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Old 3rd Mar 2010, 19:24   #21 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: UK
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[QUOTE]I would suspect that Easyjet will soon experience longer time frames as their aircraft orders slow up./QUOTE]

It's already happening . . . . !
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Old 3rd Mar 2010, 22:53   #22 (permalink)
 
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The whole airline industry is a game of 'Snakes and Ladders'. You think you are progressing well up the board and before you know it you throw a '4' and are down a big snake. Similarly you can throw a '2' and go up a big ladder. You just do not know. A few years ago, joining Virgin Atlantic was the ultimate privelege for an airline pilot - a genuine mark of prestige. I would suggest that is no longer the case and many people see the difficulties round the corner and a very uncertain future at Virgin. None of us know what the next throw of the dice will bring within the airline industry and there are very bright futures out there right now.
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Old 4th Mar 2010, 06:52   #23 (permalink)
 
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Norman, that`s not a bad analogy!
I`ve been playing the game for more years than I care to think.
You shouldnt play if you dont accept the rules of the game.
However, it`s alright provided some bd does`nt swap the fair dice for his loaded ones when your not looking!!
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Old 4th Mar 2010, 12:20   #24 (permalink)
 
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"Now yes i could be looking through rose tinted glasses but once the demoted skippers get back in the LHS and the chaps that were made redundant return the the business i suspect Virgin being Virgin will expand like they did 5/6 years ago as we come out of the recession and return to profitability..."

Sounds familiar. I remember that when I left Virgin in 2002 after their first experience of having to make pilots redundant there was plenty of talk like that. But Virgin had expanded too fast for their market and caught a cold. Did they learn? No, they didn't and it happened again.

I was about the last to join Virgin before 9/11. I took voluntary redundancy, but my joining mate stayed and was perhaps about 50 to 60 off a command when the latest round happened. Now he will be looking at a very long time. So 15 years may be correct, but is optimistic in my view.

That's because I reckon they have currently (re)found their correct size for their market and business model, and won't expand much more above their current size.
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Old 4th Mar 2010, 13:56   #25 (permalink)
 
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Autobrake low - how much do you think an easyJet (UK) Captain earns?
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Old 4th Mar 2010, 17:28   #26 (permalink)
 
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Always thought VS would be a decent place to work but I got caught on the loco snake! I take it the 330's, which I believe arrive next year, will be replacements not additions. Which routes will they be used on?
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Old 4th Mar 2010, 17:33   #27 (permalink)
 
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Stan and NSF are both on the "numbers" to quote EKG

Folks,

What Stan and NSF have both said is a carbon copy of my experience in VS also.

The "lifestyle" portrayed for those on the outside is a different one from the one experienced by those of us on the inside. The Frank Abagnale JR image of aviation is dead and buried for LH IMHO,fundamentally the objective of VS is to make money for the share holders. EG Fly to NY(the city that never sleeps) and you hop on the bus that takes you to your hotel which happens to be in New Brunswick,NJ. an hour south of EWR,oooooozing glamour and lots of delsey dining,didnt someone mention see the world if you have a hard-on for hotel rooms this is the gig for you to get into. I felt more like a professional time-killer down-route.I couldnt wait for those wheels to touch down again at LHR so I could get home. Its not all doom and gloom I did have a "few" good trips but they were very few and far between.

In my 2yrs at VS before I took sabbatical/VR, I had lost all interest in Aviation,flying a dead a/c (being phased out) and an unsure inordinate amount of time to CMD which I had for 2 1/2yrs on a 37 before I joined was enough for me to jump at unpaid leave/VR.

Unfortunately VS is not the prestigeous holy grail of aviation I thaught it was going to be,but you gotta try it for yourself,am glad I did but I am also glad I am back LHS SH less fatigued at home with Mrs Crilly, Jack and Dougal.

To echo Stans sentiments it wasnt my cuppa tea either.

Will i go back,never say never is what I have learned from aviation so far in my 12yrs.

