View Full Version : Virgin Ire.

3rd Feb 2001, 02:34
Anyone know if the Shannon guys have come in from the cold?

3rd Feb 2001, 05:44
Yea, with a bit of luck dC will foff back to the Gulf where he belongs and let the good lads and lassies get on with their lives and careers. What an a**hole !

3rd Feb 2001, 06:44
What's DC done to upset everyone in Virgin??

Please explain....

3rd Feb 2001, 17:32
Where do you want us to start????


The beatings will continue until morale improves!!

3rd Feb 2001, 20:20
I knew him years ago. He was sometimes a bit of a pain in the proverbial alright, but that was a long time ago.
I thought he'd have mellowed with age. I also thought that he'd be a supporter of the guys on the line too.
What happened??

3rd Feb 2001, 22:05
Initial query was the fate of VEI, not of any particular individual. Does anyone have an update on the status of the sale of the airline?

Paddy went to Brussels
3rd Feb 2001, 22:58
Your first query nothing has happened and I am not very sure anything will.
As long as dc is around nobody is going to stay.
What has he done,what hasn`t he done is the question.Let me see there is the salary issue not to mention overtime,sickness,leave.
I am sure I have forgotten something anyone care to add.

4th Feb 2001, 00:50
Any one in Virgin Shannon know where Baldrick is? Baldrick if you see this post contact the other half of the ABZ rabbit catchers society. The next round of the birdseed door slammer competion starts in March.

4th Feb 2001, 01:11
I hear that the original DFO (JR) has resigned. That means the saftey officer and now the assistant director of training have resigned. Is this the flood gates opening and still the others do not know if they will have a job after the end of March.
It seems that if the managment don't announce something soon that a full exodus will follow.

4th Feb 2001, 01:46
JR last of the nice guys.
Best of luck.
http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/frown.gif http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/frown.gif

Metal Mickey
6th Feb 2001, 05:11
Amen Amen to that!

Mad Mitch
6th Feb 2001, 14:02
Muppet is right about a mass exodus, the CEO asks that everyone be patient but either they come out with details on a buyer pretty soon or there won't be any pilots left. GO,EZY and the Ryans are not going to wait around for commitments for too much longer.

Goodbye JR you will be sadly missed, lets hope we can give you a parting gift of the two assasins out before you go.

Angus Meecoat
6th Feb 2001, 21:37
Cheers John and good luck for the future, on behalf of the CAP 509rs like myself and the other low hours guys you gave a first start to THANKS. Enjoy the Porsche around them crazy little Clare roads

6th Feb 2001, 21:54
Aeroflot scratching its head over some EU/non-EU issues, it seems. If that does not work out, not sure what options would be left.

6th Feb 2001, 23:29
The day of reckoning may be nigh!!

I hear on the grapevine that the FR's were doing sim checks today!!

I wonder if any of the VEI lads and lassies were strutting their stuff in the St Thetic.

The book of EXODUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BMC Inciter
7th Feb 2001, 02:09
Hey KAT TOO, fear not Baldy is alive and kickin'. But don't remember ever being the other half of the rabbit sh*ggin' society - seem to remember the little french birdy one being your arseistant.....

Muppet - get a life. Sure there probably were the odd individual getting sim rides with the lower ranks. That don't mean FR are rewriting the book of Exodus. Seem to remember VEI started on the back of a mass exodus in the other direction. Gotta lose some very big guns before the books are balanced my friend.....

7th Feb 2001, 03:09
It pays to remember BMC that a flood starts with a dribble!!!!!!!!!!!

It also seems that I have read on this Forum that the bids for the airline were only opened last week. If this is the case and as we can see there has still been no announcement of a buyer maybe the lads and lassies have decided that time is up. This would mean that we have only possibly seen the start with the exit of the ex DFO.

7th Feb 2001, 03:50
Well said Muppet.No point in being the last one out.

seymore butts
7th Feb 2001, 14:52
Good luck to JR and all that join him I say

8th Feb 2001, 01:19
ZO! The latest is back to the Boggies dont pass go, dont collect £200, and bring your own vaseline! Argh but its grand is it not!

8th Feb 2001, 04:39
OK Epilon now I'am thouraghly confused (easy with me). Are you saying that its back to the drawing board for VEI. Your comment intimates failure of some type?

This also gets this thread to 20!

9th Feb 2001, 06:11
A number of VEI chaps and chapesses have allegedly been seen around the Ryanair office in the past few days. What chance of the exodus being reversed?

9th Feb 2001, 06:16
Good luck to JR - one of the last of the good guys. Some VEI people seen around the Ryans in past few days. Are the time limits being extended and what chance of the exodus being reversed?

9th Feb 2001, 13:14
With the problems with Sabena(over 60% of VEX`s flying is SN codeshare)will the focus of negotiations change,will VEX be the priority sale???

9th Feb 2001, 17:54
Or will Sabena go under first, allowing V-Exp to pick up some pieces / slots / routes etc?

Best of luck to those at both SN and VS/VK


Paddy went to Brussels
10th Feb 2001, 03:59
So another week gone by and still no news from our "experinced management team with a proven track record".

Billy the Kid
10th Feb 2001, 13:35
Meeting with both DFO's (Ireland and Belguim) took place at LGW yesterday.
DC said that there should have been an anouncement on Tuesday after the banks closed, but a last minute query has postponed this. The plan is for the new Irish airline to operate 4 aeroplanes then a further 2 before the end of the first year. A start date for operations wasn't known, it could be some months after the end of the present schedule. This is due to the time required to find aircraft, have them painted and new interiors put in. The investors have agreed to keep the guys on the payrole while this is going on.
What the flying was going to be was a bit sketchy, LGW was mentioned as a destination but the pilot base would be only SNN.
DC came across well and seemed confident on a new SNN airline, however like everything there's nothing signed yet and he made it clear that guy's were free to leave during the notice period, if they felt they'd better prospects elsewhere.

Alan Blake the new DFO of the OO also cmae over, he was looking to recruit pilots for LHR. The OO are short of pilots in London and are losing two FO's due to resignations, two Captains due to forced retirement and one promotion opening up a right hand seat position.
Alan came across very well, as a genuine guy with a problem to solve, however during a discussion after the main meeting, the problems the non-belgians have had to deal with are still alive and kicking, even though due to the companies financial problems the Union is not as powerfull than two years ago.
I think unless a significant effort is made to solve the problems of working out of LHR, then there will be few takers.
The only other thing mentioned was that the that the UK pilots have to work out their notice till the start of June. There is a possibilty of farming out to the OO to solve the problem of crewing the summer programe without Irish aircraft.

Good luck to every one and I hope this helps.

10th Feb 2001, 14:21
Billy the Kid, When you say 'the investors', do you mean Aeroflot, or is there a new team involved now?

Billy the Kid
10th Feb 2001, 14:53
Aeroflot was mentioned as a possible senario, but only because the media had made a connection already.

On a seperate note, BBC newsnight had an item on the Irish economy yesterday evening. The EU told the Irish government to increase taxation to cool the economy, which is one of the fastest growing in the world at present.

The fast growth is leading to high inflation due to the spending of Irish consumers. The Irish government was not happy about being told what tax levels to set. But it would appear that the tax breaks that companies are getting, are being looked at by Brussels. This is all to do with intergration of the common currency.


[This message has been edited by Billy the Kid (edited 10 February 2001).]

Best Western
10th Feb 2001, 18:38
So.. the new owners start flying in October 2000, and have a bleak winter ahead of them..

Who in their right minds would start a leisure airline in Winter?

Rather than using the summer peak to fill some seats they have winter to fly around empty!

Chances are that by summer all start-up captal will have dried up.

Angus Meecoat
10th Feb 2001, 22:36
Billy TK

Good description of yesterdays events at LGW and well put over on this forum.
Agree with you that AB has his work cut out and I also do not think there will be to many takers for the OOs especially with the present situation at SN. Can't see VEX surviving too long should SN go despite what AB said about the slots.

Paddy went to Brussels
11th Feb 2001, 01:43
Iam sure some of the SNN based guys would be interested in flying the OO`s!!!!!! strange they weren`t offered it.

Billy the Kid
11th Feb 2001, 04:19
I did ask that question, DC confirmed that the SNN pilots had not been asked.

Angus Meecoat
11th Feb 2001, 16:26
Just ring up Alan Blake in BRU if you want a job flying the OOs, there's a job there or in LHR if you want it. There will not be enough takers from the UK guys for the amount of vacancys he has.

Captian Slackbladder
11th Feb 2001, 18:34
What about the Cabin Crew and Op's and Crewing people who have been made redundant? Are they to be re-employed?

11th Feb 2001, 20:44
Billy The Kid,
Just wondering how you guys knew that there was a meeting being held. I would have liked to attend.
It appears that we are recieving contradicting information from managment, I wonder if their plans for the UK based staff is diferent to that of other staff? hence not informing all of the meeting.

11th Feb 2001, 20:50
OK something strange happening here I signed on as Solomon Grundy and get back by email Ellion, who is based in Canada. Ellion if your reading you can have your name back if I can have mine back.


Solomon Grundy
11th Feb 2001, 20:57

[This message has been edited by Solomon Grundy (edited 11 February 2001).]

Solomon Grundy
11th Feb 2001, 21:06
alls well now

[This message has been edited by Solomon Grundy (edited 11 February 2001).]

seymore butts
12th Feb 2001, 14:58
The meeting was initialy an informal event to be attended by any UK based pilots who wanted to catch up on rumours, news etc. This got a bit more interesting when Alan Blake agreed to meet us to discuss the actual possition regarding 'OO' jobs.

More suprisingly DC agreed to come over and give us actual info regarding the redundancy process and the possability of 'EI' jobs.

It wasnt meant to be a big meeting for the invited only just an informal one which grew.

I think the lads are attempting a bit of a gathering at the awkward on the 3rd March. Maybe we know more by then.. All welcome and the more the merrier.

14th Feb 2001, 07:02
Computers must have been reduced in price in Shannon, alot of new members to pprune!!! ;)

Metal Mickey
14th Feb 2001, 14:54
Looking forward to the party on 3rd.

Point is, you can speculate, wonder, rumour-monger, theorize, meditate, consider, ponder, reflect, ruminate, surmise, think, weigh up, gamble, wager or whatever the hell else you want to do but it's not sold until Martin writes to us telling us it is sold.

Then we'll have something to really party about as we celebrate flying into the sunset (or sunrise if Aeroflot come on board - see, more rumour!)

