View Full Version : Is this a foretaste for Qantas Pilots?

max autobrakes
21st Jun 2006, 04:53
As passed onto me from the IFALPA conference

Unfortunately I have to inform all of you that what I anticipated in our IST meeting about the new Iberia's Low Cost Carrier is about to come true. This Catair venture will take over most IB flights out of Barcelona except initially the shuttle between Barcelona and Madrid.

30 A320s will leave the IB fleet by 2008, as specified in their Strategic Plan 2006-2008, while there is no growth in the long haul fleet. In fact, Catair plans to start with five A320 in October, about 18 in 2007 and 30 in 2008. It is only obvious that it will not stop there, Catair is a subsidiary that will absorb all the short and middle haul IB flights on due course. And that will not be the end either.

We have all seen this move before, as happened with Swissair and many other instances. The subsidiary starts by whatever excuse and taking advantage of the mother company, grows cancer-like with lower costs. At some stage, it is made obvious that there is no point in keeping the loss-making company when the start-up is doing so well. Alternatively, management forces pilots to assume major pay and benefit cuts to preserve jobs.

The SEPLA-IBERIA Council has tried everything in this past 18 months to get Iberia to negotiate a balanced agreement with the pilots that would permit the airline to gain flexibility and help find solutions to the pilots' problems. However, all we got were excuses and delays while the Catair venture was being prepared. We have offered them a plan to operate these airplanes with IB pilots with flight crew costs 10% lower than the average LCC, but IB management is simply not interested.

IB quits Barcelona on grounds that it is losing a lot of money. One might think that this condemns Barcelona, one of the major cities in Europe, to become a secondary backwater, but reality is that all the airlines operating in Barcelona are ready to jump and grab whatever slots IB leaves, since everyone is making money there but IB.

Is this the pilots fault? Mostly, this is what you get when you privatize an airline and let the old managers with their public-employee mentality try to make a living in the hectic scene of today's commercial aviation.

Gives you a warm fuzzy engaged feeling doesn't it :uhoh: