View Full Version : American pilots to get some BA commands (GSS)

9th Jul 2004, 17:55
The waters that run between B.A and GSS upto this point have run turbulent and somewhat murky, but things were gradually beginning to settle a little, with the first 5 captains reaching the end of their training in GSS, and GSS F/Os finally beginning to accept the situation (albeit by looking for new jobs).
But into this water BA management are about to throw a large sh!t bomb. They are going to use Atlas again to fly BA cargo. GSS' fourth aircraft is going to be operated by Atlas for at least one year. Pilots in the states are allready receiving their upgrade training and presumably looking for somewhere to stay in the UK.
Hence commands that should have gone to BA and GSS pilots are going to Atlas. The reason apparently is that they can't supply a 747-400 for GSS and BA but have managed to provide them for other carriers such as emirates and Qantas. But they can provide a classic in the meantime to do the BA work GSS was set up to do.
So unless something is done we will once again hear the speedbird callsign with an american accent, we will once again see euro work done by american companies and euro pilot jobs go to americans.
What was the point of GSS, if not to prevent this in the first place?
Here both BA and GSS have an opportunity to fight side by side for a change, on the issue of command jobs. Maybe this will lead to a more co-operative approach in the future.
Let us sieze this chance and stop the americans taking our jobs again!!

9th Jul 2004, 18:23
Er, what's the difference between an American pilot and a European pilot? Surely the job should go to the one that is best qualified and prepared to do it. Surely any concept of "our jobs" went out decades ago....

9th Jul 2004, 18:31
We like the burgers, u like the chips. But all of us like the chicks.

Left Coaster
9th Jul 2004, 19:34
How short the memories! Maybe you guys in the UK have forgotten about how many UK licenced pilots operated Canadian flights with passengers originating in Canada after the demise of a major Canadian carrier. I can recall seeing large numbers of UK registered AC flying "charter" routes into YVR and other places when there were many unemployed and very current on type Canadian pilots out of work. Careful about how you guys look here...

Carnage Matey!
9th Jul 2004, 22:00
Sick I don't think anyone at BA is looking to GSS for sympathy, in fact I don't even think Ill25 is a BA pilot. Its GSS pilots that'll get screwed by Atlas doing more work, not BA. Of course as you all hate BA and BALPA I trust you'll approach neither in any attempt to prevent the work going to Atlas.

Sigmund - the difference is they have an FAA licence and fly American aircraft, we have EU licences and fly EU aircraft. We can't go over to the states and operate an EU aircraft in that line of work so they shouldn't be able to come to the EU and operate.

Left Coaster - I seem to remember seeing an awful lot of C registered aircraft doing summer charters from the UK to Europe last year. That seems like a two way street to me, a rather different scenario to the Atlas one.

11th Jul 2004, 10:50
Left Coaster, the so called "large number of UK registered aircraft" in Canada happened for one season only, (winter 2001/2 after the collapse of Canada 3000 - one month before the winter season started). It is impossible to get a Jet Operation AOC through in a month with TC btw. There was also an incident in the winter of 1998/9 that a UK Air 2000 B757 flew out of YYZ for three and a half months for Royal.

Now lets see, Canada 3000 sent a C reg B757 (at least one, often two) to the UK (Air 2000) every Summer from 1989 to 1998. They also sent a B757 to JMC in the UK for the three Summers of 1998-2000. In addition, Skyservice have been sending multiple A320's to the UK for several years and also now B757's (and possibly A320's) to various bases in Ireland.

The mount of work done by UK carriers in Canada is about 10-15% of what Canadian carriers have done in the UK over the past fifteen years. Hardly an equal situation is it ? And as for feeling bad about being out of work while foreigners are doing your job - TC allows it because the situation is, overall, favorable to Canadian operators. It is no consolation, but in the summer of 1991, former Air Europe B757 type rated pilots were assigned to the dole queue (EI line-up) while Canada 3000 were plying their way merrily between Manchester and points south with a "Jet Set" call sign.

This is a global industry, why not do like all other Canadians do (me included) and go overseas for a decent job. Or you could always join HMY for CAD53k per annum...

