View Full Version : BA Pilots to ballot for strike over OpenSkies

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9th Jan 2008, 16:09
82 seats (3 class) total, using BA 757 aircraft...a "new" airline?
Do you BALPA pilots have any SCOPE protections?

What's "the plan"?




Hello. We’re OpenSkies.
And we’re building an airline.

We’re a new airline being born from the innovative minds of British Airways. As you may have heard, a new agreement between the European Union and the United States has quite literally opened the skies for transatlantic travellers. Soon we plan to take flight directly from the New York area to destinations throughout Continental Europe. We’re excited to provide a premium flying experience as we explore bold and creative ideas in air travel. Help us forge the future of airline travel. Join the conversation.

It’s official! Project Lauren becomes OpenSkies.

Date: January 9th, 2008
Author: Dale Moss

Good morning. An exciting day for us all. After months of relentless planning and developing, we’re proud to announce the launch of OpenSkies: the airline formerly known as Project Lauren. For you inquisitive minds, Lauren happens to be the name of my first granddaughter. And, just like Lauren, this airline is very much family to me.
We intend to take our very first flight from New York to either Paris or Brussels in June of this year. We couldn’t be more elated. Witnessing this idea slowly become reality has been a thrilling journey.
As a British Airways enterprise, this truly is history in the making. Open Skies is the moniker for the new agreement between the United States and European Union liberalising aviation. We are now able to fly freely to and from the United States to virtually any destination in the EU—the skies have literally opened over the Atlantic.
Our plan is to operate six aircraft by the end of 2009, originating in the New York area and flying to a range of destinations throughout Europe. The planes will be efficient and proven 757s with a redesigned, traveller-friendly cabin configured in 3 classes: business, premium economy, and economy.
The business class cabin will have 24 seats that convert into 6’ flat beds. And when we say flat, we mean completely horizontal. This makes OpenSkies one of the only airlines in the market offering this feature. We will also offer 28 premium economy seats with a 52” seat pitch. This is also unique, redefining the premium economy class. Plus the comfortable 30 economy seats mean no more than 82 passengers will be on any given aircraft. It’s all part of our vision for a more personal flying experience.
But beyond the specs, I’d like to say that OpenSkies is dedicated to elevated customer care. We will take the lead from British Airways and try new, inventive ways to improve service at all levels. We’d also like for you to tell us your thoughts, your ideas, and—once we take off— tell us how we’re doing. You can start right here with this blog.
Cheers for now,
Dale Moss
Managing Director

9th Jan 2008, 16:11
Do you BALPA pilots have any SCOPE protections?

Yep :ok:

What's "the plan"?

Crunch meeting on 14th Jan - watch this space............:E

9th Jan 2008, 17:23
What's "the plan"?

.....Very quiet skies over West London sometime after the 14th January.


9th Jan 2008, 17:39
Good luck, gentlemen!!

Big Kahuna Burger
9th Jan 2008, 18:20
BALPAs response will be announced on the 17th Jan, so dont expect anything before then.

9th Jan 2008, 21:13
I have little doubt this is going to turn very nasty.

Anyone handing in their notice with a current employer to take up positions in this new venture, would be well advised to think very carefully.

10th Jan 2008, 04:28
BALPA......AA pilots will support your action. It's being planned.

10th Jan 2008, 07:24
Oh dear, more trouble just as Willie prepares to move house.:ok:

10th Jan 2008, 08:49

Thank you.

really not
10th Jan 2008, 08:55
Can I take it that as BA have an "issue" going on, the rest of us can sing dixie for any help from BALPA as per normal, or am I being a touch cynical??;););) History suggests not...

ready for the nigel rants

Juan Tugoh
10th Jan 2008, 08:56
Tandem Rotor has got it right. I worked with some pretty bitter guys at Flying Colours who had only joined on the promise that they would be flying BA 777's for AML. BALPA didn't allow that to happen - don't expect this to work either. Those handing in their notice in for this project may be wise to look to history to avoid repeating mistakes alraedy made.:=

10th Jan 2008, 10:16
All those ready to bash us in Nigel land just remember this..........If we were to lose this one (which we won't) it would mean the end of BALPA as a means of defending Ts and Cs INDUSTRY wide - like it or not, BA are the benchmark here in the UK and if our Ts and Cs go on a downward spiral ( which they would if BA were to win ) which way will yours go, do you think?? It's that serious IMHO.............:uhoh:

Check out Qantas and Jetstar if you doubt me - it's scary stuff!!!

PS Offer of support from AA greatly appreciated

10th Jan 2008, 10:55
Excellent post from Sid, only 1000% correct. I'm with Tfly/FC, and I hope that we too would support the BA guys.
It's the big picture for now and the future; forget the past, it's gone.

10th Jan 2008, 11:12
And there was me thinking that it was going to be called OpenLies!

dallas dude
10th Jan 2008, 11:32
The BACC can fully count on the AA pilots' help to provide the paint and brush. It would appear Willie has (once again) already picked out a corner.


Shaka Zulu
10th Jan 2008, 11:54
To everyone who thinks that their T&C's might not be affected by this venture:
have a very very close look at the following links:
It happened to the Qantas guys so it can happen to us, read them in order of links below.
If we loose this battle, you can kiss goodbye to your T&C's too.







AA Boys: Many thanks for the support, we do need it.
I hope it'll be industry wide.

10th Jan 2008, 14:01
All the best to the BA guys.

The whole industry needs you to fight this one.

Max Angle
10th Jan 2008, 17:02
The problem for the BA guys is that a precedent has been set for other pilots to fly BA routes with BALPA's agreement. GB, Cityflyer and BMED all flew BA services using BA flight numbers and paint schemes etc. but BA pilots did not do the flying. All three were separate companies but I wonder how long it will take BA to set openskies up as a standalone franchise company and thereby claim they can operate it without BA flightcrew and cabin crew. Good luck, you are going to need it.

10th Jan 2008, 17:08
Max Angle

I beg to differ. GB, BMED, and the original Cityflyer, formed no precedent whatsoever. They were all completely separate companies from the outset.

The one subsidiary you have NOT mentioned however, is much more similar, but an agreement was made to allow it to continue outside 'scope'.

There will be no agreement to allow 'Openskies' to operate outside 'scope'!

Autobrake Low
10th Jan 2008, 17:51
Forgive me for being an idiot but what is the general consensus amongst BA pilots? Are they up in arms because they have not had the option of operating this outfit? If so - how could they? With bases out of NY - would it not be tricky for EU members to be based there?
I presume if the aircraft are G reg then the licence is not an issue - but are the american authorities happy to open the doors to non-us nationals to operate an airline from their turf?
Does anyone know if bases in europe would be an option for pilots of this new outfit?

Big Kahuna Burger
10th Jan 2008, 18:01
Autobrake - there were some rumors sometime ago about it being a N registered or US based operation, but those were incorrect.

Its going to be G registered with initial crew bases in Paris and Brussels.

10th Jan 2008, 18:46
The general consensus amongst this BA pilot is - I've just liquified all my assets into cash so I can last longer than BA during a strike. I really do think its that serious.

