Business aircraft charter company and fractional ownership start-up Jet Republic has just received its 1,000th pilot CV as the rate of applications among pilots and flight attendants continues to soar.

"As a result of the global economic slowdown, which has forced some of the world's major carriers to contract, Jet Republic is attracting a very high calibre of experienced pilots and flight attendants," says the Lisbon-based company, which is scheduled to take delivery of the first of 110 Bombardier Learjet 60XR midsize business jets later this year.

Applications rose in February by 300% compared with the previous month and in one week alone Jet Republic says it has "received a record 200 CVs from some of Europe's leading pilots from commercial airlines and air forces".

Jet Republic Learjet 60XR 
 © Jet Republic

Chief executive Jonathan Breeze says: "We are seeing unprecedented levels of applications from some of Europe's top pilots and are enormously excited that we are able to attract individuals of their calibre to join the company. Indeed, applications have reached such a point that we have had to appoint additional staff to cope with the interest. The experience of these individuals will be a considerable asset to the company as we continue to grow the business over the coming months and years."

Jet Republic says it will not to recruit ab-initio pilots "who have little or no flying experience", but will be recruiting from a pool of "highly experienced former commercial and military pilots".

Despite the global financial meltdown, Jet Republic is confident the fractional ownership market will continue to grow and will, it predicts, "account for more than 18% of the business aircraft market within five years - up from 10% today".

It says: "Fractional ownership will soar as wealthy individuals and businesses find difficulty raising capital to purchase private jets outright. Furthermore, companies which currently have jets are coming under increasing pressure to be seen to cut costs by putting their aircraft up for sale, whilst retaining the business benefits of a private jet. Fractional aircraft ownership offers a convenient solution to both of these problems."

Source: Flight International