Greetings all. I know there was a thread about the QR A320 rosters which aroused much concern. However, i am curious to know if, althought much flying, there is a lot of hassle too? In other words, whats the workload really like?
Multi sector days for a company that is badly organised and has inadequate support is harder than the same flying for a well organised company where everything is done for you!
Sounds to me like Qatar (like EK and the other big airline in the region that CANNOT ever be named again), will work their pilots very hard - right up to the legal limits. If you are employed by these airlines, expect to work pretty hard - just expect that going in and you likely won't be too surprised.
At Qatar, the A320 fleet seems to be a workhorse with both day and night flying. That said, others on these forums claim that the 777 fleet is even more challenging for FOs (to this day I have still not seen an actual 777 roster to contradict that). Someone said the A330 fleet is also busy - not sure about the A300-600R freighter fleet. So, from what I have heard and read, just expect work hard regardless of which fleet - go in with your eyes wide open and you will not be so surprised.
Personally, if I had the relevant/competitive experience, I'd hope for a 787 FO slot later this year or in 2013 as the fleet ramps up - but that's only me (not speaking for the jaded pilots on this forum who could not care less about fleet). From what I have heard in various announcements, that fleet (with 60 orders and options) should do some interesting mix of longhaul (several North American and European routes announced - including LHR) and shorthaul - probably Gulf and India night turns... That would be great for me since I have not seen much of the world from my cold/dark/wet/dank corner of Europe. No doubt the work will be exhausting on the 787 fleet as well as QR management will find a way to maximise productivity for all.
Perhaps the A320 fleet rosters have changed or improved since the post below was written a few months back... Regardless, the following QR A320 roster found in this forum was quite enlightening :
For those contemplating joining QR, here is an actual roster for A320 Captain.The month and specific destinations have been omitted to protect the innocent. All times are based on DOHA which is where your body clock will be.
Day 1. day off at out station in Europe. Day 2. wake-up-call 2150 to fly back to Doha. Day 3. Land DOH 0535, report again 2245 for Gulf turn-around (3h on gnd). Day 4. Land DOH 0645, report again 0000 for Gulf turn-around (3h on gnd). Day 5. Land DOH 0555, report again 1945 for Gulf turn-around ARR DOH 0000. Day 6. report 1800 regional turn-around Day 7. Land DOH 0015, report again 1345 for three-sectors (Gulf + layover), Day 8. land at outstation 0120 (layover), wake-up-call 1500, land DOH 2230 Day 9. off Day 10. off Day 11. report 0650, four-sectors around the Gulf, land DOH 1700. Day 12. report 2245 for Gulf turn-around (3h on gnd) Day 13. land DOH 0645, report again 2345, two sectors for layover. Day 14. land at outstation 0830 (layover) Day 15. wake-up-call 0855, two sectors, land DOH 1910 Day 16. off Day 17. report 2345, regional turn-around Day 18. land DOH 0545, report again 1925, one sector for layover Day 19. land at outstation 0055 (layover), wake-up-call 2300 Day 20. operate back to DOH followed by a Gulf turn-around, land DOH 1050 Day 21. off Day 22. off Day 23. ground school (ex. crm, security, dangerous goods) Day 24. report 1045 Gulf turn-around plus regional turn-around, land DOH 2230. Day 25. off Day 26. off Day 27. report 0700 one sector to Europe for 22h layover. Day 28. wake-up-call 1030 fly to DOH plus Gulf turn-around, land DOH 2320. Day 29. report 1230 one sector to Europe for 24h layover. Day 30. wake-up-call 2200 to fly to Doha Day 31. land DOH 0530.
This roster has the minimum eight days off, of which seven are at home and one is in a hotel (Day 1). 92 block hours and 160 duty hours (= salary QAR42,500). Generally it is unusual to get days off at outstation.
You will often get a 10-12 day pattern with a combination of day and night flying with the one legal day off in the middle. Rest of the month will obviously be better.
QR operates strictly according to legality. No regard is taken for family issues, fatigue-issues or the flight safety implications fatigue has. You will be tired beyond your imagination, but you will get a decent meal at 3am if you wish.
By the way, management cancelled one week’s leave for all A320 pilots this winter.
Flyinstig, the roster posted above is a good image of what you can expect here on the TUK-TUK fleet;..minimum days off(..8/month),maximum duty,and sometime minimum rest,and many hours of unpaid duty(ground time). But Once a year,You might even get One week of your basic salary as bonus for your hard work!
Unless you are trying for DEC on the Airbus like many people, go for the 787 FO option! New/advanced fleet, 60 aircraft ordered, mix of shorthaul and longhaul (including North America and Europe) flying. Sure, QR will work you hard on that fleet too (remember, productivity is the priority), but at least you can sleep on your layovers abroad. By the time your training bond expires, there will be plenty of 787s flying worldwide as potential other contract options if you are too exhausted at QR.
You're here to work and its tough. If your frightened of a working, don't apply and go elsewhere.
If you are one whose first question is how much time can I get off a month or how often can I return to my home country, then Qatar is not for you.