Left Coaster
11th Jul 2004, 14:04
Well now, once I get past your tone, I will only say that you've reported things accurately. Having 25 years of Canadian exp in the book and having hung on while the industry imploded in Canada, and being very familiar with the issue here, I think the BA boys need to open their eyes and look around! Their industry allows just what they don't want. I can understand protectionist stances in any country but the industry now takes the lowest bidder, not the best. The BA boys need to "Take a look Around"
As far as HARMONY goes, got that Tshirt! Now working overseas and much to be said for it. I wish those boys (Harmony) nothing but success and hope they can hang on 'til a few more things change.
BTW if I struck a nerve with a fellow canuck, sorry eh?

11th Jul 2004, 17:45
I think what galls a lot of us BA pilots is that we are close to the "benchmark" price for a crew and aircraft . However the rest of the airline , with its "flabby" management and cushy numbers is pricing us out of markets. Personally, I want BA to sort out these excesses so that the whole company can be competitive and not just the over worked pilots. (850 ish flying hours/ yr)

11th Jul 2004, 18:30
BA has numerous problems but for one group of people to say " its not us,-its the others" is unrealistic and ducks the issue.
The validity of benchmarking depends on who you are benchmarked with. If its the traditional carriers,- AA, UA, the European nationals etc , most of these are in trouble and you are avoiding the question of how you would structure and run the business if you were starting afresh,- or were one of the low costs in Europe ( and , no, most arent cowboys and the customers dont think so either), a Far Eastern or new entrant. These are the folk who will blow you away if you dont change. BA still has a plethora of crew agreements which reduce flexibility, reduce service levels and/or add to cost including rostering, standard of hotels, separate transport for cabin and flight crew, rest periods on board for cabin crew etc and these need to be addressed just as much as management and other numbers.

11th Jul 2004, 19:14
Sigmund - the difference is they have an FAA licence and fly American aircraft, we have EU licences and fly EU aircraft. We can't go over to the states and operate an EU aircraft in that line of work so they shouldn't be able to come to the EU and operate.

Hmmm... I have yet to see an EU registered airplane. What is the prefix? Last I knew, GSS had UK registered airplanes with G prefixes... Further, those airplanes used to be American registered, with N prefixes...

BTW, how many GSS pilots do NOT have CAA licenses issued by the UK?

11th Jul 2004, 20:57
Skylion That is my point....Many BA pilots could go to the low cost carriers and get a pay rise for the same or more dosh (until you have been in the company for about 10 years, then I guess BA takes over. Most of us now want to reap back what we have lost in the past by being under the benchmark. Hence we are stuck in BA and not really able to move. As for crew agreements, well, doesn´t really matter how you roster/bid/organise pilots if they are still managing to fly near to the maximum number of hours each year. I´d say to get 3000+ pilots close to the magic 900 hrs (rolling) is a pretty efficient scheme. Again, at the risk of repeating myself, the pilots are not the problem here. Certain other depts that work half and 3/4 shifts with the rest covered on overtime seem to be the problem. Departments that appear to have 20 or 30 % more staff that they need on paper to cover the work are another. Sickness rates bordering on the criminal are another. Whole rafts of offices and people that have impressive sounding job titles but little or no responsibility are another. Once BA sort out these problems I´ll have more sympathy when they pass the hat around again.
The BA pilots are not called the n****** of Europe for nothing. (so I have been reliably informed from a LH mate)

Nutty Nigel
11th Jul 2004, 22:19
I think we have to take our share of responsibility,i have friends in other areas of BA that have suffered real hardship on the basis of FSAS so comments like " the pilots are not the problem here. " will not go well received.

I am one of those who think we do fairly well out of life and although i dont want it changed i am not about to plead overworked or underpaid.

Skylion is entitled to his views, its more than obvious to any outsider that all the UK airlines are trying benchmarking, they dont want Air Baltic included in their lists and factors like that are obvious as well.

