Fractional ownership provider NetJets Europe plans to more than 200 crew members in 2008, having employed 341 new pilots in 2007 as its growth continues.

The European operation now has "real momentum", says Warren Buffet, head of NetJet's owner, investment firm Berkshire Hathaway. After losing a cumulative $212 million in its first 10 years, NetJets Europe's earnings tripled in 2007, he says.

NetJets now operates 487 aircraft in the USA and 135 in Europe, "a fleet more than twice the size of that operated by our three major competitors combined", Buffet says.

NetJets Europe says its workforce increased by 33% in 2007, to just over 1,650 people including 908 pilots. The company expects to employ more than 2,000 people by the end of 2008, and is launching a series of pilot roadshows across Europe.

The Lisbon, Portugal-headquarted operator's minimum requirement for direct-entry first officers is 1,500 flight hours experience, but it says that pilots hired in 2007 averaged more than 4,000h.