Best of luck to wanabees applying,unfortunately I do think it will take a while for the external doors to open again,just my opinion thats all.
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Old 5th Mar 2010, 10:19   #28 (permalink)
 
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I'm not the only one who believed that VS were an aspiration for many commercial pilots. In the end, from the first hand stories found here and from others I have heard recently, VS may not be the cat's pyjamas so to speak? They exist in a very tough market which will only get more difficult with a BA/AA monoply at LHR. Therefore can you see any real boom in growth, especially when it comes to western routes? The 10 A330s appear to be replacement aircraft, possibly taking the place of the older A343s / 744s? God knows what is happening with the 787 order (15 aircraft) and what will become of the A380, however I would expect to see the remainder of the 747 fleet will head out to Arizona as a result. May even be the case that a few A346 may join them?

VS seemed to be billed as a lifestyle airline, especially if you were Airbus crew from what I remember. Maybe they still are and I'm sure it still floats a few boats? Like Ted says, all you can do is try it (if you get the chance). Seems enjoying hotel interiors and not being too focused on reaching the LHS is a bit of a prerequisite?
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Old 5th Mar 2010, 16:16   #29 (permalink)
 
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I knocked it on the head 18 months ago, just prior to the latest downturn. Reasons? partly the endless wait for command which at my age I was unlikely to ever see, but mainly the aggravation of commuting from the frozen North to LHR/LGW several times a month. If you are considering it then think long and hard. It is exhausting, difficult and expensive. Longhaul is tough enough on the human body without 5 or 6 hours of travelling each side of a flight. Either live close to your base or choose another lifestyle.

Overall? I enjoyed the first 2 or 3 years, was indifferent to the next couple and had had enough by the end. Glad I did it, saw some nice places, flew the 744 and discovered that there is more to life than the size of your equipment. I'm glad I did it and equally glad that I no longer do.

All the best to my former colleagues.
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Old 6th Mar 2010, 06:27   #30 (permalink)
 
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If all you want is a command then Virgin may not be the place. I left one of the big loco:s with a command around the corner 4 years ago and I have absolutely no regrets. My lifestyle is much,much better, more days off and I have a great time downroute. I guess it depends on fleet and how you bid for trips. In my opinion, Virgin is a great place to work-even as a commuter

Last edited by The Swedish Virgin; 19th Mar 2010 at 11:03.
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Old 6th Mar 2010, 07:03   #31 (permalink)
 
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just wondering what happened in Virgin in tems of redundancies and demotions. Last I heard there was going to be a large number of pilots affected but been hearing since that everyone was ok in the end, can anyone comment?
bb
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Old 6th Mar 2010, 08:01   #32 (permalink)
 
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The swedish virgin,

The weak pound sounds like a blessing to UK pilots. If it makes the pay of UK airlines look relatively poor then the flood of european pilots looking to take British pilot jobs should diminish. There are many unemployed yet well qualified british pilots who live in the UK who would be delighted to work for Virgin with its present T & Cs. They would probably also then live in the UK and pay UK tax. That is the benefit of not being in the euro, in that we (the UK) can devalue the pound to become relatively more competative. Imports become more expensive but if a resource can then be purchased locally (i.e. pilots) then there is no need to pay the increased cost of the import (the foreign pilot).

This is deliberately provocative but I hope it makes the point and provokes some discussion.

Regards
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Old 6th Mar 2010, 10:42   #33 (permalink)
 
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Swedes out Swedes out Swedes out..... British jobs for British workers!!!

What a load of nonsense.
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Old 6th Mar 2010, 12:32   #34 (permalink)
 
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On the contrary to what has been said, I have a friend who has been an FO at Virgin for 8 years, he doesn't have a sniff of command, but he's having the time of his life, and the lifestyle suits him down to the ground....lucky bugger is mainly flying caribbean routes at the moment....He doesn't have a family to support so I guess that changes your view on things, but I think this is still the dream job for most UK pilot.