Plus, all the above keeps this thread on the front page and saves me having to look for it.

Looking forward to your letter Martin

Good luck now!

Metal Mickey
14th Feb 2001, 15:05
Sorry, while I'm at it - I do hope, as Seymore advises above, that when things do work out that at least some of the UK guys would be offered the opportunity to take up jobs out of Shannon as we could have a very cozy little forum to while away the hours (when not working of course) in the lovely wesht of Ireland.

This of couse goes completely against the grain in that it took us 800 years to get rid of yiz in the first place but the VEI brits are cool - more Irish than the Irish themselves. Love you all guys and girls!!

God - I'm bored!

seymore butts
14th Feb 2001, 15:07
Spoke with SNN last yesterday there is yet another fri afternoon deadline.

They hope to have something to tell us by Monday..... That's the next Monday coming..

Metal Mickey
14th Feb 2001, 15:10
Jeez! Upfront - you were up late last night!

15th Feb 2001, 04:16
It seems that yet another group of investors were in snn yesyerday. No news yet but it seems that they all went for a drink in thee exec bar at the airport afterwards. I dont think was aoreflot.

Not rumor just fact, make of it what you will.

Hey MM, you must be really bored.
Been in verac Latley????????????

15th Feb 2001, 06:31
Metal Mickey, Early to bed early to rise!

Let me back to BRU all is forgiven.......

15th Feb 2001, 14:25
Although the recent developments are interesting enough....Does anyone know just exactly how many staff are left at VEI???

Paddy went to Brussels
15th Feb 2001, 14:56
As far as I know three Captains and one First Officer have left or in the process of leaving.Two Captains and the First Officer were SNN based the other Captain was LGW based.
Anyone know is Max still in business,I miss those steaks!!!!!!! http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/frown.gif

15th Feb 2001, 22:29
With Easy offering £30,000 joining bonus for Captains, why would anyone stay ????


Paddy went to Brussels
16th Feb 2001, 01:16
Just heard tomorrow is the big day or should I say another big day with another big announcement.
I can`t wait. :rolleyes:

[This message has been edited by Paddy went to Brussels (edited 15 February 2001).]

seymore butts
16th Feb 2001, 13:53
Well ive cleaned the car, done the garden, recondotioned me liver, posted too many notes here. must be about time to go back to work soon.

Paddy went to Brussels
16th Feb 2001, 21:14
HELLO......!!!!its friday again and its another big day,anyone in SNN got anything to tell us.
OK I`ll have to wait until next friday.

16th Feb 2001, 21:20
Some visitors next week I think.

17th Feb 2001, 01:53
Will there be anyone left in april?
If so who do i contact for an application for the new outfit?
Many thanks
LE http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/cool.gif

Captian Slackbladder
17th Feb 2001, 22:54
The latest I have heard around SNN was that there is to be a joint announcment on Monday by VEX and VEI along the lines that VEX have lost the SABENA code share to Cross Air causing the closure of VEX. VEI have managed to find further investment and would continue in some form out of SNN with the Virgin Express name for the next year with the possibility of retaining the name permanently.
I don't know how true this is but we'll see on Monday! Then again how many times have we heard that before!!!!!!!!!!!

17th Feb 2001, 23:43
The idea of VEX being replaced by Crossair on the Sabena codeshare is interesting. I do wonder about a non EU company doing routes which are EU internal and do not start of finish Switzerland.

It does raise the question again of non EU Companies/Pilots working in the EU without reciprication. Personally I dislike this.

19th Feb 2001, 19:25
Its Monday.....Any news or is it still a bleak horizon??

20th Feb 2001, 03:49
If TCC is still OPS Dir you bet it's bleak !

20th Feb 2001, 14:44
Now what is happening?

2 closed door meetings in BRU in 2 days suggests an announcement of a sort is imminent.....

Billy the Kid
20th Feb 2001, 15:19
JR called last night to say he was phoning round the Guys, he said a deal was on (signed either last night or today). I'm afraid no more details.

At least we hear it first, rather than in the media. Maybe a sign of a new era?


The Kid.

21st Feb 2001, 02:07
Up Up and away.

Yep, It seems that the deal is done and the money is in the bank.

The word is that the route structure and the plans will be released over the next few days.

Its nice to get good news now and then.

And hopefully some flying, sooner rather than later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

21st Feb 2001, 02:53
What do you think the chances are that "Cocky" will be able to get off his @rse and provide us all with contracts this time???

Deep Cover Gecko
21st Feb 2001, 03:50
Sounds like good news at last!
As raised before, does anybody know what will happen about the Ops, Crewing and cabin staff that were made redundant last month?

Angus Meecoat
21st Feb 2001, 17:46
Well they're talking of 4 aircraft initially rising to 6 later in the year. Unless there is still going to be a mass exodus they have enough pilots.
There are very few cabin crew left in LGW so they are going to need most if not all the girls from SNN back pretty sharpish I would suggest.
VEX are going to need the BRU crews.

With regard to crewing and OPS staff they have been running enough staff for two aircraft, double that initially, then add another two later in the year and you should have your answers as to how many are likely to be needed back.

21st Feb 2001, 23:28
Good news for VEI .I was wondering why I heard the "Green Isle" callsign being used over the last few days .

Hope the future is bright.Anyone know where the money is coming from ?



Wing Commander Fowler
22nd Feb 2001, 14:21
Hey Geoff,

Any chance you could get the senior management to make some sort of announcement to the "Orifice Staff" that the deal's been done. They're human too. It's just that me Judy's been on me back a bit.....

Now stop smokin' an' get back to werk.

22nd Feb 2001, 18:08
Hey TC don't worry bout dat Green Isle ting yo hear - it's just stoopid pilots an stoopid controllers forgettin wot they supposed to say!!

23rd Feb 2001, 23:27
The latest is that the new top brass were in the smoke today meeting the IAA.

So lets hope that we receive some concrete plans in the near future.

An announcment recinding the protective notice would be nice. Otherwise the rumour mill will keep churning.

Wing Commander Fowler
24th Feb 2001, 14:50
Smoke??? Are we having a barbecue?

25th Feb 2001, 01:29
Gidday Lads,

Been following this thread from way down here feeling sorry/disgusted/dissapointed/horrified/angry/etc. for you all. What a great place it was to work, with all you good people. I should have left a bomb in BRU as I left. I have allways thought that the Virgin "brand" worked best in Ireland but it's hard to perform with your hand tied behind your back eh!

I'll keep watching these pages for news of me old mates. Hope it works out for the best for you all.... good luck. Any reply's I send will probably be 12 or so hours out of sync. due to the time difference. Perhaps even 12 hrs and a few days as the rostering down here does it's best to keep me from my computer.

Keep you chin's up lads... I'm keeping mine (plural) up for you !!!

25th Feb 2001, 01:59
I heard a deal has been done and that it is American Airlines, though they'd have to get some EU nationals to front it due to ownership laws.

Metal Mickey
25th Feb 2001, 20:40

Good to hear you're alive and kicking.

All holding our respective breaths to see the outcome.

Don't know when or if I'll ever get down to Oz but keep the heating on in the spare room - you promised - remember!!

Keep watching this space - it's not over till the fat lady sings.

Best regards,


26th Feb 2001, 20:41
Looks like good news for VEI guys then.

Anything known yet about new brand,aircraft,route structure and launch dates.

Metal Mickey
27th Feb 2001, 23:16
Yiz have all gone very quiet.

Just bringing the thread onto page 1 again and wondering on further developments.

Billy the Kid
28th Feb 2001, 00:15
Well looking at the latest news, I think that Ryanair in Brussels South will probably be the death-blow for VEX operation. There is blood in the water and the sharks are coming!!

Hopefully our new American masters will lead us out of the low-fares market into something with a long-term future.

28th Feb 2001, 13:46
This just in !!!!!!.......

A FORMER Virgin Express Ireland pilot has accused the airline of using inexperienced crew to land flights at the same "tricky" airport where a US air force jet crashed, killing Secretary of State Ron Brown.

Pilot Nicholas McHugh, from Terenure, who yesterday began his claim for compensation against the company under the Unfair Dismissals Act, claimed "newly trained" crew are landing aircraft "almost on a daily basis" at what he called "nasty" airports across Europe.

Among these are Dubrovnik airport, Croatia where the air force jet piloted by "some of the most experienced crew in the world" crashed, killing all aboard.

Virgin breached Portugese Aviation Authority regulations by landing at "tricky" Funchal airport, Madeira with a crew that had not yet completed full training, Mr McHugh claimed on the first day of an expected two-day hearing at an employment appeals tribunal in Limerick into allegations of constructive dismissal.

He claims his position with the airline became untenable and as a result he was forced to resign on August 3 last after almost two years with the firm.

However, a pilot still in employment with the company subpoenaed by Mr McHugh said he is happy with the safety standards applied by the airline.

Complainant, who began employment on a contract basis with Virgin Express Ireland out of Shannon in November 1998, told the hearing "things went very badly wrong very quickly".

Mr McHugh, who at one stage was flight safety officer with the company but later resigned the post, said it seemed to be a case of commercial considerations overriding everything else.

While he was with the firm around 70pc of pilots hadn't been trained in safety and emergency procedures and absence of a confidential complaints mechanism meant incidents were happening and were not addressed because employees would not report them.

In the Portuguese breach he was aboard the flight. "Its a very tricky airport with absolutely no room to manoeuvre," said complainant. "You fly up the side of a hill and fly back down and land on an extremely short runway. It requires a high level of skill and compliance. We were in breach."

This was denied by the flight captain, Pearse McCrann, who said he phoned his superiors and was assured the regulations were adhered to. He backed their decision. The flight was safe, with no danger.

Scary stuff !!

28th Feb 2001, 16:50

Interested to know where you got this information. Was it published somewhere?

Also what's happenning with the 'supposed' new company, we were all called 1 1/2 weeks ago and were informed that we had been bought and that a public announcement was to be made the following day. I've not heard a thing.

Has the deal fallen through?
It appears the management 'with a proven track record' are keeping true to form

28th Feb 2001, 20:20
Hi Ellion,,

The pilot story appeared in this mornings edition of the Irish Independent..

As for the new company details its anybodys guess. I suspect the truth of the matter will be a lot different from the rumours.

28th Feb 2001, 22:47

1st Mar 2001, 07:52
I'm just back off a long duty so sue me if this goes a stray.

To gyrohead and pininstauld thanks for the info, I managed to get an Irish Times from my friends in Lingus and had a look at the article in the Indo off their web site.

