View Full Version : BA pilots permitted to work on until 60

30th Oct 2003, 00:16
Understand that as from February 06 BA pilots will be permitted to extend their employ until 60 years of age. Thereafter, they may negotiate annually untill 65 years.

What sort of effect will this have on BA for the more junior ranks and will this effect a number of airlines that have been able to benefit from the BA currrent 55 years, with experienced pilots available and fully trained i.e VA and EZ

Apparently this will naturally apply to cabin crew. I understand that this is pre-empting EU employment law. From a company perspective clearly there is the possiblities of savings.

30th Oct 2003, 00:23
"Apparently this will naturally apply to cabin crew."

Shouldn't affect cabin crew - they already work untill they are 128 years old.

"From a company perspective clearly there is the possiblities of savings."

How did you work that out? Surley more guys on pp24 for longer = more expensive.

Hand Solo
30th Oct 2003, 00:23
No decision on this has been made yet. The EU employment legislation has not been finalised yet so BA are in no position to formulate a response. It's highly likely people will be able to stay on beyond 55 but nothing's decided.

30th Oct 2003, 00:32
with french air law and the 55 year old rule (?) does this affect which routes these pilots could fly (presumably no route over french airspace) ?


30th Oct 2003, 00:34
It was stated at a forum by Lloyd this afternoon and there was a number of unhappy F/O's.

30th Oct 2003, 00:44
There’s less to this than meets the eye. It’ll probably involve the employee who wishes to work to 60 transferring to a franchise on a new contract. Also BA has yet to adopt the European legislation, the Prince of Darkness is apparently going to take on the whole of the EU from his Battlestar anyway.

It’s usually best with BA to take the view that anything that looks too good to be true probably is, and will probably end up costing you a lot of money. According to the latest runes, we are all in for another plague of pestilence anyway with a major attack on flight crew T&C’s just around the corner.

The making life profoundly unpleasant department is about to unleash Beelzebub.

30th Oct 2003, 00:49
Ah, how time just seems to fly by. Before you know it you're 54, your retirement package is trashed or you had to start over at the bottom of the list or had to make concessions:{ . Funny how one's perspective changes. It seems like yesterday I was in the right seat hoping that old guy over there would retire. Now the F/O's give me that look:yuk:

30th Oct 2003, 01:47
I thought the French had an age 60 rule, which (as was pointed out) they tried to inflict on everyone else.

I had understood that although the captains were required to retire as such at age 55, they were/are allowed to continue to age 60 if they reverted to being SFOs?

PPRuNe Pop
30th Oct 2003, 01:59
The French, like everyone else will have to conform to the new rules when they are applied.

BA's decision has probably more to do with pensions than anything else. Time will tell.

Alty Meter
30th Oct 2003, 02:41
I've enjoyed my career with BA and no regrets but in a couple of years time I'll be very happy to use my BA pension to do my flying.

30th Oct 2003, 03:37
The French, like everyone else will have to conform to the new rules when they are applied

What new rules exactly?

Sadly history suggests the French Government will do what they like in their own country.

France, Italy and Portugal currrently exercise the terms of an ICAO annex that allows them to prohibit overflight or landing by Commanders aged 60 or over.

Are ICAO changing their rules?

The Scarlet Pimpernel
30th Oct 2003, 07:10
It’ll probably involve the employee who wishes to work to 60 transferring to a franchise on a new contract.

Only as long as they join at the bottom of the seniority list as a junior F/O!:ok:

30th Oct 2003, 22:54
Just for the record, the 60-year rule imposed in French airspace is actually included in ICAO Annex 1, which the French DGAC has implemented, while the CAA hasn't...


Da Dog
31st Oct 2003, 00:58
Cheif pilot short haul said it was "inevitable". :p

So here's to 12-15 years to command:{

Good jod we're so well paid as FO's:ouch:

31st Oct 2003, 01:57

Just go back a a few weeks ago to the thread on new EU legislation to prevent employers forcing people to retire if they do not wish to do so.

It will come into force by about mid 2006.


