View Full Version : bmi mass exodus

9th Feb 2004, 06:46
It would appear there is going to be a mass exodus of F.Os and even some Captains. Company is rudderless and seems to have less of a standing in the industry than it did years ago. No good nightstops, longer days, shrinking network, no command prospects.
I think the F.Os are realising that they cannot cling on to rumours any longer and have go elsewhere for better lifestyle and prospects.
Of 20 F.O's I questioned, over half admitted to having contacted virgin.

The management seem to think the mention of longhaul to the carribean will keep folks, oh how wrong they are - virgin already go there....

Also with D.O and R.M moving to Easy more F.Os are looking at that for an easy command.

Never seen morale this bad in 10 years I've been there.

Can the last one out please switch the lights out...........

9th Feb 2004, 06:48
Trouble is that the promised exodus has never happened. Until it does, nothing will change.

9th Feb 2004, 09:23
The shrinking network is certainly true. A friend uses the Jersey/Cardiff flight regularly for work. He tried to book his tickets for March and was told they would no longer be flying into Cardiff.

9th Feb 2004, 11:29

When you leave, don't let the door smack you on the backside on the way out...:{ :{ :{ :E

Heard it all before...to be followed by the guys left having accelerated advancement.

Some never learn...:E

9th Feb 2004, 17:22
Many moons ago there was a mass exodus off the Viscount fleet and a lot of very good people were lost, mainly to BA.

Two major problems:-

1. Flights were cancelled due lack of crew.

2. There wasn't enough Fridays and Saturdays for individual
leaving parties so we had to double up.

The main outstanding issues were resolved, a pay rise of 29 per cent was imposed and we recruited some more pilots.


9th Feb 2004, 18:45

You seem to be suggesting that these people should stay somewhere they don't want to be any longer. You have to remember that it is not just about money or promotion.

The airline simply isnt the same as it used to be. so when you've tasted the honey the current Sh*t tastes that much worse.

Driving in and out of LHR every day, six days a week to do palma then hannover, when you do happen to be lucky enough to have min rest nightstop in manchester you are rewarded with five sectors.

I remember nightstopping in:




I remember being told that as a pilot were considered to be employed at management level!!


We have to go and see the head teacher if we are sick. And unless you are lucky enough to be a captain or a cleaner you have to wait outside in the rain until someone with a pass can let you in.

As for thanks -

We are told that there are definitely no discussions with virgin. We then find out that merger talks fell apart at the last minute.

No pay talks entertained.

No christmas card or even sentiment on a memo!!!

I found out about the toronto route from my sister who isn't in the industry, 2 weeks before the company told me.

411a, If you rented a house and it started falling down, would you renew the contract on the basis someone will have to fix it in the future??

9th Feb 2004, 18:56
The last place they should be looking is easyJet - they're the market leaders in unfulfilled promises, lies and rhetoric. The duty hours are worse, the disruption incredible and the politics laughable (once you're outside). It's only saving grace was a higher than average pay packet, but that appears to be becoming less pronounced, lots of new (if dirty) ac, and generally good trg.

Little Blue
9th Feb 2004, 18:59
And for us poor Hall monkeys, they're downsizing the canteen !!!
Have it on good authority that a rise is in the offing.....
Any guesses as to what they may offer?
Will it be enough for us to pay off Olive?...

Max Angle
9th Feb 2004, 22:47
they're downsizing the canteen !!! From what I remember it was about as small as possible anyway, but then they have downsized the crew meals already so I guess the canteen is next.

It is a shame really, the company really seemed to be going places about 3-4 years ago, the managment seem to have lost their nerve completely now and we seem to be going backwards. How much longer before we are just a domestic carrier again I wonder. Come on Sir Mike (and the rest of the board IMHO) it's time to sell up and move aside.

10th Feb 2004, 01:32
BA will be recruiting in the next few months. 4 321's to arrive in November and then one per month until ten delivered. These will need crews, especially with a type rating.

Plenty of night-stops and variation but they work hard as well!

10th Feb 2004, 18:56
The same is happening at Baby.

Morale rock bottom & company not listening. Rosters out late.

The really sad thing is it would cost nothing to make things right but.........!

10th Feb 2004, 19:24
And as for regional.....:{

Wing Commander Fowler
10th Feb 2004, 21:11
Shafted -
I found out about the toronto route from my sister who isn't in the industry, 2 weeks before the company told me.

Sounds just like BM alright! Back in 98 we BusinessAir employees found out we had been bought by BM 3 or 4 months after it had happened. I saw it all going down the ****ter at that point and broke out before they could take the p*ss any more. Get out boys before the lifeboats full.....


keyboard flier
10th Feb 2004, 21:31
Instead of moaning have you tried talking to the ones that matter. The pilot management started off at the same level as you so have they completely forgotten what it is like. Did they not moan about how things were?
You are some of the highest earners in the company, have allowances, etc. thrust at you at every turn and you still gripe. There are others who do their level best to ease problems for you guys and we are shown no appreciation at all not even a decent wage.
If you want things to change it has to start with someone, why not you.

moan over

10th Feb 2004, 21:43
Keyboard flier

Try comparing pilots with pilots. Its no good saying "you earn more than the cleaner". As for talking to the management, I cant see that working. Can you?

Fred Elliot
10th Feb 2004, 21:45
I don't normally get involved in these discussions but 'keyboard flyer' has finally persuaded me ..... your attitude typifies the problem:

- If pilots are highly-paid, it's because that's the going rate. The company (any company) is not a charity. If it's an issue for you, go out, spend 10's of thousands of your own money, live on bread and water for at least a year, sit a barrage of exams and then go and get a job as a pilot.

- The fact that pilots 'still moan' shows that it's everything but the pay that makes the difference to their lives: endless ******ing about by crewing (who are themselves working in unsatisfactory conditions), rosters late, reneging on agreements hard-won....the list goes on. Even overpaid pilots are entitled to a home life, old cock.

- Yes, those managers probably did whinge themselves, but the personal benefits that accrue from toeing the line once they are in senior positions, coupled with fear of what will happen if they don't turn all but the most principled (I haven't met one yet) into self-serving yes-men. The proof is all around you.

bmi 'management' has shown itself largely impervious to reasoned argument, so folk have only one vote left; their feet.

Good luck,all.

Rant ends.


10th Feb 2004, 22:44
I was made redundant by bmi post 9/11. Up until that time I was very happy and looking forward to command. the terms and conditions were good and the salary slightly above average for an FO.

However the complete lack of information, the double talking and lack of coheseive, joined up thought regarding the business structure of the company was a disgrace. OK so it was a tough time but the true colours came out (thats if the true colours had been decided!).

Some very charming and professional people became managers with the good intention of making a difference and maintaining a happy and motivated workforce. Sadly the reality of being in an environment where the maltese breaststroke is king and a void of strategic information from SMB allied to cynical deal busting by AR has turned well meaning people into line toeing survivors.

No, I am not bitter but I do feel violated that bmi has made me cynical. I now work for another airline who communicate and act - how refreshing!

10th Feb 2004, 22:46
Keyboard Flyer

1. Try talking to management or anyone at Donington Hall before you say such things.

2. I studied and trained to become a pilot at my own expence and became a professional. Doctors, Lawyers, Civil Servants, etc get trained at University which we all pay for (Mostly) in taxation. Why shouldn't I earn more than a cleaner? I have an extreme amount of responsibility compared to them. I also get tested in my ability every 6 months, do Lawyers, Doctors, etc?

Please don't belittle my profession.

10th Feb 2004, 23:01
And as for Regional??
Last one out turn out the lights,Morale all time low,waste of time baby transfer agreement after years of carrot dangling,forced base moves looming and wet leased aircraft thats just for starters.

keyboard flier
11th Feb 2004, 01:44
I am entitled to my opinion as is my right. I never compared anyone to a cleaner let alone belittle the profession, some professions are high earning but are they any more important than others. For example would anyone miss the binmen? not until the rubbish piles up then they would.

