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Canada The great white north. A BIG country with few people and LOTS of aviation.


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Old 14th Sep 2008, 13:58   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Will Sunwing last?

What are your thoughts about Sunwing? Will it last? Or be the next Zoom...
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Old 14th Sep 2008, 17:53   #2 (permalink)
 
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With XL hitting the deck, the general feeling is no-one's safe - but if you look at XL's finances, they weren't that great, and it was simply a matter of time before the house of cards came falling down. On the other hand, FlyBE over in the UK is a success story...so it's not all gloom and doom...

Sunwing's been around for 20 years near as dammit, and insists their financial position is sound. They're even scooping up ex-Zoomers for cabin and flight deck.

Anyone got some concrete information on Sunwing's viability in terms of T/O, cash-at-hand etc ?
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Old 26th Sep 2008, 09:06   #3 (permalink)
 
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Concrete information? This is aviation remember. The only constant is that everything changes daily.
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Old 26th Sep 2008, 16:15   #4 (permalink)
 
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Does Canada adopt similar rules to the UK with package tour 'get you home' guarantees and credit card refunds, but zero coverage for cash / debit card ticket purchases?

As Zoom and XL proved, it would be a brave person who shells out the latter for tickets in the present environment.
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Old 28th Sep 2008, 13:09   #5 (permalink)
 
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In Ontario, Sunwing's home province, all package tour companies are members of a travel industry group called TICO and they pay premiums to provide coverage to their customers in the event of a default on the part of the tour company or the airline.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 19:08   #6 (permalink)
 
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Sunwing

Tico makes it easy for airlines like Sunwing to run the entire operation on advance bookings. When they go banco, and they will, everyone else helps to cover off the losses and inconvenience suffered by consumers.

The best insurance is for the airline itself to have, and be able to prove to the public that they have enough cash over and above advance bookings to pay for 60 days operations.

In any event, an increasing number of agencies are no longer booking Sunwing. They all know what has happened in the past to airlines that consistently charge half of the going rate.

Banco.

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Old 29th Sep 2008, 22:20   #7 (permalink)
imp
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I am getting so sick and tired of this garbage I keep reading. I can't even believe that I am responding anymore, but I simply cannot understand how you think that a thread like this is productive.

There are real people with real jobs involved and spreading this crap about Sunwing is infuriating.

What ever happened to going to work and doing the best job you can to make your company successful? Loitering around aviation forums and trying to stir the pot regarding another's job is weak.

Half the going rate? What are you talking about? Yes, Sunwing is cheaper than Sunquest and WJ Vacations, but certainly not by half. Why is that?

Sunquest wet-leases Skyservice. Every price that one out? It is pretty expensive to charter an airplane, that is why Sunwing got their own. It saves money.

How about WJ or AC Vacations? Here is a news flash, Sunwing is the largest tour operator in Cuba by far. Therefore they get a much better rate from the hotels and can pass that along to the consumer.

Speedboat, you don't have a clue what you are talking about and that is evident from the fact that you keep referring to Sunwing as an airline. It is not an airline, it is a 25 year old tour operator that leases planes for the winter season based on lift requirements.

I cannot believe that you signed off with a thumbs up after predicting Sunwing will go "banco". Grow up, I truly hope you never have to go through a layoff or shutdown.
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 00:23   #8 (permalink)
 
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Speedboat

.... not only are you a disgrace to you collegees at WJ. I have many many good friends at WJ and they would be sickened by knowing one of their own authored the above post. Putting a thumbs up to Sunwing going bankrupt? Did we fire you? Did you not get through the hiring process? You have obviously developed a serious grudge and sound an awefull lot like someone that keep posting anti-sunwing rederic on avcanada. I know it is only a forum and people can express what they want... but will say it is easy to be an inconsiderate coward and hide behind a fake identity on a forum. I have had the rug pulled out from underneath me with and without warning it is not a pleasent experience.. it is hard on the whole family... a lot of stress and uncertainty. I don't wish that on my worst enemy.