If OpenLies stays small then it costs the company nothing to have the 20 or so pilots on the seniority list. If it doesn't, then it is a direct threat to my livelihood (remember all airframes used are to be taken from the mainline fleet and there would be NOTHING to stop the company shifting 20 744's to europe next year if we let this start) and should be treated as such.

I hope the company sees sense. We're not even asking for our T&C's to be applied to the new routes.... What a way to treat a group that daily goes the extra mile to keep the airline running in the shambolic years since 9/11.

10th Jan 2008, 19:33
It looks as if hsyteria is beginning to creep in here and people are worrying about shadows. BA has limited funds to invest in new ventures and the vast bulk of its forward expenditure is going into mainline and always will. This peripheral operation which is effectively New York to Europe is highly unlikely to affect anyone's prospects now or in the future. If the small number of surplus 757s don't go into the project then they will be sold or scrapped. If the project is to have any chance of success then it must keep costs below mainline levels and even then long term most would doubt that it has anything more than a 50/50 chance.

10th Jan 2008, 19:57
The trouble is Skylion - I'm not going to wait for BA to announce a European base of 60 aircraft running W patterns through LHR before I see a threat.

If it is only to be a small base, put the 20 pilots on the bottom of the seniority list, on Lauren T&C's & therefore at no extra cost. If the venture fails, the pilots get the opportunity to join at LHR - again, no extra cost as we are recruiting anyway. They may not want to join anyway and will disappear - no extra cost.

If (as we all hope) Lauren succeeds, then surely BA will not pass up the opportunity to use its new 787's for this - they are designed for the purpose and far more cost efficient than 20 year old 757's. They are however being bought with the money saved from my pension.......

Ryanair was small once. Easy, Emirates, Virgin and, yes, even Jetstar were small once. The only hysteria will be the madness of the company if they think we can't see a Trojan horse when we see one.

Here's hoping for one small concession on Monday. (Me, I'd go for London T&C's but there we are.....)

10th Jan 2008, 23:50

Thanks for the post. You AA guys have a big set of knackers to be asking for that 50% plus raise. Well done as you deserve to get back what you lost post 9/11. We are trying to hang on to our T's and C's now and I am sure every AA pilot knows where we are coming from. Funny thing is we may be working for the same team sooner than later. :ok::ok::ok:

BA better be cautious over this one as it could turn in to a smoking hole in the ground before it even gets going. Mainline is the most profitable flag carrier on the planet and there are some big events in the calendar coming up. I have no idea why the boat needs to be rocked too much at this point. BA pilots welcome expansion with open arms but a pre planned attack on contracts will be met with swift and dare I say damaging action. The people I fly with are not interested in punch up. That being said if BA throws a sneaky blow though, the fight is on.

Lets hope it never gets to that.

11th Jan 2008, 02:30
That "50% raise" is our 1992 wages, adjusted for 2.68 annaul inflation. We're currently working for a tad less than 1992 wages. We DEMAND restoration. We supported our Irish friends, and we're behind you guys too.

The pilot mindframe/personality is a "mission-hacker" solution oriented type. Management at ALL airlines take advantage of this DAILY. We "make it happen" and keep the airlines running. Basically, we go above & beyond the call of duty on a DAILY basis.

Most airlines would fall apart quickly, if the pilots just did what they have to do. (ie..one call to mx, then sit on hands) Remove the emotions, and just do the job...and NOT worry about ANYONE being "mad" at you/us. So many departments; catering/fueling/mx, etc...have their head deep up their arses.....SO BE IT.

Good luck with Open Lies. APA/AA pilots are behind you.


11th Jan 2008, 05:58

There is honor in this fight. We wish BALPA all the best. Open Lies had better not show up at our gates in JFK. They will have some hellacious waiting trying to get out of the alley between terminals.

11th Jan 2008, 06:37
Most airlines would fall apart quickly, if the pilots just did what they have to do. (ie..one call to mx, then sit on hands) Remove the emotions, and just do the job...and NOT worry about ANYONE being "mad" at you/us. So many departments; catering/fueling/mx, etc...have their head deep up their arses.....SO BE IT.

Not exactly the most effective way of gaining support from other departments is it? As an engineer I find your comments disgusting.

11th Jan 2008, 08:02
Flight website has something about the situation, reported here (http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/01/11/220761/pilots-fear-consequences-if-ba-creates-new-corps-for-openskies.html), seems to suggest crews didn't know BA was going to spill the details this early. :bored:

Human Factor
11th Jan 2008, 09:33
If the project is to have any chance of success then it must keep costs below mainline levels and even then long term most would doubt that it has anything more than a 50/50 chance.

As BALPA are not suggesting LHR mainline terms and conditions, simply that the pilots be on the mainline seniority list, the costs will remain below mainline levels.:rolleyes:

Do pay attention, Skylion. I presume you're management....:ugh:

11th Jan 2008, 09:54
Flight website has something about the situation...
For once, a fairly accurate assessment of what's going on. I understand that BALPA were told in advance about the launch of Lauren-->OpenSkies and that crewing issues would not be discussed in public, at least until after the next meeting with BA...

11th Jan 2008, 12:57
The support of APA/AA pilots was absolutely crucial to IALPA/Aer Lingus pilots in preventing the introduction of a similar Trojan horse in Belfast. Following a short sharp fight, pilots for this BFS operation are now on the seniority list with the right eventually to transfer to mainline, but are on local T&cs while BFS based. Thank you to our AA colleagues. We hope that our friends in BA are equally successful in resisting this attack. It can be done! Good luck.

11th Jan 2008, 14:08

Why would KC135777 say such a thing?
Perhaps he was pushed from his Narrow Body captain seat and given a further 23% paycut afterwards(45% total), His CEO then told him "Pull together, win together". The company was saved because of employee sacrifices. Five years later there is no "win together" , only obscene multi-million dollar bonuses for executives. The pilots have asked for a restoration of pay and were told "work more hours". At AA , the employee's disgust is universal across all employee groups. Perhaps you'd have to be here to understand. AA management's arrogance knows no boundaries , but they will soon understand they have gone too far.

11th Jan 2008, 15:20
I understand all of that but still doesn't explain comments like this

So many departments; catering/fueling/mx, etc...have their head deep up their arses.....SO BE IT.

Does it?

11th Jan 2008, 15:26
Every airline and its dog are trying to muscle in on Heathrow, THE ONLY MAJOR HUB OF YOUR AIRLINE.

So BA tries in a pathetic little manner to stick it back to them with a couple of aging 757.

And the support they get from their own employees?

Dunno why they would bother. Just let Continental, Delta, KLM, Air France, Northwest, US Airways, Virgin, United, bmi rip their market to shreds while the BA pilots bicker over threats, real or imaginary.

flame all you like. Let me tell you that your business class passengers have given BA the benefit of the doubt for far to long.

We've put up with enough crap, and still it continues. Time to go elsewhere.