Definitely for me anyway.
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Old 6th Mar 2010, 15:32   #35 (permalink)
 
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The Swedish Virgin.

I certainly agree that the country should stop spending but I didn't for one moment say that we should close our borders or have a British jobs for British workers policy. That would be mad.

What I was trying to say was that as the pound depreciates against the euro it is only those who live in euro zone countries that feel that they are suffering a pay cut. Those who are paid in pounds and spend in pounds will feel no effect. If the pound continues to fall against the euro then there will come a point when those living in the euro zone will feel that the pay is not sufficient remuneration for the job. If there was a european shortage of pilots then UK based companies would have to raise wages to attract pilots from the euro zone.

At the moment though there is a large surplus of well qualified pilots in the eurozone and UK. Therefore if the pound continues to fall it may become unattractive to work for a British company if you live in europe but has no material effect on those living in the UK.

No one was advocating a pay cut but if you work for a company that pays wages in one currency but chose to live in a country that uses another then you have to expect currency fluctuations to be a part of the deal. I suspect those who get paid in euros but live in the UK are not to unhappy.

Some you win. Some you lose.

Regards
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Old 6th Mar 2010, 17:04   #36 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: "this is where the magic happens"
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No guts no glory

I'm with Swedish Virgin on this one, although I don't work for VS.

I also left the Orange nightmare a few years ago to fly long haul for a European based company and (despite jet lag etc) my social and professional life have improved 100%, not to mention my health! I have 10x more energy than when flying LoCost and I'm enjoying the various destinations.

A lot really depends on your personality and social background though. Some people like Capt Ted Crilly sit all day in a hotel room, starring at the seniority list and counting the people in front of them in order to get that "holy" Command, whilst being frustrated to be away from friends and family. In that case LH is nothing for you. Others (like myself) have a quick look on the internet for fun things to do and go out and enjoy themselves, whilst still having a decent social life when at home.

No doubt that the 80's LH lifestyle (one week Rio) is no longer there, but for me LH still beats SH hands down. BTW, these *cough* quick upgrades with SH LoCost come at a price, just have a look at all those numerous threads on PPRuNe about easyJet and how they (mis)treat their employees and cadets... Absolutely a disgrace!

p.s. Another lesson from my 4 years at sleazyJet: NEVER again do I want to work for a UK airline! They sure know how to take the fun away from flying and how to mistreat employees!
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Old 7th Mar 2010, 00:35   #37 (permalink)
 
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I have to agree, I also used to work for Easy, it was good fun and great experience but just over 5 years was enough for me.
I too work for a longhaul operation now and I feel much less tired and get lots of quality time off at home.
Sure the downside is that I am away from home a few nights a month but was is the point of being at home every night feeling like a zomby?

I remember a fellow colleague of mine decided to jack the LoCo thing in when his 4 year old boy one evening said to him: "Daddy why to you go to bed before me every night?"...Says it all really!
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Old 10th Mar 2010, 08:02   #38 (permalink)
 
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Location: The Twilight Zone
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Just curious! Anyone know how many capt's moved left to right in the the last Virgin shake-up?
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Old 10th Mar 2010, 14:20   #39 (permalink)
 
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Location: Europe
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Can VS fleet type contribute to faster burn out?

I've heard from many pilots that long-haul flying can easily contribute to burn out and fatigue (for some people more than others). For those VS pilots who do burn out, which fleet type likely contributes to that burn out faster? Airbus offers more route variety but longer flights. I've also heard some 400 drivers say they got bored with the routes (even the sunny Caribbean) quickly.

Any trends in terms of pilot departures from VS or thoughts based on personal experience?
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Old 10th Mar 2010, 20:20   #40 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 321
Gee Ivor you get around. One minute you are advocating the demise of Aer Lingus into the arms of Michael O'Leary and then here you are deeply concerned about the potential jetlag on each fleet at Virgin. Come on isn't it past your bedtime? Mummy will be cross if you don't get up on time tomorrow.
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