Anybody knows if they are accepting resume now and contact where to send it to? Do you think they will hire direct entry Captains, i know some of the Canadians flying overseas that are looking to go back to Canada might consider that opportunity
Two words: Seniority List... They will almost certainly fill the initial seats from qualified pilots...and I would imagine that since the growth of the new carrier isn't exactly going to be instantaneous, they have the time to train from within. The fly past 60 rule in Canada will also keep the old guys in the seats longer as well. AC will need more new pilots though, but I doubt there will be a need for DEC's. Besides, it may take a year to even get a licence from the government to operate, unless it goes on the current Air Canada AOC...which I've read may cause a few difficulties for it to be called a separate carrier. As for West Jet? I think it's a slightly different scenario there, they need a few DEC's to get the ball rolling, and since they have to add a totally new type on the AOC, the first few new hires will have to be management pilots. That's only if no one wants to fill it internally. It's almost certain that it's a down grade for any of the exisitng 737 Captains, and as the new salary hasn't been made public, it could even possibly keep a few FO's from bidding off the 737 to the LHS of the Q400. Keep in mind it's aviation in Canada and stranger things have happened, but I seriously doubt AC will ever hire DECs.
I don't think there will be much of a choice for the ACPA bunch, they lost all rights to negotiate any sort of an agreement under arbitration so it looks like (and it's an opinion) there may well be ACPA pilots flying the LCC...isn't that what CR was always after from the start?
Clearly. I don't understand or perhaps appreciate the economics of union wages at an LCC spinoff. I'm assuming ACPA pilots sliding across may or may not keep their ACPA seniority but will expect wage parity at the LCC with their mainline counterparts. That would spell trouble.
To consider TANGO and that other 'failed' attempt I'd like to think three times a charm. But...
Last edited by Willie Everlearn; 25th Sep 2012 at 17:21.
Air Canada Joins European Airlines in Trying the Failed “Airline Within an Airline” Strategy (Again)
Posted: 04 Oct 2012 03:45 AM PDT
When you don’t have any new ideas in this industry but your airline needs help, what do you do? You just recycle old ideas and make them sound like the best thing since sliced bread. Throughout the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, the “airline within an airline” plan of having multiple brands in the same company took hold. If hotels can have multiple brands, why can’t airlines, right? (Huzzah!) They all failed except for one down under. But that won’t stop airlines from trying it again and again and again. This time, Air Canada is jumping onboard as are all the big European carriers. Bleh.
The original rationale for this kind of thing was that low cost carriers were encroaching on existing legacy airline turf. Because of that, the big airlines decided the only way to compete was to go the commodity route. They decided they needed to have the lowest fares in the market but to do that, they also had to have lower costs so that the venture was profitable. Piece of cake, right?
Just about every US airline save American and Northwest tried this. Everyone remember CALite, Shuttle by United, Metrojet, Delta Express, Song, and Ted? They’re all long gone because they failed miserably. In some cases, they didn’t really have reduced costs. In other cases, they were used on the wrong routes. But in all cases, they were huge distractions for the main airline that resulted in little benefit. Air Canada Says Third Time’s a Charm
This strategy wasn’t just tried in the US either. It was pitched by consulting firm after consulting firm, time and time again. Many airlines fell for it, including Air Canada. It started Zip in 2002 to try to compete with upstart WestJet with some tired old 737-200s. You might remember seeing those airplanes – they had a different bright neon color on each airplane. But that wasn’t enough. Air Canada also started Tango, an airline that did longer flights to leisure destinations. Neither lasted long and today, only Tango lives on simply as the name of Air Canada’s cheapest published fares.
Air Canada now thinks its time for round three. Next summer, the airline will once again create a leisure-focused low fare airline. This one will even be combined with its vacation package arm. It will start with four aircraft and eventually, there will be 20 767s flying over the ocean and 30 A319s flying North America routes.
And why is it that this plan will magically solve all that ails Air Canada? Well, step 1 is that they will cram more seats on the airplane and they will have lower labor costs. Step 3 is profit. Step 2? Magic.