11th Jan 2008, 15:34
The truth hurts, doesn't it?
Shall I continue?
How about during a delay? ...during a ramp worker's shift change? NO continuity between shifts- but a 10-20 minute delay before ANYbody shows up to push off. Or, even if you're an ON time arrival...where is everybody? Hmmm, we're ON schedule. Hmmm, WHY in the heck to we "keep surprising" them EVERY day? The blind leading the blind?!
Yeah, that's right....unFlippinBelievable.
That's what disgusts me- on a DAILY basis.
So, so, so tired of constantly apologizing to the passengers.

11th Jan 2008, 15:39
I agree with you Fargoo.

It's really not as though the pilot community are the only people that go above and beyond. Try talking to passenger service staff that go 40-60 staff down per shift. No extra payments for working 'one-down' for them.

Look at the dispatchers covering multiple flights due to people leaving or sickness. Look at the load controllers covering for the loss of 10 of their colleagues. Yet load sheets still get to the crews in 10 minutes or less, so they can go on doing their 'above and beyond' bit. Consider the engineers going out of their way to fix something that could cause a cancellation. Why stay on after your shift, going above and beyond, when you can just write it up, make it U/S and go home? Consider yourself important by all means - after all, you fly the bus. But you wont go anywhere without my loadsheet first..

What I'm saying is, we don't have our heads up our arses, we just get on with our jobs, and don't have the arrogance to go on telling people how we hold the airline together or stop the sh*t hitting the fan. We just do it.

11th Jan 2008, 15:56
Sadly LHR 777, you have hit the nail on the head. A perfect description of LHR on a good day.Lord knows what is going to happen in the event of a bit of disruption/bad weather/computer failure/go slow. I know that I plod into work, do the best I can and then go home indifferent as to whether the operation holds together or not. Part of me thinks that the company deserves to go bust, because the airline that would be rebuilt could sort out most of LHRs' problems with a clean sheet. Then I realise that actually, the good people would go elsewhere, and we would be stuck with the same idiots that we have dragging the airline down at the moment. So, what to do? Defend our T's and C's like the other staff seem to? I think so, except we'll keep within the law and ballot for a strike.

Shaka Zulu
11th Jan 2008, 16:03
I'll have to slightly distance myself from KC135777.
Its very frustrating to do all you can and see nobody there on the ramp.
For sure there are some really rotten elements in all departments that believe earning a wage for cock all work is the norm. (even in flight ops thats the case)
However BA has stripped all the fat of the meat and there is not a lot of flex in the system when 'certain' forces act upon it.

LHR_777 it's not as rosy a picture you are painting of ground staff.....
for example: push scheduled right before shift change. push truck there, tug connected, a/c about to push back. small failure leads to a 10min delay. push crew buggers off since it's shift change. UN bloody believeable. Not my aisle mate is the simple answer....

@CaptJ: obviously you've missed a lot of background information on this issue. The support is there from the employees (ai pilots) to make OpenSkies a success. But would you be happy with setting up a seperate company under your banner with the potential to eventually replace you or forced to take different T&C's (Jetstar-Qantas)... I think not.

Many of our business passengers are happy with the service they get and rank our crews as a major reason to fly BA.
We want BA to succeed but not over the back of their own employees when we've given up so much over the last 10yrs or so. ai pension, increased flying hours (to the max allowed), work bidding arrangements etc etc the list goes on.

We indeed put nothing in the way of success for OpenSkies. It's why many of us can not understand what BA are playing it. Obviously up to something

11th Jan 2008, 16:06
Thanks for the reply KC.
What i'm saying is - don't tar us all with the same brush.
I'll leave it at that :ok:

11th Jan 2008, 16:26
Definitely not 'tar'ing EVERYbody else, that's for sure. It just seems that there's "plenty" of simple, logistical stuff that could get fixed. Like the military, airline employees ARE being asked to do more with less. That might work OK, when planes don't break/get delayed, AND the weather is good. Well, that's NOT very often. Thus, a monkey wrench, here and there, and the system seems to break down left and right. Very frustrating, that's for sure.

11th Jan 2008, 17:19
It is very tiresome to hear what steely eyed wonders we all are keeping the show on the road singlehandedly and I believe it is an insult to people in other departments also doing their best to also keep the show on the road. What we suffer from is dinosaur unions, weak management and airline plagued by legacy issues regarding working practises.

Slowly things are changing but only slowly. For all the derision T5 will have a dramatic effect. e.g. all baggage loaders will be working in the same contracted way, crew transport to and from the car parks to the terminal will no longer be at the mercy of BA MT (a traditionally militant and disruptive group).

To the issue in question BA pilots are quite happy to support Project Lauren and negotiate different Ts & Cs the ONLY major sticking point is the lack of common seniority list. BA also want NO seniority based promotion...merit only. i.e. if your face fits then you can attempt a command course. The precedent for separate Ts & Cs but common list is there for all to see. AML, EOG and secondments to GSS.

If as BA allege it is a small operation and no threat then why their reluctance to agree? It is the trojan horse so similar to QANTAS/JETSTAR. Ask AF pilots who is crewing their company operations set up in a similar vein.

And the support they get from their own employees?

It has been explained we are not intent on stopping BA's brave effort. We just do not want to sign our own death warrant in the process.

One has to question the ability of BA management when BASSA are about to ballot for IA so soon after their last debacle. Remind me again when T5 opens.

I am very senior. Sorry but I will strike over the issue if I have to.

11th Jan 2008, 17:26

Most of the older airlines are dealing with the same formula. "Do more with less." When I pull up to a gate and wait to be marshalled while burning $100 a minute of block time, I don't curse the rampers. When management doesn't keep enough spares around to fix airplanes, I do not curse the mechanics. We are under the burden of people running our companies who cut the essentials to the bone and are rewarding themselves at passenger and employee's expense. When given what we need to do our jobs, nobody can do it better than these highly experienced employees.

Back on point, BA is taking mainline airplanes they own and hiring "other"
employees to fly them. If this is not what we call a Scope issue in the U.S. , I've never seen one. The 757 should belong to BALPA...no matter how many or few seats in it.

11th Jan 2008, 17:41
Shaka Zulu:
LHR_777 it's not as rosy a picture you are painting of ground staff.....
for example: push scheduled right before shift change. push truck there, tug connected, a/c about to push back. small failure leads to a 10min delay. push crew buggers off since it's shift change. UN bloody believeable. Not my aisle mate is the simple answer....

I agree. It is unbelievable. However, whilst I acknowledge that it's not all 'rosy', there are those that do say "end of my shift, see ya", there are also plenty that say "i'm not finished yet, I'll stick around".

The problem is, each shift has a 30-45 minute overlap built-in. If a push-back team is going to walk, then the theory is that the replacement team is already there. That doesn't happen though, as the replacement team often have no transport to get the the tug/stand, because the outgoing-team take a vehicle with them! Madness, I know.

From personal experience, if I didn't stick around after my shift, the 83 and 163 (and anything else delayed after 22:30hrs) would never get a load sheet.

11th Jan 2008, 17:52
Well, I'm all for Open Skies pilots being on the BA seniority list. But why on earth have we already decided to accept reduced terms and conditions for this outfit.


If we are all on the same list, it won't be long before we see W - patterns through the UK.

This will herald the end of our industry leading T and Cs airline.

