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SWISS to lay off 140 pilots

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SWISS to lay off 140 pilots

Old 24th Nov 2002, 00:08
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Quote: "But managing means solveing the current problems, not the ones that might once come in future"

well studi

in fact, good management skills should avoid that one runs into problems.....

Following your postings for a long time now, you're obviously a representative of a minority of those young graduated arrogant ETH blokes. I guess that former HTL-graduates are a kind of a second class professionals for you since they have no academic rank. Pretty similiar to your attitude towards "Regional" pilots.

There are sometimes different ways of education to approach a job. Either academic or non-academic pilots are able to have a high standard in the cockpit. Arrogance on either side disqualifies the respective cockpit member. Professionals share their knowledge among each other, in the cockpit, in the fleet, in the company. SWISS is ONE company. Either there will be one pilot corps in the near future or SWISS will be history including those "yesterday was everthing better"-minded, egocentric corps members on both sides.

Now studi, I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart to become THE ultimate mainline carrier pilot.


By the way,my background:
ETH-graduate with Ph.D and Post-Doc at the MIT in aerospace engineering. Swiss olympic team member. Contractor for General Dynamics/Lookheed and BOEING on the F-22 and the Joint Strike fighter and now flying on a "regional" aircraft........
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Old 24th Nov 2002, 09:45
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SWISS

Somebody once suggested that any publicity is good publicity, because your Brand is in the limelight. That was certainly confirmed after the Schweizerhalle fire poluted the Rhine.

It happens to be less true of airlines - because the travelling public has become aware that seeing a headline with an Airline Brand means a crash, a strike, or economic problems, at least 9 times out of ten.

The result is that the full fare paying SLF tends to switch away from an Airline in the limelight. So seats get discounted to non-profitability and the troubles start or get worse....

Pity or the support of inginuity, courage or the underdog of course work in the other direction - and in such situations support is often forthcoming. Realise however that this don't work for ever, especially not with repeated events of negative visibility, rather that visible events of success.

So even the most supportative diehard will, after repeated demonstrations of not trying, stupidity or negative actions tend to drift away from aa cause, however worthy.

And that I would respectfully suggest is where the modern travelling public is at this moment in time with SWISS. Any further retreat from trying to provide what was promised - an improved, upper class airline, with superior service - will cause the fatal spiral to accelerate.

Swiss would probably have been excused but the travelling public for having had an austerity patch at the start - but the almost fanatical money burning attitude to have a new visible identity that does nothing better for the customer (greater comfort, more price performant service, better cuisine) tends very quickly to turn the prospective savious and drive them into the arms of the competitor.

It's and interesting study in erronious beliefs and marketing folly.

Chances of success in 4Q02 abour 60:40 - chances of success today, given the almost fanatical internal wars (at times the middle-east seems tame by comparison), I would today put at around 200.

If SWISS, as rumours seem to confirm, refocus on Zürich as the Hub, I would predict fairly good chances for a Virgin, Ryan or Easy-Jet move into Basel and Geneva with the availability of the cheaper staff that would probably become free.

Oh for the joys of free enterprise, which is definately not free.
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Old 24th Nov 2002, 09:51
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Hello Studi !

Maybe I have to make something clear. I'm not a pilot, I also never worked for Swissair or Crossair in a "regular" function, and I don't plan to work for Swiss in the future.
This reminds me of another person on PPRuNe (Webwings ) who also had quite a big opinion but was not a pilot and did not work for SR or LX.

1. This was a very smart move management wise. By moving the charter business from MD-80 to A320 you can downsize the ex-SR middle haul line flying part of Swiss without making ex-SR pilots redundant, therefore not going into seniority issues.
Again proof that 26/26 was way too optimistic and that too many ex-SR pilots were employed by Crossair. Ex-Crossair pilots will not pay for the failed business plan of naive politicians or the VR. For as far as seniority is concerned, wait until the Court of Arbitration has reached a verdict. Aeropers has seriously underestimated the willingness of ex-Crossair pilots to fight for their jobs and it will come to haunt them in the future.

The way it is now, Swiss can operate well, as long as no tribunal makes some funny decisions like supporting seniority zippers.
Well, that is exactly the problem Studi. Court cases are ongoing and a verdict will come sooner or later. Whether managment or AP likes it or not !

By the way, Lufthansa is pretty successful at the moment, and they also operate two pilot corps in the same corporate group.
Yes that´s right, but don´t forget that this Lufthansa integration was done in a professional manner with long term stability and growth as objectives. You can hardly say that about the B-GAV and the hijacking of Crossair by Swissair !
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Old 24th Nov 2002, 10:57
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Hello Robert Vesco


You are writing the following:

"Again proof that 26/26 was way too optimistic and that too many ex-SR pilots were employed by Crossair."