My philosophy is to not post anything I would not put my name too. Theses forums would certainly be alot more positive place to visit if everyone had that attitude. If posters such as Speedboat was forced to put there real name out there I doubt the above mentioned post would excist
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 11:52   #9 (permalink)
 
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I agree with Rubberbiscuit...from one who has faced an uncertain future in the past, we should show a good deal more humility and refrain from posting irreverend remarks about the real or perceived belly flop of an outfit where human beings are employed, who rely on their salary to keep afloat and provide for their loved ones.

Everyone who's a real person in the industry, wouldn't wish harm on SWG or anyone else for that matter. Sure, ask questions and debate, but seemingly wishing for a major fall, is a bit wide of the mark. Let's all hope SWG's, TSC's, SSV's, WSJ's etc. financial management is way better than XL's and Z4's, and we can all weather the credit crunch storm on its way.

I've been there myself - staring into space wondering what the hell happened before getting back onto my feet and back into the pointy end - a bit like some posting on the Ryanair thread - different topic but same flavour - unless you have experienced job loss through no fault of your own, you have NO idea what it's like...so button it.

Last edited by remarkablebean; 30th Sep 2008 at 12:06.
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 12:23   #10 (permalink)
 
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I totaly agree with the previous posting! Nobody wants to be in such a situation.
Personally though, I consider Sunwing scavengers!
The vehicle of creating seasonal pilots in Europe!
Having said that, I have nothing against their pilots and I wish them all the best!
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 15:25   #11 (permalink)
 
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"Seasonal Pilots in Europe"

Last time I checked SWG and SKY have European pilots in the winter... It is reciprocated!
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 16:46   #12 (permalink)
 
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levantes & remarkable bean:

Thanks for your vote of support. I have no idea how long Sunwing will last, nobody does as it is a private, closed book operation. I just don't understand where people get off seeing fellow aviators worlds turned upside down by loosing their jobs.

The seasonal pilot issue has long been a sensitive one. r8ted thrust is however right, it goes both ways. It saves 2 companies in a mutual agreement from laying off for six months every year and hence keep the EI lineup shorter.
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 17:02   #13 (permalink)
 
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Was Sunwing pilots getting paid the same as XL and vice-versa?
Two different groups of pilots, different T&C's, leverage for the management to cut pay!
How can you defend your T&C's?
Sunwing pilots will support me in case of an industrial action?
I think not!
If I try to get rid of the foreign pilots and I will probably conceed to the demands of the management in return?
In both cases I lose because a second group of pilots in the same company is the Trojan Horse to any collective agreement or contract!
Hope you get my point!
And another thing! 6 months here and 6 months there, not the best thing when raising a family!
Back in the 90's there was a rule about fleet expansion in the charters! The number of aircraft you can sustain in the low season determines the number of aircraft you use in the high season!
That's wise planning!

Last edited by levantes; 30th Sep 2008 at 17:17.
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 18:50   #14 (permalink)
 
