Monarch To all those people thinking of joining Monarch please let me tell you it is not the same great company it used to be. There are a whole lot of things that have changed and perhaps some of those need to be high lighted here. Firstly the management has a bean counter at the head, who at this times is heading for a head to head with the pilots. Most pilots are very hissed off at not getting any pay rise over the last two years. A laughable increase was given recently, ha! while most have knuckled down and worked very hard, and still are, management have seen it fit to drive them further down, the WMD they are using is still the old , 9/11 and our profit margins are down, etc. Yet we are working harder, flying more, the planes are full. Does that sound familiar? Because its a private company you can not see the company reports, so how do we ever know how the company is doing? I don't recall any company ever saying its having a good year, including monarch! The final salary company pension scheme is not now available for now entrants and the top hat scheme which meant your pension grew by 11% each year after 55 is now reduced to 7%. It was a reason why pilots stayed on, but now a lot of guys are thinking otherwise. certainly there is no reason for FO's to give any loyality by staying, especially as commands are over 8 years off. The 757 crews are equally hissed off as they seem to be flying 3 tel aviv trips every week on level two FTL variation. incidently why does the CAA allow this to become a normal way of rostering flights. Also I hear that lots of 757 pilots who volunteered for the Airbus fleet this year have missed out because someone has been offering out of seniority postings onto the fleet. There are also lots of positionnings after flights and its not unusual to complete a long night duty followed by hanging out in an airport lounge for a few hours before flying or taxing back just so the company saves a hotel room and some allowances. Flight sector pay does not excist and call out pay on days off, though just increased is still way below national average. At the moment the company seems keen on using brand new CTC pilots on loan from a easy airline, these guys only cost allowances and no permanant contact, its not a way of protecting jobs or conditions for anyone. No one thinks what will happen on a dark and dirty night somewhere in the greek islands when the chips are down? So if you are thinking of joinning, remember that its the guys who work there who made it a great company, the feeling is not so good at the moment, the coming months may produce a mass exodus, a work to rule may shortly follow. Maybe someone at the top may realise loyalty and goodwill deserve to be rewarded, but once lost, they can not be retrieved easly. However if all these issues resolve there selves, get in fast! :
Please give us examples of these allowances which are well under the market rate. As one who is certainly targeting Monarch, and already a victim of terms and conditions which I think would even make you think you were working for an arche angel, I would certainly like the info to avoid the possibility of jumping from th frying pan into the fire.
I'm not a Monarch pilot, but up until recently have always thought of them as a happy company.
Your post describes what is now a general trend throughout the UK airline industry, based what I hear from friends, colleagues and on PPRuNe. It's sad to hear that Monarch are falling into the abyss. IMHO, generating unhappiness and resentment will eventually be counter-productive, even destructive.
A big thanks for a very open, forthright post ; most of the pilots in my outfit are too apathetic, scared of their own shadows and restricted by their terms of employment to put their true feelings into print. (observers please note)
<<3 tel aviv trips every week on level two FTL variation>> Could you post the planned roster for this trip, just to let us get an idea, and point out what the "level 2 FTL variation" implies i.e. what normal scheme allows, and what extra they get by doing this?
a) Where a planned sector length does not exceed 7½ hours, the Company may plan 60 minutes extra on the allowable FDP obtained from Table A.
b) 2 Local nights (minimum 34 hours ) free from all duties must be achieved prior to an extended flight duty period.
c) Flight crew members must be acclimatised.
d) Commander’s normal discretion to extend an FDP is reduced to a maximum of 2 hours with no more than 1 hour being exercised prior to leaving the initial point of departure.
e) Where a Commander exercises discretion which uses any portion of the time allowed after leaving the initial point of departure, then a report will be submitted to the authority.
f) One day off must be achieved following the extended FDP.
g) A maximum of 3 extended FDP flights may be undertaken in any consecutive 28 day period.
h) Maximum duty hours will be 180 hours in any consecutive 28 day period in which the use of this extension takes place.
i) Minimum number of days off for flight crew operating one or more of these flights will be 9 in any consecutive 28 day period in which the use of this extension takes place.
j) Despatch crews will not be used.
k) Rosters will be annotated when an L2 variation is planned.
a) Cabin crew may be planned for an extra 30 minutes on their normal FDP.
b) Cabin Crew members must be off duty by 22:00 local on the day prior o the extended FDP so that either a rest period equivalent to the preceding duty or a minimum of 11 hours rest is achieved, and discretion to reduce rest prior to or following such a flight may not be exercised.
c) Cabin Crew must be acclimatised.
d) A maximum of 4 extended FDP flights may be undertaken in any consecutive 28 day period.
e) One day off must be achieved following the extended FDP.
f) Maximum duty hours will be 205 hours in any consecutive 28 day period in which the use of this extension takes place.
g) Minimum number of days off for flight crew operating one or more of these flights will be 8 in any consecutive 28 day period in which the use of this extension takes place.
What tonyflaire purports w.r.t 'The 757 crews are equally hissed off as they seem to be flying 3 tel aviv trips every week on level two FTL variation' is not possible under L2V - being limited by section g) for pilots (above), i.e. no more than 3 L2V's are permitted in any 28 day period.
Nb. I do not work for Monarch and maybe their L2V is different ( though somehow I doubt it )
The morale as you know has been better however which UK airline over the last couple of years has not had a hard time? I will offer my opinion on the points you raised.
1 Pay rise: we have just had 1% which we were promised from last year this years rise is having its final negotiations in september.
2 How many airlines offer new entrants a final salary scheme now? even BA have stopped theirs. The company in order to keep the scheme for the current pilots is putting in approx 6% more of our basic salary while we are having to contribute 2%. The top hat scheme will vary over the years, yes it has just gone down however it will probably go up again in the future.
