View Full Version : GB Airways Chief Pilot Shafted

4th Apr 2004, 09:30
Yet another show of incompetent management. This chap who has virtually built GB Airways into what it is today, is given the hoof for one of Slippery Bill's pals. His crime?, to dare upset Johnny Vegas by having an opinion.

Slippery's mate has no qualifications whatsoever and now all the training pilot's have to work their backsides off to fill the vacuum left by this fine, dedicated employee.

This is just another example of the idiot management intent on wrecking this fine airline.

People have realised things are so bad now and both pilots and cabin crew are leaving in droves.

Last one to leave put the lights out......:(

Man Flex
4th Apr 2004, 09:50
People have realised things are so bad now and both pilots and cabin crew are leaving in droves.

Hmmm... yes there has always been a high turnover of cabin crew but to suggest that pilots are leaving in droves is a bit misleading.

Sure one or two have moved on but that seems to be nothing whatsoever to do with AP leaving.

4th Apr 2004, 10:08

Not misleading at all. This is just the final crunch with AP being shafted.

This management is hell bent in sinking this airline and pilot's who adopted a "wait and see" attitude, have now said "that's it".

The recent article in Flight about regional airlines such as GB to adapt or die at the hands of the Low Cost Operators, exacerbates the position GB will be in a couple of years when BA don't renew the franchise.

The commercial department sit with their heads in the sand, riding on the past successes of John O, and are completely clueless where to go from here.

Watch this space.

4th Apr 2004, 19:03
Speaking as a regular passenger, i.e., one who pays the wages, my experience of GB is of reasonable fares, punctual performance and excellent cabin service, in fact, it doesn't get much better in Europe. Thanks everybody.
In case this seems irrelevant, my take is that the product is invariably a reflection of senior management and the direction thereof.
I might add that I have no axe to grind.

Four Candles
5th Apr 2004, 08:20
Agree with MF,

Most of the FOs I fly with were very sorry to AP go. However, those same FOs are delighted to see a little movement in the Seniority List and the prospect of some more commands.

Re the cabin crew, some who jumped ship to FlyJet are trying to get back.

Not saying that all is perfect, just saying that all is not that bad.

5th Apr 2004, 08:59
Quote: However, those same FOs are delighted to see a little movement in the Seniority List and the prospect of some more commands.
What an arrogant and conceted remark. Your view is typical of someone going nowhere in life and will backstab any of your colleagues to try and better yourself no matter who or what is destroyed in the process. Are you perhaps looking to be a Base Supervisor or are you already a sad :mad: ?

I know how much AP was respected and I have no doubt that most of the decent people unfortunate enough to be in the same room as you, will tell you where to put those Four Candles :E :E

Four Candles
5th Apr 2004, 11:29

The movement I was referring to was the "droves" you mentioned, not AP. As I said, the FOs I fly with were very sorry to see him go as was I. AP was always very good to me and helped me out more than once. I have no ambition within GB and have no need to backstab anyone (I don't even know what a Base Supervisor is).

The impression you give is that the pilots are stampeding. This just is not true. Some are looking further afield but most guys quite like GB.

If I gave the impression that FOs were happy to see AP go I am sorry. What I meant was that the FOs are happy there is some movement.

Angus Meecoat
5th Apr 2004, 12:07
Get a life guys, people get shafted in companies all the time inside and outside the airline industry. I am not saying it's right but it will always happen.

AP was a smashing bloke and well liked and respected within GB by the vast majority of both flight and cabin crew. Most are sorry to see him go. I also never heard a bad word said about him. I don't think we will ever get the full story but it must have been one hell of a tough decision for him to leave after 15 years.

GB is an unhappy ship at the moment that is true, mainly because management are not listening and continue to attempt suicide commercially, messing around with FTLs and rostering while at the same time eroding peoples lifestyle.

Until that changes crews will continue to leave for what they possibly consider better alternatives, right or wrong.

