View Full Version : City Bird finally gone under?

20th Jul 2001, 04:58
Just heard that City Bird is going under and most of the 767 pilots will be offered jobs with DHL on the 757 out of Brussels. Can anybody confirm this or have any news on the subject?

20th Jul 2001, 11:10
Going to a 737 intra-europe carrier only all long haul bye-bye...not sure about who's picking up the pilots some city birds are former EAT anyway..mates of mine..hope it works out for them

20th Jul 2001, 12:03
Yes some of the b767 pilots go dhl 757 and some others tnt liege , but the a300 sectors stops as well and a lot of pilots in both sectors are still looking for a job.Some have the b737 rating and will join the sector but not all.The chief pilot of b767/a300 sector is a super guy he's phoning and looking everywhere to find these guys a job.Hope it wont be the case the 26/9/01 for the b737 sector........... :D

20th Jul 2001, 16:48
Thank you ironbutt and 76737,

Do you know how many 767 guys there are with City Bird? Do you have any idea where they are finding jobs, either 757/767 or 737s. Who, besides TNT and DHL are picking them up?

It seems the world is full of 757/767 drivers with no place to go if they are out of work or looking for time off.

20th Jul 2001, 18:05
It seems Mr Hasson (who founded CityBird when he sold EBA to Virgin... that's when I left the company ;) )doesn't know what he really really wants. Did the last scheduled Miami-Brussels (as a PAX) in September with Training Cpt Cornet, who was pretty confident in the 767 charter operation @ that time. So what went wrong ?


21st Jul 2001, 13:29
What's happened with the charter operations with the 767 ? Very simple. The Belgian market is sick !! Holliday-Prices are so low that nobody can make a profit any more. Another big problem is that the other charter company in Belgium, the Sabena doughter SOBELAIR, is sponsored by Sabena. Due to this they can sell their 767 at a very low price (below market price!!) This is the major reason why every flight with the City Bird 767 is a loss for the company!! As a result the CTB-767 Neckerman contract is now going to Sobelair.

21st Jul 2001, 16:14
Just to get my record straight: Am I correct by stating CTB will be (or already is) a 737 only airline, and that all MD11/767/A300's are gone?
Anyone with the answer?

21st Jul 2001, 20:06
The MD-11's are already in the dessert waiting for a better life. The first 2 went after Sabena stopped leasing the MD-11's and the 3rd (last) went a few weeks later when ALM stopped leasing the MD-11 for its Amsterdam Aruba flights. It (ALM) now operates B767's from... Sobelair. (I believe I see a pattern).

I don't know when (if) the A300 and the B767 is (are) retired.

The current bad situation of CB is amongst others to 'blame' to SABENA. Their cancelling of the MD-11's made CB lose a lot of money, and now Sobelair is stunting with prices things only get worse.

Peter ten Thije
[email protected]

21st Jul 2001, 22:51
Thanx for the quick response Peter!

22nd Jul 2001, 20:43
EXCIN and Peter ten Thye, I am afraid that your comments that put the blame for CTB's bad fortunes on Sabena do not represent the truth. I can understand them to come from the hearts of two dedicated CTB employes who understandably wish their jobs with CTB to continue, but they merely repeat the CTB management stance which happens to be an incorrect one.

It would be more correct to say that in the past few years CTB has been eating out of Sabena's hand via, probably juicy, long term wet lease contracts for two MD-11's.

The bad luck for CTB is that the early expiration of these wet leases (in exchange for a hefty termination fee in favor of CTB) no longer provides the revenues required to cover up for the agressive and erratic expansion policy of CTB, who chose two have two examples each of two many different aircraft types (B767, MD11, A300-600F); and to which 737's have now also been added.

Such uncontrolled expansion policy without adequate underpinning by sufficient equity capital was already undertaken once before, ten years ago, by one of the directors of CTB, Mr. Gutelman. He then was the owner of the charter airline TEA. TEA went bankrupt as a result of that morbid policy.

The philosophy of TEA/CTB seems to be: let's put in limited money and when things go well, the upside is for the shareholders, and when things go against the company, let the employees and the suppliers suffer, and the bondholders as was the case at TEA 10 years ago. Of course, if the policy is that the upside is for the company and the downside is for the others, then the decision to expand unprudently is an easier one to be taken.

By the way, when 10 years ago things went wrong at TEA, the party then blamed by TEA was ... Sabena! It seems TEA/CTB may never learn their lesson! All they seem to be looking for is to keep gambling at someone else's expense.

22nd Jul 2001, 22:14
What is it about Brussels ? The sprouts ? Too much euroblubber? Now we have Citybird going under, with EBA (AKA Virgin Excess) also rocky, Sabena (nuff said !! has anyone tried getting a connection out of ZRH from BRU recently??!! always late or what!!) bankrupt yea billions of Stellas, the only carrier that seems to be doing well there is EAT (aka DHL) and even then the local government is trying to kill it off by banning flying after teatime. Anyone remember Air Belgium (I sold them a flight planning system just before they went bust).. Must be something they put in the beer..... All ideas/comments welcome :eek:

23rd Jul 2001, 12:28

I totaly agree that Sabena isn't the only reason that CTB is in it's present situation. What you are telling about the bosses (ex-TEA) is right but you can't ignore that the termination of the MD-11 leasing contract of SABENA and the sponsored flights of Sobelair are making everything worse for CTB.
Let's hope that the Belgian market will stabilise. Playing poker games like this is not good for eveyone!! In two years, three charter companies went bankrupted or closed down : 1999-Constellation, 2000-Air Belgium (Airtours!! thank you very much!!), 2001-BIA.
I hope BIA was the last one....

Top Flight
23rd Jul 2001, 12:48
You dissapoint me 'GUV'
Why arnt you blaming Pilots salaries for this mess?

23rd Jul 2001, 18:47
The story I told about SABENA being the blame wasn't something I came up with from myself. I got it from the NOS-journaal (dutch state television). Apparently they have only seen the vision of CTB, I didn't realie that. Thank you for setting me strait.

With regard to Belgian carriers in general, I always thought that VLM was doing quite nicely. Or have they also got some problems I dont know of.

BTW I don't work at CTB. At the moment I am studying logitics, so given time I wil be working at a airline, don't know which one yet. :)

Peter ten Thije
[email protected]

23rd Jul 2001, 22:59

trust me, it has almost nothing to do with Sabena. I had the (un)pleasure to work with Mrss. Hasson and Gutelmann, but, although being pleasant on a personal side (Luncheons, Dinners etc.), it was rathe painfull on the commercial side. In short; they don't know what they do, and for each thing that does not work, you will find someone to blame, normally Sabena.

Oh, by the way, Top Flight, not that I want to answer for the 'Guv', but I doubt he could blame pilot salaries on that. Unless I would be totally misinformed and the world changed enormously in the last couple of weeks, then CTB paid about the lousiest possible salary to their bus drivers (I faintly remember that to be the expression used by management!)