3 Day off payment i agree is not great £250 for f/o £350 for capt however you do not have to work a day if you do not want to and two years ago we did not have any payment at all.
4 I cannot imagine any crews doing 3 TLV a week it is not legal or did you mean there are 3 TLV flights a week on the 757
5 positioning after night duties i have noticed no difference, in EDI this summer they are giving us 12 hours off after a night duty prior to airlining home which twe never used to get.
6 Sector pay is not popular with the pilots however BALPA are looking into it at the moment
7 The CTC pilots by all accounts are very good.
8 Very few pilots leave there have been less that 5 this year.
I still think MON is probably the best airline in the UK however as you say we have an accountant at the controls who is keen to cut costs but we have to give him the benefit of the doubt( at the moment) as the last 2 years have not been easy.
Getting the Accounts through CH is possible... However, they are likely to be pretty meaningless. It is very easy to "massage" the accounts, and most largish companies operate as a network of Ltd. companies, and trying to unravel this lot is very difficult.
It is for this reason that Virgin's "Profit" and "Loss" declarations need to be watched carefully. "Virgin Atlantic" is one limited company of a network of 50+ largely owned and run by RB. A lot of the other companies are effectively subsidiaries, and only trade with VA. So if RB wishes to show a loss (e.g. "cos of big bad BA"), then a subsidiary charges excessive amounts for their services. Result, RB has same amount of money, but VA shows a loss (and some subsidiary you've never heard of does very well, but nobody notices). vv this year when "big bad BA" made a loss, so lets show how well VA is doing = declare a profit!
This may have been restricted somewhat now with SA involved, but this will be due to the terms they agreed - not due to reporting requirements etc.
BMI is (was?) rumoured to do the same - large "handling charges" applied in the CI = money shifting offshore. I have to say this is only a rumour - I do not know if BMI fly (or flew) to the CI - but the principle is there.
CH reporting requirements are designed to prevent fraud, and offer some transparency. However, they are not designed to see the true profit and loss state of a company, hence why the IR reporting requirments are different (effectively requiring the network of companies to report as one).
plc requirements are much stricter, since they are designed to show potential and current public investors what's really happening...
Given the rumours of who really owns Monarch, there's no doubt a large offshore element involved, and I doubt you'd ever get a true reflection...
Yes, things at Monarch may be better in some ways than at some smaller outfits and yes, you can always find another company where things are worse. However, we used to be the best paid charter airline. More recently, we at least aspired to keep up with BY. We were always a happy company. Now moral is at an all time low. Most pilots are ready for a "work to rule".
Thanks for that - much as I thought (and did hint!)... I was really trying to point out how weak CH are as a source of good info on a company. As you point out - it's SQ who enforce the legitimacy of VS accounts now - not CH (or RB!)
I only knew (roughly) what went on when I was at VS, and that's well before SQ came along...
firstly thanks to everyone for their inputs and comments and can i clarify a few points.. with regards to the 757 tel aviv operation, i actually meant the fleet operates 3 night tel avivs weekly on level 2 using heavy crews. these crews rest in the cabin with those lovely passengers, i must ask if any company managenemt pilot has ever operate one of these. With regard positioning after flights, please check again to see how many times crews are givan hotac after long night flights. YOU WILL FIND MOST CREWS ARE ROSTERED TO POSITION BACK. true the company will provide a hotel if one pushes for it but only if you are prepared to accept no extra allowances! BY and even my travel offer their crews hotac after night flights. True we never had 350/250 pounds for working a day off, but the rate is still below BY ( almost double ) and virgin. WE were also never so short of crews before. The poor crewing staff not only get grief from pilots but also by their managers, its a thankless task when you don't have the tools. Quite rightly you say only about 5 pilots have left this year , believe me there are many who are thinking of going. Just watch this space. Of course a lot depends on this years pay negotiations and conditions. The CTC chaps are mostly good but they lack experience and when the level in the right seat is constanly low, it could prove expensive one day. Of course it makes the CEO's books look very good if he is only paying them / CTC half the salary, after all that is the bottom line. ps. iam working harder then i have ever done. pps. Its still a great company, its the guys working here who make it that, it would be sad to see it go the way of others. good points, you can carry how much fuel you like aand if you make a decision in good faith the company will stick by you
On the contrary EGGW, Tony's post isn't whinging or ranting, it's merely a factual account from his perspective. ALL of us in this business in the UK wish that things were better. The fact is that it's bad for most UK operators this year, so perhaps we can get a little strength from knowing that we are all in the same boat and hope that we all have a brighter 2004. If not, it seems the exodus to Middle East may continue.
Thanks for the post Tony, let's hope we weather the storm
Of course he's whinging, like most pilots he thinks the airline exits for his benefit and career. Why instead of putting this stuff on a public forum anonymously doesn't he go and see his managers? If you think that Monarch will see a mass exodus look around mate you don't know your born. Pilot shortage, dream on, they are two a penny and when out of work what are they qualified to do? Sourcing the company accounts is a joke most wouldn’t know if they were holding them upside down.
Carruthers, Please don't assume that we have only been educated to 'cleaning staff' level such as your goodself! A fair percentage of us have degrees in relatively academic subjects such as aeronautical engineering, chemical engineering, quantity surveying etc. So trying to make sense of a balance sheet doesn't really pose a great problem. As for being qualified to do anything else, a number of us run projects outside of flying ranging from property management to a lawnmower repair business. We are all exremely concerned about the wellfare of the company and our pay and conditions. After 9/11 we agreed to a pay freeze in return for some form of redress at a later stage. Now we have reached that later stage and things have gone rather quiet!