11th Jul 2004, 22:25
Hey,dont blame the Atlas pilots blame your stinking UNION for allowing this to happen.:mad:

12th Jul 2004, 08:05
Nutty Nigel I think we hold our own work wise with anybody in this industry. We fly with less pilots across the Atlantic than the Americans (and are paid less), less pilots down to the Far East than Qantas and Singapore Airlines (our main competition) and still manage to rack up close to a rolling 900 hrs a year. Not bad. Again, I humbly suggest that pilots are not the problem here. I also worked for British Midland for a while and have seen how things could be in BA. Workers happy to be flexible and help the company out. Staff that don´t sabotage their equipment so they can drag a job out for a couple of hours. Having worked on the ground for a while, I think you may be unpleasantly surprised at what goes on outside the cockpit.

Nutty Nigel
12th Jul 2004, 09:32
My point is that there is always someone who will be paid more or work less,nowadays however they may well be with a company in significant financial problems looking for change,likewise i also know there are horrendous problems at BA outside of the cockpit in many areas.

Knowing and having worked for other companies like yourself we cant say ALL the problems lie elsewhere,like us others are entitled to their opinions and its difficult to argue some of their criticism when what we do is so publicly displayed and advertised.

12th Jul 2004, 11:46
Several years ago, I was lucky enough to have 3 hours of Rods´uninterrupted time where myself and my colleague asked all the questions that pilots would like to ask. One of which was why doesn´t BA have its own cargo operation. Rods´previous airlines flew dedicated freighters, so he knows his way around the cut throat world of freight. His answer, BA can´t make it pay with its bloated overheads. He also admitted BA pilots were among the cheapest in the world. We had great hopes that Rod was going to turn the company around and make us competitive and fight for new work. Sadly, we seem to have backed away from any real cost cutting and have retrenched to Heathrow. What will happen when the lo cost and Star Allliance start hurting us there, nobody knows. We will have no where to go.

12th Jul 2004, 13:57
I know this is a bit OT but still follows on from maxy101 post. Has BA ever looked at opening a long haul base at Manchester. They seem too reliant on LHR and they can offer hardly any new routes due to slot constrictions.

Having a LH base a MAN could relieve some pressure at LHR by not having to offer so many flights on the LHR-MAN because people will not be connecting at LHR for the LH routes but flying from MAN on their LH route. Has this ever been looked at?

12th Jul 2004, 15:17
If BA were to open a long haul base at MAN, having established that BA pilots will take commands for less money, (thanks to scope) then they would probably start a new company lets call it BA blue, with it's own new lower pay scale. BA pilots would of course have first refusal on all commands that come up, and finding f/o's wouldn't be a problem (unless they wanted type rated ones), and BA would have very nicely managed to expand their op and reduce pilot costs at the same time.

12th Jul 2004, 15:42

Good point. BA seems to have retrenched to "Fortress Heathrow". With the exception of BMI to ORD and IAD all services to the USA from UK airports outside of London are flown by US carriers. American and Midlands do quite well on ORD-MAN so I'm told, and I question whether BMI would have started the route had BA been doing it. What about GLA or BHX? BA could have a share of that also.

Getting back to the question of freight. BA is running their own roundtrip 777 between Chicago and Houston every day. Presumably, it's the pallets in the belly making the money as the amount of through pax wouldn't make it viable. This freight could be transferred to a US registered aircraft with US pilots but no one is getting their knickers twisted over it. Lighten up guys, or have Rod buy a bunch of freighters like KE and SQ and go after it!


Human Factor
12th Jul 2004, 17:14
Another reason for the ORD-IAH schedule is to prove to the authorities that there is sufficient traffic LHR-IAH to justify a direct route licence, which Bermuda II doesn't permit.