Captain Airclues
31st Oct 2003, 02:48
Does anyone know how BA intend to manage this? A pilot who was 55 on the 1st February could have a five year longer career (and associated pension improvements) than a pilot who was 55 on the 30th January (assuming that the changeover date was the 1st February).

Could be interesting times?


PPRuNe Pop
31st Oct 2003, 03:07

Interesting times indeed. BA will probably like the new legislation because it will be less of a burden on their pension scheme. Something which is affecting many similar schemes. Some of them are in dire straights.


Make no mistake. BA, or any other airline, cannot opt out or decide one way or another. Not yet anyway. The EU are determined that this legislation will become effective in 2006. However, there are provisions, "in exceptional circumstances" where a new retirement age can be agreed. We will have to wait until the middle of next year to see what this means.

31st Oct 2003, 07:49
The EU countries were supposed to have already introduced legislation banning a mandatory retirement age. At the Berlin summit in Nov 2002, the UK and France were taken to task for failing to introduce legislation. A final date of Dec 2006 was imposed at the summit. Failure to comply will mean that the EU will be able to take the countries to the EU court. Similarily, individual citizens will be able to claim compensation from their governments, through the EU courts, for loss of their right to continue working. Make no mistake - this legislation will come into force. The exact wording of the law, with all the variuos exemptions/exceptions has yet to be presented to parliament, but it will have to comply with everything in the EU directive which has been in existence for over ten years now.
BA, like every other employer in UK will have to change their mandatory retirement date.
As for the French/ICAO rules regarding a ban on Captains on international flights over the age of 60 - well the airline will have to use you on routes where you can legally fly. If the airline does not have enough routes avoiding France to give to old pilots, then the company would be obliged to terminate your employment - because there is no work for you to do. Clearly no employer will be forced to retain people who cannot legally do the job they are contracted for. They might choose to offer you a first officer's post, where flying over France would be legal, but presumably the rate of pay would be less, because the responsibility and experience requirements of the post are less.
Britannia are ahead of the game here. They allow Captains, the option to move to First officer at the age of 60.
Perhaps, in the next few years ICAO will change the aviation treaty, to allow international captains over 60. Then France would be out on a limb within Europe, and would be forced to comply with current JAA rules which do allow Captains over 60.

31st Oct 2003, 15:36
I find one of the pleasures of being a captain over 60 is not having to go to CDG!

31st Oct 2003, 16:50
If true.
Its good news .It will stop the wrinklings filtering into other airlines and cock up the market!

Dave Gittins
31st Oct 2003, 22:25
Was at a European Employment Workshop yesterday and can say for sure, for sure, that in 2006 Age Discrimination will be added to the EC Employment Directive to join, Sexual Orientation (2003), Religion and Belief (2003), etc. etc.

Questions about whether you reached a particular age on 31 February or 1 March just won't apply.

Captain Airclues
31st Oct 2003, 23:25

Why do you say that the date of birth does not apply. If someone is forced to retire one day before the legislation comes into force he is now no longer an employee and therefore has no employment rights. Someone who is due to retire the day after the legislation is protected.
If you say that an airlines retired pilots can demand their jobs back, then how far back do you go?
Just curious!


1st Nov 2003, 17:40
31st of February?

Now that really is a quantum leap!

crusin level
2nd Nov 2003, 18:41
Funny how its "convenient" for BA now that the pension results are imminent!!

Just remind me again - who was it who took a pension holiday during the good times? Having youre cake and eating it springs to mind.

Of course it will all be wrapped up in a "good for staff" covering, lets not also forget those ex forces on a second career chaps!

2nd Nov 2003, 19:08
Revaluation of BA pension fund is imminent which will see a requirement for contributions to increase. (expected late December)

aw ditor
2nd Nov 2003, 19:46
Which piece of Legislation and/or Requirement will take precedence;ICAO, The EU, or the JAA (EASA)?

2nd Nov 2003, 23:28
Just remind me again - who was it who took a pension holiday during the good times? Having youre cake and eating it springs to mind.

Hate to spoil your snide posting but BA took a contribution holiday from APS. APS is still sufficiently funded. BA has never taken a contribution holiday from NAPS. NAPS is underfunded.