11th Jan 2008, 17:52
From jacjetlag:

The 757 should belong to BALPA...no matter how many or few seats in it.Are you sure thats what you meant to say jacjetlag? Just in case there is a misunderstanding here, BALPA is the British Air Line Pilot’s Association. BA is British Airways. Although BALPA has a large proportion of BA pilots in its membership, it also represents thousands of other pilots in other UK companies. The 757 in question belongs to BA, and as much as BALPA might wish to 'own' it :), that would just not work!

It is BALPA, on behalf of its members in BA, that is fronting the campaign to avoid BA using OpenLies ..... sorry, OpenSkies, to undermine their T&Cs of BA mainline pilots.

11th Jan 2008, 19:35
Mr. Bernoulli.....

To clarify, the flying of BA owned 757s should only be by BA pilots represented by BALPA( I'm certain you could have figured this all by yourself without going all lawyer about it) .

If BA wants to use a marketing ruse for public consumption that is up to Little Willie. Call it,the airline, whatever you want. I'm sure BA pilots would like these assignments, if done properly. Otherwise it's just more 3 card Monty trying to ratchet down your T's and C's. Capiche ??

12th Jan 2008, 18:31
52049er, you mention no additional costs should OpenSkies pilots be attached to mainline seniority list.
With (say) an appointment freeze of 3, 4 or 5 years and a right to bid onto mainline afterwards, that would presumably leave an openskies pilot bidding to join a mainline fleet at pp4, 5 or 6. BA usually recruit at pp1 don't they?

12th Jan 2008, 19:44
...and they still would be recruiting PP1 BA pilots to fly BA's aircraft. BRU to JFK rather than LHR to JFK but they're still BA's aircraft and they will all be on the same seniority list.

Still cheaper than discussing business plans with Virgin.

12th Jan 2008, 19:54
With (say) an appointment freeze of 3, 4 or 5 years and a right to bid onto mainline afterwards, that would presumably leave an openskies pilot bidding to join a mainline fleet at pp4, 5 or 6. BA usually recruit at pp1 don't they?

Yes they do and hence it will be in OpenLies' pilots interest to be on a common seniority list. They will then fight with us rather than against us in any dispute over either Mainline or OpenLies' Ts & Cs.

BALPA have accepted that as a new startup venture there is no desire to undermine or torpedo the venture in any way. All we ask is for a common seniority list. All BA's objections in every other area have been answered and now the only response from mis-management is that 'we don't want mainline pilots 'contaminating' OpenLies'. Charming!

It couldn't possibly be because they have a hidden agenda now could it?

I hate the thought of striking, I hate the thought of damaging the hand that feeds me but I also intensely dislike the modern business ethos of screwing the employees, increasing shareholder value in the process and then riding off into the sunset with obscene amounts of money in the form of performance pay. Trade unions are a necessary evil and militancy is the distateful tool which I am compelled to use to protect MY Ts & Cs from being reduced to feather other people's nests.

Shaka Zulu
12th Jan 2008, 22:32
M.Mouse, I couldn't have said it better myself.
All this bull**** about starting an open dialogue with the pilot community and having an adult-like relationship between workforce and employee. It seems utter tripe.
Strike fund is in place. My letter to the CEO and other heads has been sent, relaying my concerns and my resolve.
This time the line in the sand is drawn!

13th Jan 2008, 00:49
I know of no other issue that has galvanised those I work with more than this.

If BA management choose to gamble on this, they will lose!


Balpa will convey the message effectively, that we have far more at stake than the company!

I, and many others are prepared to pull the roof in over this. We have NO choice. Don't doubt it!

Anyone accepting positions in this outfit, prior to a resolution, can NEVER say they were not warned!

Human Factor
13th Jan 2008, 21:53
If I don't support BALPA in this, I'll be condemning myself to a significant pay and conditions cut in a few years. If it breaks BA, I'm likely to end up on those exact same conditions with another employer.

I have nothing to lose.

Sunshine Express
13th Jan 2008, 23:25
Very well put.

It is a very unfortunate situation but the time has come.
I am fed up with the company constantly attacking our agreements. This leads to our reps having a huge unnecessary workload and us having to worry about the threat of industrial action every 6 months.

We have tried working with the company on all the recent issues, if the leadership won't work with us on this issue then we will have a different process now and in the future.

Very interesting and heartening to read support from those at AA and elsewhere. Thank you.

14th Jan 2008, 09:02
While I'm sympathetic to BA pilots who naturally want to protect their agreements and get the extra jobs that may be on offer, you've already got thousands of jobs that some of us can't/won't have. Do you really need these Lauren jobs?

How about just leaving a little space for those outside BA? What with the recent mergers, there are precious few employers left.

Instead of crewing Lauren from BA and effectively reducing the prospects for those outside BA, particularly experienced Captains who have had enough of lowcost shorthaul, why not put these jobs on the open market? This doesn't stop BALPA from negotiating the terms.

Like it or not, my work and its remuneration are driven solely by market forces. Yes, I would like more money and better conditions but above all I want a job and career progression. BA pilots hogging Lauren doesn't do anything for the hundreds of pilots with nowhere to go, and that includes a lot of BALPA members.

Right, I'll get my head down.

Hand Solo
14th Jan 2008, 09:37
So to sum up your post it's basically "BA pilots please allow the trojan horse operation that'll drag down your terms and conditions 'cos it's a tough old world and I'd really like a new job". Crazy.

14th Jan 2008, 09:46
Lauren is so tiny that its impact on BA pilots would be zero.

Yes, it is a tough a world and I would like a new job one day. What's wrong with that?

14th Jan 2008, 10:07
What a strange post!

Yes, I would like more money and better conditions but above all I want a job and career progression.

I would like more money and better conditions also, but I would still respect the right of any airline's Pilots to protect their own position.


Hand Solo
14th Jan 2008, 10:08
Nothing at all. Lauren is not going to be tiny. Lauren is either going to be big or completely fail. If it's big it represents a real threat to the industrial clout of BAs pilots and needs to part of the main BA seniority list. Whats wrong with that? Claiming that BA pilots want to 'hog' the jobs in an airline set up using BA money, run by the BA board using BA aircraft carrying passengers sold tickets by BA is a bit rich don't you think?

northern boy
14th Jan 2008, 10:10
Until the whole thing is thrashed out between BA and BALPA its probably a bit early to speculate on what may or may not be. Theres supposed to be a meeting sometime this week according to other postings and no doubt the outcome will be made known. They will either agree to a compromise whereby both parties come away with honour satisfied or the BA pilots will be up the road on strike which at the end of the day will do little to improve BA's fortunes or public image, let alone the future of their workforce.

I'm not a betting man but I would put money on there being some kind of deal that will allow BA F/O's to bid for commands or at least some proportion of them on the new venture with the externally recruited pilots being eligable to bid for mainline BA after a freeze period. The devil will of course be in the detail. If the deal unfairly favours BA mainline over external recruits then there will be no one interested in the job unless they are newly qualified (unlikely with a longhaul operation into JFK) or desperate. The recruitment process so far as I am aware would rule out both types of individual.