It would appear that Captain McHugh was the only one willing to stand by what the rest of us were thinking. Once the DFO, (you know the one, the one from the desert,TC) got involved compliance no longer became the issue, but rather how do we get 'around this'.
I for one am glad, that as a newbie, I was trained under the likes of 'Nick' and the others who instilled in us not only how to 'Pole the Aircraft Baby' but also to keep it legal and never, ever, ever, fold to commercial pressures imposed on you, particularly from management types whom do not know what they speak.
To Nick and the other trainers cheers for keeping it real for us.
To operate in an environment where the people you are directly responsible too, are competent and respected would be a novel idea.
IF this outfit survives, and I hope it does, a serious upheavel need take place in the area of flight operations management, if no changes are made I would expect advertisements for flight crew offering similar or better incentives than those of Easyjet to entice crew for the outfit as the majority here will walk, I for one am going.
To all of you thinking of staying, all the best, it was a pleasure to make your aquintance and an even greater pleasure to fly with you.


1st Mar 2001, 13:08
More on this issue from today's Irish Independent:

Airline given 'dispensation' over training

THE Irish Aviation Authority granted Virgin Express Ireland its air operations certificate for last year, despite the fact that all its pilots had not completed standard safety training courses, it has emerged.

According to a memo read out at the Employment Appeals Tribunal in Limerick yesterday, the regulatory authority allowed VEI a 12 month "dispensation" to ensure each flight deck member completed his/her annual safety training course.

Speaking on day two of the Employment Appeals Tribunal hearing into the claim for compensation by pilot Nicholas McHugh for constructive dismissal, VEI Director of Flight Operations Declan Connolly confirmed that the company had received the dispensation from the IAA, but under no circumstances would they be allowed to fly their planes if there were concerns about safety.

Mr Connolly said that they had hired pilots who had trained and undertaken safety courses with other airlines, and the dispensation was only given on the basis that the pilots and cabin crew who had not completed the course would do so by the end of the year. This, he added, was adhered to.

However, in relation to concerns raised about training for emergency engine problems, Mr Connolly said the airline put their crew through simulator training twice annually for this, and had in fact almost spent "too much time" in dealing with this specific drill.

Mr Connolly refuted claims that the Irish Aviation Authority had merely "rubber stamped" Virgin Express Ireland's air operations certificate, stating that if any safety issue was highlighted, VEI would have been dealt with severely.

No government, he continued, is going to give a certificate to an airline if it thinks the airline is "going to kill a lot of people."

Mr Connolly also rejected safety concerns raised by the complainant about an alleged specific breach of the Portuguese Aviation Authority's regulations when landing a plane at the Funchal Airport in Madeira.

Mr Connolly also said it was unacceptable for Mr McHugh who resigned on August 3 of last year, claiming his position was untenable to take on freelance work in July 2000 with the UK based Go Airlines while on a month's paid leave in with VEI.

The hearing continues.

Paddy went to Brussels
1st Mar 2001, 13:18
You got there first!!!!

[This message has been edited by Paddy went to Brussels (edited 01 March 2001).]

1st Mar 2001, 13:55
A bit of a dark cloud over the new start up.

Talking of which, anyone know of details emerging of brand, routes etc. Not SNN-BRU I guess.

Deep Cover Gecko
1st Mar 2001, 15:08
As a matter of interest, I was reading in Flight yesterday that American are buying out TWA, and are also looking into putting money into SN, can they really afford to be buying VEI as well?

1st Mar 2001, 19:57
Thank God someone has got the guts to speak out about the abuses of the system that happened on an almost daily basis at VEI. Rubber stamp operation just about sums it up.

The "confidential reporting system" was
a joke too, was I alone in being horrified to see someone waving a clearly marked confidential report around in BRU for all to see? Dead cert theres no credible system there now!


1st Mar 2001, 23:08
Apparently it's Aeroflot. To be announced on Monday (or Tuesday - heard that before?!)


Just keep it Ginger!

2nd Mar 2001, 00:00
A "Spokeswoman" for VEI ? Not the great MH himself ? Something is fishy here !!

back to front
2nd Mar 2001, 00:35
Let's keep it real guys! And stick to the facts!!

The Guvnor
2nd Mar 2001, 00:48
Come, on - there's no way on earth Aeroplop can buy VEI!

(a) they don't have the dosh; and
(b) most importantly - they are not an EU company!! The rules state very clearly that a minimum 50% ownership of an airline operating wholly within the EU must be EU nationals (which doesn't include Russians!!) - and if the carrier operates to destinations outside the EU, then the majority ownership must rest with nationals of the home base (ie the reason why VEX had to have a Belgian AOC to operate charters to Turkey etc from BRU).

Paddy went to Brussels
2nd Mar 2001, 02:58
And what FACTS might they be......its the 1st March and its all gone very quiet and thats a fact.

2nd Mar 2001, 04:50
back to front, sounds like u r a desk driver in snn........so go on then stick to the facts, spill the beans and give us all the facts?

Wing Commander Fowler
2nd Mar 2001, 15:08
Err... desk driver? Where does that come from? He's said very few words and there's nothing in the profile??

I'm finger lickin'

Wing Commander Fowler
2nd Mar 2001, 15:16
Actually "Whip" just had a wee scan through the post and noted this to be your first contribution...... Don't see much evidence to betray the possibility that you might be a desk driver in Snn. Could be you trying to throw us off the scent huh?

I'm finger lickin'

2nd Mar 2001, 19:12
Go get 'em Fowler........I love the smell of chicken when its been roasted

Paddy went to Brussels
2nd Mar 2001, 20:09
Irish Times 02/03/01

A former Virgin Express pilot, claiming constructive dismissal from the company, argued with his chief pilot last year over the difficulty rating for landing at Dubrovnik Airport, the Employment Appeals Tribunal in Limerick was told yesterday.

Capt Nicholas McHugh, who was due to pilot a flight to the Croatian city from Brussels, had telephoned about his concern over Dubrovnik being given a "B" rating and was quite agitated, Capt Terry O'Neill said.

Capt McHugh had cited a US Air Force crash at the airfield the previous year. A crash did not necessarily mean the airfield was dangerous, Capt O'Neill said. "If it was a dangerous airfield, it would not be classified or used as an airfield."

The rating, given by Virgin Express Ireland, meant a pilot had to do "a self-brief" on the airfield before getting on the flight. He believed Capt McHugh had subsequently flown the Boeing 737 to Dubrovnik.

Capt McHugh resigned from the Shannon-based company last August, claiming his position had become untenable.

He declined to meet management on August 4th. The day before, the director of flight operations wrote to the Irish Aviation Authority saying the airline and the IAA were in breach of international regulations because of Capt McHugh's actions. The case was adjourned.

2nd Mar 2001, 20:41
That one's down to you Paddy...Here's to the next gripping installment !!

seymore butts
2nd Mar 2001, 22:56
If VEI has been sold signed and a done deal, why are the Irish guys still on protective notice and why have the U.K. guys just been given notice?

Why has gone so quite, no-one has mentioned a name as yet.

Is the buyout B.S. or high hopes?

EI - E I - O
3rd Mar 2001, 03:18
Its all so clear now, after watching Pat Kenny on RTE's(& SKY Tara channel) Late Late Show, the new owner is Brendan O Carroll, and the airline will be called "Verging's Rapid"!!!!!!!

3rd Mar 2001, 04:55
Wing Commander Fowler my dear old Pal from days gone by, I jumped ship many moons ago for greener fields (well so i thought).

As for back to front, ya sure he is a desk driver & I could even narrow it down to a couple of faces.

As for McHugh I think that his case will be the first of many, a couple of other left seaters departed on a sour note!

upstairs for thinking and downstairs for dancing....

p.s have u taken that silly looking teddy of your center mirror????

Wing Commander Fowler
3rd Mar 2001, 13:23
Whippy you bugger - just might have blown my cover there.... You've certainly narrowed it down a considerable amount!!

You sure you don't mean "Faeces" by the way - an entirely understandable typo given all the recent excitement and yes there are only a couple that can read and write.

Oh and the grass is often not greener, it's just that the cowpats are most likely better concealed. :rolleyes:

I'm finger lickin'

[This message has been edited by Wing Commander Fowler (edited 03 March 2001).]

3rd Mar 2001, 20:24
The saga continues.....

Company challenges 'dis missal' claim by pilot

THE chief pilot and training officer of Virgin Express Ireland (VEI) has claimed that a crash involving a American Air Force jet at Dubrovnik, Croatia did not mean the airfield was dangerous for Virgin to fly into.

Mr Terry O'Neill was rejecting concerns raised over VEI safety procedures at the airport by former VEI pilot Nicholas McHugh at an Employment Appeals Tribunal in Limerick.

Mr McHugh (44), from Terenure, Dublin is claiming his position with the airline became untenable forcing him to resign on August 3 last after almost two years with the company.

He is claiming constructive dismissal.

The hearing was told that Mr McHugh argued with the chief pilot over the airline's categorisation of Dubrovnik as "a category B" airfield. Mr McHugh's claimed Dubrovnik should receive category C status given to the most difficult airfields for landing.

But in 1999 the US Airforce jet crashed at the airport killing all on board.

"Because there was a crash there doesn't mean it was a dangerous airport. If it was a dangerous airport, it would not be classified or used as an airfield," said Mr O'Neill.

The hearing also heard that Mr McHugh refused to pay for re-training, which the company deemed necessary after a month-long stint with Go Airlines during leave last July.

Furthermore Mr McHugh, he claimed, failed to notify the firm in advance of this.

But Mr McHugh claimed he contacted the company's chief executive before taking up the position with Go.

The hearing was adjourned.

4th Mar 2001, 14:12
Hi everyone didn't I do well in the race last night !!

Looks like another week before final news on a new owner.

Capt Veeclean
4th Mar 2001, 16:01
From earlier in the thread.....

"This was denied by the flight captain, Pearse McCrann, who said he phoned his superiors and was assured the regulations were adhered to. He backed their decision. The flight was safe, with no danger."

Surely not the same Capt. McCrann who went to Virgin Express Ireland with less than 2500 hours total, hardly any B737-300 time, got a command instantly and was made a Line Training Captain very soon after that? Seems its not what you know but who you know.

