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Yes, people do get hired right into the BBJ as PIC. Not sure how this has been going lately, but the guys hired into it so far are "Training Captains" with prior large aircraft experience. They are union members on the seniority list with the rest of us here at NJA.
The caveat is that the captains hired directly into the BBJ are only allowed to be there for 3 years, if I remember right.
After that, they have to bid out and get whatever a 3rd year seniority number can hold.
Toploader is correct, people have been hired into the BBJ under certain circumstances.
Contract LOT captains were hired initially to help train the NJA seniority PICs. Only about a dozen (approx) are allowed per our IBT contract. Those pilots were hired for a 3 year period, at the end of three years they have to bid whatever their number will hold. Currently there are 14 LOT capts and 24 "capts in training." The LOTs are between 900 and 1300 on the list. I have heard most of the LOTs are not planning on staying past the three years. I haven't heard of any LOT openings. There will not be any SIC bids to the BBJ for another year or so. All current PICs in training will have to be released as PIC first.
I've heard the BBJ program is slowing down. The rumor is that several owners have requested not to fly on "an airliner" and have been using smaller aircraft. I don't think anyone here thinks the BBJ is an airliner (I never seen a BBJ loaded like cattle). But I guess if my brain worked like the ones riding in the back, I'd wouldn't be on this site. I'd be calling the NetJets number that gets answered on the first ring, booking a private flight to a tropical island.
If the BBJ program is slowing down, the current economy has to have contributed.
Rumors are rumors. The program has slowed because of the economy, and we have deferred a few orders (4 more this year instead of 5). We have not put any of the 5 we have, up for sale.
We DO have owners in the BBJ program. Not many people balk at a BBJ upgrade. Citation X owners have been know to complain about the Falcon and the GIV being TOO SLOW.
one is on an "around the world" trip due back the first week of july.
one is on "wet lease" (we provide crew and plane) to the govt of kazakstan unitl 12/31/02.
one will be going on a one-year dry lease to an operator on guam.
we are due to take delivery of one new a/c any day. a second could be forthcoming. however, boeing owns the planes, and if they find a buyer, they could be sold before being delivered to us. that's what happened with the one going to guam.
with the one being delivered, we'll still be at five planes, six if the second new one is delivered.
mgt is putting out rumor that f/o bids could come out this summer. several of the eja capts in training are ready to be released as full pic. i doubt that any new hires would get the bbj, though. most likely current pilots on the list would bid those positions. however, if nobody bids them, new hires would get assigned.
the program is very slow - been in it a year in august - only have 66 hours, haven't flown since first week of may. once our 135 certificate is approved, the flying should pick up. supposedly the phone is ringing off the hook with charter requests.