Of course it will all be wrapped up in a "good for staff" covering, lets not also forget those ex forces on a second career chaps.

Yes indeed wouldn't want to spoil your silver spoon in the mouth career would we.

PS I am not ex RAF but despise the selfish attitude exhibited by you and your ilk.

PPRuNe Pop
3rd Nov 2003, 03:09
I am given to understand that EU legislation takes precedence. Until such changes that may be deemed to be required are approved - by the EU. For a change ICAO, and the French, will have to toe the line as far as Europe is concerned. That term might well have some significance, since there will be toe to toe in-fighting.

Still, the French are always trying to impose their particular thinking on almost anything!

3rd Nov 2003, 21:46
The ICAO rules come from the aviation treaty which is signed by participating sovereign countries (in this case by virtually every country in the world), and has the same legal obligations (under international law) as any other treaty between nations.
It does not specify what pilots' licenses are required in one's own country, which is a national affair, but only specifies the licenses and conditions of pilots flying into, or over another signatory country.
So , the UK should not let it's own over 60 captains fly over France. Similarily the French should not let their pilots fly over UK. Unfortunately French logic has been distorted to the degree that they have taken it on themselves to prevent landing and overflight, rather than allowing it to happen while at the same time complaining through diplomatic channels that the UK is disregarding the treaty obligations.
From what I can gather, we are only talking about over the land and out to the international coast limit of 12 miles. The French have no legal jurisdiction over the Bay of Biscay for example, which is in an FIR administered by France, but which is totally free international airspace in which flights can take place by unlicensed aircraft with unlicensed crews without prior notification or flight plan - just like the Russian spy planes flying down the coast of Scotland or the Americans flying along the coast of China.

3rd Nov 2003, 22:57
Hmm, I would think that EU legislation would take precedence over the ICAO treaty as one is law and the latter an agreement.

The relaxation of the “infamous age 60 rule” was due for a change in any case, as the general population is healthier and living longer then those of past years.

The actuaries have guessed wrong in their assumptions concerning pension plans funding thus the stage has been set for a change..

Add in the proliferation of the LCC’s with pilots retiring from the majors and then starting a new career with the LCC’s and you have major union problems trying to enforce the “age 60” lobby. The majors simply cannot afford to have their highly trained retired pilots competing against them flying for the LCC’s. Thus they probably will ask the ICAO to modify the age 60 rules so that they can retain these individuals..Rather like closing the barn door after the horses's have bolted.

The pilot’s unions will be the last major stumbling block but I can’t see them holding out in the long term as the aviation business model has been changed by the LCC’s.

I’m a recently retired A340 Captain so I have no axe’s to grind either way, however out of interest at the retired airline pilot’s meetings that I attend, the group is probably equally divided on the age 60 rule. The retired pilot’s, who are in good health and were having a good time, wanted to continue past age 60, while those in poor health or had just lost interest wanted out age 60 or earlier.

In my opinion only..


4th Nov 2003, 06:43
Compulsory retirement age is a subject that, one way or another, affects most pilots reading this thread. It is therefore depressing to read so much cr*p on such an important subject. A few facts:

The UK government has until late 2006 to introduce age discrimination legislation that complies with the European directive on the subject. This UK legislation has yet to be published. No-one knows quite what form it will take. The only certainty is that it has to comply with the requirements of the directive. The directive is very vague. Of specific importance to professional pilots is the fact that, a) it permits mandatory national retirement ages for specific occupations subject only to objective justification, and b), it permits Member States to exempt certain occupations from the requirements of the directive.

There is nothing in the directive that would force the French to abandon their over 60 restrictions.

No-one yet knows whether this new UK legislation will have any material effect on UK Professional Pilots. Anyone pretending to know otherwise is speaking though an orifice not normally noted for that function.

4th Nov 2003, 14:55
When I started this thread it was stated by the BA Chief Pilot last week that BA Flight and Cabin Crew after Feb 06 would be allowed to remain to 60 and beyond. BA were pre-empting that which will become EU legislation on Dec 06. What other European airlines do to address this in the meantime is a matter for them. Be assured that BA would not be taking this action unless they saw no other options.