I have dealings with all levels of the company I work for and as with most companies there are ones who have the attitude of "look at me and take heed, I am management and am more important than you", or "I am a pilot and you are not."
I do feel that talking with management is a waste of time as the ones that would know and can do something sit in their air conned office and care little for the minnions.
I do deal with pilots and some are great, some are ok and some are full of their own importance, it is their attitude which gets my back up and it is mainly the one described as pilot management, senior pilots that look down on the rest. And yet when something goes wrong it is to others they turn to sort things out.

As I said at the start it is my opinion.

11th Feb 2004, 02:05
Morale all time low

Has anybody, in the history of whinging, ever written 'Morale is at an all time high'?

Young Paul
11th Feb 2004, 06:03
Well, actually, I would quite like no nightstops. I was a bit miffed when I had to do three nights away after New Year for a total of 7 hours flying.

That's the rub, isn't it? Really preferences ought to work by now - and yet somehow they don't seem to make it from the computer onto the rosters at times .....

Incidentally, nightstops are expensive. If a company is to learn lessons from LoCo's, it needs to see how to avoid them where possible. Airlines don't run so that pilots can have fun - they run to make money. If you made hay while the sun shone in WAW and MUN - bully for you! - but as with any flying job, the nature changes over time. Don't think it is much better anywhere else - I'm sure you could collect a fair number of whinges from other airlines if you bothered to ask .....

11th Feb 2004, 15:41
young paul,

Points noted. How long have we been asking for some sort of bid line?? but no, they don't care if it makes our life better. I think you missed the jist of my original post, I am suggesting that the job has changed for those of us that liked to finish the day somewhere else and as a reult, lots of people are looking to leave. Very glad that no nightstopping is improving your lifestyle.

Also IMHO killing the nightstop has also killed the prospect of a return in our business class passengers (which is why we had them).

Enjoy your small LOCO carrier.

Young Paul
11th Feb 2004, 17:42
Mm, I suspect that the shorthaul business-class traveller is not going to return - there's been too much of a change in the industry. The number of people in front of the curtain isn't just a bmi phenomenon - and frankly, in economic terms, can you really justify the sort of price that people were paying to travel in club shorthaul in this day and age? £500+ return to Scotland from London?

Ironically, the top fare for the "frilly" airlines is probably competitive with that of the LoCo's now - which may be the way forward - when people realise that if they travel with a day's notice, they will probably be better off going with bmi or BA than with the LoCo's. I hear that the LoCo's have seen falling yield, with rising load factors for the frillies - I suspect that this is the effect of people looking again at frillies to get ticket prices.

I know that for people who like NS's, things aren't as nice. However, let's suggest some hypothetical figures for a route - these are made up, they aren't based on any documented numbers. Nightstop cost is £70 in hotel bill and allowances per person (note that these are not BA figures, by any means!). Six crew in hotel for lates; six crew in hotel for earlies. Probably additional costs associated with additional engineering and handling contract. You need an extra £420 income over expenditure on the first and last flights just to pay for the nightstop! You can see from this (I hope) why LoCo's regarded having aircraft away from base for the night as a "frill" - how many extra seats sold would that constitute for a LoCo? 10, maybe?

Goodness Gracious Me
11th Feb 2004, 18:50
As shafted@work mentions, the business passenger has been killed off by getting rid of the nightstops. I'm sure £420 is a very small price to pay to get some of those passengers back. You wouldn't need to sell many more tickets to cover that cost. Plus, I'd bet my Granny that bmi don't spend anything like £70 on a hotel room. Certainly not the hotels I've ever had to stay in.

Keyboard Flier:
Instead of moaning have you tried talking to the ones that matter.
Yes, I have and (surprise, surprise) it got me nowhere. Talking to management gets you a bad name and a note in your training file to have your chops busted next time you go in the sim. That is the problem with bmi - you can't talk to anyone. I had a serious issue to raise recently & e-mailed several managers about it. Not one replied. Sadly, most (if not all) the pilot management are puppets on Bishop's string - they just do what they're told for the least amount of money. If they don't, he'll find someone else who will.

The line of communication is appaling in both directions. Before ARs attempt at a morale-booster a couple of weeks ago, I can't remember the last time we heard from ANY manager with an update of what's going on in the company, what the plans are, how we're doing, etc. That's half the problem in bmi - it's like working blindfolded. "Just keep working and we'll tell you when you can stop. In the meantime, you won't hear from us."

Computer rostering - another joke. At least AR has admitted wasting £5m on it. A good mate of mine works for one of the biggest IT companies around and, having spoken to him about the rostering system in bmi, (once he stopped laughing) I asked how much his company would charge to go to Donington, throw out all the computers they've got up there and implement a rostering system to the point that it's fully functional. He reckoned about £1m!

The lack of productivity is becoming ridiculous. I spoke to an Airbus F/O the other day who reckoned that he did so much sitting around in the crew room last week that, in between sectors, he could have taken the Paddington Express into town, seen a West End show, and returned to LHR in time to do his next flight. Every day.

There will be a mass exodus. As soon as Virgin get the nod from the EU for their Sydney route, that'll be it. I know of a lot of F/Os who have applied to them & they'll all get in. Several will go to Easy and when BA start recruiting again, well.......

It is such a shame because the people in bmi are fantastic and know how to have a really good time despite the company's best efforts to stop them. bmi could really stand out if the management wasn't based around penny-pinching, secret-keeping, back-stabbing and brown-nosing.

Say Mach Number
12th Feb 2004, 01:52
I wouldnt normally pass comment in a thread like this, especially on an airline i dont work for, but as a bog standard line captain working for one of the low cost boys I do think bmi has got an identity problem.

Its certainly not a British Airways and its definately not a LoCo and unfortunately ay the mo there doesnt seem a market for something in the middle. BMI Baby is obviously an attempt to tap into the latter but is that an indication the rest isnt working.

It reads to me that until your management decides what it wants the business to be, there eye is definately not where you guys want it to be ie everything in this thread.

Its just my opinion as an outsider looking in

12th Feb 2004, 01:56
could have seen a couple of shows myself this week. Pehaps we should make the effort to go and then send the programs to the hall with a letter of thanks!! was thinking of getting a part time job in the terminal myself!!

Remember the 1500 jobs to be lost from ground staff??? There is an advert in Skyport looking for more?!?!
Probably would loose about that many if we merged though.

how odd...

12th Feb 2004, 03:03
There will be no 'merger' with Virgin. All Virgin is interested in from BMI is your slots at Heathrow; Virgin is not even remotely interested in taking on a full-service shorthaul airline. Any talk of it being 'a good fit' is wishful thinking; as BA's experience has consistently shown, it's difficult to make money out of shorthaul but longhaul is a great deal easier (though not without its moments!). Virgin gets its connecting passengers quite successfully already, without owning the airlines they connect on.

The suggestions of the Virgin/BMI get-together being a merger of equals were smoke-and-mirrors from the BMI side. In reality, it would have been a takeover by Virgin with the sole aim of realising slots for longhaul expansion. The rest of the airline (baby excepted) would probably have been sacrificed at the altar of full-service shorthaul and left to die an agonisingly slow death.

All your problems notwithstanding, you're better off as you are. At least your future is in your own hands. I hope you manage to make it work.

Anthony Carn
12th Feb 2004, 15:37
.....you're better off as you are.....
You think so, scroggs ?

That statement raises the most interesting possibility for the future.............takeover, sellout, merger, whatever.

The stark fact is that bmi would'nt be anything more than the tin-pot tiddler it was twenty years ago without one Golden Egg ---- Heathrow slots.

Any predator lucky enough to achieve the kill will strip the tasty flesh of Heathrow slots from the carcass and leave the remainder to rot.