(Don't mention the LOS moving from LGW)! :E

13th Jul 2004, 19:34
eh sigmund,

"Er, what's the difference between an American pilot and a European pilot? Surely the job should go to the one that is best qualified and prepared to do it. Surely any concept of "our jobs" went out decades ago.... " !!!!

ehhhh i think not, how many europeans do you have working out of your airport ? i'll wager a guess --- none ? could that be because you lot arn't so stupid over there ?
anyone trying to operate a european registered a/c out of an american field flying yanks around internally from my experience has to put up with constant 'inspections' and "oh, we don't have your plan" etc etc etc,
it's not the pilots fault if i were american and they let me fly here i would, it's the greedy gits who are allowed to start airlines in this country (uk) with non european registered a/c who don't have the same flight time limitations and who 'fold' in the winter to keep costs down. - oh, and our gutless CAA.
Hey - come to England - you get to work and if you claim asylum here (maybe you feel persecuted by the airport carpark warden) you will get a free mobile phone, car, and a nice house. !

15th Jul 2004, 08:10
Let us sieze this chance and stop the americans taking our jobs again!!

Hey Guys and Gals, this thread started out badly, with some rather inane comments about job protectionism, exclusionism, and a total disregard of market forces.

As an "itinerant" Yank armed with a full JAA license issued in the UK, (YES, I sat ALL the subjects ... and passed the GFT and IRT first go) I may be in a position to offer a moderated input.

Perhaps the "Xenophobe's Guide" folks should prepare a tome on the BA (or rather GSS inhabited) flight deck?

As opposed to the "ex-pat" presence in Saudia, Kuwait and many Asian airlines..... the Yank presence in, and on the fringe of, BA is NOT necessarilly capability driven. Brit/EU pilots "can" do the job without "ex-pat" experience in the left or right seat. The MARKET drives the acquisition of crew (just ask Jerry O'S.). Why else can ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Mx and Insurance) operators thrive. Even "good" airlines need help temporarilly.

The closed shop mentality has done much more harm to the industry than a few "lost commands to the .... ptui.... Americans". This applies to companies on BOTH sides of the pond.

Try a little introspection .... NO-ONE likes being passed over for upgrade, especially because of an "outsider". Remember, before YOU joined the company, YOU were one of those too, regardless of the post code of your birth. :p

23rd Jul 2004, 09:53
Kato 747 this thread may have started out bad in your opinion, but as GSS, the BACC, BALPA and the IPF are all of a basically similar opinion that GSS was formed to do this work, so therefore the work should not go elsewhere, it can't be all that bad. This isn't xenophobic, I'm sorry you missed the point, yes it is about job protectionism, something the Americans are much better at than the British.
BACC doesn't really want it's freight flown by GSS nevermind Atlas, but we already have had this argument, and GSS was the result so why bypass it now?

Cap 56
23rd Jul 2004, 13:36
Before the JAA license was a fact one had to have a UK ATPL to gett a job as a ex-pat and on top of that one had to have the passport to in order to get in front of the cue.

Recent devellopment in Europe have revealed the egocentric position of the Brits once more, today you are paying a price for that behaviour and I really feel no pitty whatsoever.

I would even add, at least the yanks know how to fly.

23rd Jul 2004, 14:20

If you had stayed up all night and tried you couldn't have done a better job of missing the point of the thread.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you don't know any BA/GSS history.

Its got :mad: all to do with Yanks vs Eurpoeans or whose the best suited.

Actaully I'd rather see Yanks flying for GSS than ex BA -400 training Captains, some on pensions of over £120000pa (fact- source BALPA), prostituting themselves as -400 captains at GSS for £60000 a year thereby suppressing the pay in longhaul cargo.

Just because your wives can't stand you at home don't drag the pay down for the rest of the industry.


23rd Jul 2004, 15:46
Cap 56,
Having read your epistles concerning EK I would recommend that you keep your "pitty" to yourself. I don't like to criticise spelling but you really do ask for it.

I can see both sides of the GSS/BA feelings here and would have thought that perhaps the % of upgrades from each side could be adjusted but hardly see the point of giving away the jobs overseas!

Don't laugh, edited for spelling.

Kato747, Now you know why I don't like to criticise spelling!

23rd Jul 2004, 15:47
ILLUMINI25: I am sorry if i hit a nerve regarding those organisations devised to combat the terrible injustices of the "demon corporate" but you must realize that no-one should ever have to denigrate another ethnic, national, or even sexual group concerning the "LOSS" of command seats. My friend, it is all down to the PERSON filling that seat and NOT the license.

