least 2,500h of total flight time, 500h of multi-engine flight time and 500h of turbine time. Additionally, all new pilots are required to have an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate and a first class medical, says Flexjet.

Once hired, new pilots are enrolled in a "comprehensive" one-month training process, says the Richardson, Texas-based company. "The initial 10-day new hire course covers everything from internal topics to Federal Aviation Administration-required subjects. After its completion, crews move into aircraft-specific ground school - ranging from seven to nine days - followed by six simulator sessions prior to their type rating check ride," Flexjet adds.

New pilots are then put through a line-oriented flight training session in the simulator before they move on to the aircraft portion of their operating experience.