Forget nightstops, rostering, "mushroom" culture, appalling management, appalling man management.

Instead, ask if you should be getting out before you become just another dead part of a dismembered, rotting, discarded carcass.

Goodness Gracious Me
12th Feb 2004, 19:04
All Virgin is interested in from BMI is your slots at Heathrow.........The suggestions of the Virgin/BMI get-together being a merger of equals were smoke-and-mirrors from the BMI side.
Scroggs - you've absolutely hit the nail on the head. The guys (& girls) at bmi are being led a merry dance by the Chairman and his cohorts. After the problems BA have had with its short-haul, why on Earth would a long-haul carrier want to take on a short-haul carrier & all it's associated problems other than to strip it of its assets?

Any idea when the pool at VS is going to start being emptied? Can't wait!!! :}

12th Feb 2004, 21:27
Anthony, I can't make any predictions about what will happen to the company without Virgin! All I can say is that Virgin would not have been the saviour so many were hoping for - Virgin would have done exactly what you suggest: asset strip BMI.

I don't see anyone else lining up to take on BMI at the moment (though BMI Baby must be ripe for a sale), so I would hope that you have some time to try and sort the company out. Otherwise the future must be somewhat clouded, IMHO.

Fool's Hole
12th Feb 2004, 21:44
bmibaby bookings in January reached record levels with almost half a million people booking to travel on its services.
January sales on bmibaby.com and via the airline's call centre smashed all records when more seats were sold than any other month in the airline's two year history.
Bookings increased by a massive 25 per cent on January 2003 with the entire network performing better.
Over 90 per cent of bookings were made using the airline's website.

bmibaby announced its summer schedule from Teesside Airport, featuring over 40 flights a week to Alicante, Belfast (International), Jersey, Malaga, Nice, Palma and Prague. Ten per cent of the summer capacity was sold in a single weekend.

bmibaby announced the launch of a new service between Manchester and Knock on 28 March, taking the number of routes from Manchester to 12.

Young Paul
12th Feb 2004, 23:15
Why do you think that bmi pilots would have a problem with LHR slots being used for longhaul? Think for a minute: 5 crews needed per shorthaul aircraft; 10 crews needed per longhaul aircraft. Shorthaul aircraft uses about 10 slots per day; longhaul uses 2. So if bmi LHR supports 20 shorthaul aircraft (let's say 200 pilots), it could support 100 longhaul aircraft. That's about 2000 pilots. Yes, that's right - multiply the number of pilots required by 10!

Almost regardless of the seniority deal that is achieved, anybody in the combined airline will do incredibly well out of it. An "asset strip" would not be the nasty sort of thing you see in shorthaul takeovers - it would be fantastic! Most bmi pilots would love to see this happen - in the interim you get the best of both worlds (cos the 100 longhaul aircraft ain't going to happen overnight - or even in a decade, I would think!) - and people will be sufficiently senior to bid for what they want within a few years.

Of course the slots at LHR are the most valuable asset - of course they would be used as such in the event of a merger/takeover. However, you are stupid if you think that the pilots would lose out as a result. bmi gets unrestricted longhaul with its slots. Virgin gets control of 19% of LHR slots. The only thing that would lose out would be .... BA! - who would find themselves with a competitor who has the ability to take them on in any longhaul market they care to.

13th Feb 2004, 03:33
At BA Rod has said at board level that bmi/Virgin merger would be devastating.

It is possible to conclude how bad morale is: most people think that a merger/buyout is likely, but they still are looking to leave 'cause they just can't handle it anymore.

14th Feb 2004, 16:46
BMI pilots would have a problem with a Virgin takeover because there wouldn't be jobs for most of them! Virgin would not suddenly buy tens of longhaul aircraft to absorb the BMI crews while reducing the shorthaul fleet. There would be some who would be absorbed, but not many I fear.

I think the scenario would be far more like this: take as many LHR slots as Virgin needs to effect its near-term plans. Sell those slots that can't be useful in the longhaul picture. Sell most of BMI's physical assets. Retain some shorthaul aircraft, crews and slots to cover those routes which have a large percentage of Virgin transfer passengers and are profitable - if there are any that fit this description. Examine (and probably reject) the possibility of turning the rump of BMI into a low-cost operation, possible in concert with Virgin Express (BMI Baby is unlikely to be part of any merger/takeover and will be sold off in its own right). Anything remaining would be disposed of - aircraft, leases, slots (with a caveat that they must be returned if Virgin needs them) and, most significantly, PEOPLE. Virgin is not a charity; it's a very hard-nosed commercial operation. It only wants BMI for what it can use to make a profit - and your workforce would, for the most part, be disposable.

This is a 'worst case' scenario, but I think it's not too far from what was being considered. That's why I think you should be glad it didn't happen!

14th Feb 2004, 20:33
Came upon your thread by accident. I'm a controller. Thought the nightstop mentality went out with flight engineers and white gloves. Anyway it's been nice talking to you...should have a few extra slots to play with this summer. I control "big sky", and my sky is full of LoCos that don't nightstop. The modern punter just logs on to his/her computer and presses "cheapest".....and Baby plus nightstops just won't compete.

14th Feb 2004, 20:55
The Bishop was 63 recently, he has said that he doesn't want to run his airline businesses until he dies. I believe he will divest himself of them in bits, sooner rather than later, all he wants is the money to enjoy the fruits of his labours. The continuation of business is of little concern to him, I believe that it only affects him when it affects the selling price.

Cynical? yes. His viewpoint? unfortunately, probably.

14th Feb 2004, 23:08
if so many are leaving, and i feel for you if you're being treated less than well, is there any chance of a job?

Young Paul
15th Feb 2004, 03:28
Well, at the end of the day, somebody will be operating those slots. And bmi crews operate more of them for less money more effectively than most other operators at LHR. So would you kill a goose to get the golden eggs?

Why would Virgin sell slots when it might want them in the future for a HUGE longhaul operation, and they are (in broad terms) covering their costs at the moment? Makes more business sense to use them as and when - change would have to be gradual - you can't start 20 longhaul routes overnight. And even if you could, to rule out the possibility of starting 20 more next year would be crazy .....

Max Angle
15th Feb 2004, 18:24
I think the general feeling in bmi is that something has to change in a pretty big way for there to be a future for the airline so lets get on with it as soon as possible. People have lost faith in the management of the company and I would for rather take my chances with new owners rather than carry on as we are.

Dan Winterland
15th Feb 2004, 18:33
Had it not been for Bishop's and Branson's antipathy towards each other, a codeshare some years ago would have given BA a real run for it's money. A missed opportunity if there ever was one!

17th Feb 2004, 01:31
Young Paul, many of BMI's slots are not suitable for the destinations that Virgin wants to serve, so those slots would be surplus to requirements and would be disposed of in time - possibly in exchange for more useful slots from other operators.

Surely a look back to BA's takeovers of Dan Air and British Caledonian give you some idea of what would happen to BMI if it's taken over by another airline not particularly well-disposed towards BMIs (unprofitable) core market. Far better that BMI encourages further investment (and board supervision) by Lufthansa and SAS, or solicits a buyout from an alternative organisation whose motives would be established before any sale as being to improve and expand the current BMI operation - including longhaul (though maybe not to the US for now!).

Looking for help from Virgin is almost as daft as looking for help from BA! But, as I work for Virgin, I'll happily accept those slots if you really want to give them to us.....

17th Feb 2004, 05:10
Great news (*AG) jAN 02

We have at last concluded a transfer agrement and


Pilots can transfer to baby this year!!!!!!

PS there is no restriction on burger king employees or car wash staff or cabin attendants?

And they wonder why people are looking to leave in droves. what muppets

Vote me out please:confused:

18th Feb 2004, 02:24

With all due respect, it's interference from Lufthansa and SAS that is holding back the group.

Several new business routes are on hold, because they want cast-iron assurances on 'numbers'. We all know that any new route introduces an element of risk, but they are extremely unwilling to take it.