Companies will fill their seats with the person who is willing to do the job for the remuneration offered. Our job, as mere mortals, is to gain the experience demanded-- and NOT, repeat NOT,-- ever try to make our F/Os have to pay for the mis-deeds and self-proclaimed piety of a few "Commanders" we have had to endure to get there.

As a Yank, I appreciate the existence of the "job protectionism" you so willingly espouse. I am standing up to say it's wrong! What are you doing to fix the problem....without fixing the blame?

CAP56: Thanks for the vote of confidence regarding New World aviation expertise, but I have also seen Cowboy-ism, ad nauseum, from "some" of my compatriots who have NOT A CLUE how the real world operates. Damn me for being a devoted Internationalist, but never, ever, try to make me out a fool.

Regardless of how you view the relative merits of the licensing philosophies between FAA and CAA/JAR, I must admit I did not pursue a type rating on my FAA ATP. I elected instead to bite the bullet and complete the CAA/JAA courses because of the increased possibility of employment where I wanted to retire from the USAF. Yes, and woefully, most Yank companies, discriminate based upon where you reside. One goes to where the money is, based on his, or her, personal situation.

BusyB: Could? and criticise? there are spell checkers available.... just thought you might need to check one out before you start admonishing others on use of the "Queen's English"!

Sorry BusyB:

Better a stray "coukld" than a "cuckold", eh what?

You were very quick to edit "criticise"....well done!

12th Aug 2004, 20:19
What became of the BA/Atlas thread?

I know Atlas/GSS were appling to the UK govt to get a 747-200 crewed by US pilots based in UK. Can't imagine anyone getting away with that stateside but anyone know what happened in the end?

12th Aug 2004, 20:36
It hasn't ended yet...

17th Aug 2004, 01:50
Well there's plenty of BA versus GSS bickering going on here. While you've been scratching each others eyes out, BA have been granted approval by the CAA to bring in an Atlas Air classic -entirely US crewed so offering no jobs or commands to either BA or GSS pilots. great work!

17th Aug 2004, 04:57
Gotta ask,

Just why do you Brits allow this?:confused:

17th Aug 2004, 22:09
Come on, 411A, wasn't this subject battered to death about 3 years ago. Same [email protected], different year.
Only thing missing is Guvnor and some of the more feisty Atlas guys.
Great entertainment though.

17th Aug 2004, 22:40
411a I'm 100% in agreement with you. The answer to your question is that we Brits are a spineless and apathetic bunch in situations like this. I don't blame any atlas pilot at all. But why isn't EVERY BA and GSS pilot who stands to lose out writing to his MP, local paper, CAA and Department for Transport?

17th Aug 2004, 22:48
To be fair, you´re wasting your time. I was one of 5 people that objected to BA wet lease of Sabena flights between LHR and BRU a couple of years ago. Got the stock CAA reply that it is good for UK aviation. Even when I pointed out UK pilots were sat at home unemployed , I got the impression minds had been made up and that was that. Most of us don´t waste our time now and just fester inside the company.

Cap 56
18th Aug 2004, 14:48
Those that think management cares about the pilots involved are having an illusion.

There are some contracts and whatever makes the goods go from A to B will happen.

Aviation Business is a world without emotions just dollars and quick and easy solutions.

I do not like it at all but that's the way it is, in the UK even more than in continental Europe.

But if one claims that the crews have to be fit in order to be safe then ignoring basic human feelings becomes a matter of concern.

Aviation is a harsh world and I guess dealing with it is one of the traits of the pilot that wants to survive in this world today.

19th Aug 2004, 22:52
I think you'll find that ultimately it's the Department of Timidity and Inactivity that makes the decision, not the CAA. At the end of the day it's a Governmental decision. It wouldn't happen in France.

20th Aug 2004, 18:25
Well that's exactly the point maxi and pom. If this was France or the USA it wouldn't be 5 pilots who wrote letters -it would be 50 or 150.

If we don't stick up for ourselves as a professional group, nobody else will.