Man Flex
6th Apr 2004, 16:06
Four Candles

I suspect that lick******* is a member of the cabin crew as I can't imagine a pilot speaking to another colleague in that way. I might also add that he/she would appear to be rather immature and intent on stirring up trouble.

I would tend to ignore any remarks made by such a person.

Dirty Harry
6th Apr 2004, 18:28
Don't know any of the persons involved here, but reading this it seems the individual may have left through his own choice, if so why did he leave? Is the company still run by ex BA chaps and their mates?

6th Apr 2004, 19:54

Which management position do you hold then?

6th Apr 2004, 20:02
I think you will find that "MF" is just one of the workers at the coal face.

6th Apr 2004, 22:44
As one that does not know the company or the individual that is being referred to, but has been in a similar position, I'd like to offer this thought:

If a mid-level manager (which is what a Chief Pilot is) is popular with the troops under him/her, then it can be assumed that s/he might not be all that popular with his/her superiors.

Standing up for the troops is not a popular activity with airline managements of the early 21st century and may well lead to a parting of the ways.

The average airline manager of today is focussing on the six month bottomline and is not interested what damage might be done to the long term health of the company

7th Apr 2004, 16:45
Fdriver, quite right. Don't forget that the focussing involves meeting his KPIs and hence his bonus, not to mention his move upwards on the slippery pole. That all relates to cost-cutting, of which he is usually paid a percentage.

A popular CP, as you say, by implication cannot do both and, poor sod, is not long for his post. Lots more selfish, goal (loot) oriented would be managers below him ready with the knives though.

9th Apr 2004, 06:58
I do believe it is possible to maintain the support of both staff and superiors - I've done it. Wouldn't it be rather a shortsighted attidude for the company to have to change any staff on a regular, if not frequent, basis due to at least training, among other, costs?

Maybe I'm still in an "ideal world".

Jack Ruskin
9th Apr 2004, 09:43
Middle management is a very fine line and it is possible to create a situation where your are respected by the people below you working for you and the senior management above that you report to - not everyone is able to do this and it probably comes down to personalties...

The key is respect, there is often a situation where you are not liked, and you just have to live with that, but respect is a must if you need to succeed.

I haven't worked for an airline yet where the CP hasn't had some logger head coming together with the Flight Ops Director....

The Ferret
10th Apr 2004, 13:57
As a military pilot I have been considering joining the civilian fixed wing market - but having read this last thread where most of you seem to be short sighted, unrealistic and intent on slagging each other off I think I will give it a miss! Do all airlines operate in this manner?:confused:

10th Apr 2004, 16:02
I think you'll find that's the way it is in any commercial organisation - you've got to watch your back, cover your arse and keep your nose clean all at the same time! ;)

Norman Stanley Fletcher
10th Apr 2004, 17:04
I am one of those who is in the process of leaving GB and I can tell you that most of what is written on here is not very accurate. I am certainly not leaving because I am hacked off with the company as is being suggested here. Lickalo.... is not a pilot by the tone of his reply and also because he is misinformed about the facts.

I am a big AP fan and am very sorry to see him go. I would also like to say what a good company GB is, despite the current difficulties financially. From a flight deck point of view they are superb in terms of operational standards and are excellent employers. That is the root of the problem in that until recently there have been virtually no resignations which has really put the dampers on promotion. As one of the contributors said earlier - people leaving is actually good for morale because it creates movement. I fully understand people rejoicing at any departures because they move up the seniority list, and I am not the slightest offended by it.