What about the 80 regional airplanes? You remember the letter Mr. Bouw (Chairman of the Board of SWISS) sent to all pilots? If there wouldn’t be a NEW LX the regional part (ex-Crossair) would stop flying too.

Maybe a size like 25/25/ 50 is a lot more realistic, than the CCP’s 15/15/80! Just listen to the words of Mr. Dosé on Swiss TV last week, about longrange and regionalrange profitability.
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Old 24th Nov 2002, 13:40
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Thinking back to the then Balair/Swissair pilot corps integration, which was not easy, you had ex DC-8 Captains down amongst the SR FOs on the list - and "demoted" to DC-9.

The lists were certainly not zipped together at that time and this background helps to explain the ex SR attitude to the present failed integration.

Of course, the Balair contingent was a lot smaller than the Crossair one, with a resultant smaller voice in the matter.

At the end of it all, as usual, everybody is looking out to save his own skin. None of the pilots, Swissair or Crossair wanted this mess - they were all caught up in it. It is a shame that the reasonably good relationship which had slowly grown between the two corps has deteriorated to the present state. It just could be that management is not sorry about that...
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Old 24th Nov 2002, 14:11
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Hi Studi,

But I think you have to agree that A320 are cheaper to operate.
That depends. Fuel burn and maintanance will definitely be cheaper on an Airbus compared to an MD80, but if it is crewed by OC2 pilots, a lot of this advantage is lost. I heard through the grapevine that the A320 OC2 crew operating BSL-LHR-ZRH had to make nightstops in London (+- £1500,-/night in the Swissôtel ) because of duty time limitations. Add to that the much higher salaries of OC2 pilots for virtually the same work to the same destinations and then the advantage is nearly gone.

And for the prospects that LH had, this is just the economical situation Swiss is in. There's no one you can blame for the lack of anticipated growth for Swiss. This hasn't got anything to do with B-GAV and hijacking.
Look at the economical situation that Germany is in ! Almost 4 million people unemployed and an economy with almost no growth. Nevertheless LH is doing great. Must be because of the competent managment in LH, what do you think ? Right after Sept. 11th LH immediately grounded a lot of aircraft and now, as business is slowly picking up again, LH is putting aircraft back in the air. What did Swiss do ? Exactly the opposite ! Our wonderfull managment launched an airline that was way too big, just to keep ex-SR pilots happy, and now has to ground aircraft because it can not pay for them. The "lack of anticipated growth" is clearly the fault of managment and the overambitious business plan, while the "the economical situation Swiss is in" is a direct result of the political pressure to save as many Swissair jobs as possible. It has nothing to do with sound economic thinking.
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Old 24th Nov 2002, 14:44
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Now RV doesn't agree with me - what a surprise! Lets see:
Aeropers declining to be present
May be there are better places to solve our problems then TV shows? Our management, politicians, Depp Moser and CCP: a nice club of liars. I don't see Aeropers fit in there! And I cannot remember anybody ever finding a solution there...
Swiss Pilots Association (SPA, formerly know as CCP) clearly warning against the legal implications of Mr. AD´s course of actions.
The only thing SPA seems to be able to do: legal action against anybody! SPA? Société protective des animaux? Nice name!
Mr. Sepp Moser as the lonely cusador warning against the blown up size of Swiss
Crusader you mean? Their motives and deeds were very questionable - to put it mildly. Really fitting for our Depp! So the concept could work after all! Just give it a chance.
A former Swissair 747 captain saying how disgusted he is by the smear tactics of Aeropers and their refusal to compromise on anything
This as@#*le is xx years old, got 3.8 millions SFr pension when he was regularly retired by SR. What is he doing now? Right. He is flying an LX MD80 and is taking a young pilots job! Now I am disgusted! By the way what is CCP doing against this unbearable situation? Nada! :o
Once the Court of Arbitration has made a ruling about the seniority issue, this will clear the way for more lay off´s
If you mean SWISS can then lay off some of its oversized regional corps? Then we agree!

Last edited by Hogg; 28th Nov 2002 at 15:42.
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Old 24th Nov 2002, 14:45
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773829

Maybe a size like 25/25/ 50 is a lot more realistic, than the CCP’s 15/15/80! Just listen to the words of Mr. Dosé on Swiss TV last week, about longrange and regionalrange profitability.
Disagree with you 773829. Mr Dose likes to say a lot (about alliances, finances, pilots corps, Destination Excellence etc.) but always fails to deliver HARD FACTS ! I agree with you (see below) that the regional sector is too big indeed, but please, please give me some real evidence that long haul is making a profit.

What about the 80 regional airplanes?
First of all, let´s be honnest and say that we have 26 long range aircraft and 106 regional aircraft. The Airbus 320´s do not fly any/much further then the Saab 2000´s, the Embraer 145´s, the AVRO´s and the MD 80´s.