Captian Slackbladder
4th Mar 2001, 16:07
I along with several other people I know,will not be around in another week!
We have had enough of the empty promices made by this so called "Proven Managment Team!" Since December we have been told "We'll anounce in the next two weeks!" Well it's been almost 3 months and we are no further forward! If the managment(!?!!) want to get a new airline going they are going to find that they have no staff to do it with! It is time for them to come clean and tell the staff (and those made redundant and asked to wait for news) what is going on and what the state of play is.
I'll get back in my pram now!

[This message has been edited by Captian Slackbladder (edited 04 March 2001).]

Metal Mickey
4th Mar 2001, 18:56

Metal Mickey
4th Mar 2001, 19:03
Try again:-

Article in Sunday Business Post 4th March confirming Aeroflot/Irish consortium now withdrawn and with negotiations ongoing with two sewts of foreign potential investors.

4th Mar 2001, 19:54
Full Text Here !!

Virgin Express arm close to rescue deal

Its amazing the way the media can inform us before management think the drones are worth bothering about.....

WillGoodbodyDublin ,Ireland, March 4 2001Virgin Express Ireland, the Irish
arm of theBrussels-based low fares airline, is close to completing a deal
with apotential buyer.
The airline's last remaining route out ofIreland, from Shannon to Gatwick, is
due to cease operations on March 12 if abuyer has not been found.
Chief executive Martin Hamrogue said the companywas still negotiating with
two groups of foreign private investors.
It is understood that one of the consortiacomprises a group of British
Hamrogue said he remained confident that a dealcould be struck in time to
save the 160 jobs at the Irish division of VirginExpress, which is part of
Richard Branson's Virgin Group.
The parent company had set a deadline of lastWednesday for the completion of
the deal.
Hamrogue said significant progress was expectedfrom the discussions this
"Things are proceeding, but it is nothappening as quickly as we would
like," he said.
Hamrogue said he was unsure what would happen tothe Gatwick route if the deal
is not completed by March 12.
A consortium comprising the Russian airlineAeroflot and headed by Tom Kane,
the owner of Adare Manor Hotel in CountyLimerick, made an unsuccessful bid
for Virgin Express.
"When they made the announcement in lateDecember that they were going to
close, I had discussions with a number ofpeople in the region and we
indicated an interest," Kane told The SundayBusiness Post.
"We went through the process but, when itappeared that there were a
couple of other viable buyers and it looked like itwas going to turn into a
bidding contest, we decided to withdraw. I had feltthat Virgin Express had
frittered away an awful lot of time.
"The first bidding process was January 9thand then the next one was the
19th and then on to the 29th. I began to suspectthe process was taking over
the results."
Kane said part of the group's objective was totry to preserve the status of
another airline in Shannon. When it appeared thisobjective was going to be
satisfied, Kane's consortium decided to withdraw.
Apart from Aeroflot, the other interests involvedin Kane's bid were partly
local and partly US-based. It is understood thatAeroflot is no longer
involved in either of the current bids.
Kane said the offer was for a "nominalamount" because that is all
he felt the airline was worth. As theairline's fleet was leased and its
equipment and landing slots in Gatwick wereto return to the parent company,
the consortium estimated that an investment ofe10 million would have been
required to sustain operations for a year, Kanesaid. Last week, Ryanair
announced that it was setting up a service fromShannon to Brussels, a route
which had previously been served by Virgin ExpressIreland.

4th Mar 2001, 19:59
The spacing above is just the way it came from the newspaper and not my crappy typing, before anyone asks !!!!

Big Red ' L '
4th Mar 2001, 20:10
There is nothing wrong

with the spacing in your



Its not the fall that kills you...Its the sudden stop.....

Billy the Kid
5th Mar 2001, 16:38
No real news from Fridays meeting a LGW, the UK pilots are now on 3 months notice. Some guys are giving VEX @ LHR a try. The sims are on hold because VEX won't pay. So it looks like people will probably drift off when the aeroplanes go back.

Shame about aerefolt I hope this is not Marty and the boys playing pontoon with the companys future!

Just a thought, but maybe Nick's courtcase is holding things up?

5th Mar 2001, 20:19
Time go buy a chip van and go flogging fish & chips at least if it didn't work out you can blame yourself insted of our most ablebodied mismanagement.

6th Mar 2001, 04:33
The end of the road is near I think for me.

It is just 6 days untill the scheduled SNN LGW is due to cease and over 3 weeks to April 2nd.

We have waited and waited, yet it is nearly 2 week since we got calls telling us the company was sold.

A sad decision I think has to be made and serious efforts made to find new employment.

Capt Veeclean
7th Mar 2001, 14:44
Sad business. A good idea at the start, ruined by appalling management displaying an unholy mixture of arrogance, incompetence and vindictiveness. It's always the poor bloody infantry that suffer, lives and careers damaged, while those supposedly in charge get away with it, paid off, happy and ready to pull the same trick somwhere else. Get out now boys! There are places where the grass is greener then Shannon, Ireland!

Billy the Kid
7th Mar 2001, 15:41
Can anyone confirm the shares have been transfered to the new investor?

Metal Mickey
7th Mar 2001, 17:20

You've really got me thinking on this "chip van" thing. My father always said that there is only one man to work for and that's yourself - at least then you have control of your own destiny. But I digress.

There's a guy from my part of the country who used to operate a single chipvan operation. This progressed to two, three, four chipvans (you get the picture?)located outside dancehalls, bingohalls, marts, large funerals, football matches etc. He then set down roots in a manner of speaking in that he bought a building and opened (yes, you're right) a chipper. My father always said stick to the business you know and he was right because the man I'm talking about now owns four hotels and a very large house on the hill.

The only downside to this was a slight skirmish along the way with the revenue but when you own a fleet of chipvans, a chipper, four hotels and a very large house on the hill (did I mention the apartment in Spain)things like this are only a minor detail. In the end his barrister argued that his client was not aware that VAT applied to Mazola and he got off on a technicality.

Anyway I've coincidentally come out of a number of late venues in the past 12 months to discover a sad lack of chip vans and I think your timing could be just right. If you're serious about bringing this a stage further please respond and we can initiate our business plan. I know a "good" accountant (if you know what I mean) and I also know a guy who does a line in Mazola (VAT paid!). Roll on the house on the hill.

P.S. No, I've no idea if the share transfer occured however can I refer you to my previous comments some time ago on this matter.

Good luck now.

Ray D'Avecta
7th Mar 2001, 18:21
Metal Mickey,


.....nice one !

"Airspeed is life.....Altitude is life insurance!"

Billy the Kid
7th Mar 2001, 20:13
Found this Web-site while surfing.


All this forced leave is starting to take its toll.

7th Mar 2001, 22:38
The share deal was supposed to be transacted
yesterday or today.

I know that MH was supposed to go to London yesterday evening, I dont know if he went or if the transaction was completed.

Any other updates would be appreciated.

This life of leisure is getting boring!!!!

It must be, I'm posting on here arn't I.

8th Mar 2001, 06:33
Re: Present Employment Appeals Tribunal

The reason I sent documents to the DFO upon learning last month that he was to attend, are two fold.

In short the DFO is applying for evidence he has been sitting on for 11 months, to minimise the risk of embarrassment should further enquiries disclose what the DFO had not been competent to discover in his own earlier 'investigations' (or did not want to discover). The DFO has given blanket clearances before that have been found to be totally deficient.

Mickey, give us a yell once your mobile chippers are up and running, I'd be interested in the offshore basing, 14 days in a chipper in Madrid can't be all that bad.

seymore butts
8th Mar 2001, 14:43
Not looking too promising is it?

Has anyone in U.K. been given notice yet? cos the 3 months notice starts once it has been given in writing and cannot be back dated.

I hear the Irish LGW based cabin crew, which were earlier told they were moving to SNN have now been told the SNN thing is not happening and have been offered moves to LHR.

Latest announcement date is the 15th March, however we do close on the 12th, so make of that what you will.

A couple more U.K. drivers drifted off to E.J. this week, many more to follow I guess.

Mad Mitch
8th Mar 2001, 19:13
Heard the FOD and the Chief Pilot were flying together yesterday and couldn't fill in the Tech Log between them. They did three trips and all the pages were incorrect.
Crew taking over could not make head nor tail of it. Shame they're both so quick to pull us guys up when we make minor mistakes in the TL.

Wing Commander Fowler
9th Mar 2001, 02:02
Seymore - LGW closes on the 12th but the operation is to continue up until the 2nd April with the one remaining aircraft based in Toytown. Look forward to a few weeks of well earned rest. Didn't know that about the LGW cabin crew - thought there were only two that were staying anyhow??

9th Mar 2001, 05:45
W C Fowler me old buddy, I thought with all your inside contacts that you would be well up on all developments (even more so when blonds are involved and i'm not talking about your tea)

Metal Mickey, I think that you will have to sell the Merc to fund the Chip Van venture, would this make sense to the BANK MANAGER!!!

P.S do not forget to change your e-mail address from hotmail!

Billy the Kid
9th Mar 2001, 14:09
Just checked out the Virgin Express web-site.

WWW.virgin-express.com (http://WWW.virgin-express.com)

It has an Irish aircraft operating BRU-LIN-BRU. If you remember the slots are restricted to one per company per day and there are still two services down to milan.

I wonder is this an unforeseen error(which wouldn't suprise me), or is a plan starting to come together, I hear VEX will be running 11 ships and are re-entering the charter market. I find it hard to beleive they can do a larger progamme with fewer aircraft.

[This message has been edited by Billy the Kid (edited 09 March 2001).]

EI - E I - O
9th Mar 2001, 14:57
You might be correct,Billy the Kid, word is, there are some prominent ex-TLA people, no names mentioned, in the background, consulting VEI, and they will have their own influences on how an airline can make money!

Good luck to them, if it helps keep VEI operating!

You may even see an additional feet type and keeping in line with the traditional charter aircaft types????

Wing Commander Fowler
9th Mar 2001, 19:08
Ei old chap - how many toes would there be on those "additional type FEET"? Six or more likely three (Cloven variety)


I'm finger lickin'

9th Mar 2001, 20:14
Guys for God sake wake up and smell the roses
VEI is dead in the water.
Found a chip van ready to "GO".
The redundancy will go to the first bag of spuds.
Metal Micky will you buy the first battered sausage!!!!!!

Wing Commander Fowler
9th Mar 2001, 20:32
Seamus Shortly's got one of them battered sausages..... Allegedy.


I'm finger lickin'

9th Mar 2001, 23:21

The latest watershed day as you guys know is the 15th.

Do they pay sector pay for working in a Chippie van????????????

I know, call it the Virgin Chippie,
and only use GREENISLE products.