Unfortunately bmi is encumbered with individuals who do not like confrontation, hence if SAS or Lufthansa say jump, we reply 'High how?'.

Ironically the only part of the group that is operating at a profit, is regional. They are virtually independent from the rest of us, with their own board of directors and have a lot more flexibility in the way they do things. As much as I hate to say it, maybe the rest of the group could learn lessons from those up in ABZ.

Everyone thinks baby will be the group's saviour, nothing could be further from the truth. Its losing a lot of money and there is no sign of it reaching break even, let alone actually making money. Maybe once the AOC is awarded the board will do the right thing and sell the operation.

As for us in mainline, if this situation continues maybe we'll end up flying Airbuses out of LHR with Lufthansa livery. But you are correct, the Airbuses won't be wearing a Virgin livery, not now and very unlikely in the future.

19th Feb 2004, 18:01
Is it me or are the management in hiding??

Do you think they are oblivious or just don't care???

19th Feb 2004, 18:12
When it's all going well you'll see them out and about on a mutual congratulation trip around the empire.

When it's not:-

Now you see 'em, now you don't.

It's very sad to read this thread and see what has happened to something that was great and could still be great.


Buck up your ideas and sort it. You have a very loyal workforce but unfortunately loyalty won't pay the mortgage.


19th Feb 2004, 18:18
Regional must be doing well then because a full programme of management roadshows gets underway next week,expect they might meet a large proportion of very hacked off flight deck.

19th Feb 2004, 18:39
Hi Scroggs,

You seem to be inferring in your comments about BAs' take-over of BCAL and Dan-air that it was all a bad thing.
As an ex-BCAL pilot it was the best thing to happen to most of us. Apart from the first few months of aggro, it soon became very clear that the grass is so much greener in BA. We ended up with the most secure job in UK aviation, a reasonable salary, the best working conditions, a good pension and, best of all, no stress worrying about whether we were going to be paid every month.
Just for the security of lifestyle I believe that most Virgin pilots would grab the opportunity of a BA life.
I can only hope that BMI gets taken over by BA. It is the best option. If BMI went to the wall BA would probably get permission to 'save'it and give them a ready-made pool of quality pilots...just what it is looking for...and got from BCAL and Dan-air...for next to nothing.
After years in independent aviation, I can now sit back in my First Class seat and ponder how it might have been!

Good luck

19th Feb 2004, 20:57
NiteFiter - tell me more about Regional? What are these roadshows for?...and where?

19th Feb 2004, 21:49
Sad thread this. I flew a lot between London and Scotland in the late nineties on BM when I was still in the military. Good product, smilling staff, and punctual. Sadly the cost went up and we found it cheaper to go with BA and you got a hot meal on the Glasgow shuttle as BMi went to a rather cheap looking sandwhich.....

Well I have a plan....

My CPL and IR should be done in about 3-4 months (in between a mass BMi exodus...??). Get job with BMi, work had for a couple of years and take the s&*t but get up to a couple of thousands hours. BMi then either goes bust or is sold out. Leave and go to Ryanair or Easyjet, command a year or so after perhaps. Cynical maybe?

Having read Barbara Cassani's book recently, I think it is very unlikely that anyone will buy BMi. Airline mergers have a habit of causing all sorts of problems, which is probably well recognised by BA and Virgin.

If someone does buy BMi it will be for one thing - slots, just like the Ryanair / Buzz take over. Mass redundancies as BMi will follow and as suggested above a handful of aircraft will be kept to feed into the routes of the buyer.

19th Feb 2004, 22:37
When I joined British Midland, it was with the intention of helping to make it the best airline in the business (amongst other reasons of course). So it really saddens me to see so many people feeling this way about bmi.

The problem has long been; a bunch of managers that have deluded themselves about their capabilities and their effect on the company. Generally, by only promoting only like-minded individuals has allowed them to perpetuate their pathetic delusions.

When something good happens, its because of their great management, when something bad happens, they have been let down by their staff.

They know how to pay lip service to all the right things like safety, proffessionalism, service standards, devotion to duty and any other cliche that comes upon their lonely brain cells, but in truth, they completely fail to live up to the demands they place on their staff.

Without respect for the leadership, the company only runs on the integrity of the workforce, which it does DESPITE management and thier ego-masaging petty exploits.

Why are we all worried about a buyer selling off bmi's assets when bmi has been doing this for years.

And BTW gmidc;
With all due respect, it's interference from Lufthansa and SAS that is holding back the group.

Without LH and SK covering the huge losses that bmi incur each year, 'the group' would have folded a long time ago. I would worry if they try to wriggle out of their arrangement if I were you. The fact that they have been bailing bmi out has given them leverage to "interfere", but this is only becaquse of bmi's weak performance.

The slots are not just assets, they are licenses to make money if only someone could get rid of the ignorant and nasty parasites that are running the show. When you have a situation where 1 check-in agent has more qualifications than her 3 duty controllers, 2 line managers and station manager put together, you know something is less than not right.

Captain Correlli
20th Feb 2004, 00:21
Sorry in advance. I'm not trying to hijack the thread, it's just that the descriptions of morale and regard for management are so similar to BACX. At one time, we used to be part of the BM group, before being sold. BM was always the ambition, but for some reason, a flow of pilots was never formally established.
I wonder if it's something about Airlines and their management, it's clearly not just our lot being led by tossers.
Substitue BACX for BMi in the first six paras of the last post, and it would totally apply to us too.

Good luck to us all guys.

20th Feb 2004, 02:38
I was until recently a regular BMA passenger. I then started to notice an advertisement about British Midland trying to match the lowcost carriers for fares and it certainly shows as I noticed that it also tried to match them in the customer service area as well, with indifferent customer service as well as the hassles of LHR. I wrote to Michael Bishop and did not receive a reply, obviously matching the low cost airlines customer service. I am very sorry that BMI has reached this sorry state as once it was one of the best airlines in the world and I was prepared to pay Business class fares to fly with them. I do not fly with BMI any more.

20th Feb 2004, 15:52
I say vote with your feet. Get out and give someone a chance who will be an asset to the company, help it grow and improve the prospects for all who work there.

You are at the front end and many other less well off people rely on you.

Work with your managment to improve you situation and stop bitching about it.

Have a spell of being out of work and you will realise that in this climate you should be greatful for the opportunites you have been given.

Anthony Carn
20th Feb 2004, 18:05
I wonder if any bmi management have posted on this thread ? :rolleyes:

20th Feb 2004, 18:35
Work with your managment to improve you situation and stop bitching about it.

Thats funny!

20th Feb 2004, 20:00
If BMI management have posted, it would seem that they can't write decent English, and they feel that you are lucky to have jobs at all!

Well, it seems that unless they buck their ideas up, they won't have any jobs either! :rolleyes:

20th Feb 2004, 22:13

You seem to make many assumptions. I had 5 years out of work.

You talk about "in this climate you should be more grateful" There are more flying jobs going now than for many years. I can meet the requirements for 8 major companies (some as DE captain).

That is what this whole thread is about, there are so many jobs available there will be a mass exodus unless the management do something soon.

21st Feb 2004, 00:43
If nothing else, this should speed up that 'exodus'

(BBC News Quote)

Jobs boost as Virgin ups flights

Virgin Atlantic is to create hundreds of new jobs with the launch of extra summer flights to the US.
The UK airline plans to recruit around 700 cabin crew, along with pilots and support staff, for its operations from Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

Virgin will fly additional planes to Boston, Washington DC and Newark, in New Jersey, from June to October.

The airline said the move would enable more Britons to take advantage of the favourable pound/dollar exchange rate.

'Growing confidence'

Sterling is currently at its strongest position against the American dollar since 1992, something that has prompted a big increase in UK visitors to the US.

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgway said: "These new services reflect the airline's growing confidence in the North American market and increasing passenger demand for long-haul travel."

