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Yes, people are constantly heading off to Milan and Paris at the moment, not so much the other European bases. However, this is because so many new captains are coming from these bases and heading to LGW. Again, the number of command courses will rapidly slow down in the next couple of years which will slow down the recruitment and therefore movement to European bases. If you are lucky enough to get into easy after finishing your training then plan on being on flexicrew for at least 2 years on much lower terms than currently exist. I'm pretty sure by then the management will have come up with ingenious ways of lowering terms in the European bases too so moving to them on a permanent contract will become less attractive. My last point is that since starting flying training the terms and conditions have dropped at a jaw dropping rate. I am constantly amazed at how low the conditions have become. Believe me, it becomes very tiresome losing 15% of your monthly pay when a nice long 4 sector day gets replaced with an AMS. It is impossible to plan because your monthly pay will vary so much even after your roster is published because of all the changes.
Thanks for the info! Is any of the roster fixed for instance the the first week? At what point are you offered a perm contract on the continent i.e is it straight after line training? Also what are the hoops to jump through to get one?
Sorry for all the questions, just trying to research as much as I can
At what point? There is no point. You have to APPLY - go through a whole NEW interview process and group exercises even if you have flown for eJ for 3 or more years. These aren't hoops either. People fail at this stage and remain a flexicrew pilot. None of the roster is fixed.
Please also be aware that the future is not permanent contracts at easyJet. eJ don't want it, CTC/OAA don't want it because they get a cut from your flexicrew salary. eJ is becoming Ryanair - expect to pay for everything and get nothing. Expect in 3 years to have contract Captains, no permanent FO's and further degradations to working conditions.
HPBleed is spot on. There really is no future for permanent positions at easyJet. The callousness of the communications we get from management are truly amazing. It is very clear to anyone with an ounce of foresight that the future at easy is contract Captains. Frankly the only thing holding the t's & c's of pilots in Europe together are the European unions. Balpa have openly admitted that they are not interested in pursuing the rights of flexicrew pilots so the rot has set and will only get worse.
I imagine the captains would get a 'refusal of duty' kn their Rosta and the flexiscrew FOs would get a late listed on their Rosta which could lead to a disciplinary. Any captains are already permanent so most don't care about the flexiscrews as the captains are on a good contract.
At NCL a handful of flexiscrews were pushed to LGW and given no choice and little notice. Some of them had just signed six month contracts on renting a flat. And despite one of them having flown for eJ for over a year he was told he had the wrong personality and didn't get a permanent position. He had the wrong personality for a permanent position yet he flies eJ planes every day. How does that work?
Yes, I am on a permanent contract but went through 18 months of flexiscrew.
When the latest pay deal came out Balpa had negotiated a pay freeze for flexiscrew for another 2 years. For some reason it is acceptable for us to accept a pay drop over the next 2 years. What kind of union negotiates that?
Having been in the industry for a few years I now realise that self interest rules, don't expect anyone to watch your back and certainly don't expect the 'friendly' management to do anything except try and screw you. The communication all FO's have received in the last 48 hours about swaps is testament to that.
Last edited by razor27; 18th Mar 2012 at 12:01.
Reason: Changed information which is incorrect
All of this aside average punter, try and see the wood for the trees. Contracts and bases etc are all fine detail when compared with:
1. Can you finance the training? 2. Can you take the risk? 3. Will you pass all the training? 4. Will you be a good boy or girl and keep your head down so CTC don't get angry with you? I.e. accept everything they say to you with no reply from your side other than 'yes sir, no sir - I'm not a customer, I'm a very lucky boy or girl sir'. In other words you do not have a right to dissatisfaction - some people can't cope with that. This may be the same at all FTOs - I only trained at CTC so I don't know. 5. Why do you really want this? 6. If you don't train what will be the effect on you? Could you accept it?
Don't try and predict the future - the industry, what's on offer and your flexibility WILL change for the better or worse when out the other side of training. Though you may think you're being sensible asking what you're asking you are in fact being irrelevant.
It's all just my opinion, not advice - don't look for advice on here unless it is targeted, specifically through PM from people with a proven track record in posting.
So did FOs really get emails saying they can't swap duties? Just flexiscrew or everyone?
Unions in the UK are worthless. Just look at them dragging the feet with cabin crew - forcing them to pay for crew food in lost tax free sector pay for food that few people eat.
Not worth the money. Foreign unions however are much better. Sad that a Beitish company screws it's British crews so bad. The foreign bases have it much better from fabulous pay to Starbucks crew coffee. In the UK the terms are shocking.
Again, the number of command courses will rapidly slow down in the next couple of years which will slow down the recruitment and therefore movement to European bases.
This should be the most worrying point for anyone considering training now. easyJet has been expanding like the clappers for a long time now, which means that they've had a constant need for new FOs to replace those going for command. Expansion is soon going to come to a grinding halt, and I'd be surprised if there wasn't actually some level of fleet contraction across the network over the coming years.
Recruitment is going to slow to a trickle at best. Time to command is going to go through the roof; I'd expect a new joiner to have a minimum ten year wait, but it could easily be a hell of a lot longer than that.
It could well be that there will still be "opportunities" for flexiscrew cadets, but it will be no more than six months, then out on your arse to clear a space for the next lemming in line. That is the future of aviation. It is not a career anymore, merely a very expensive hobby.