10th Mar 2001, 00:02
Metal Mickey and Getafix.

Your Chip Van idea does betray a remarkable degree of innocence. Out here in the real world you cant just go and start up a mobile chip shop. You have to apply for a truly staggering variety of permits and government/EU licences. You will also have to enrole yourself on numerous 'Food and Hygene Courses' that will make your Initial IRT look like a breeze. But worst of all you will find that you will inevitably come across the local 'boys' who feel that they are entitled to running the chip van franchises where they have been happily operating for many years, and will somewhat resent some fresh faced ex airline pilot infringing on their pitch. To illustrate my point I would remind you of the infamous Glasgow Burger Wars, which tooke place back in the mid 90s. This little skirmish resulted in a variety of corpses found lying around the Glasgow docks area, not to mention a fire bombing campaign of numerous domestic premises.

Stick to flying. Trust me on this one.

Percy dragon.

Billy the Kid
10th Mar 2001, 00:19
November to operate Linate, surely not just two sectors! I would have thought that would work out expensive and tying up an aircraft to do just that rotation.
Maybe its business as usual with the CPH-BRU-MAD-BRU-LIN-BRU-CPH, that would make more sense and cause the least hassle.

10th Mar 2001, 01:47
Yeah Billy I only mentioned the LIN but I think the rotation you mentioned is the full plan.

The question is what will happen next.

I know the Gatwick Cabin crew finish on the 12th and as there is no new SNN operation I think they have been offered Heathrow with VEX. I know that some of the girls are not happy about this.

I also heard that all the UK pilots have been offered slots at VEX, Is this true?

P.S. I hope the sailing is good Billy!!!

10th Mar 2001, 04:20
I am a UK pilot for VEI and I have been offered VEX at LHR. Good luck to all the guys going to EZY and GO.

Billy the Kid
10th Mar 2001, 05:36
V1mcg thanks mate, jump in my new skiff in about 10 hours time, sh!tting myself, cause I'm suppose to be in charge,but there you go. Pics to come. :) :) :)

10th Mar 2001, 16:06
Here this tread is getting too long with no more info from toy town. How about organising another piss-up. This time down LGW area where most of us aclimatised our livers for VEI. How about a farewell piss-up at the SIX BELLS SAT 24TH 7PM.
Post your intent to join up
Maybe the last real session.......

Angus Meecoat
10th Mar 2001, 16:08
Whose going to be left to fly TVN on these VEX rotations unless maybe they keep the Kiwis on there in BRU.

Sadly unless this is finally resolved by the 15th there is going to be nobody left there by the 16th. Guys have waited over three months and unfortunately can't wait around much longer. The Irish guys do not get paid after 2nd April. They must then have to give answers to the offers they have.
To be fair I think management know this, but I'm just not sure if they realise how serious the situation will be after the 16th
and I wonder if the new investors are aware of this also.
It will be to late and very unfortunate if the deal is done a week later.

Angus Meecoat
10th Mar 2001, 16:14
I think its pretty safe to assume I wont be flying on the 24th (sic) so count me in.

10th Mar 2001, 16:40
as long as those "Brussels Sprouts" haven't got me going round the holding pattern at Biggin ad nauseum, I'll be there on the 24th

Perry Scope
10th Mar 2001, 22:00
Gadzooks !! looks like we are all snookered here by a distinct lack of information from the top. Whilst everyone presumably understands the need for confidentiality in the sale of the Company, the least our lords and masters could do is provide us with some (any) information to keep us going. The fact that very few people have left voluntarily is testament to the loyalty that we all feel towards our workmates and the fact that we want to see this "new company" succeed.

However, it is getting to the stage where it will be too late. Hate to say it, but you need pilots to run an airline and there won't be any left by the end of the week. Don't say we didn't tell you !!

Now that I have that off my chest - drink anyone ?

seymore butts
11th Mar 2001, 01:18
TVN must be stayin around as Ive been asked to operate Bru - Lin - Bru - Cph (day stop Cph),- Bru - Mad - Bru, well after the 12th.

This is interfering with my house moving plans....

11th Mar 2001, 03:34
Hi seymore butts if you don't want to do it I will :) :) :)

11th Mar 2001, 18:28
I can't believe that I have not received any official letter from snn, when we stop operating tomorrow from LGW!!!

http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/confused.gif http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/confused.gif http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/confused.gif

[This message has been edited by Fuwhead (edited 14 March 2001).]

Skye Pilot
11th Mar 2001, 21:13
I have decided to participate in this forum not out of boredom, but out of curiosity as to whom is going to pay my salary next month! I'v rather enjoyed this paid holiday,long may it last.

Who out there can remember (is anyone left)the letter of 04 June 1999 addressed to all employees of Vex/ Vei as penned by Sir Richard?

He states

'.... three or five year job guarantees(with room for arbitration on salaries after three years). Virgin Express would confirm the contracts subject to only three provisos.
1. compliance with existing company employment policies, such as satisfactory performance and proper conduct.
2. a promise to have social peace throughout the period of agreement.
3. should we lose either the Neckermann or Sabena contracts, we would need to consider some form of pro-rata reduction. However with reference to our Sabena contract, I'm confident we would be able to re-deploy much of our equipment and people and compete with them on any of their short haul European routes should they withdraw from our partnership.....'

He then goes on to state;
'.....to insist that Virgin Express guarantees all pilots their jobs.....(subject again only to the three points noted above)....'
and continues;
....'should any positions become redundant I'd commit to finding an equivalent position within the Virgin Express operating companies that would guarantee both salary.....'

My questions are:
1.have we complied with the three provisos?
if so
2.Is his guarantee binding? and
3.who is going to pay my salary next month?

Billy the Kid
12th Mar 2001, 03:26
Skye Pilot.
Would it be possible to recite the complete letter?
I for one, never saw this publication and would be interested to follow it up.

12th Mar 2001, 23:33
Thanks for the heads up on the burger wars
PerceyDragon any chance for organising that with VEX/VEI mismanagent.
We could all do with a good clear out now and again.
Once again the silence is deafing from Snn
nothing new there.
What I want to know wheres my redundancey
me credit card needs paying.
We were all told(by that man of high standing) that if the company wasn't bought our package would be and I quote "generous"
or is that just his and his side kicks.
Anyway to all it was great to work with you guys wish you all the best.

Captian Slackbladder
13th Mar 2001, 02:00
Well another week has passed and no news!(Surprise Surprise!!!) I have heard that TB Mr B's hand picked Cabin Crew manager has been heard to say that "SNN is closed and we owe the staff there nothing!" Well this shows the contempt with which the company holds its employees and those made redundant! But I suppose it is the sort of aragance we have come to expect from the managment in Virgin House. I have heard that the deal is done but no money has been forth coming! Yet another quality decision from our "proven managment team!!!!!!!!!!"
Well I (along with several others I have spoken to) have had enough. So long to everybody! It was fun while it lasted!

14th Mar 2001, 02:43
Whats going on at the Tribunal?

14th Mar 2001, 06:18
The tribunal has been put on hold for the time being due to the foot and mouth outbreak.(I kid you not, but it may go to explain the 170+ outbreaks in the UK and 0 in the republic, something to do with humility. but I digress)
It would appear that this is opening up a great can of worms that is bringing the authority of the country into question. If what has been stated in the tribunal by the defense is true, then the authority was out of line by approving something that the Portugese authority required as a prerequisite to operate in to Funcal. (twice in my career, operating with separate registers, we had to do actual circuits at the airfield to be cleared to operate there, as is clearly stipulated in their airfield brief).
This clearly did not happen with this company, in breach, I think YES.
I feel strongly for the average line pilot who turns to management for guidance, only to be misinformed. A grand display of inexperience all around particularily from the management level.

Paddy went to Brussels
14th Mar 2001, 13:58
Still no news from the Goons in SNN,I wonder do they get a perverse thrill out of playing with peoples lives and careers.One thing is for sure they don`t give a flying ---- about any of the employees pilots,cabin crew,office staff just themselves.
So tomorrow is the day,what can we expect?

big one
14th Mar 2001, 15:20
You really think that we will all find out whats happening....????if they cannot operate an aims system properly, add up block hours correctly then how are they supposed to manage to sell a company ?????

blind leading the blind in toy town....

its been fun while it lasted and i hope that all of the guys have jobs to keep the money coming in.. good luck

Deep Cover Gecko
14th Mar 2001, 22:54
My guess is that we will hear the same as every other time an announcement has been due - "We haven't got any definite news, but we should be able to tell you next week." How many times have we heard that before?! :mad:

Anyway, it's been great working with you all. Best of luck for wherever you go to now. :)

14th Mar 2001, 23:09
I think that most of the management team in snn are of the nogas variety


15th Mar 2001, 01:57
Latest rumor is that there has been a GLITCH in talks.
Here comes the well forcasted **** up.
All hail our leaders for we/they know not where they go!!!!
Just close the place and be done with it!!!

15th Mar 2001, 04:57
Check out this one from Thursday's Russia Today.


Billy the Kid
15th Mar 2001, 13:25
Well the day is upon us, now we'll see if Marty and the Boys are worth their salaries.
Although collectively the management are incompetent in many areas, maybe the real problem still lies with the Vendors ie, Virgin Express Holdings. Would you sell the best part(lowest costs) of your operation to a competitor? Especially with Ryanair camped outside of your castle. I can see they are worried about a new company benefiting from Ireland economic advantages, while they are stuck with social chapter commitments.
The share price hit $1 yesterday so things can't really get any worse, I hope re-issue is next. Everyone needs a deal out of this soon,Us the Belgians and the Virgin brand.
good luck to everyone.

15th Mar 2001, 15:40
I don't believe it!

It's the bloody Russians again!!!!!
Aeroflot Continues Negotiations on Purchasing Irish Airline Company

MOSCOW, Mar 12, 2001 -- (RosBusinessConsulting) Leading Russian airline Aeroflot continues negotiations on purchasing Virgin Express, an Irish airline company, first deputy director of Aeroflot Alexander Zurabov announced in an interview today. He mentioned that these negotiations were not easy.

Aeroflot is going to buy 49 percent of the shares of the Irish airline, which is the maximum amount allowed under Irish law. One of the main reasons that hampers negotiations is a disagreement on prices.

Virgin Express is a low cost airline company, and Aeroflot hopes to enter the western European airline market by purchasing it. However, in the event the negotiations fail, Aeroflot is going to apply principles of low cost companies on the Russian market.

(c) 2001 RosBusinessConsulting

Frightened & Confused!!??