He said: "British tourists are taking advantage of not only the good fares available to the US, but also the favourable exchange rate."

Mr Ridgway said the new US transatlantic services would bring in "around 15,000 additional US passengers, mainly tourists, into the UK over the summer".

Story from BBC NEWS:

21st Feb 2004, 21:39
Richterscale 10
The "in private" roadshows are for the management of regional, to give a brief on the business and other things, and to field a question and answer session with the staff.all of the bases are going to be covered starting next week.

22nd Feb 2004, 03:44
Not sure whether this is a bash the management thread or Virgin Merger thread. The management hasn't changed in the last 20 years so there is nothing new there. The current Flight Ops Director and the current Operations Manager (whats his name again) are about as visible as the DoDo. It is clear that the current Flight Ops Director has had his wings clipped just like the last one. Don't know whether the Virgin merger would be good or bad for bmi but I do know that the benefits for Virgin are far greater than those for bmi.

Keep the blue side up !

Anthony Carn
22nd Feb 2004, 14:28
The current Flight Ops Director....................about as visible as the DoDo.
When was he ever visible in any other capacity ? You can't be blamed for something you did'nt do.......so do nothing.

It is clear that the current Flight Ops Director has had his wings clipped just like the last one.
This assumes he was'nt already a lame duck.

As for the purpose of roadshows, have'nt you heard of brainwashing ? :rolleyes:

22nd Feb 2004, 16:02
A customer feedback snippet - the new Brize-MPA-Brize service operated by bmi in the Star Alliance-liveried A330 is going down very well indeed with the punters! The best trip they've ever experienced on that route, I'm told.

22nd Feb 2004, 17:46
Which is not saying a lot....;)

Nothing against BMI, more a comment on the, er, somewhat basic service offered on the RAF's L1011s! I doubt there's anyone left regularly transitting the South Atlantic who remembers Virgin's, Britannia's or BA's services on that route.

Sorry to digress....:O

24th Feb 2004, 03:46

There is a simple answer to all this:

1. With the number of A319s Easy are getting and the 737s are still arriving.
2. Ryanair want 737 crews.
3. Channel Express want crews (and that GLA op under their AOC).
4. Virgin looking for experienced crews.
5. Emirates looking.

Either get your BALPA Council to actually sort things or start filling in applications.

Donington has always taken time to realise it needs good guys on the line. They think they have you over a barrel, it is the other way!

This topic is about a mass exodus, it will happen at Baby as well if the Hall does not get user friendly and actually value its pilots.

24th Feb 2004, 15:44

Hardly surprising that the MPA trip is currently enjoyed. 216 'Lada' Sqn are not reknowned for their attitude towards self-loading cargo. Their jobs-worth mentality towards aviators (who, being familiar with the system, know they are talking out of their backsides) travelling in their aircraft beggars belief!

25th Feb 2004, 18:29
Bloomberg reporting today that 'Merger with virgin is back on the table'.

Maybe to try and stop the hoards of FO's from applying!!

Little Blue
25th Feb 2004, 20:03
Yadda yadda yadda........Always fancied
wearing the grey 3-piece !!!

25th Feb 2004, 21:12
shafted@work: do you have a link for that Bloomberg story?

25th Feb 2004, 21:48


Anthony Carn
25th Feb 2004, 23:14
bmi management, especially at the very "top" have always been of the view that pilots grow on trees. Quick trip to the nearest forest, hold a sack under a tree and shake. Quality and experience has never been of any concern. The License pays the lip service to safety etc. Anyone in the job knows better, but they don't call the shots.

The same management have also always been of the view that there's no problem, no unhappiness and no impending exodus, because it's never, really, ever happened. The view is "If they're so unhappy, how come they're still here ?"

They know that BALPA are well tame, so any threat of a strike will be viewed with derision. Once again, "They've never gone on strike, so they never will. They're wimps !"

We're talking reactive management here, with never a hint of proactive management. Wait for the problem, then sort it out (or do a makeshift patch up after the horse has bolted, more likely).

One of these days they'll catch a cold they'll never recover from. I almost look forward to it. :E

PS -- Virgin merger.

If you really believe that's going to happen, then you'd better get into Virgin and get that 747 or A340 on your license sharpish. That's going to be the thing that protects your livelihood if there's a merger. bmi staff, especially pilots, will be the cannon fodder.

All IMHO, BTW. What's a few decades experience of the industry worth, though. :rolleyes:

Young Paul
25th Feb 2004, 23:50
Well, Antony, I think you are unnecessarily gloomy (do you have a reason for your sour grapes?) - remember one longhaul aircraft uses 20 pilots, and only two slots per day. Remember that a A340 is a few days in the classroom for A320 drivers. You don't have to use many of bmi's slots for longhaul to need all of their pilots - and then some - and they are currently on some of the cheapest terms and conditions in the market. And even if the slots are flogged, somebody is going to want to use them for something - and the bmi fleet is in the right place, with the right number of pilots, probably (looking at the number of A319/320/321's at LHR) the right aircraft, and the right reputation and experience. It would make really bad business sense to ignore what is already there and try and do something from scratch - unless you already have your own slack - and there aren't many airlines around like that at the moment.

Little Blue
26th Feb 2004, 00:01
Hey, Paul?
It's no good asking Anthony about his sour grapes...
he has a vinyard full of em in his back garden..
As has been stated already..the only person who can rubber-stamp such a merger is Bish...and he has no need to
do so at the mo...so all this talk of merging seems to be Virgin dipping their toes in the water and us telling em the water is still too hot...or something......
Anthony....what we would give to see you smile...

26th Feb 2004, 03:32
Fascinating thread - As SLF I dont think I am going to fly BMI again, you guys are scary.

Few Cloudy
26th Feb 2004, 03:40
There's a small but significant difference between this thread and the EZY bashing ones - there are always a few people willing to defend EZY but here...

Young Paul
26th Feb 2004, 16:55
OK, well I'll defend bmi. It's a company that has been around since before MOL and Stelios were born. It has led the way in liberalisation of various markets since before Virgin Atlantic was a real player - BA's reaction to a rival on shorthaul was something along the lines of "How dare they??!!!" when they arrived on the scene (which makes it a bit disappointing that some of the reaction from employees to LoCo's has been the same). It has been largely profitable - at least to the extent that the shareholders have been willing to hold onto their investment (and their investment has held or increased its value). It has outlasted other airlines with various heritages - Laker (original), BCal, Sabena, Swissair, etc etc. The training within bmi seems to be widely regarded as benchmark standard. Most people at work are happy, conscientious (none of this quick cabin service - hide behind the curtain stuff), get on well with each other. The airline has consistently won travel awards for its shorthaul operation, bmibaby won its first award within 18 months of its first flight, and its longhaul product gets five stars. It has grown as fast as it has been able to grow its market - and the major restriction on growth has been regulation (regulated price/frequency market to key destinations from LHR, in the old days regulatory protection of BA, and most notably in the last 5 years Bermuda II).

Of course it has its problems - but frankly Pprune is bound to bring out the whingers. Most of the people who are happy to get on with their job don't bother speaking.

I am not a manager - and I am far from ignorant (or even unaffected!) by some of the problems in bmi. But lets get it in perspective.

Little Blue
26th Feb 2004, 17:29
Hear hear, Paul...
I've been here 16 years in various guises, have worked all over the company network and if I didn't have a few gripes, then I wouldn't be normal..however, we are far from being the worst employer in the business...look at the history !!
The oh-so familiar whingers (..and u all know who u are) are only at their happiest when moaning..
If u can't stand the heat.......
Right, back to the slot desk....!

Mike Rosewhich
26th Feb 2004, 18:23
I too am very happy at bmi. The people I work with are excellent and do their up most to provide a high standard of service. Unfortunately there are problems that middle management seem unwilling to address preventing this company from excelling.