The postings from some that seem to view anyone from outside BA as incompetent or unsafe to operate the services are arrogant and nonsensical and will do nothing but harden attitudes. At the end of the day, pilot jobs are being created and whilst the BA crews must protect their position, after all every other airline uses BA as a benchmark, BALPA exists to further the interests of all its members, not just those in British Airways.

The best of luck to the negotiators. Lets hope it gets resolved without a punch up.:ok:

14th Jan 2008, 10:15
What BA is doing with PL is completely within the SCOPE agreement, as they are flying the aeroplanes from mainland Europe. Mainlines t's and c's aren't really under much threat in my opinion. BA have already done this type of thing before, with GO and presently with BA citiflyer....(granted they are taking on very profitable transatlantic routes now).

I fully agree that these pilots should be on the master seniority list, but if BALPA want to strike about it, legally they will have to find something other than the scope agreement to strike about.

14th Jan 2008, 10:18
BALPA represents me and hundreds like me as well as thousands of BA pilots. For some reason BALPA thinks it is better for a new operation with new routes to be flown by pilots who already have huge opportunities, rather than my bunch whose future looks distinctly dodgy.

Of course I respect the rights of BA pilots to try and protect their position. I just don't see why OUR union is indulging in favouritism towards them.

BA money, aircraft, etc maybe, but since when were routes between continental Europe and USA traditional BA routes? This is new work.

Hand Solo
14th Jan 2008, 10:23
Mooney - BALPA are well aware of your point, that is why the dispute is about Schedule K of our agreement and not Scope.

Northernboy -

If the deal unfairly favours BA mainline over external recruits then there will be no one interested in the job unless they are newly qualified (unlikely with a longhaul operation into JFK) or desperate

Given that BA proposes that all Lauren promotions will be on merit, not seniority, and DECs will be employed then I don't see it as a particularly good deal for the external recruits as it stands now. Anyone who see's there career as doing 6 transatlantics a month on a 757 is probably desperate already.

BALPA exists to further the interests of all its members, not just those in British Airways

You might want to keep in mind that BALPA cannot legally represent Lauren employees in certain countries. If they roll over on this one then they stitch up BALPA members in the UK and cannot do much to help the ones in Europe. This thread is beginning to have echoes of the BAR/BACX debates. BALPA best serves the interests of UK pilots by keeping terms and conditions high and dragging everyone up to the best, not by supporting schemes that drag the T&Cs downwards in the interest of helping a small number of people get a leg up. There is always someone who will do it cheaper and BALPA should be staying well clear of assisting airline management in organising a dash for the bottom.

14th Jan 2008, 10:26
There is much misunderstanding here. Nobody is saying that the jobs are to be protected for BA mainline pilots, nobody is saying that external recruitment cannot happen.

What we are saying is that any pilot recruited from outside BA for OpenLies must be on the BA seniority list i.e. a new recruit from outdside BA will be placed on the BA master seniority list. Some junior BA FOs may well apply for OpenLies but their seat in mainline will have to be filled from somewhere so the jobs in OpenLies will be filled by recruitment either directly into OpenLies or directly into mainline to replace those moving across to OpenLies.

To those saying OpenLies will not affect BA mainline look to the QANTAS/Jetstar sitruation and then come back to this thread.

GO was a completely different kettle of fish as was Cityflyer.

14th Jan 2008, 10:41
If I were a Jetstar pilot I might be quite happy with the situation.

northern boy
14th Jan 2008, 10:57
Handsolo and M.Mouse

I don't think you will find any arguments about joining the master seniority list but it will have to be seen to give equal preference to both existing members and those joining via PL. The DEC recruitment is as I understand it just to get things up and running. Further promotions will be from within. Yes seniority is the most fair way if applied transparantly but other airlines operate without a seniority system, Easyjet being the most well known and they have a large percentage of BALPA members. What would be unfair is to put the PL recruits onto the bottom of the list with seniority frozen for X years and then keep them in the RHS whilst all and sundry from mainline grab the commands.Then after X years, transferring the very bottom of the master list. There is absolutely no point in joining PL under those conditions, the entire operation may as well be crewed entirely from mainline which I doubt that BA would agree to other wise they would not have gone to the trouble of recruiting externally.

To my mind, the best resolution would be for a proportion of commands to be made available to mainline F/O's with all pilots joining the master list from day 1 and then being eligable to transfer over (if they wish to) with seniority dating from their date of joining PL. Whilst operating in PL, the terms and conditions pertaining to that operation would apply. That would give those who wish to stay in PL the opportunity to advance to command whilst allowing those from mainline who fancy a stint the opportunity to do so.

We will have to see what emerges from the negotiations. If Balpa manage to get mainline T/C's for PL then I shall cheer them from the rooftops, I shan't be holding my breath however.

14th Jan 2008, 11:05
BALPA represents me and hundreds like me as well as thousands of BA pilots. For some reason BALPA thinks it is better for a new operation with new routes to be flown by pilots who already have huge opportunities, rather than my bunch whose future looks distinctly dodgy.
Actually, BALPA thinks that it's better for those joining PL/OS to be on the master BA seniority list than not. This gives those who work for OS (you, maybe?) the chance to move into BA proper at a later date, should you so wish...
If I were a Jetstar pilot I might be quite happy with the situation.
Why? How does less choice improve your lot?

The basis of most of the assumptions you are making is that "BA pilots" want to "grab" as much work as possible and keep it for themselves. Fact is, we've got quite enough work on at the moment and to operate the OS flights requires recruitment into OS and/or BA == jobs for EU pilots. The choice is to join OS and that's that or have the possible opportunity to transfer to BA mainline; both choices have the same T&C to start with. Which is preferable to most intelligent people...?

Human Factor
14th Jan 2008, 11:16
I don't think you will find any arguments about joining the master seniority list but it will have to be seen to give equal preference to both existing members and those joining via PL.

How many times do we have to tell you? :ugh:

If PL pilots are on the mainline seniority list they will have equal preference. :rolleyes:

Locked door
14th Jan 2008, 11:32

You seem to miss the point. Whether or not Lauren is part of the main BA seniority or not it will create jobs that need to be filled. The same number of jobs, filled by commerical pilots. You will have the same chance of getting one of those jobs regardless.

If Lauren is not part of the BA seniority list it will start an erosion of UK terms and conditions that will eventually affect you, regardless of who you work for.

Seems to me you should support the BA guys

14th Jan 2008, 14:11
If Lauren pilots are on the BA seniority list, the jobs will inevitably go to the guys who are already on that list because they will have nothing to lose by going there.

I would be amazed if, behind closed doors, the BA CC want to see anyone other than BA pilots flying in Lauren. Why would they?

I see from today's Flight that the BA pilots are worried that the employment of non-BA pilots will involve the recruitment of inexperienced pilots, "putting the BA brand at risk". So to avoid that, let's get a bunch of BA senior first officers who've vegetated in the RHS for far too long and pop them straight into the LHS. Much safer.

Locked door
14th Jan 2008, 14:55
And who do you think is going to replace those BA SFO's that move from BA to Lauren. They're not cloned you know, they're DEP's from other airlines, cadets from the ab initio courses or ex forces.