The routes are interesting, the pay is good and the aircraft are well maintained. I don't feel I am ever pressured into doing anything I should not be doing and the only thing that is not good is doing days nights days night days night and keep flip flopping.
Flyinstig and others, please, if you are the least bit frightened of working hard, then don't bother applying or coming here as no one is interested in listening to those crying "I'm knackered"
If you think the grass is greener or sand more golden elsewhere, then take your lawnmower or your bucket and go elsewhere.
Please don't come here if you want to do little and get paid loads. Its a job first, home second and somewhere to sunbathe third. Not good, but if you find a better job elsewhere where I can earn as much, then do tell.
BP, Thanks for the post. Very clear and succinct. I'm not afraid of hard work, but nor am I keen on an early grave. Fatigue (not tiredness!) is a killer. A failure to manage the night/day duty cycle verges on gross negligence! Stay safe!
Many come to Qatar, not because they wanted to, but because they had to in order to continue in a career they had spent many years trying to get into and also to support families. If you have a flying job in your home country and your happy, count yourself very very lucky.
As for me, I have no reason to want to leave right now or in the near future. I could not afford to go back to the UK as I am earning nearly 3 times as much in real terms as I was back there if you take into account not paying tax or housing etc etc etc. Time to command for me here will be about another 2-3 years and at my age, this is important. I am as happen as can be considering all.
At Qatar, you are here to work. If your first question is how much time can I get off or can I commute, then here is not for you.
You original questions
However, i am curious to know if, although much flying, there is a lot of hassle too?
I think you meant is there lots of hassle too? No hassle just hard work as in body clock
In other words, what's the workload really like? As mentioned, its only hard work as in body clock
Multi sector days for a company that is badly organised and has inadequate support is harder than the same flying for a well organised company where everything is done for you! Multi sector days ? If you mean 4 sector days, I maybe only do this once, twice or at most three times a month. You say badly organised ? I have to say, in my opinion, its very organised here and you don't have to do much apart from fly the aircraft.
If you're happy where you are, then I would stay. If your not, there is no reason why you should not come to Qatar unless you are frightened of hard work.
Its your choice.
You are correct, I try and sleep as much as I can when able LOL
Last edited by Black Pudding; 12th May 2012 at 11:51.
Out of interest Black Pudding do you have a family with you out there? I only ask as i am looking at QR and have a young family and i'm not afraid to work hard but is it possible to have any sort of life out of work other than sleeping to enjoy family time / energy to stay fit etc...?
Would be useful to hear if there are guys coping with young families on the A320 fleet with that work load.
Yes very very interesting thread and I had exactly the same question as Dan 98.
I will add: Can one may expect a long term carreer in QR if you're assigned to the 320 fleet? I mean after you upgrade as a Captain, the workload seems to be the same...so what's next, how long can you support this workload?
I accept that you can take a sort of Macho view to the workload as in i can take anything they throw at me and just get on with it but its the long term effects it has on you and the sustainability. I think as 40&80 wisely says it will catch up with your body eventually! It would be nice to look at QR as long term commitment but the more i read the more it seems that may not be possible.....
Hopefully there are guys there with families making it work?
Thank you for the clarification. Sounds like you have first-hand knowledge which is much better than mine. Hopefully the 787 will provide good route variety - sounds like a mix of Europe, Asia, Gulf/India and maybe gradually North America as the fleet ramps-up. No doubt they will find ways to ensure the 787 is a very productive fleet like the others.
Not surprised about potential 787 delays - what a let-down! Originally, I was quoting this article that "sounded" definitive at the time with quotes from Al Baker (but obviously you have new information):
Qatar Airways Ltd. plans to start flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Boston and Detroit within the next year, doubling its U.S. network, as the carrier begins receivingBoeing Co. (BA) 787 Dreamliners.
A daily New York service will also be increased to three flights a day, with the addition of links via cities in Eastern and Western Europe, Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said yesterday in Montreal. The airline has daily flights to Washington and Houston.
Qatar Airways to Serve Atlanta, Chicago
Qatar Airways Ltd. plans to start flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Boston and Detroit within the next year, doubling its U.S. network. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
Qatar Airways Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Akbar al Baker said, “Qatar Airways is in the midst of a very aggressive expansion plan.”
“Qatar Airways is in the midst of a very aggressive expansion plan,” Al Baker said. “The only thing that stopped us from going earlier is the delayed delivery of the 787s,” he said about the U.S. flights.
The carrier has placed orders for 60 Dreamliners as it works toward boosting its global network to 170 destinations from 113 over three years. Like Dubai-based Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways PJSC, the carrier is using a Middle East hub to link markets in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Qatar Air also plans to resume services to Rangoon, Myanmar in October, Al Baker said. The carrier’s order backlog also includes 60 A350s and 10 A380s made by Airbus SAS.
Boeing began delivering 787s last year ending more than three years of delays caused by struggles with new materials and production techniques. To contact the reporter on this story: Frederic Tomesco in Montreal at firstname.lastname@example.org