Most companies are having a difficult time with their staff and bmi is no exception, but it wouldn’t take much to change that.

Yellow Sun
26th Feb 2004, 18:47
Young Paul

frankly Pprune is bound to bring out the whingers. Most of the people who are happy to get on with their job don't bother speaking

The above says it all.


keyboard flier
26th Feb 2004, 19:36
I'll also throw my hat into the ring.
Every company has their whingers who would not be happy no matter what was done, and their voices are the one you usually hear.
Through out this thread people have moaned about the raw deal they get, just moaning to others gets you nowhere. If you want results do something.
I wonder if the moaners are people that have been with company for many years and grown bitter for whatever reasons, and have nothing left to do but gripe at the company that has provided them with a career.

Red 69
26th Feb 2004, 20:24
Young Paul

Shows you don't really have a clue what's going on. Two of the 3 private shareholders have been trying to offload their shares for many years but are constantly frustrated by the other, who keeps moving the goalposts. This is a pilots forum (as the title suggests) and I don't know of one happy or contented pilot within bmi at the moment. People in other areas may be happy but I can assure you the pilots aren't. Most of the pilots I know talk of the wish to leave for a company that respects and treats them better. Virgin being the most talked about. Unfortunately though not everybody can afford to leave because of having to change seats or because of family ties.

All it would take is a change of attitude and management style to bring back what was once a very happy and loyal workforce. It's ok thinking that it doesn't matter that people are leaving in droves because there are plenty more waiting to take their places. The trouble with this is that you lose your experience base which in turn can have serious safety implications.

That's my contribution!:ok:

Young Paul
26th Feb 2004, 22:14
People aren't leaving in droves. I'm not an apologist for management (I say again!), but let's see how many people "walk the walk" when the time comes. I don't want to see people go - I agree about the importance of experience base, and it's a shame to see all that good training benefitting other companies. However, I've heard it before when things were substantially worse - and there wasn't a great exodus then. Of course, I may be mistaken - but it's one thing going to have an interview and holding a job offer; it's quite another thing signing and sending a letter that starts "I quit!".

I will stand up and be counted - one! I am the "contented bmi pilot" - at least in broad terms. Cos I know that happiness is a path, not a destination! So ner! :p I went to the edge of leaving about three years ago, and decided against it. From a lifestyle POV, things are better now than they were then.

Of course there are things that could be changed that would make me abruptly unhappier - most of which are connected with the fact that the company thinks unproductivity is due to problems at the pilot end, rather than at the rostering end, and for a long time has given the impression of wanting to clamp down on it (whilst failing to achieve much - I suspect my moving average monthly flying total hasn't changed much in several years). On the other hand, I agree that there are things that could change that could improve things significantly as well. Situation normal, then.

From a theological point of view, I think you ought to expect to find work frustrating. However, you would be more frustrated if you weren't working. Sorry, that'll probably get deleted - we can't make mention of anything religious or political, can we?! Even if it is a very good explanation of the angst that we feel.

Anthony Carn
27th Feb 2004, 01:47
It has been largely profitable..........

It has outlasted other airlines with various heritages.........
It has Heathrow slots, for goodness sake ! (for want of more appropriate words).

It acquired and expanded upon those Heathrow slots courtesy of Grandfather rights (sheer luck and a wierd law) and a sympathetic Thatcher Government !

Give any other airline a nice bundle of Heathrow slots to cover the majority of it's operation and you'll also see them profiting and outlasting others, regardless of management incompetence.

When one surveys the longhaul "effort" one realises what a shambles the whole outfit would be without Heathrow slots. I doubt that bmi would even exist today, even as a tin-pot, cash-crisis-prone, grubby Viscount operator.


CarltonBrowne the FO
27th Feb 2004, 06:12
The longhaul effort ?
I flew MAN-ORD and back with bmi a few weeks ago. The seat was comfortable, the food was pleasant, the service was friendly but not obtrusive, we departed and arrived on time and I made my connections both ways.
And BTW, according to the CAA, in 2003 the UK's most punctual airline was bmi regional...

Anthony Carn
27th Feb 2004, 13:58
The longhaul effort ?
Could I, just possibly, based upon the thread topic, perchance, maybe, perhaps have been referring to operating profit ?. (and the lack of without the Golden Egg of Heathrow slots).

The real clue, perhaps too subtle for some, was that I began my previous post with two quotations on the subject of company profitability and survival !

Do I have to spell everything out ? ---> RTFQ, CB the FO. OK ? :rolleyes:

Young Paul
27th Feb 2004, 16:49
Well, considering the fact that almost as many airlines have started and stopped longhaul routes from places other than London as are in the Flight Directory, the fact that bmi are still there and investigating new routes suggests to me they are doing better than some. If it was so awful, it would have brought the airline down by now - the revenue associated with longhaul is large!

Let's face it, Antony - you left because you didn't like it. You're hardly likely to start saying now that bmi has any redeeming features. But you're hardly likely to make an objective, balanced judgement on bmi from your situation.

Oh and by the way, your previous post was not as transparent in meaning as you thought it was - I wanted clarification too.

Mike Rosewhich
27th Feb 2004, 18:32
Things are dreadful. I've just read the company Memo setting our pay offer :{

It may not be the best but there are lots worse. BTW I'm the second happy pilot in the company.

27th Feb 2004, 20:04
Yes, how often have I seen that 'head in the sand/just a bunch of whingers' response.

I wanted my company to do well, so that I could possibly earn more and have job security. What frustrated me and many others, is that chronically bad and corrupt management were wasting my efforts and dragging the company down to their level while they filled their pockets. That's one aspect, and one I have grown used to in every job I've ever had to some degree. But I began to speak up when I saw BMA managers breaking not only their own company rules, but regulations and laws. I wouldn't have even spoken up if they were doing such things in a responsible way with the greater good of the company, staff or passengers in mind.

You can count me as one of the people that loved my job, loved working with highly motivated and proffessional colleagues and worked for much less money than I could have earned somewhere else. I won my share of gongs for good performance and devotion to the company, I did my share of overtime, sometimes as much as 120 hours in a month to cover the fact that BMA continually failed to recruit, train or keep enough staff to cover the operation.

While I was sold off to Aviance, the writing was on the wall. The only way I can explain it is to describe the last 3 managers I worked under;

BB was like many managers because he would put himself down for 30-40 hours overtime a week, but most of it he did from home, i.e. he defrauded the company (and part of my profit share). He looked after his chronies and treated the rest like dirt, denying them leave, overtime or shift swaps "because he didn't like them". He left shortly before the company threw him out for fraud and telling porkies. Ironically, he went to EasyJet and was soon sacked pending prosecution for the same dirty deeds.

Next came DD. An ex-BA despatcher, he was in charge of creating the computer records of our performance. He proudly showed how he could convert BMA's dire performance into glowing statistics ready for the big sell-off. He took lying to a new level at bmi and seemed to be honing his skills for bigger things (scams?). He finally got sacked when someone recorded his attempt to bribe and then threaten a union official.

Then there was (is) CC. A perpetual list maker who never does what his lists tell him to. He would take leave whenever he felt like it, and usually without telling anyone. A serious aerophile (plane spotter), most of his time at work would be spent on the ramp getting numbers. Some of his typical exploits; He took one despatcher from the Iberia contract and sent him to despatch a Qatar flight, even though he had had no training for the entirely different DCS system or the aircraft he was to work on, and from a different terminal with diferent procedures. when the flight went SNAFU and a bin that should have been offloaded wasn't, he tried to discipline said individual for failing to adhere to procedures that he was never taught. // next one is when he binned a report regarding incorrect paperwork onboard an aircraft. The report described how the conversion chart was incorrectly printed and prompted the pilots to set incorrect stab angles for their CG position. to say that this was safety sensitive is an understatement, never the less, despite promises from CC to pass this on to the airline immediately, he threw it away. // The last one was when he went to a bmi aircraft that was delayed because of 20 rush bags. On the very day that the Lockerbie trial was concluding, this joker decides to by-pass security and load said 20 rush bags without screening, over-ruling the despatcher who then refused to sign the loadsheet. Caught red-handed by the DoT inspector, that night he returned to the despatch office and was seen forging the despatchers' signature to make it look like it was her decision.