The idea is to fly routes that the airline doesn’t currently serve, but will that help to support the rest of the airline? Not really, and that’s what bothers me about all these schemes. They’re cramming seats in and going for low fares. If they connect people into the Air Canada network, then it’s going to be on low fares and it’s not going to be very helpful to the current airline. If it’s point to point flying, then maybe the idea is to make enough money that they can mask the failings at the rest of the airline? That’s been the strategy behind the very successful Jetstar in Australia. But let’s not get there just yet. Europeans Love the Strategy
On the other side of the Atlantic, just about every European airline is trying to figure out how it can compete with the low cost carriers that are currently winning all the battles. IAG (owner of BA and Iberia) launched Iberia Express to take over existing Iberia routes mostly in and out of its Madrid hub. This is purely a play to lower operating costs in order to support the larger airline so it’s somewhat different than most efforts.
Meanwhile, Transavia has been carrying the torch for Air France/KLM in the low cost world. The Dutch airline has long served leisure markets from Amsterdam but it has also now established a French subsidiary to fill in for Air France too, primarily out of Orly airport.
Lufthansa is putting together its own low cost carrier plans as well. It already has a low cost carrier called Germanwings which it picked up in 2009. Germanwings does a lot of flying on low fare routes outside of Lufthansa’s main hubs. Now Lufthansa will take ALL short haul flying that doesn’t touch Munich or Frankfurt and transfer it into this new low cost carrier. Unlike with Iberia Express, the short haul flights that feed the long haul operation will still be Lufthansa in Munich and Frankfurt. What’s the Point?
In the end, these plans always have the same purpose. Low cost carriers with their cheap labor and lower operating costs come in and eat the legacy carriers’ lunches. Leacy management decides labor costs are too high so they find a way to start a new airline with lower labor costs. Sometimes there’s an operational twist about how lean and mean the new operation will be. Then that will solve everything, right? Not quite.
In nearly all cases, this plan hasn’t worked. Airlines set up specifically as low cost carriers have the business in their DNA. They (at least the successful ones) are simply really good at keeping costs down and fares low. The ones started by other airlines don’t usually have that same level of success because there is too much interference from people elsewhere in the organization. (Oh, and there often isn’t demand for them anyway.)
The one place it worked? Australia, where Jetstar seems to be doing well. Jetstar was set up as a completely separate airline and appears to have had more separation from Qantas than other airline attempts had. But guess what? That still hasn’t done anything for Qantas itself. That airline continues to struggle mightily. It’s just that the parent company now has at least something that’s making money unlike the mess that is Qantas. Just think what might have happened if they focused on fixing the main airline instead.
Can this strategy actually help the main airline? Yeah, financially it can if they flip the thing over. Look at Austrian, which recently transferred everything over to lower cost Tyrolean. It still operates as Austrian from a customer perspective but its at lower labor rates under the Tyrolean contract. Naturally, employees hate this because management really just makes an end-run around hard-negotiated contracts. This may help the airline’s balance sheet but it guts the soul of the airline itself.
Jetstar hasn’t reached that point… yet, but every airline employee naturally looks at these things skeptically, as they should. Most of these fail and simply divert important resources from the core airline. Some succeed but without helping the parent airline. And others, as in the case of Austrian, just take the parent airline over entirely. In the end, the chance of seeing real benefit is minimal.
Just run the airline you have, please.
Those positions are on the mainline equipment list, but have reduced wages to compete with the wages of the low cost competition. A 10 year (status) 767 Captain will make what a Transat guy makes, and a 10 year 319 Captain, will make what a WJ 737 Captain makes. Difference being those scales are based on years in status as opposed to the mainline where it is years of service for pay scale. If a 12 year FO bids to the LCC and has no Captain time at AC, he will start at Year 1 Captain wage, which is similar to the cirlines it was created to compete with. but if one has 6 years of RJ CA time and a few years on the EMB, total 8 years command, he goes onto the 767 at about $185G.
Flight Attendents I believe are off the street, as are the agents and baggage handlers, and will be paid as their competitors are.
And the only hiring for pilots off the street will probably be for FO positions as no one at mainline would take the paycut to go there...except maybe the odd RP.
Your right Willie.... It's not good for people of our profession to "collectively" bargain with an employer when they are a large group. What a stupid thing to do....
Sounds to me like you'd sell your own kids for a doughnut, just because its a good side to a coffee.