The AP issue is however not as simple as it seems. As an ex-employee of GB I have nothing to gain by being positive about the company but I do feel a set of innacurate views are being displayed here. The basic problem was that until recently a company of about 160 pilots had 2 parallel management structures - one for the 737 and one for the Airbus. With the demise of the 737 that has generated 'overmanning' in the managerial sphere. A 'compromise' was attempted whereby all the current managers divied up the jobs and got new titles to explain away the inevitable reduction in workload and responsibility that ensued. The simple problem was that there was not the same number of jobs available as had been the case previously. In the ensuing bunfight another manager fared better than AP which was obviously very disappointing for him personally as he was much respected by all the pilots at GB. He basically took the hump and decided to leave under a compensation deal because he felt passed over. You can always say that these things should be better handled and I have no doubt there are lessons to be learnt. The bottom line is that in the final analysis the top level management at GB were faced with a difficult situation of trying to please all the managers in a shrinking pool and inevitably could not do so. They have clearly chosen the successor to the current Flight Ops Director and he is the 'heir apparent'. They have to make some decision here and sadly a really great guy lost out to another great guy. That is life but it would be very unfair to somehow talk of crises and blood on the carpet. My take on this is very simple - with the demise of the 737 there were too many managers and some people were inevitably going to have less responsibility than they once did. There is nothing more sinister to it than that.

To 'The Ferret' - I am ex-RAF and know exactly what goes on in the pursuit of ambition in the military. Don't be fooled by all that is on this forum - it is miles better out here!

Reality Checks
11th Apr 2004, 13:30
Dear oh dear NSF, your post really won't be popular on this forum. Well informed, balanced and down-playing the sensationalist opening post. No, this really won't do at all!

NSF is right on the money with his analysis of the situation, although I don't think AP had alot of time for the managers above him.

This topic should now close.

Good luck in your new job, NSF.

11th Apr 2004, 18:28

Excellent post, very informative methinks. However, wasn't it essentially the case that AP and the Ops Director NEVER did see eye to eye. Was it simply inevitable that something (or someone) had to give which has resulted in AP's departure.

He was a popular and respected Chief Pilot in the days of the B737. However, if I recall correctly the first he knew about his transfer to the A320 was when a new management stucture, instigated by the Ops Director presumably, was published and he saw his name down as "Airbus Tech Manager" ie. he was being demoted from the post of Chief Pilot.

12th Apr 2004, 08:56
BBK, since the BG era began, AP went form 'Chief Pilot' to 'Airbus Fleet Manager' to 'Airbus Tech Manager'.

I make that 2 demotions. The writing has been on the wall since the beginning.

NSF, well said and very representitive of the situation, sorry to see you go but best of luck at the new lot.

12th Apr 2004, 09:14
For Ferret info - yep, it's like this in most Airlines, only the degree varies, and that varies cyclically from airline to airline. New startups - great Ts and Cs, then shareholder and management profitshare take over, and everyone whinges and a lot of pilots who can, change employer.

HOWEVER, being ex-mil myself, it's probably a much better bet than any of the Services. One does not have to think very hard at all to remember the most appalling shaftings of people dead and alive to promote Senior Rank's careers. A case in point - well, think of the Mull of Kintyre for just one higher and publically known profile.

Sorry, hijacking the thread.

The Ferret
12th Apr 2004, 21:35
NSF and PV

Thanks for the positive advice. Good luck.


Rumours everywhere
14th Apr 2004, 14:43
Rumour has it that AP also received an exceptionally large payout as part of a confidentiality agreement (as per the one that MS received a few years back)

Believed to be the major incident which was covered up by the MD, slippery, FSM and flight ops.... in which the DO took a 321 into Gib without CAA approval... or something like that.

From what I hear... it could be the end of GB's current management if it got out!

14th Apr 2004, 17:23
From http://www.panorama.gi/ 13/04/04

"GB Airways profits take the plunge

Pre-tax trading profit of GB Airways has gone sharply downhill, with the latest available figures showing a decrease of more than half the previous accounting year.

The pre-tax trading profit for the financial year ending March 2003 was 5.19million compared with 12.91 million the previous year.

The company says that 'general uncertain economic conditions, the Iraqi conflict and its build-up and ongoing terrorist threats have all contributed to passenger uncertainty and a downturn in higher yield traffic.'

The sharp downtrend in pre-tax trading profit has arisen despite the airline carrying more passengers, having additional revenue in seat-kilometres and an increase in turnover.

The directors recommended a dividend for the year of 1.30 million.


