Jet Linx, UNO students take flight with partnership

Photo by Evan Ludes/The Gateway Omaha-based airline company Jet Linx has been hiring many UNO aviation students like Mark Wunderlich
Photo by Evan Ludes/The Gateway
Omaha-based airline company Jet Linx has been hiring many UNO aviation students like Mark Wunderlich

By Seth Arter, Contributor

The University of Nebraska at Omaha is soaring high as it has partnered up with an Omaha-based charter (private aircraft) company, Jet Linx. The company has doubled its income between 2010 and 2013 and has also largely increased the amount of employees. In 2013, the company had a total income of $47.4 million, which is up greatly from $19.6 million in 2010.
The company is prospering for a variety of reasons. Not only are the small aircrafts accessible in many locations but they are also available when travelers need them, with charter locations in Omaha, Neb.; Denver; Atlanta; Dallas; Houston; St. Louis; San Antonio; Scottsdale, Ariz. and Indianapolis.
This year alone, Jet Linx has added 27 new employees to its headquarters located at 120 and Blondo streets. The company as a whole now has nearly 240 employees.
The rapidly growing charter company and UNO have developed a partnership, turning out to be beneficial for both parties. Due to the internships the company provides to UNO aviation students, they are the top sponsor of UNO’s Flying Mavs Flight Team.
The company flourished between UNO Aviation Institute head Scott Vlasek and UNO alumni Jason Vanis, who is Jet Linx’s vice president of flight operations, and Jay Vidlak, vice president of the new base development. Vanis and Vidlak are also first cousins.
Vanis and Vidlak had dreamt of being pilots before being in aviation management. The two began working at a charter company in Colorado, assisting the needs of aviation clients. As soon as they were back in Omaha, they began employment at Jet Linx. Vlasek asked them for support and the two eagerly accepted the offer, knowing the beneficial aspects for both sides.
In addition, Jet Linx offers two scholarships. As the company has become larger, so has UNO’s aviation program. With the program under Vlasek’s guidance, the program has expanded by 15 percent each of the past two years. There is a record number of 125 bachelor students involved in the program.
The aviation industry is one of many fields in which companies link up with universities. Metro Community College has partnerships with various businesses, giving students hands-on experience in the career field they pursue. Companies are encouraged to develop partnerships with schools and universities, especially fields such as science and engineering.
The partnership between UNO and Jet Linx has become so important that the two nearly rely on one another. Jet Linx and UNO hold an annual aviation golf tournament in which they raised $32,000 in scholarships this year. From scholarships to hands-on education, Jet Linx and UNO have had success since partnering up, creating business for Jet Linx and jobs for UNO aviation students.