If the Lauren guys are on the BA list it means BA needs more pilots, which means more recruiting, which means movement in other airlines.

My point is whether the Lauren guys are BA or not, the net no. of flying jobs in the UK is the same.

14th Jan 2008, 15:23
Locked door, same number in total, I agree. But with your way of doing it, the lowcost captain gets to become a BA second officer.

Locked door
14th Jan 2008, 15:40
No such thing as a second officer in BA. So Lauren in BA means LoCo capts could if they wanted to join BA and either fly for Lauren or work their way up to Capt in Mainline and all other airlines maintain the status quo, or Lauren not in BA means LoCo capts could Join Lauren probably as f/o's, the Lauren model works and all other airlines suffer a degradation in terms and conditions as a result.

I still think it would be a good idea for you to support the BA guys.

Shaka Zulu
14th Jan 2008, 15:44
MANBLK why didnt you say so in the first place instead of circling round the point. It's your own self interest speaking.
(btw I was a low cost captain and moved to a BA first officers position (btw no 2nd officers, it just goes to show how much 'interest' you've had in moving to another airline and its possibilities)
It's not a big deal having 4 bars and getting back to 2. Just mere professional pride and a slight paycut.
It's a BA setup so it's hardly hogging any jobs for anyone else. More aircraft means more jobs means more recruitment. You might be in the RHS for 4/5 years, so what?
The bigger the airline, the more recruitment and cross flow, the more opportunities for all.

Joining the BA master seniority list will be a MASSIVE perk for many.
And not supporting us could very well lead to T&C's in your company to go on the slide...

14th Jan 2008, 16:11
Locked Door and Shaka Zulu, apologies, RHS not S/O.

Of course it's self-interest. BALPA looks after its own, isn't that self-interest too? Just how many pilots are there out there who would sacrifice their own progress for someone else to benefit? Let's face it, if your company does well and you get promoted, you congratulate yourself on backing the right horse for a change. You don't agonize about the poor pilots elsewhere whose work your company has stolen.

That said, it needs to be a level playing field. BALPA effectively wanting to crew a new venture from within BA is not level, it's a cliff.

Shaka Zulu, my own company's T&C's couldn't slide any further, I can assure you. But if the Company was threatened by a whole bunch of Captains leaving to go to Lauren, the T&C's might actually improve.

Shaka Zulu
14th Jan 2008, 16:24
If you say that your terms and conditions can't get any worse than they are I have to ask you the question if you have actually checked the difference in pay between a paypoint 1 longhaul f/o in BA or your job?
The total package cut I had was around 600ppm. Okay considering my age and potential.
You'll have to make the figures work.

And it is a level playing field.
You either apply to BA and have the opportunity to fly short/med/long from UK bases or fly for OpenLies out of Europe. The choice is yours if we are all on the same list.
If it expands rapidly then command will be quick for all. If it doesnt then at least you have the possibility to move within the airline to a lifestyle that suits your life better.
I cannot see your problem.
And it's not recruited from within BA for crying out loud. We've already started recruitment again for BA mainline (abt 200 this year) so how can it be crewed from the inside?
btw ALL fleets in BA are direct entry positions if they are available. So you might well get to fly the 75/76 for OpenLies if you are succesful during your recruitment for BA.

The only thing that's a cliff is getting through the recruitment process.
Well that's a fact of life that everyone has to deal with.

14th Jan 2008, 16:30
MANBLK, BALPA have not asked for nor expect to achieve mainline Ts & Cs in OpenLies. Given the lower Ts & Cs within the startup venture and, initially at least, limited route structure I doubt very many BA mainline pilots will be interested in either seat. A few may well be for various reasons. Therefore, there will be plenty of positions for those not in BA who care to apply and make the grade. To say BALPA want those positions for BA mainline pilots is as inaccurate as it is a distasteful thought.

Those new employees in OpenLies will have the benefit of being on the BA mainline seniority list. That, long term, offers them protection and influence plus the ability to transfer and also prevents OpenLies being used to drive down all our Ts & Cs.

Are you being deliberately obtuse or just not listening?

Locked door
14th Jan 2008, 16:33
What M Mouse said.

Far more eloquent than me.......

Human Factor
14th Jan 2008, 17:24
MANBLK, please re-read the past few posts then repeat after me:

Open Skies pilots on the mainline list ARE BA pilots.
Open Skies pilots on the mainline list ARE BA pilots.
Open Skies pilots on the mainline list ARE BA pilots.
Open Skies pilots on the mainline list ARE BA pilots.
Open Skies pilots on the mainline list ARE BA pilots.
Open Skies pilots on the mainline list ARE BA pilots.


14th Jan 2008, 18:00
Gentlemen, I'll happily concede that I'm missing a point or two in all this, but please bear in mind that I'm on the outside.

Human Factor, what you have written is obviously 100% comprehensible to you and your colleagues, but is meaningless to me and probably many others. Kindly explain, if possible without portraying me as a complete idiot? I may be one, but treating me as one is unkind.

14th Jan 2008, 18:34

If you are recruited into OpenLies, BALPA want you to be a BA pilot.

BA do not want this.

Why do you imagine BA do not want it???

14th Jan 2008, 18:40
No problem imagining why BA don't want it Lauren crewed by BA.

We've done a full circle here. I'm merely trying to make the point that there are probably a lot of non-BA BALPA members out here who don't want it either, but BALPA isn't interested in us.

Human Factor
14th Jan 2008, 18:48

Apologies. You're correct in that the concept is second nature to the BA guys. Tandemrotor sums it up quite neatly above.

The only thing I don't understand, which is what you are alluding to, is why anyone would not want Lauren to be part of the BA list. As we have said, BA (longhaul at LHR at any rate) is top of the tree in the UK with respect to Terms and Conditions. As a result, whether one likes it or not, we ensure that the T&Cs elsewhere in the UK are perhaps higher than they might otherwise be. If Lauren goes forward as BA desire, terms and conditions at LHR will deteriorate over time. If they deteriorate there, overall they will eventually deteriorate everywhere else in the UK. I know I am not alone when I say that if I have to work on a lesser deal than I am currently on, I guarantee it won't be for BA. 1000 disgruntled ex-BA guys flooding the market won't be good for anyone, I assure you.;)

As a direct result, lower T&Cs at Easyjet or Virgin for example (and to be fair, that is a very personal view) will start to become attractive. I trust you see where this would ultimately lead.

As I say, apologies (in my defence, it wasn't directed entirely at you). ;)

14th Jan 2008, 18:50

What tandemrotor is saying is:

You apply for an OpenLies position, either seat.
You are successful.
BALPA say you should now be considered a BA pilot on the BA seniority list.
BA are saying NO.

Now do you see what BALPA are asking for?

14th Jan 2008, 18:53
MANBLK, even I understand it and I am blond...

