With new bases in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Austin opening this year and plans to expand to California and South Florida, Jet Linx unveiled two major initiatives designed to provide high standards and plentiful pilots for its customers.
With an industry-wide shortage of pilots, the Omaha-based aircraft management company unveiled today a three-way partnership with Southwest Airlines, the nation’s largest domestic carrier, and CAE, a global leader in pilot training for civil aviation. Jet Linx currently has about 250 pilots, a figure that will reach 500 by 2023.
The new Program, called Destination 225°, provides motivated and capable candidates with a career path from initial training, to private aviation and to commercial airlines. It also enables Southwest pilots who are retiring or looking for a lifestyle change to apply for jobs at Jet Linx. About 70% of Jet Linx trips are same-day roundtrips, so pilots who live where they are based, are home more often than commercial airline pilots or those flying for floating private jet fleets.
The Program also includes collegiate aviation institutions, military, and other smaller aviation companies as feeders to the program to reach all corners of the industry.
Jamie Walker, President & CEO of Jet Linx said, “We are excited to partner with Southwest and CAE to establish this ground-breaking new program for the industry. It underscores our commitment to providing industry-best solutions for our flight team members and for the industry.”
He added, “Destination 225° will serve as a solution to help attract future pilots to the industry by offering them a single career path from three trusted industry partners. It’s a great step towards helping address the future pilot supply pipeline.”
Walker says about 30% of Jet Linx pilots leave to fly for commercial airlines, however, he said he also sees the reverse, with pilots, attracted to private flying both for lifestyle reasons as well as the variety of airports they fly to. Private jet access about 5,000 U.S. airports compared to under 500 by the airlines and also have more interaction with passengers. Airline pilots typically fly rotations to the same airports over and over again.
Separately, Jet Linx reorganized its Flight Control Department in May. Instead of rotating duties throughout the day, team members now specialize in different areas where they will exercise ownership over their duties.
Previously, team members would switch duties every two hours. This meant that someone might handle Flight Following for two hours, and then switch to Flight Planning, and then switch over to work on International Flights – all in the same shift.
“The inspiration to restructure the Flight Coordination team came straight from the Jet Linx core values, setting the standard of excellence and making seamless personal jet travel happen,” says Corey Hayes, international operations manager, noting, “Restructuring Flight Coordination now offers our local Client Services teams 24/7 access to Flight Control Specialists, Flight Planning Specialists, and International Operations Specialists.”
The new structure enhances both internal communications and accuracy, according to the company. While Flight Following requires a team member to be reactive in solving problems, someone focusing on Flight Planning has to think proactively to find solutions for potential problems in the future.
“What I found was that roles witching during their shifts was resulting in a loss of efficiency,” says Brian Walker, director of Flight Coordination. “Between every transition, roughly 30 minutes are lost just due to the switch in mindsets and the transition from one software to another. That system used to work, but as our operation expanded, this change was necessary for us to uphold our high standards of service and safety.”
Jet Linx is top-rated by all three safety audit groups, holding IS-BAO Stage 3, ARGUS Platinum and Wyvern Wingman. In June, Jet Linx conducted its third annual Safety Summit, voluntarily grounding its fleet of 115-plus aircraft nationwide to bring together all of its 500-plus employees to focus on the organization’s safety standards.
It offers two pay-as-you-go jet card options and recently introduced a new seat-sharing program for its members. Compare Jet Linx with over 50 jet card providers by subscribing to Private Jet Card Comparisons.