Metal Mickey
15th Mar 2001, 16:27
CIV5C & circle2land,

How the hell do you guys find these things?



15th Mar 2001, 16:35

Dogged determination, sheer tenacity, and pure bleedin' luck!

16th Mar 2001, 03:44
Metal Mickey

Go to www.airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net) and sign up for the daily newsletter. You'll get plenty of aviation related articles delivered to your mailbox daily. Have to say there's plenty of crap in there, but every now and then you get some interesting information.

16th Mar 2001, 12:33
Have I missed something?

Was not yesterday meant to be a rather significant point in negotiations, or was I dreaming?
Has anyone heard anything?

They say no news is good news.......NOT!!!!

Metal Mickey
16th Mar 2001, 15:39

Thanks a lot.


Angus Meecoat
16th Mar 2001, 16:16
Its definitely Aeroflot then cos "The SUN" says so today, ha ha.

16th Mar 2001, 16:18
I understand that rentals of the video "The Van" have gone through the roof in the Shannon area, I thought that you guys were using this for your Chip Van initial training.. :)

Good Luck, i hope that at some stage the VEI management realise that they are dealing with humans and not mushrooms....


[This message has been edited by mutt (edited 16 March 2001).]

Paddy went to Brussels
16th Mar 2001, 19:04
I just heard, announcement on Tuesday 20 Mar.How many times have we heard that.
Getting slightly fedup with the same boring insulting crap from SNN.

Metal Mickey
16th Mar 2001, 20:12
Percy Dragon,

Thanks for the input but methinks it's yourself that is showing yourself up as a "Dunphy". (Please refer to Roddy Doyle's "The Van" for clarification of the term "Dunphy").

Thank you, your points are valid but remember, this enterprise will be located within the juristiction of Ireland and the items you highlight have long before now been addressed. By "us" you might now infer that a "Heads of Agreement" arrangement has been entered into by myself and Getafix and you'd be correct to do so. Negotiations were difficult but businesslike and conditions agreed to the satisfaction of all.

Banking Letters of Offer are issued and being perused as we speak by our previously referred to "good accountant".

As for the Health Authority regulations we have friends in Government, Opposition and anywhere else we require them to ensure smooth delivery of all required paperwork.

Not knowing me or Getafix, I have to forgive you your reference to the "local laddies". If you did know us, you'd know that this issue is in fact not an issue - but that's another matter. Granted though your heart was in the right spot.

Difficulty now is how to co-manage the business and a career in flying in the hopeful event of negotiations in Shannon being successful. Plan is to have myself and Getafix rostered alternate days as my father always said that in a cash business you have to be there yourself.

Watch this space and watch for future IPO because believe me this is only the beginning.

"Salt & Vinegar?"


seymore butts
16th Mar 2001, 21:45

Let me know where your gonna park up the chippie van and maybe we can organise a night of dancin around the van.
Are you taking bookings for xmas doo's yet?

Anyway Ive waited long enough Im off..

Good luck to all ye that stay on and hope to keep in touch..

16th Mar 2001, 22:24
Yes things are looking up I/we have secured a
contract to supply a new kind of burger made from that wounderful pudding made in Collins country not to far from whencs he fell.
But as things are in an advanced state I like our mismanagent will say nothing and keep saying it.
That gives me a real scence of power now I know what it feels like.

17th Mar 2001, 03:26
Remember the nappy(diaper)-Life, and the airline industry remind Me of the sh!t sandwich-"the more bread you have, the less sh!t you have to take"

19th Mar 2001, 08:23
Whats happening lads. You've moved to page 2. I'm still saying my prayers for you all each night before bed!! And checking this thread for possible good news. Your antipodean cousins seem to be going from strength to strength. Talking of 17 aircraft by mid next year... including NG's. Whish you could all emmigrate down here... the little pub next door has Guiness on tap! I'll shed a tear in my next pint for you all and keep my fingers crossed for at least some sort of a result.

Good luck old friends.

Life is what happens to you while you make plans - enjoy it!

Metal Mickey
19th Mar 2001, 18:50

How would a mobile chipper do outside that pub next door to you? Myself and Getafix thinking of going international with the business.

E-Mail on its way to you.



19th Mar 2001, 19:10
Lads! lads! lads!

You're all getting ahead of yourselves,....has anyone applied for the official CVOC (Chip Van Operators Certificate) The department will be on you like a light if your manuals are'nt up to scratch! And another thing, how many hours has anyone spent in the Deep Fat Frying simulator.....c,mon now! :)

Skye Pilot
19th Mar 2001, 19:33
Ahh! Clive me old mate how ya doin?

Thanks for the prayers and thoughts, seems that they're about the only 'ting that we got' at the moment.
Might look to come down and join you if nothing is resurrected out of these ashes. (What’s the chance of a direct entry command in Ansett?)

I am glad the negotiations with the potential investors are taking this long. Running headlong into this business (or any business) without a sound business plan with research and marketing analysis, will only result in a two pot, half shod (night) mare, and we'd end up working under the exact same conditions that we are now, one of reaction not pro-action.

By structuring and enforcing an effective strategy from the outset, they will be able to avoid history repeating itself. (Anybody remembers AB Airlines, a classic case in point.) So hopefully the time being taken at the moment by the potential investors is to create exactly that, an effective strategy.

The potential exists for the airline to succeed out of the South and West of Ireland into Europe, if it is managed effectively. It will be necessary to employ competent, well respected, experienced people to hold key roles within management positions of the new company. (Some of this quality already exists within the present regime; engineering comes to mind the most efficient department at present. Funnily enough they are also the most informed. Communication?) To obtain this standard of personnel the new investors will have to be prepared to pay for them.

Rumour has it that the Fleet Captain has just resigned and headed for greener pastures, (or blue as the case maybe, if so another one of the good eggs gone) so I would expect a number to follow if a guarantee of salary isn't forthcoming during further negotiations.

Clive I agree with you and the Late Great John Lennon 'Life IS what happens to you while your busy making other plans'

20th Mar 2001, 13:05

Got just the thing for you, complete set of operations manuals for a 1978 Ford Transit Chipper Wagon. I would be happy to photocopy as many sets as you need to get going. Also have a set of RAC Cork Approach maps. Will of course be glad to supply a set of these for you as well.

Ah, problem!

Have been informed that the practice of photocopying these publications is illegal!!

Fear not, I've been promised a 'blind eye' dispensation within the hour.

Skye Pilot
20th Mar 2001, 23:10
On Friday we received the following:

'........This process has gone on far longer than I would have expected or wished....etc etc I will make a further announcement on Tuesday 20th March.........'

Today is the 20th, anyone heard anything?

I didn't think so.

I have heard from a couple of contracting companies today, that will take us immediately. Contracts in both Europe and Asia. E-mail me for their addresses.

Time to go.

Paddy went to Brussels
21st Mar 2001, 12:56
Its nice to see the glorious two(TCC and the silent Gob*****) pulling rank and taking all the flying in BRU,I`am sure they are not getting allowances and are of course paying for their own flights!!!!!!!
.....everybody is equal but some are more equal than others.....as a pig said once.

21st Mar 2001, 13:26
Well thats me finished,nice working with you.
Best of Luck to everyone,it was good while it lasted.See you around. http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/frown.gif

Mad Mitch
21st Mar 2001, 13:53
Not only are them two taking all the flying, they both travelled to BRU on scheduled EI flights(no low cost operators for them) and are being put up in the hotel as the appts are gone. How much did that lot cost then. Any body checking the Tech Log for more erors.

seymore butts
21st Mar 2001, 14:23
Mr hooley, don't have your email but interested in contract for about 3 months till new job starts. can you email me with details. if your unsure of my id then ask angus, billie or robbie.
Cheers mate

21st Mar 2001, 14:32
Seymore contact me at [email protected]

21st Mar 2001, 18:24
Well its the 21st and still no word.
They didn't even have the courtesy to tell us the up date as per MH memo even if there was no up date.
I hope the new owners will have the sense to to dispence with their services for the sake of everyone.
The incompetence is astounding beyond belief,
you wouldn't treat a dog this way or a camel.
If they can't fill a tech log between them then how can we expect them to leads us to a profitable company.
In modern business your staff is recognised as a key asset and management/regognition of that asset is an expertise in itself - need I say more.

Deep Cover Gecko
21st Mar 2001, 22:42
Does anybody else get the feeling that the Virgin Sun sale has been a lot quicker, and much better handled than the sale of VEI? Maybe the "management team with proven track record" could get some hints from them, and let us know what's going on!

22nd Mar 2001, 13:34
Skye Pilot I would be interested in those addresses.E-mail as above.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

23rd Mar 2001, 03:43
http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/eek.gif http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/eek.gifIts all gone quiet on the western front :rolleyes: :rolleyes: http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/tongue.gif http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/tongue.gif

23rd Mar 2001, 08:09
Right as most of you know i'm off.........
If anyone needs a bed during prolonged [email protected]
Otherwise.....Right lads its been wonderful!
TED http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/cool.gif

Angus Meecoat
23rd Mar 2001, 13:53
Is this farewell piss up happening this weekend at LGW, have heard nothing. I'll be going if it is.

seymore butts
23rd Mar 2001, 14:38
All this hanging around is getting too exiting for me... Anyone fancy a beer? Spoke to Angus so me n him are meeting up at the Foresters on Wed the 11th April at about 17:30 - 18:00 for a swift one or three, so if anyone can make it Email me or Angus. EI guys welcome to stay over at mine if you want.
Ted see your finaly GOing good luck see in the bottle top soon....

24th Mar 2001, 13:35
well lads it does look like the end, money has been promised all week and the kitty is still empty. Martin all credit to him is trying hard but the ball seems to be in the investors court and they seem to want to hold on to it.

Metal Mickey
24th Mar 2001, 23:53
Agreed, no doubt Martin is doing all he can but he who pays the piper calls the tune - just a pity the investor can't make up its mind as to what tune it wants played.

25th Mar 2001, 16:37
You really have to wounder are there any investors there.
Is this a show just to shut the place down and save face all round espically Dickys,
Are they going to refund the Irish Tax payer the money they recived in grants??
So many questions left unanswered.

[This message has been edited by Getafix (edited 25 March 2001).]

25th Mar 2001, 23:49
Oh well,what to do!!!!

As we start the final week of protective notice for the flightcrews and the office staff are also on notice I wonder if anyone can describe the situation as anything else but weary. It seems that the paperwork excercise is complete and we are awaiting the money. The major question being will it arrive and if it does will it be on time. Is the second of April the FINAL date??? That is tomorrow week.