We are welcome to fly the open sky 757 as a DEC!
As a present you get a number on the BA list on top.
You are not at all intrested in mainline BA, so you will put that number in a drawer and it will stay there forever. I on the other hand might use my number to get a LHS on the A380 in twenty years time.
Balpa is happy as well because there is nobody undermining mainline T& C's, because when I move to A380 it will be on mainline T&C's.
BA doesn't want us on the list because they want to bring in cheap(er) pilots and than expand as much as possible through open skies.

idol detent
14th Jan 2008, 19:07

Top marks to Sarah! :D

BA doesn't want us on the list because they want to bring in cheap(er) pilots and than expand as much as possible through open skies.

Partly by siphoning off work from Mainline to expand OpenLies ala Jetstar V Qantas. That is the core issue at stake here.

idol detent
14th Jan 2008, 19:12
One other point though...

You get a Seniority Number when you join. As people leave & new pilots are recruited your number will decrease (ie move towards the magic #1 spot).

Senior pilots have lower numbers, but I'm sure you knew that. ;) The numbers are updated usually every Jan/Feb.
Having 'seniority' within BA is very nearly the be-all-and-end-all.

Good Luck

(Talks adjourned for tonight. Reconvened tomorrow. Standard practice-wear down the reps. Wouldn't be at all surprised to see the talks lasting until the 16/17th)

Human Factor
14th Jan 2008, 19:21
Having 'seniority' within BA is very nearly the be-all-and-end-all.

I'd swap it for my own P-51. ;)

idol detent
14th Jan 2008, 19:24
If your number is less than 1000 it's a deal! :ok:

14th Jan 2008, 19:26
So what are they planning to do with Open Skies that is different to what they did with the farce that was BACiti Express / Connect? A company which BA trashed and yet which a once small West Country airline is apparently able to turn round within a year.

Is it going to be another training/playground for wannabe BA senior managers? I note that at least one of the Directors of Open Skies was on the board of Connect, so what is he going to do differently this time? No investment, clapped out old handmedown airframes, still too many ties to Waterside, - all sounds very familiar. Regardless of pilots on the BA seniority list, unless WW has really got a grip and brought in some people who have been in the real world outside HQ BA, it is doomed.

14th Jan 2008, 21:36
Guys we have seen this in australia.
It is a cancer within.

23 Aircraft only
Protect mainline from VB
Memorandum of understanding for pilot transfer-that is ridiculous
Never an international airline
won't compete with mainline


It is called J* and it bleeds mainline. It is an industrial wedge nothing more.
Get full access or you are out of the game...

The more things change the more they stay the same!

14th Jan 2008, 22:28

let me try. If BALPA win the fight and all new joiners to open skies are on the mainline list each and every on of them will have the right to bid for a position anywhere in BA. If thier seneroty is high enough they will get it. This includes (subject to passing the course) LHS of any fleet. How is that a negative?

PL will not be crewed from within BA there is an on going demand for 150+ new pilots a year in mainline. I sincerley hope the entry requirments and selection process for PL will be the same as mainline.

In short if you join PL on the mainline list you are a BA pilot with all the rights that come with that.

I hope that helps I am sure someone will post a better reply soon.

14th Jan 2008, 23:08
Are these OPEN SKIES aircraft on the BA AOC.

Do BA have more than one AOC?

Human Factor
14th Jan 2008, 23:17
They'll probably be on a seperate AOC. BA currently have more than one. The Gatwick shorthaul operation has had it's own AOC for years.

15th Jan 2008, 07:20
Hi guys,
i usually just take a cursory glance at this site from time to time but i felt had to sign up to post a reply this thread.

it seems (to me anyway) that you take issue with the fact that (regarding PL) BALPA are only interested in the careers of BA mainline employees.
That is exactly what the British Airways Company Council is supposed to do.

BA employees worked hard to make the profits that are being used to fund PL. Of course we want to keep the jobs for ourselves. IMO we are not being at all unreasonable in taking that view. The vast majority of BA crew pay BALPA subs so that when OUR careers/ts&cs are threatened BALPA will fight OUR corner.
Regardless of what happens with PL there would be some pilots (possibly BALPA members) who would stand to benefit. But, in negotiations with BA, BALPAs duty is to BA pilots only. They will (and should) fight for the best possible outcome for BA pilots. They are not interested in furthering the careers of non-BA pilots at the expense of BA pilots.
Please note that I take this view only regarding negotiations between BALPA and BA.

Similarly, if BALPA are in negotiations with Virgin management they will only fight for the interests of Virgin pilots.
In negotiations with your airline, BALPA would be fighting your corner.

I don't see how this view could be considered unreasonable.

In an ideal world i believe BAPLA would ask for full mainline ts&cs for PL employees. I.E. you would be recruited into BA mainline and PL would be just another fleet. What they have actually asked for will remain unknown until the standing conference has finished.

On a different topic: Regarding the careers of LOCO captains, the seniority systems in place in most major longhaul airlines have been there for decades and and have not been a secret. If you join one of these airlines you go in at the bottom regardless of experience.
Hence, the quickest route to longhaul captain with any of these airlines is to apply as soon as you meet the minimum requirements.
If you choose to remain in your LOCO airline and take a command there that is your choice, but i don't think it's reasonable to then expect a direct entry command at another airline.
MANBLK, i don't claim to know the details of your particular situation but in general what i've said i believe to be reasonable.



15th Jan 2008, 07:32
Sarah and Kabaka, thanks for that and this is my final post on the subject.

If BALPA succeeds in getting BA seniority for Lauren pilots, then I think the commands will go to existing BA pilots and the likes of me won't get a look-in. I can't say how because I don't know the nuts and bolts, but somehow it will happen.

I can't believe that the BA CC want it any other way, and ComeOnBalpa seems to agree with me. Just look at them worrying about "inexperience damaging the BA brand". And taking BALPA as a whole, representing all UK members, that's bad - because pilots outside BA need more opportunities, not less. BA pilots already have opportunities in bucketloads.

This is the one big (and maybe final) opportunity for BALPA to show that it does its best for ALL its members, not just the most powerful group.

Hand Solo
15th Jan 2008, 07:46
Do you suppose BA pilots got to have all those opportunities by letting their employer outsource their growth?

Jack's a dull boy
15th Jan 2008, 07:49
The only thing I don't understand, which is what you are alluding to, is why anyone would not want Lauren to be part of the BA list.

Simple really; For FOs - secondments...five years of very inferior terms with little prospect of a command - moreover, commands implanted from BA, not from within on merit, causing disenchantment and low morale. It doesn't work at GSS at it wouldn't work here - witness recruitment of FOs at minimum experience, with those with options leaving to "normal" airlines, with normal promotion structures. It would be daft to join PL rather than BA mainline. Worried about "inexperience damaging the BA brand"?? - well this is exactly what would happen.

For DECs, I can see no reason.

The argument for keeping PL completely separate is compelling; witness GO - An excellent outside CEO (Cassani) and a motivated pilot force = a very successful airline. Of course, BA couldn't allow the prodigal child to prosper on its patch, so it was sold for way below value. BA influence is poison to organic growth and innovation.

Secondments are a flawed and distasteful distortion of the pilot structure. A ban of W flights entering the UK has merit, as it would be a breach of scope.