So, when Swiss was created, the (already large, I do admit) regional fleet of 80 ex- Crossair aircraft was increased to an whopping 106 aircraft. All these 106 aircraft do is fly routes within Europe, varying from London, to London City, to Milan, to Athens etcetera. You are right ! It´s way too big ! Swiss can not have 106 regional aircraft feeding only 26 long haul aircraft !

Now let´s look at what size aircraft were added to the regional fleet. The smallest aircraft that was added to Swiss was the Airbus 319 with 100-126 seats. The largest (A321) has 170-186 seats. Ofcourse the European profitability will decrease dramatically if an airline suddenly has to fill all those extra seats on aircraft flown by more expensive pilots ! I personally think that 80/26 already would have been an ambitious option. Then we could have dropped unprofitable ex-Crossair routes and taken over profitable ex-Swissair European routes with smaller (lower break even load factors) aircraft.




Wow Skypointer......

The pressure must be getting to you.....

Nothing but insults....

Nothing (apart from the correction of my spelling) that even vaguely resembles an educated thought.

Last edited by Robert Vesco; 24th Nov 2002 at 15:03.
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Old 24th Nov 2002, 16:23
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rumours that Swiss will no longer be the emb170 launch customer.
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Old 24th Nov 2002, 16:24
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Wink

Just a few thoughts! Nothing to do with economics...

SWISSAIR

When I was a child, Swissair was a symbol, an icon, something that seemed to have always existed, and that would always be there. Everybody respected Swissair in Switzerland, and we all loved it. Wherever you went, there would be the familiar flag and red stripe....and they were, indeed, all over the place. Flying with Swissair was special, a treat, a breath of fresh air...

Until Crossair arrived.

This is when Swissair showed it's arrogant face, and tried to make it clear that they were ruling the swiss skies, and would not tolerate any interference, especially not from a little propeller operator like Crossair....Well, finally they realised they had to live together, and SR decided to accept the presence of LX, even though the SR pilots never really did, since they thought they were so superior.

All this went fine, until April 1996, when Mr B. decided to remove Genève from it's long-range plans...Since that day, everybody in the Swiss Far-West has been p****d off with Swissair, though it proved in the future to be beneficial for GVA, as it suffered much less than ZRH from the collapse of SR.

CROSSAIR

How nice it was, to see them flying across Switzerland with their Metroliners...Of course, it wasn't easy, with Swissair trying to destroy all their plans, but they fought, and fought, and were able to impose their presence. Unfortunately, the spirit that was theirs at the beginning, the fun, the comradeship, all this suffered from the dominance of Swissair, and as they started to develop an inferiority complex, they became just as arrogant as their SR Big-Brothers... What a pity...

SWISS

Well, not much to say about this disaster. Just one thing: the livery!! I love it !! Sober, simple, it reminds me of the milk bricks we had in the sixties, where "MILK" was written in three languages: "MILCH, LAIT, LATTE"

Otherwise, nothing...

Last edited by Red Goose; 24th Nov 2002 at 16:58.
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Old 24th Nov 2002, 16:26
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Skypointer....

This as@#*le is now XX years, got 3.8 millions SFr pension when he was regularly retired by SR. What is he doing now? Right. He is flying an LX MD80 and is taking a young pilots job! Now I am disgusted! By the way what is CCP doing against this unbearable situation? Nada!

nice words to the old man........

Hope you have a good lawyer.......(Ehrverletzung)

Btw, you must be a pilot who fears the reality.

Hold your horses and cool down !

Cool runnings

Last edited by Hogg; 28th Nov 2002 at 15:44.
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Old 24th Nov 2002, 18:54
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Ehrverletzung
- Of somebody who has none?

RV. Nothing against your spelling. I was just makeing sure we were talking about the same, as you stroke me as a little touchy in the past on similar subjects. I know my english ain't perfect either - if you know what I mean...

Concerning your reasoning about the number of regional airplanes. Normally we speak about shorthaul aircraft above 100 seats and about regionals below that number. It has little to do with the route flown - or do you call a B747 flying Tokyo - Osaka a regional jet? We probably agree that there is no such thing as a Mediumrange.

Expensive pilots? We sure have them. On the regional fleet! Check the benchmarks - in salary and productivity. I presently fly about 80 to 90 blockhours a month with a salary which is about 30% below benchmark in my aircraft category. I certainly do not fear a comparison here! How about you, RV?

Do I fear reality? Hardly, but I am concerned about CCP destroying a (at least possible) future of SWISS by its unreasonable behaviour. Fact is that all I said can be proved (Management, Sepp and CCP lying; the meaning of SPA in the french speaking part of Switzerland; what I wrote about XX- except one single word, which presents my personal opinion, of course).

Fact is as well that CCP is trying to make ex-SR pilots pay for the inevitable restructuring of ex-CRX regional fleet. Something they always said was not true. Now they show their ugly face...

