May 10, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
CitationAir has asked all 85 pilots laid off in 2009 to return to work. Travel is picking up, but that doesn’t mean the economic downturn is over. Not all the CitationAir pilots invited to return could do so.
CitationAir offers, depending on the level you choose, on-demand travel within 12 hours, or fractional and full ownership transportation at the higher levels of membership. In 2009, the company, with offices in Greenwich, Conn., said it was going to “right-size” the business by cutting it to 307 pilots. But now the right size is closer to the one it had before the recession, with 334 pilots. There would have been more, but only 53 of the laid-off 85 pilots were available to return.
“CitationAir has made strides in the past couple of years not only to survive the recession, but to grow the business afterward—a feat of which we’re very proud,” CEO Steve O’Neill said. “In doing so, CitationAir is the only company in the private jet marketplace to have offered a recall to 100 percent of its pilots after a furlough.”
The company began as a fractional ownership company in 2000 called CitationShares and sold only fractional shares of Citation aircraft. It rebranded itself in 2009, and no longer requires customers to be fractional owners.
A statement from the company said more announcements can be expected this year concerning expansion plans.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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