Make no mistake, wages at large airlines affect the whole industry. It's not some fantasyland over there just because of a union. Those guys work as hard as everyone should, and they are a good bunch of professional guys. You think they dont work? They do 80-90 hrs a month.. 900 a year... just like everyone else. I suppose we should all race to the bottom then and turn into factory workers without rights? Furthermore, they are not that highly paid over there. It's pretty average.
You know what happens in places that don't have GOOD unions and govt supporting labour rights? "Factoring hours" ...like my mate does in the ME. Where companies only count half the flying time on a ULR. So you end up flying 125 hours in the month effectively, but only half count to your 85 hour total. Or how about what happened to Quantas. Startup an offshore low cost, Jetstar, pay the lowest possible denominator to pilots from other countries, and then fire your own mainline pilots. Wow...yeah Willie.... Lets go that route. We're proud Canadian's aren't we? Your such a sellout.
Shame on you buddy if your a fellow Canuck. We should be supporting reach other as professionals.
Jetstar's "success" is a game of smoke and mirrors where many of their invoices are buried in the books at Qantas, reducing their apparent operating costs and making them look profitable when they're really not.
I have been around Canadian aviation long enough to know as a pilot in Canada, you get no recognition OR respect from any corner or any direction in which you care to look whether or not you seek recognition at all. You're nothing more than a glorified bus driver! Really?
Dodging thunderstorms over the Bay of Bengal recently it occurred to me, yet again, that I am certainly anything but a glorified bus driver. We must all decide for ourselves how we view our chosen profession and we owe it to ourselves as well to think about how we should be treated by our employers. WITH or WITHOUT union representation.
I don't run an airline so I don't have all the answers but I do know I have yet to meet a pilot who can be blamed for running his/her company out of business because of wages.
Add up the years YOU'VE been in the industry and think about the changes and failures. Think about the families destroyed, careers ruined, the money lost and the numbers forced to leave the country either by fate or fortune. It doesn't take much to see the joke this flying for a living has become and no single operator can be held up as an example of how it's done, and NO, not even Westjet.
It's not going to improve by starting up another LCC in Canada. Hiring or contracting foreign pilots isn't going to make it better, improve our working conditions or change a thing. It's all a load of crap.
An Air Canada LITE will need fresh blood and an unsoiled mental attitude if they are to be successful. Using mainline pilots isn't going to improve the odds of survival. I am simply expressing a personal opinion based on almost 35 years of working in this crap. You decide for yourself.
I for one, AM NOT a glorified bus driver and in all probability, neither are you. I'm not willing to work for any Canadian outfit that doesn't recognize or credit me with the qualifications and experience I bring to the table and I am not willing to pay union dues to any pilot union that says I must sit as a junior F/O nor am I willing to work at any of these monkey outfits that insist I only receive $50,000 p.a. for the privilege of flying. It is NOT the industry standard as they would have you believe nor should it be. Therefore, I don't work for a Canadian operator nor am I likely to any time soon. It is only what those who are willing to sell their souls for who accept those bulls*#t wages. Good luck to them. If more among us were to hold out for better wages and working conditions, have more self respect for their qualifications and experience, it might force someones hand to change things for the better.
Naw, that ain't going to happen.
I can appreciate ALPA and ACPA drive a hard bargain and stand up for their members salaries and benefits, but to cross pollenate mainline union pilots with the new LCC pilots? Personally, I don't think it will work and that's not a sell out by any stretch. It's just my personal assessment.
Last edited by Willie Everlearn; 11th Oct 2012 at 06:55.
Bunkdog, AC can remove a fleet from their fleet list anytime they want to and then those positions are no longer on the mainline . Those that are senior at AC love to say they will take the hard stand, go ahead I hope it works out for you. But I think in reality big changes are coming and they are not pilot friendly
Keep throwing mud pal, it suits you what you have to offer...
33 years in the business? Then you must know that all guys are trying to do is make the best of what they get dealt.
Throwing shit the way you do shows a complete lack of respect for your inferred position. I don't totally disagree with Willie's views he's got an opinion and he makes a reasonable attempt articulating it. All you can do is dish petty insults and piggy back your ideas as an others' post. One thing you sure got right though is it is never easy trying to convince one who has your level of intelligence...