According to the register maintained as required under the Companies Act 1985, no Director held any interest in the share capital of the company, with the exception of Mr Joseph J Gaggero who holds one ordinary 1 share as nominee of GB Airways UK Holdings Ltd.

At the year end Mr Joseph J Gaggero (who is their President) and Mr James P Gaggero (who is the Chairman) were also directors of fellow group undertakings incorporated in Great Britain which are required to keep a register of directors' interests. The directors were not therefore required to notify their interests in the shares of the fellow group undertakings to the company.

A note to the Profit and Loss Account says: 'There have been no recognised gains and losses attributable to the shareholders other than the profit for the current and preceding financial year and accordingly, no statement of total recognised gains and losses is shown.'

The accounts are signed by Mr James P. Gaggero on behalf of the Board of directors.

The company has 8 directors, with Mr J. Patterson being the managing director. Sr Guillermo Serrano, with an address in Madrid, was appointed in January 2003. The other directors are British.

The accounts for GB Airways UK Holdings Ltd, which show identical pre-tax profit and dividend to that of GB Airways Ltd, has three directors, the Gaggeros and Mr J.C. Hawkins who appears in both companies as director and also as secretary.


The airline has long ceased to be a Gibraltar company. Its registered office is at the Beehive Building in West Sussex; its bankers are in Horley, Surrey; its solicitors are in London and its auditors are in Crawley.

GB Airways is a franchisee of British Airways

Who ultimately controls the airline?

There is a web of companies related to GB Airways Ltd, the directors saying that the company's ultimate parent company and controlling party is Jargo Holdings Ltd, which is registered in Guernsey, Channel Islands.

Meanwhile, the parent undertaking of the largest group of undertakings for which group accounts are drawn up and of which the company is a member is Bland Group Ltd, which is registered in Jersey, Channel Islands.

The accounts of Bland Group Ltd and Jargo Holdings Ltd are not publicly available.

In the year ended 31 March 2003, GB Airways Ltd made no payments in respect of aircraft subleases to its intermediate parent undertaking, GB Group Ltd, and owed 472,000 to GB Group Ltd.

The company has paid 112,500 in management fees to Bland Group Ltd, described as its ultimate parent, and also 774,000 in office rent to the same company.

Included within direct operating costs are charges of 256,000 from a fellow subsidiary, Airside Services (Gibraltar) Ltd. There was 25,000 owed to Airside (Gibraltar) Ltd.

Another fellow subsidiary, Cadogan Travel Ltd, received a standard industry commission on tickets sold by the company at a value of 2.67 million. These transactions were conducted on normal commercial terms. Nil outstanding.

Bland Ltd, a fellow subsidiary, also received a standard industry commission on tickets sold by them at a value of 2.34 million. The company was owed 91,000 by Bland Ltd.

The company has paid 29,000 in pound-for-pound payment for group tax relief in respect of losses transferred from Cadogan Travel Ltd, a fellow subsidiary. At 31 March 2003 the company was owed 7,000 from Cadogan Travel Ltd.

The company says it has taken advantage of the exemption in Financial Reporting Standard No.8 not to disclose transactions with its immediate parent undertaking GB UK Holdings Ltd."


Sir Kitt Braker
15th Apr 2004, 19:30
Not in GB, no axe..etc - but wasn't AP about as sharp as a beachball? May be a great laid back guy, but wouldn't inspire a Boardroom...

Big Dog's
16th Apr 2004, 20:06
SKB-you obviously didn't know the guy!

Norman Stanley Fletcher
18th Apr 2004, 17:26
My personal experience was that AP was a delight to fly with and a great Training Captain.

And thank you chaps for the kind thoughts. Cheers.

18th Apr 2004, 19:40
Sir Kitt Braker,

If you don't work for GB how do you know AP.

Could it be that you failed to get a command in GB and pushed off to Ryanair?? You ever been a Chief Pilot or fleet manager? So how sharp are you?

5th May 2004, 23:08
If anyone has any information regarding the whereabouts of AP nowadays, I would appreciate a pm.



6th May 2004, 11:00
Try Dibbden Manor.