What makes me sick about this guy, is that he was 'promoted' after every incident. In fact, he has been 'promoted' through almost every department in bmi, and to this day, is wandering around Heathrow on behalf of bmi in a very senior position, spreading his own brand of incompetence, dishonesty and total disregard for safety or procedure.


Because there is no accountability within bmi's management structure, which seems to be designed to protect, even encourage this type of behaviour amongst its managers. I could speculate that they want this situation to hide other, more sinister aspects and activities of th next level of management; under the table deals and bungs from contractors, skimming and plain old fraud? who knows, but the rumours have been around for as long as bmi has been at LHR.

I can understand those that just want to do their job and ignore all the 'stuff' that goes on, but I suspect that once all the players have sucked everything out of bmi they can, they will walk away with their huge redundancy deals and secreted profits leaving the workers, i.e. the people that made it work DESPITE management 'interference', to fend for themselves.

I for one believe that the company and the workforce do not deserve this fate; to suffer at the hands of a few greedy, ego stroking individuals.

27th Feb 2004, 20:19
Count me in the 'contented pilot bunch' as well. Well said, YP.

I have been flying with bmi for 14 years and I am still enjoying going to work. Like any company there are ups and downs - it is a cyclical industry - but bmi have come through whilst others fell by the wayside.

This thread was started by a dissatisfied person from EDI who has been supported by some who have already left and still harbour their pet grievances. They regurgitate the same garbage every time a bmi thread appears irrespective of the topic. I am not management either but I get pxxxed off by the whinging of the un-informed.

I have just come through the crew room and there was disappointment at the pay rise but of those I spoke to not one was leaving.

We have a good airline in all three divisions with some of the best people. There will always be malcontents and the best thing they can do is leave - but it won't be a mass exodus by any means.

Anne :O

keyboard flier
27th Feb 2004, 20:42
I am another fairly contented employee. I do my job extreemly well because I'm good at it.
However I have my gripes about the company which person doesn't at some stage.
But I do think the company can and should make changes, they want to cut costs and save money, fine, what company doesn't but they should save it in the right places. Get rid of the deadwood managers, pull the GM's in line that flount the company policies for their own means. There are departments within the company that have more chiefs than indians, do you really need a manager, supervisor,and team leader to watch over 2 clerks, no!
If you read the company memos and editorials you get the feeling of being treated like a mushroom, the same old statements are trotted out time after time and no one believes it because it is repetative.
Come on management, wake up and do something about it, instead of sitting back doing nothing and taking your bonuses that you may or may not deserve.
That is my gripe, from what I see happening. I'm not going to leave, why should I.
And to all the whinging posters, some of them who don't even work for the company, if it's that bad you know where the door is and don't let hit you on the @r5e on the way out.

Sleeve Wing
28th Feb 2004, 01:58
As a retiree, I've been reading this thread withh great interest.
I have to say that it's quite disheartening to read some of the rubbish that has been prevalent from certain quarters. Young Paul seems to be one of the few who has a comprehensive grasp of the situation.

Sure the airline is going through difficult times with the pressure of the LoCos to contend with. As with BA, BMI is having to make some very hard decisions allied to an almost complete change of tack.It is bound to cause unrest initially but have any of you lost your jobs yet ?

MDB, by inspired manipulation of the Company's business, (which, AC, included acquiring the first LHR slots ' cos he knew he'd need them), kept me in a job for twenty five years.
I admit I was not always pleased with the affect on my existence. In fact there were times when I was hopping mad but reality eventually calmed me down.
Unfortunately this has always been the nature of the business so you'd better get used to it.

BTW, the Viscounts (my first command) were not " grubby". They were a bloody good tool at the time when the nascent airline was finding its feet and needed reliability.
I'd put 'em against anything to get the pax safely into IOM at night in a SW gale

Rgds, Sleeve.

28th Feb 2004, 23:25
in reference to the comment of job losses, mainline has about 150 fewer pilots than it peaked at.
Sir mike will not be employing anyone in 25 years time, and when his departure comes there will be only one person he will be thinking of.
As for all you contented guys, you make me feel warm inside. I have two good friends who are 14 years in the company and they have been "visiting" other airlines of late.
There is one course of ex oxford graduates where I can say there will be no more than three out of eight still remaining in 1 years time. They all have 5000hrs a couple are current on both airbus and boeing.

I think the bottom line is everyone would love to see the company do well, but we are carrying full flights yet "published" revenues have dropped. we have become a low cost airline with no desire to capture business class.

Add the low cost type flying to the hassles associated with LHR and what you get suits very few of our workforce. People still live in hope, but I think the management have "cried wolf" once too often now.

Oh and by the way, I am not from EDI and this thread was not based on a gripe, it was to try to make the management aware of the potential problem they will face. I would love to see us do well as that would mean that I could continue to work with my excellent collegues, but even I (after almost ten years) feel that I cannot put up with this any longer.

29th Feb 2004, 00:11

As has been stated elsewhere in this thread, there has ALWAYS been a 'through put' of pilots to the long haul fleets. Why - because it suits some folks' lifestyles, family commitments and ambitions. If bmi long haul had developed without 9/11 then maybe there would be very experienced people clamouring to join us!

Perhaps ambition is more applicable to Oxford students who have demonstrated their ability to fast-track into the aviation world. Even so, your 5 pilots out of eight must have been with the company for at least five years to have TT of 5000 which is a good return for the company - considering these five only represent 1% of the work force.

As to your own concerns, if you don't like then follow those to BA and VS but watch out for the 'greener' grass

Anne :O

29th Feb 2004, 18:09
The pilot numbers are also lower because there is now somethimg called BMI Baby. BMI (Mainline) is of course smaller but the group is growing by @30 pilots at present due to growth in BMI Baby. (Regional may also be recruiting - I don't know)

As for The Bish' thinking of himself in a few years time, of course he is! This is a business not a lifetime payroll. It has it's problems like all companies.

I stated earlier that if you don't like it here - move. I'm staying because it suites me at present. It's not the best but it's not the worst by a long way.

29th Feb 2004, 20:42
As above
mainly happy,would just like to hear some comments on the companys direction instead of reading little snips of AR's comments to the press
Little less mushroom treatment,if we dont have the big piture then tell us.

rgds K.I.L.

2nd Mar 2004, 23:53
Is it true....the rumour network has it that JQ is to depart???

Can anyone confirm this who does that leave in training at bmi?

Little Blue
3rd Mar 2004, 03:12
Maybe our Learned friend, Mr Carn,
can take up the training mantle...
Lets face it, he has the answers to everything else...

Goodness Gracious Me
9th Mar 2004, 06:06
I wonder if this will stem the flow.....?


First time I've heard a rumour come true so far in advance!!

Anthony Carn
9th Mar 2004, 14:13
I wonder if this will stem the flow.....?
It would'nt surprise me ! :rolleyes:

I can just hear every bmi pilot under the age of thirty five........

"I know I've got zero chance of getting on to the longhaul fleet.

I also know that if I don't get out of here whilst I'm still young enough, then I'll be stuck here until I rot.

But ooh ! Look where we're flying to !

To heck with my long term career ! Forget what it's like working for this lot. Just look where we're flying to !"

:rolleyes: :D

9th Mar 2004, 14:13

In that vein, I think the fact that the company again started talking about synergys with Virgin a few days prior to an underwelming pay offer is more likely to have a material effect, (material to bmi that is!). Difficult call for the FO's to leave and join virgin whilst there is still merger rumours, a nice little number by management. If it ever happens (big IF), its a long way down the road IMHO.