The funny thing is by their very actions flexicrew are accepting and allowing it to happen. Those who put a priority on money and security have taken a Permanant mainland contract at the first instance or gone to other airlines on a Permanant contract. Those who have made it their highest priority to be in the uk are financially far worse off, a month away from no job, still being subsidised by someone and are perpetually complaining. A few are unecessarily bankrupt. Make your choice and live with it. As a caveat - I know there are one or two who need to be in the uk, at home for genuine personal reasons ( ill relatives and new offspring) and I sympathise with their situation.
Just got back from the CTC Open Day... Got some time on the 737 Sim and allowed my parents a better insight into the CTC Wings Cadet program.
There's a lot of negative talk here about how Pilots are forced to slave away for long hours on the flexicrew program. Today I was informed that the holding pool is empty and every pilot has been given a full job with the airlines, direct entry I think.
Define "full job". Define "Direct Entry". I think you are using terms that totally misrepresent the present situation at best. At worst, you make a very inaccurate statement.
Going to a CTC Open Day is likely to get you further information. That information is highly unlikely to be impartial and unbiased. The quality of that information is partially dependent upon the quality and precision of the questions asked, and heavily dependent upon the interests of those giving the answers.
Flexicrew is not "a full job". Nor is it "direct entry".
It is fixed term (three years), zero hours contracting.
It is not a permanent contract with fixed salary, benefits and full employment law protections. To get that you must land a permanent contract. In the UK, these simply are not available in easyJet.
As a Flexicrew pilot you are not employed by easyJet, you are employed by CTC. On a zero hours contract you will never be made redundant due to the airline not needing you. You will simply not be flown and therefore you will not earn any money. Try claiming benefits with that contract. Try paying your loan back with that contract in a low hour month, or string of them. Winter is cold. Colder when you can't pay all your bills. Try having a reliable second job on a random roster.
Possible changes in the pipeline at easyJet does not improve that situation. It simply paves the way for more and worse. The only way out is to get a job at a different operator or apply for a permanent continental contract if they become available again and you have the required hours, an acceptable training record and can pass the assessment process (which is into its second iteration).
Believing at face value what CTC tells you about its programme is naive. The serious posts on here about this programme, where it leads and the terms and conditions in eJ are generally easy to spot. And yes, they are broadly negative.
A major reason for this is because easyJet has decided to adopt essentially cut throat, short term, exploitative practices against its own employees across all European operations in a direct attempt to lower it's crew costs. It publicly committed to this strategy in the 2011 results announcement to the markets, in it's 2010 strategy announcements to staff and the markets and in it's 2008 strategy announcements, to name a few instances.
The rostering and lifestyle package that the management released is designed to achieve exactly that: more work for less money over the next four years, plus an increasing dependence on variable productivity/performance related pay which will force greater compliance and pliability onto the workforce over the years, while undermining the older pilots T&Cs with the newer guys T&Cs. The Company is re-engineering from the bottom up and the top down simultaneously. It is trying to force the guys at the top to vote in worsening conditions at the bottom by witholding their pay rise until they agree to a total package which shafts the new guys. In the medium to long term, the new guys' terms will come to dominate, and they will be so far behind the old terms that no union will be able to play catch up, least of all BALPA, the union that helped bring in the Flexicrew contracts, has achieved nothing in the last 2.5 years to stop or improve those contracts AND actually recommended a down grading of UK First Officer terms that it never revisited even though it was conned into the down grade.
easyJet growth is slowing down. The business is fairly mature. To get further increases in profits the options must include: cutting internal costs, some of the biggest being wages, benefits and pensions; better network management i.e. deploying aircraft on the highest yield, highest load routes, which inherently requires as much flexibility as can be achieved, a major block to which is people, their contracts and rights.
People need to digest whatís been said here and not believe the CTC spin. While the hold pool may be "empty" at the moment (despite there being people in it!!!!) itís about to fill up again as the contract FO's used for summer 2012 will be returned to CTC at the end of summer and therefore back into the hold pool. They will probably be taken on again in summer 2013 when I bet the time to full time contract starts ticking from the start!
At EZY Commands are slowing down. Growth has stalled. There are rumours of things to come which may stop real term expansion in pilot numbers for a few years. Do not believe all that CTC tell you. Listen to whatís being said on here. Itís all good honest stuff.
Well apart from what Razor said about Captís/BALPA having no interest in defending cadets. Everything else he said was correct apart from that! To be honest razor itís that attitude which p***es off a lot of skippers. Many will strike tomorrow to defend them and increase their terms and conditions. To get them in as permanent FO's. If BALPA could call a strike over it legally they would. We are hamstrung by UK legislation. At no point have they stated they do not care about flexiscrew contracts. Quite the opposite.
If people would stop signing these stupid contracts it would change. You cannot arrive at the airline now and blame Capts for this. Thatís ridiculous. They knew/know the score. If you donít its your own bloody fault. You cannot blame Capts for this. Its supply and demand. While lemmings keep throwing themselves at it then it will never change no matter how hard BALPA fight.
I suggest you blame BALPA and Captís less and market forces (or the people taking these contracts). Razor, when you started you will have been well aware of the situation. So you signed up knowing the score. How can you blame us for the predicament you placed yourself in???? Itís your attitude that makes Capts think, well sod you then. That attitude is starting to bubble up somewhat and is brought about by people like you. I would still strike to protect flexiscrew tomorrow if we could.
I suggest you turn your frustration towards the real source of the problem not your colleagues. As you probably can tell you have irked me somewhat....!!!!
Oh god kishanp. Just hope your parents can also afford to pay your living costs for a good few years for you. I know a pretty well off cadet who made a good bit of cash for himself just asked his parents for help and with living costs and he's nearly 40!