Skye Pilot
26th Mar 2001, 00:00

How ya doin mate? Still holding out I see, as am I.

I have started looking around though, not much for skippers at the moment but PARC has plenty for FO's.

Have you contacted them?

I'll buy a heiny for you next time I see you at 'Alexanders'

Gidday to the rest of the lads!

26th Mar 2001, 16:24
as you are all aware the paperwork is done we just waitn for the dosh.

Rest assured,this will happen by the end of the week.

I will of course repeat this message next week.

26th Mar 2001, 21:45
Well Monday Monday is all but over and no sign of the money from our lookouts in Dover.
The week will pass by and only TVN will Fly as all the rest have moved on from being
If the money arrives were sure to survive but this time without the wallons. Their future is clear they will dump the 73's and get an AOC for balloons

28th Mar 2001, 19:15
Well lads all down to SNN to pick up the cheques and piss up.SNN on Monday LGW on Tuesday BRU on Wed GO on Thursday.

Mad Mitch
28th Mar 2001, 19:59
yeah just got the notice, looks like the investors are not investing then. Its not GO Thursday, its EZY Friday. Good luck to all at VEI it was great working with all of you.

So sad, it could have been the best out there

28th Mar 2001, 21:07
Has there been a development? Investors pull out?

28th Mar 2001, 22:58
You betya the idiots couldn't even close us down correctly every man for himself.

Anti Freeze
28th Mar 2001, 23:13
How many Pilots will be looking ? DHL need a few.

29th Mar 2001, 00:10
Does anyone have any definate developments.

Have the proposed investors pulled out. Not rumours please. Has anyone been told anything.

Just read my own post, asking for no rumours on a rumour page (PPRUNE), really good.

So are we having a P45 party then!!!!!

29th Mar 2001, 12:47
Sorry, have I missed something, everybody seems to think that there has been a development, negative of course (of corpse).

I must be further out of the loop than I thought cos I ain't heard nufink.

If it is closing down it can't come as any surprise at this stage. I'll probably be in the U.K. next week so where is the UK VEI wake going to be.

Skye Pilot
29th Mar 2001, 22:53
hi ya Al,

no further developments except to say that it ain't completly over yet! still a small glimmer of hope coming from this end!!!

It's EASY to guess why you'll be in the UK.GO on tell us which it is.

Good luck to you and all the best.

29th Mar 2001, 23:53
Talk to FR. I hear they're looking for some Capts - possibly short contract. Declan Dooney is the man.

Angus Meecoat
29th Mar 2001, 23:55
Quote by Mr David Hoare Chaiman VEX Dec 12th 2000 " by closing down VEI we can concentrate on our more profitable business in BRU".

So the profitable business VEX wants to concentrate on in BRU lost 65.2m Euros in 2000.

Would you believe by closing VEI they saved the magnificent amount of 2.4m Euros. Now will someone care to tell us, as them Captains of industry runing VEX in BRU put us out of work, who the hell lost the other 62.8m Euros.
This on a turnover of 290m Euros and also on top of a 40m Euro loss in 1999.

All this after borrowing another 20m US from Sir Dickie.

Quote Mr David Hoare Mar 29th 2001 " we are concerned about the level of subsidy Sabena enjoys from the Belgian taxpayer" What the hell does he call 20m US from Dickie then. Quote " There is over capacity in BRU but we expect to break even this year"
Hello Mr Hoare wakey! wakey! there is a small Irish company just starting in BRU who seem to be very good at running a low cost airline.(like 75m profit to your 65m loss) I think your capacity problem is just about to get a whole lot worse.

Michael O'leary was right VEX is a basket case and so are the idiots running it.

Thank god, whatever happens to VEI over the next few days, were well shut of that lot. Wonder if they will be posting any figures for 2001.

30th Mar 2001, 00:43
OK. It's "so long and thanks for all the fish" - I could only tuff it out till last Monday and then the Bank Manager bit me....so I'll be off then, and now our latest missive from the office is that the investors have APOLOGISED! and the money is on the way........hey - I hope it is -I've got money on it!! But in the mean time g'day - it's been a great couple of years...

Wing Commander Fowler
30th Mar 2001, 03:04
s084453 - or whatever your name is - would be VERY interested to know what your interest is in our fate.........

Now, everyone F@ckoffee?


Billy the Kid
30th Mar 2001, 11:23
I think that the company will close on monday. But it will then be saved at 5 o'clock. Next weeks meetings should be interesting because we will no longer be allied to anybody. Maybe VEX didn't wan't to sell, the Irish cost base must be lower? so when it's dead the new guys will come out of the shadows. TVN is doing more work than ever so how are the Belgians going to manage?

30th Mar 2001, 18:23
Nice theory BTK - but the money boys work to their own agenda - and the more misery and mayhem that they cause the better they feel -it's all they have for their shrivelled up miserable lives!!!!

31st Mar 2001, 15:56
so mr or mrs meecoat, off the track a bit there. no comparison comparing apples with oranges (excuse the pun!) but by branson putting in 20 million is different to sabena getting an injection from the government. branson is one investor protecting his interest, 100 million from a government means everyone pays.

Wing Commander Fowler
1st Apr 2001, 01:25
Errr... excuse me "Ace" but everything is relative and there are a lot of people losing a greater proportion of their assets/livelihoods than Sir Dick-Brain and unlike him NOT as a result of their best efforts!!! Believe me - there is a comparison here with what Angus (which is a man's name by the way) is saying because within Virgin Express Ireland EVERYONE PAYS.

You have touched a raw nerve here.

Paddy went to Brussels
1st Apr 2001, 16:48
Well,what kind of abuse can we expect tomorrow and not to mention the gems of wisdom from the wonder boys??????
"You don`t mind hanging around for a couple of months until we sort it out,....SALARY..ahh you don`t expect to be paid as well do you,how are the wonder boys supposed to live"

Skye Pilot
1st Apr 2001, 17:29
to anybody interested do not sign RP 2 unless you are satisfied with the redundancy offered. (or cross out and initial appropriate offending statement)

Word on the street is we're about to be royally 'sh*fted' for our loyalty.
By 1130am tommorrow the speculation will cease. (as will the company?)

1st Apr 2001, 17:49
Guys, fellow Paddy's alike... the royal shafting seems immenent. Like to take this opportunity to say thanks for a wonderful working environment, the best a first timer could possibly ask for! Was hoping thigs would be different, but thats life!

See you all in the morning, good luck!

Paddy went to Brussels
1st Apr 2001, 18:14
Skye,the RP 2 is issued by the state and has to handed into your local social welfare office.
Anything that the company requires you to sign should be looked at very closely.

Skye Pilot
1st Apr 2001, 18:54
Thanks Paddy I'll be in the social welfare office tuesday morning.

Next question if we take the cheque tommorrow does that mean we've accepted it as full and final payment?

Think we need to be careful tommorrow, a number of issues need to be addressed.

See you there.

Paddy went to Brussels
1st Apr 2001, 20:42
Found this link might be of interest,I think
it will be wise to be very cagey tomorrow.
Just keep reminding ourselves they are out to do us.


Billy the Kid
2nd Apr 2001, 16:29
So what is the latest?

Billy the Kid
2nd Apr 2001, 16:50
From the Sunday Business post

Irish Virgin Express set to close

Will Goodbody
Dublin , Ireland, April 1, 2001

Virgin Express Ireland, the Irish arm of Sir Richard Branson's low-cost airline, will almost certainly close tomorrow, following months of protracted negotiations with a number of potential buyers.

Last Thursday, David Hoare, executive chairman of Virgin Express, said the company would definitely close its Irish operations on April 2, unless a sale was concluded in the meantime. The company has been talking to one potential buyer in particular, he said.

Speaking at the presentation of the company's results for last year, Hoare said that although the potential buyer was still enthusiastic, they were no nearer agreement and he was not prepared to let the situation drag on any longer.

Last Friday, a spokesman for Virgin Express said Hoare and the chief executive of Virgin Express Ireland, Martin Hamrogue, were in constant contact with the interested party, and a last-minute deal could not be ruled out. But industry sources were extremely doubtful about such a prospect. Virgin Express recorded pre-tax losses of e65.3 million last year, compared to e5.5 million in 1999, following a e17.5 million restructuring charge and operating losses of e46.7 million.

The company's response was to end its unprofitable charter contracts, refocus business around its Brussels hub, close bases in Shannon, Gatwick and Berlin and close or sell Virgin Express Ireland. A buyer for the Irish subsidiary was not forthcoming and the company's last remaining route out of Shannon ceased on March 12.

Most of Virgin Express Ireland's 250 staff have been made redundant, and a company spokesman told The Sunday Business Post that nearly all had found alternative employment.

2nd Apr 2001, 23:16
"A company spokesperson said that nearly all staff had found alternative employment"

Who, Where , when? where did this nuget come from????????????????????

It was amazing to receive such a substancial redundancy payment, the fair package from the Virgin group. Total value £00.00.

I'am not joking.

Thank you Sir Richard for your magnanamous severence package. Next time if you wouldn't mind please, I like a little kissing before hand.

People will say he didn't know but is that not his responsability. Ignorance is no defence.

2nd Apr 2001, 23:51
Well boys as advertised we got shafted.
TCC and MH you are offically the lowest forms of life I have ever had the displeasure
of meeting you are sorry excuse for humans I'm sure you wouldn't treat animals that way.

You should take a close look at yourselfs both on a personal and moral level.
Nobody in their right minds should ever go and work for either of you again.
The way we were treated was both madding and sicking.
MH gaves us less than 10 mins and then called out for a phone call wake up to yourself MH.
(By the way what ever your on I'd like some of it!!!!
Oh and of course TCC tried to blame Whore(did I spell that right ??)you BCA boys better watch out your going to get shafted as well.
Anyway I could go on but I'm off to spend my buttons.
To all the guys on the line after nearly 20 years in this game I can safely say I have never worked with a sounder bunch of people we had so much fun together every day was a pleasure to work with you.

I wish success in your new endevers and hope we can meet down route for a few light refreshments.

Good luck to you all!!!!!!

[This message has been edited by Getafix (edited 02 April 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Getafix (edited 02 April 2001).]

Wing Commander Fowler
3rd Apr 2001, 01:26
Hmmm..... and where exactly was your mouth while you were at the meeting?

Paddy went to Brussels
3rd Apr 2001, 01:49
Quote,"I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who demonstrated unyielding loyalty,professionalism and support during this period of uncertainty."