We are after all only mushrooms

Anthony Carn
9th Mar 2004, 14:19
Agreed lamina ! :ok:

Sad thing is, the vast majority are suckered in by such obvious ploys ! :rolleyes:

Whoever, in their right mind, suggested that pilots are intelligent.......? :confused:

(maybe they did'nt include bmi pilots in their survey)

Some can't even understand straightforward posts. :}

11th Mar 2004, 15:54
It sounds to me like BMI is ripe for take over. Evidence:

1) Management has admitted it was in the wrong boat - by expanding into longhaul and low cost markets, it has declared that the traditional business does not offer the best prospects going forwards

2) Management is not dealing with the most pressing problem - as a previous post said, premium passengers do not choose BMI first, and nor do loco passengers. If management doesnt make its mind up about the traditional business, it will gradually die and cost buckets of money on the way - potentially taking the other businesses with it

3) The LHR slot issue - Each slot "pair" is worth GBP5-10m.

My strategy would be to somehow boost near-term figures, talk about great long-term prospects for Baby and Long haul, and then sell to anyone who will pay significantly more than the slots are worth. If they dont sell, or dont change management/strategy and deal with the traditional business, the whole lot may be doomed when the slot money runs out.

ps there are about 1000 unemployed frozen ATPLs (not all of whom are muppets) who would kill to get on the ladder with a FO job at BMI - and would be very happy just to have a job and would not expect to be paid much (I am one)

11th Mar 2004, 17:16
Son wait till I tell you something,
Statements like this one below will not make you friends in aviation never mind bmi,

"If management doesn’t make its mind up about the
ps there are about 1000 unemployed frozen ATPLs (not all of whom are muppets) who would kill to get on the ladder with a FO job at BMI - and would be very happy just to have a job and would not expect to be paid much (I am one)"

I admire your keenness but remember that you are looking from the outside in and the image/dream of how working for bmi is of rosy pictures.
Its not a true reflection of reality so I surest you speak to some people who have the daily slog of driving in to LHR to a car park(after the M25 car park)to wait on a bus to get to the crew room then start work to go and do something like a TFS and back(report and finish times coincide with rush hour, hmmm nice),
I think you might find your painting would get a bit tarnished.

As for your comment about being paid much less to do the job, these types of comments are very destructive to the professional stance of pilots, remember how much you paid for your training, 2 sim rides a year 1 medical every year and looking forward to 2 after 40.
If you think we get paid to much I suggest you conceder this
A London tube driver is on the same if not more than an FO and they didn’t pay for there training.

Remember that its a tough time for pilots at the min but I think there’s not much more meat they can strip from the bone so things should be looking up over the next year and hopefully things get will get better and more jobs opportunities will come up and then you can dazzle the aviation community with your keenness and talent.

Rgds K.I.L.

P.S. I enjoy the flying but its all the s**t that comes with it I hate

Good hunting

11th Mar 2004, 22:32

Two things to note from your comments:

1. A very close friend has taken 4+ years to get his first airline job (not at BMI). He said to me only this week how rose coloured the glasses were for all that time! Don't think it's all a joy, yes most of us enjoy it but commercial aviation is long, antisocial hours with lots of hassle that could so easily be dealt with by others.

2. As above, to say you would work for much lower pay is stupid. Many have put themselves in debt for thousands and struggled onto the ladder. They have not been subsidised in their training as Doctors, Lawyers, etc but are expected to be thoroughly professional and faultless each day they work.

I can think of no other industry where you put your job on the line every 6 months in a simulator, as we do. We get paid for our high professional standard and the amount of responsibility we have.

Young Paul
12th Mar 2004, 17:37
What do you mean, put your job on the line every six months? I put mine on the line every day I go to work!!

12th Mar 2004, 20:20
With the regard to the new routes, I think it is exciting for those who have not been looking to move but you have to read between the lines:

bmi is never looking more than 6 months ahead - toronto is only for 6 months, carribean is a winter route, they look likely to pull out of washington. all decisions are based around keeping the three aircraft in the air, but the visions are short term. do you not think they would be looking to aquire more aircraft if they truly wanted to make a long haul statement.??

Virgin already operate to all those destinations and many more, so I don't think many of those with applicatons in will be naive enough to not continue.

It is embarrassing to read the press releases about us being the "no 1 long haul operator from the regions" they are trying to give the impression we have a huge L.H network.

If they have long term ambitions they would be putting their money where their mouth is. but not so... lets just prime it for the sale.

12th Mar 2004, 21:45

bmi is never looking more than 6 months ahead - toronto is only for 6 months, carribean is a winter route
The Caribbean start date is more than six months away, so that rather defeats your argument.

They are, as I understand it, safeguarding the jobs created by the long haul operation while looking for long term route opportunities.

do you not think they would be looking to aquire more aircraft if they truly wanted to make a long haul statement.??
There are, or were, options for up to 12 A330's. How many more would you like, and where would you operate them in the absence of the Transatlantic approval out of LHR?

It is embarrassing to read the press releases about us being the "no 1 long haul operator from the regions"
That is what is known as accentuating the positive, a concept which you and Mr Carn are clearly not familiar with. You are more in the "good news doesn't sell newspapers" camp.

By the way, why are you two still working for bmi? Not good enough to get a job with a decent airline????

Anthony Carn
13th Mar 2004, 03:21
By the way, why are you two still working for bmi? Not good enough to get a job with a decent airline????
Excellent question, Chalky !

Fact is, if you "accentuate the positive" about bmi, as I used to do, you stay with them.

Then, one day, the realisation dawns that all the accentuating in China is'nt working and you'd better get out.

The problem then, in this wierd industry, is that if you're over 35, moving on becomes impossible. 35 years of age, with bags of experience, does'nt compete with early twenties and straight out of Oxford.

But then, Chalky, you already knew that ....... you were just testing you norty person, you ! :rolleyes:

The point of the above waffle is to emphasise to those contemplating a move, as part of the exodus, don't leave it until you're too old and remember that 35 is almost certainly too old ! :{

13th Mar 2004, 06:14

The Toronto route always was a summer only route - it is the same one that Air Canada have been running for years. As stated elsewhere it ties up with the Emirates flight ex Dubai for timing and should pay quite nicely.

The Caribbean routes now offer premium economy out of MAN which BWIA doesn't.

Anne :O

13th Mar 2004, 06:29

sorry, you are absolutely right, they are thinking 8 months in advance, i was so wrong.

are you really suggesting that they are starting the new routes to safeguard jobs?? it would be cheaper to pay the pilots to sit at home.

As to how many aircraft and where they should go:

transatlantic longhaul from LHR forms only a small proportion of the successful longhaul routes operated by other airlines. I am aware that red tape hinders bmi painfully, but at a time where longhaul premium traffic is returning would it not be a good long term strategy to introduce our excellent service to the LHR market?? this would of course involve them aquiring more aircraft.

As for "accentuating the positive":

Our passenger base from manchester won't thank us in the long term for promising a service and then taking it away from them in just 6 months.

And finally response to the personal hit:

I want to work for bmi still. But it seems a bit risky to stay where there appears to be no direction and no communication. I can think of nothing better than to work for a "world class" airline with my current collegues. I have been with this company for a while and until now have not looked elsewhere. I have fellow captains with 14 years win the company who are also looking at jobs they never expected to.

Perhaps you could give me your idea of where the company will be in 5 years to help me make my decision????

KAL Expat
15th Mar 2004, 07:03
Curious as to why BMI Management haven't commented on this thread?

Or have they?

keyboard flier
15th Mar 2004, 12:26
From looking at these postings, it makes you wonder if some them are by pilots who are bitter because they feel the should have jumped ship sooner and now think they are too old to start again. Or have they been passed over at some stage?
If you want to leave, go, why stop where you are unhappy or discontented.