Last edited by Hogg; 28th Nov 2002 at 15:41.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 11:41
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Actually Swissair was extremely helpful to the young Crossair, allowing it to use a lot of its infrastructure and booking/checkin system, in the hopes of a successful cooperation. When Crossair wanted ex Swissair MD-80s, they were given the newest ones and there was a lot of cooperation on the technical front at that time. Moritz Suter had Swissair jumping for him for a long time.

As for the new management making the airline deliberately too big in order to keep the ex SR pilots happy that is plain ridiculous - Management isn't in the keeping pilots happy business.

There's a lot of polemic in here and the more that comes, the harder it will be to sort it out.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 12:37
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Before I concur with Few Cloudy on the polemic within this threat, I’d like thank skypointer in calling it the way I see it too in regards to DEPP Moser.

I find it interesting that Switzerland has some 7 million populations, about 8 million aviation experts and about 16 million expert opinions. It doesn’t matters if we are discussing flight ops, airline/airport management, safety or environmentals. There will always be an onrush of folks that think they know better; D. Moser is one of those who actually invented aviation and has a solution handy for whatever problem arises.

Be it as it may, to be a good leader in good times is easy. To lead when almost all is lost is very difficult and does require some unpopular decision making. I surely don’t want to stand up for the Swiss management as I also can’t agree with a bunch of their ideas but; if a restructuring of the company is what it takes to survive and pilots need to be booted, well he!! then so be it!

Within all of this bickering, blaming, accusing and fighting I have lost any understanding, sympathy and support for any of the corps!

IMHO, this entire situation seems to resemble more and more of a three ring circus or an uncontrolled kindergarten.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 13:01
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Well its an interesting forum. To add to the uncontrolled kindergarten its seems to me that RV and Red goose have really got **** for brains, what are you guys ?young ex xir copi expecting to be MD11 cpts?
Skypointer seems to be the intelligent one. As for crossairs growth it was only on the back of swissair giving it all the europe flying incl.the MD80s in the early 90s that cross was successful.
No swissair would have equalled no crossair.
If the new mickey mouse management cant make it work with such a low cost structure as the a/c leases and pilot costs it goes to show the quality of the managers.
As for the xair pilots , the good ones would have been probably taken by swissair over the past years anyway.
what airline in the world has a regional bigger than the mainline?
get real and get rid of the rj and some embs or saabs.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 22:12
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To Beer.....

You sad a very interesting thing.
you, and all ex-Swissair people think, that all ex - crossair people wants to fly a big bird (MD11,A340,330) .

This is not true.

What counts are: job-security, private live, home base, no positioning, social live....... and so on. Do you really think if you are flying the wide bodies your dream came thru?

After a year it’s the same.

But exactly at that point you are looking for the goodies mentioned above.

cool runnnings
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 02:20
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Gentlemen

I recommend to bear in mind that most of you will have to face a "minor" correction in your future career path if SWISS goes down the drain. Chances are, that this scenario is most likely to happen if you keep on going this infant bigger, better, smaller, cheaper, leaner ping-pong game, or have you grown up, have you ?
You have safely flown a 50 or 500 seater over the past ten, twenty years or so ? Respect ! Any other professional job experience ? No ? Well, you have a degree or diploma. Fine, but no experience except flying, right ?
Any chance for a suitable post-pilot job in these days at your age? Not really !!
So what do you do ? Wipe the tarmac (Guess, this would most probably suit you, Skypointer) ?
Do not throw stones when sitting in the glass-house , fellows !
Team up and look forward.

Cheers
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 09:26
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N380UA
I could not decode your message. Would you please send a email in plain language so that I can read your message. Thank you in advance.
Middlepath
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 09:52
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Aircraft on order

It seems that Swiss have 6 A320's, 13 A340's (CFM56-5C/P engine testing at the moment), 30 ERJ170, 30 ERJ195 all on order at the moment. Surely this will save at least 140 positions.
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 14:42
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Stop it

Come on, all you guys. Stop bitching around and try to pull together. For me, flying is the best job in the world, period.
In my active career, I have done it all. Hauling freight in extended water operations in an Aztec, enjoying the sunny side of life in a Beech 1900 in the Caribbean, getting fat paychecks in a DC10 and pushing the limits in a Falcon. Last mentioned aircraft crashed and then some kid in a suit told me that I was no longer allowed to fly. It took reasonable time to find me another (non-flying) job and there is not single day, when I do not crave for active flying status.
I sincerely hope that all Swiss jocks have more luck than I and do not end-up looking for a desk job. Unfortunately, reading this thread makes me feel the worst. If you do not start acting like professionals then you do not belong in a cockpit. Start putting your act together and do something other than blaming somenone else about the situation Swiss is in!

Ok, now I feel relieved
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