3rd Apr 2001, 11:59
Virgin Express shuts
down in Shannon

By Éibhir Mulqueen, Midwest Correspondent
Virgin Express Ireland ceased trading as a low-cost carrier at Shannon Airport yesterday, although the prospect remains of the company's assets being sold to a British investment group.

About 80 remaining employees out of 160 who were based in Shannon finished work yesterday afternoon. About 140 cabin crew, some of whom were based in Gatwick and Brussels, were let go in January. Aer Arann has taken over the call centre operation which employs 20 people.

Mr Yves Panneels, corporate communications manager with the group, said the deadline for a deal with a potential investor passed yesterday and the company was being dissolved. He said there was "a slim chance" of a sale being negotiated.

Mr Martin Hamrogue, chief executive of Virgin Express Ireland, said a British investment group, which he declined to name, believed it would be able to re-launch the company. "Without a lot of money, there is no sense in starting an airline. It has just been a problem for them to get that money in place in time," he said. He said the goodwill and management infrastructure was for sale. Until last week, the company had reduced its fleet to one Boeing 737 which was used for "ad hoc charters", according to Mr Panneels.

In December, Virgin Express Holdings, a Brussels-based lowcost carrier quoted on the Nasdaq and controlled by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, made the decision to sell or close down the subsidiary. Bases at Gatwick and Berlin were also closed as part of the rationalisation plan to re-focus on Brussels.

Pilots were told yesterday the company was being wound down and were given details of a redundancy package. But Mr Michael Landers, IMPACT's assistant general secretary, has complained to management on behalf of pilots that despite assurances that a generous settlement would be made, minimum statutory redundancy is being paid to 55 pilots. He also stated that management had not engaged in collective consultation.

3rd Apr 2001, 13:06
From today's Irish Independent 03 April 2001

Gate closes on Virgin Express Ireland

VIRGIN Express Ireland officially ceased to be at midnight last night as the deadline to find a buyer for the Shannon Airport-based carrier expired.

The company, which had employed some 220 staff at its Shannon, Gatwick and Brussels bases, had been operating since December 1998 but management yesterday blamed its closure on the hike in aviation fuel prices and the strong US dollar.

Chief executive Martin Hamrogue, however, remained upbeat about the possibility of a deal being pushed through for the launch of another airline in Virgin Express Ireland's place.

Mr Hamrogue said that a UK investment company is interested in taking over from Virgin Express in Shannon and he hoped that this would take place "sooner rather than later."

He would not divulge the identity of the investment company, but said that he expects the deal to go ahead and he will remain on in Shannon himself with a view to seeing it through.

He also confirmed that there was at least one potential buyer for Virgin Express Ireland but that buyer did not have the funds to purchase the company by yesterday's deadline and, as a result, the company officially ceased trading last night.

"Virgin Express Ireland is not being sold because it simply does not exist any more but the relaunch of a new airline in its place is a distinct possibility," said Mr Hamrogue.

Principal management staff, he said, will remain on in Shannon in order to achieve the relaunch but he could not say how many will be employed and what flights will be operated by the new company, if it is launched.

The company is owned by Virgin Express Holdings, in which Richard Branson has a majority stake, and among the non-executive directors on the VEI board was broadcaster Gay Byrne.

Annual accounts for Virgin Express Holdings showed an operating loss of £46m last year alone, compared with a £4.9m operating loss in 1999.

Despite this, Virgin Express Ireland has "no debts of any kind," according to Mr Hamrogue

...but then you knew this already!....

3rd Apr 2001, 13:22
No chance of a job in woolies other ops then?


We are pleased to announce that our recruitment process is online and welcome you to Virgin Atlantic Pilot Recruitment.

Our minimum requirements vary according to the fleet we are recruiting for. Short haul applicants would need to have no less than 1500 hours and long haul candidates should have at least 2500 hours (depending on the aircraft type and nature of previous experience). You should also have either a UK ATPL or JAR licence, the right of abode in the UK and finally, you should be MCC qualified.

If you meet these requirements we would welcome an application from you! You can find our application form below. Please remember that we are interested in a wide variety of applicants and will continue to consider each CV on its individual merits. To make the most of the online application process, we will rely on you to fill in the form as fully as possible.

Once you have completed the form we would advise that you take a copy for your own records. If suitable, your application will be added to our database. You will not need to update your details with us more than once a year (unless there are any major changes in your circumstances ie. type conversion, command etc).

Although we cannot acknowledge, please be assured that your application has been received and it is not necessary for you to call and confirm.

If you already have a current application with us you need not reapply! Your details will still be kept on our existing database and we will continue to look through this as and when interviews are set up.

Finally, thank you for applying and good luck!

4th Apr 2001, 02:48
A spoof e-mail sent to all staff yesterday

Press Release

London, 29th March 2001 - Virgin Express Holdings, pie [NASDAQ: VIRGY - Brussels: POX]
Virgin Express Holdings Plc
Announces 4th Quarter
and Full Year 2000 Results
• Virgin Express on track for breakeven in 2001, following years of pissing around.
• Refocused on scheduled flights from Brussels hub (The one loosing the MOST money).
• Shannon, Gatwick and Berlin stations closed (Naturally you guessed it, the ones making money)
• Total loss of EUR 65.2 million. - oh dear.
• Restructuring costs of EUR 17.5 million (EUR 2.8 million in 1999).
• Operating losses of EUR 46.7 million (EUR 4.9 million in 1999).
• Results hit by high fuel prices and US dollar strength... hmm, we never saw THAT coming.
• Yields and load factors growing 100% in 4th Quarter 2000 and 1st Quarter 2001. (10 pax to 20pax)
Chairman's Statement
Year 2000 was a year of refocusing and restructuring, as signalled in my Chairman's report of last year.
I've already been at the helm of the VEI screw-up so you ain't seen nothing yet! We completed the year
with a much-simplified business, focussed on scheduled passengers for a change, from a Brussels hub,
to eight European locations, although how Ryanair manage to expand to that many routes each season is
beyond me. This completes phase one of three phases to return our company to anything like a profit.
Phase two will concentrate on improving the quality of the product (by wast er spendin er investing
resources) and delivering profits, ready for expansion in phase three, into a rapidly growing European
market for lower fare travel. Of course by the time you belgians stop arguing and decide how to get
around to this, Easyjet and Ryanair will have put us out of business.
Results for the year showed a total loss of EUR 65.2 million (EUR 5.7 million for the year 1999). This was
made up of restructuring costs of EUR 17.5 million and operating losses of EUR 46.7 million. What the
heck. Richard's a sporting kind of bloke.
Restructuring costs
In March 2000 we announced that we would not be renewing our unprofitable time based charter contract
from winter 2000/2001, as Neckermann was riding us just that little bit too much. In December 2000,
following a strategic panic attack, we announced we would concentrate on our Brussels hub. The Irish
airline, Virgin Express Ireland that we'd convinced ourselves we owned, would be sold or closed down
and our stations in Shannon, Gatwick and Berlin would be closed. The profitable flights from these
airports have now been stopped. Of our fleet of 22 aircraft Boeing-737s, 11 were surplus to our
operational fleet requirement. Four have been returned successfully to lessors (more money in penalties)
and seven subleased to third parties - at a loss, of course! This sort of consistency will form part of our
new image.Operating losses
Eh - sorry about that.
Yield, load factor and distribution channels
We're having someone look into exactly what these mean - Yields and load factors. We've heard other
airlines banging on about them for years but we seem to have survived perfectly well (losses aside)
without them. Still, we'll give anything a try once.
We are concerned about the uncertain future of Sabena and the rumoured intention of its 49.5% stake
shareholder, SAirGroup, to dispose of its investment. We might actually have to put some effort into
sustaining ourselves. We have also ignored the tremendous expansion of the Brussels based airline
activities over the past number of years. This has led to significant excess capacity on our flights and we
have an idea that this may be contributing to losses for all other significant operators in Brussels.
Sabena's losses have been unfairly subsidised by the Belgian State, (unlike our losses being subsidised
by Branson - that's different) delaying the need for them to restructure. Independent airlines, operating
out of Brussels, many of them, like Virgin Express, low cost operators, are heavily loss making or have
gone out of business. Hang on a minute - did I say low-cost airlines -(plural)? This unfair subsidy must
not be allowed to continue. To this end, we have made strong representation to the Belgian Government
and to European Union Commission, asking that WE get some handouts too. This sound financial
approach has worked well for Sabena in the past and we are hoping for similar success.
Year 2000 has been a very difficult year with both the restructuring of our business and the exceptionally
high fuel and dollar costs. However, we have emerged with one airline operating from a Brussels hub on
a much-simplified route structure, even though everyone around us is expanding, more passenger
business now and then, and a strong, determined management team in place for more than a month now
- a new company record.
In year 2001 we will concentrate on improving the quality of the product we offer our passengers, and on
delivering a close to breakeven result with positive cash flow on our ongoing business. That few bob from
the government should just tip us out of the red. We have started the year well, (well as in-a deep hole)
with improvements to both yields and loadfactors, ada much more favourable fuel and dollar rate< now
hedged respectively 75 % and 69 %. Naturally we won't bother factoring a cushion for the dramatic fuel
increases which happened last year, 'cos it wasn't our fault.
I feel confident that we are now building the foundations of a low fare scheduled business that can grow
profitably into what's left of a rapidly expanding European market, after all the serious players like Easyjet
and Ryanair are done.
Michael D.Hoare
Executive Chairman
(I know, I get a laugh out of that title too! )

4th Apr 2001, 12:24
Cant tell you all how sad and dissapointed I am. To think such a great bunch are out of work blows my mind. If any other airlines are listening then I would respectfully suggest that you become proactive in grabbing as many of these guys as you can.... you wont be dissapointed!!!

As I have said on another thread .... you are all welcome by my fire at any time. Sadly I don't have the ability to employ you guys but if your ever down in the Southern Hemisphere come and warm yourselve at the afore mentioned fire.

Good luck!!! I'm sure you'll all get a job somewhere. The only up side I can see is that I'll have mates in more corners of the earth now.

Anyone wishing to drop me an e-mail my address is available from Metal Mickey.


Angus Meecoat
4th Apr 2001, 13:32
MSF that was an absolutely brilliant description of VEX management and its incompetence. How about sending a copy of it to Branson, he appointed all those dick heads and remember Hoare was hand picked ha ha ha.

As Littlejohn says regularly in the Sun,
" you just couldn't make it up"