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levantes

I do see your point to a certain extent, and I am guessing you already know the answer to most of the questions you posed. First of all Sunwing pilots work under Sunwing T & Cs while on deployment. I understand the airplanes/crews are wetleased so that is the way it has to be for many reasons. I don't know what the T &Cs are for the companies that lease Sunwing crews and airplanes nor do I care. Why? I was hired by Sunwing under the Sunwing T & Cs and I understood that where ever I find myself I was will be a Sunwing employee, and the conditions I am employed uner is more than fair. I guess what you are trying to say is that wetleasing aircraft/crew brings down the T/C's of your or any company they operate for in Europe? Not sure I see how that could be. Sunwing T&C's are on par with Canadian standards and cost of living in Canada are in a different league from Europe (I am guessing 25 - 50% less depending on where in Europe you are) so I don't see how Sunwing's less attractive T&C would be an excuse for management to cut wages in Europe. Also, by the time the extra expenses associated with wet leasing are said and done I am not so sure there is a whole lot of savings to be had. Where the savings probably lie is in not having to hire and train/retrain crews every spring. We all know it is about making more $$, and the business people that are in charge aiming for a bigger slize of the pie. Your last paragraph referring to the 90's rule of thumb sounds good on paper and to you and me but I don't think to many airline owners think like that. If they can fill up 10 airplanes in the busy season they will get ten airplanes as long there is work somewhere for them in the off season. Most of us would preferr to be "here" for 12 months, but will settle for "6 here and 6 there" if it means being employed 12 months out of the year. If having a mutual agreement in place for wetleasing during the off season is having a detoriating effect on your T&Cs I am sorry to hear that. Like I said our T&C are pretty much to North American standards and we are taken very good care of when deployed so I haven't heard any complaints on this end.
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Old 1st Oct 2008, 06:24   #15 (permalink)
 
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You said: Sunwing T&C's are on par with Canadian standards and cost of living in Canada are in a different league from Europe (I am guessing 25 - 50% less depending on where in Europe you are)

That is exactly what I'm saying! You cost less, low leasing rate therefore very attractive for european management!


You said: I don't see how Sunwing's less attractive T&C would be an excuse for management to cut wages in Europe

Cheaper Labour! You don't have that in Canada?
If I can do my job with less I will not choose the expensive one unless he brings or I bring his price down!
From what I understand though is that in Canada aviation is quite unique.
Vast country, small regional airlines and a very unstable working enviroment.
I've read that a lot of airlines went bust the last years so I fully understand your views on the issues that I raised.
But being on the other side of the pond with the salaries being high (cost of living is high) even for the Low Cost companies, having a situation like what I described previously is fire in my pants.
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Old 1st Oct 2008, 12:33   #16 (permalink)
doo
 
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levantes
this has been going on for around 20 yrs Canada 3000 used to send a/c across to fly British charters for Air 2000, and so on.
I remember when E European a/c and crews were the bad guy due much lower T&C's.
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Old 1st Oct 2008, 15:08   #17 (permalink)
 
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levantes

I hear you. Again I could be wrong as I do not know what the agreement between Sunwing and European carriers look like, but although our baseline salary is lower here the company forks out about 40,000Cdn over 6 months on expenses to every pilot deployed over and above the rest of the wage. I'd imagine the expenses along with the monthly salary is built in to the cost of the wet lease. The cost of the a/c lease, incurance, fuel etc should remain fixed, so I don't see where the big savings would lie. The big advantage is in that it allows companies to operate more airplanes during peak season and hence create more revenue without the worries of what to do with eqipment during off season. Laying off, hiring, training etc gets costly when you have to assume that a big percentage of pilot/flight attendants would not return after a lay-off..... which brings us back to my/your point about fleet size. Unfortunatly that is completely out of our hands and will always remain that way.
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Old 1st Oct 2008, 15:42   #18 (permalink)
 
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Rubberbiscuit

What your saying makes sense!
Unfortunately I have inside info regarding the agreement between Sunwing and my company which obviously I cannot share with you, that is prooving what I'm saying.
Before the Sunwing agreement there were numerous attempts to reduce layover allowance (because us too deploy and operate) and to employ contract pilots with a 6 month contract renuable!
After the agreement one aircraft operated by us left for Canada and came back operated by you guys!
And we talking about aircraft that was leased initially by my company!
Do your maths now and tell me if they made savings or not!
There are some parts of the world were airline management gets allergies when it comes to pilot emoluments!

Last edited by levantes; 1st Oct 2008 at 15:55.
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Old 1st Oct 2008, 22:44   #19 (permalink)
 
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Did not know that was how it shook out for you guys. Puts a whole new slant on it.....
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 01:03   #20 (permalink)
 
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id say both swg and eca made savings.cheap lease for swg and cheaper labor for eca.
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