15th Jan 2008, 07:51
if PL goes ahead the way (i think) BACC want it to, there may or may not be a need for direct entry captains. This would depend entirely on whether enough mainline pilots wanted the position of captain on a PL 757. If not then BA would have to recruit externally for DECs.
If there are enough mainline pilots that want the PL commands then there would be no space for DECs. However, there would still be external recruitment - to fill the shoes of those having moved from a mainline fleet to a PL command.

Basically, IMO, all PL positions should be offered to eligible mainline pilots. If there is not sufficient interest then the remaining positions should be offered to external DEFOs and DECs as required.
Either way, expansion means external recruitment and opportunities for non-BA pilots such as yourself.

I am honestly interested to know if you (or anyone else) thinks this is an unfair point of view for an existing mainline pilot to take.

PS - Its important to mention that the main concern of most mainline crew (myself included) is not getting the opportunity of an early command or a foreign base on a 757.
What we are most concerned about is a Jetstar/Qantas situation developing and our ts&cs being permanently eroded.

15th Jan 2008, 07:55
MANBLK, I give up.

Hand Solo
15th Jan 2008, 07:59
There are only going to be secondments if the PL pilots are not on the seniority list, otherwise it's transparent commands on seniority (probably about 4-5 years) as opposed to an opaque promotion process on 'merit'. Given that the GSS option in BA is so unpopular do you really think there would be many takers for PL within mainline?

Whilst were at it lets nail the myth that Go was sold off cheaply. BA sold it for many times the value they invested in it. That kind of return would be considered a success in any business. So what if the next owners sold it on again a few years later for more cash? There's nothing wrong with taking the money and running. The only people who slate the sale of Go are those who want to bash BA for their own personal reasons. There was no criticism of the deal from the money men.

The Member
15th Jan 2008, 08:28
Further to biddedout post yesterday I would agree that unless BA place Non Cloned BA management in Openskies it is doomed to failure. I have to also say that apples to other staffing positions as well. My belief is that the only way BA can really succeed with Openskies is for the new venture not to have "the baggage" of BA working practices attached to it.

15th Jan 2008, 08:51
Not wishing to upset anyone here,but on returning to work at "Big Airways" yesterday,i was told that there is a strong possibility that when the two 757s allocated to Open Skies are painted,they will emerge with VP- registrations,(i think thats Bermuda?). Apparently this info is eminating from the "Aircraft Disposal" team within Engineering and is based on the fact that on the paperwork side of things,operating costs are that much lower than keeping the a/c on the British register. As for these aircraft,when Open Skies is up and running,they apparently will only visit LHR about once every 18/24 months for a C check....All other checks will be done in Antwerp.......Can anyone confirm these rumours??

15th Jan 2008, 09:57
The guys who fix BA's machines will be curious about their work going to the continent. If it is the case it will be another group interested in this venture and maybe more trouble for BA.

To all of you out there who find it difficult to understand BALPA and its members issue. We are trying to protect our jobs pure and simple. We are trying to protect the jobs of future pilots at BA and ALL OTHER CARRIERS in the UK that recognise BALPA (or not). If BA get their way on this then it will be trouble for everyone. This fight is for all BALPA members whether you work for BA or not.

Rant over.


Jack's a dull boy
15th Jan 2008, 10:23
There are only going to be secondments if the PL pilots are not on the seniority list

I'm confused by that. I understand that BA pilots (FOs presumably) want to be able to bid to take commands at PL(seniority list or no). Call it what you like, but I call that a secondment, and is no different from what happens at GSS (where the secondments are still popular enough for 2/3 of commands there to go to BA FOs)

15th Jan 2008, 11:13
Jack - don't let the secondment issue sidetrack you. If BALPA win there will be no 'secondments' as such - people will simply be able to bid for PL positions (opening up jobs in BA Mainline). If BA win, their position is that some secondments may be possible a la GSS with all the problems that brings.

However - as far as I read it, this is NOT BALPA's main concern. The numbers of mainline pilots who would want to bid for the far worse PL T&C's is probably very low. BALPA's worry is PL being used as a trojan horse to drive down the T&C's of other BA (& therefore UK) pilots.

If the PL pilots are put on the seniority list it would make NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL to them - other than the ability to join BA mainline after 4/5 years (if they want) and promotion opportunities not being based on how well you get on with your boss.

I am really struggling to see the problems DEP's have with BALPA's stance. In the next 5 years BA will need 'x' new pilots (for mainline and PL). This will be the same whatever the outcome of the talks. There may be slightly fewer DEC's as a result of SFO's from mainline moving to PL for a command - but is the loss of maybe 10 DEC's really worth risking the T&C's of EVERY UK pilot?

Human Factor
15th Jan 2008, 11:49
I understand that BA pilots (FOs presumably) want to be able to bid to take commands at PL(seniority list or no).

Oh, for Pete's sake...... :ugh:

All PL commands will be available, subject to seniority, to any pilot on the seniority list, irrespective of how they got there. If it is not popular, it will be extremely junior, and I don't feel it will be especially popular. If it is really not popular, there will be direct entry commands. Everyone wins.

If you are not on the seniority list, commands will be available to mainline BA guys who want them and you lose.

That said, all of the above is a distraction. The big picture is about an attempt to reduce mainline terms and conditions.

It's not rocket science, really. :rolleyes:

idol detent
15th Jan 2008, 11:50
As I said earlier...

...by siphoning off work from Mainline to expand OpenLies ala Jetstar V Qantas. That is the core issue at stake here.

Some folks seem to believe we (BACC/BALPA) are trying to prevent you from joining BA/OpenLies by keeping the work 'in house.' This is very much removed from the truth.

The truth is that BA needs ~200 pilots in the next 18months just for mainline. The work generated by OpenLIes will increase that number, and may be a significant increase. All of those pilots will have to come from outside BA. We do not have enough pilots at the moment.

There may well be a few, (and I would hazard a guess at less than a couple of dozen), pilots (FOs & Captains) bidding to move from Mainline to OpenLies because the novelty/lifestyle of living & working in Europe will suit them. I think the number will be very limited because the T&Cs compared to Mainline are not that attractive. Indeed, if we do have a few bidding from Mainline to OpenLies then those now vacant Mainline positions will have to be recruited ex-BA.

It will be no different to pilots joining now. Some go to LGW & some to LHR. They are all on the Master Seniority List, and after their 5 year engagement freeze is up they have the right, seniority dependant, to move to any other fleet or base. We want OpenSkies to be the same.

For the avoidance of doubt LHR & LGW have different T&Cs. Same MSL.

Farty Flaps
15th Jan 2008, 12:12
To those of you who think balpa are trying to shaft you on behalf of ba guys think again.The only shafting will come from the PL team who should be regarded as Mike Opikey in trg

If you join OS as an f/o with no senority list you wont get promoted. Its cheaper to keep bringing in guys. There is a glut of 75/6 people around.
You will be ina merituous sychophantic enviroment and they will do with you as they please. One DEC equals one course. Am f/o promotion means two courses. One upgrade and one hire.

As an ex charter captain joining as DEC you will probably find yourself being neutered at every turn. They want yes men and cheaply.

Just as the cadets at ryr are a self perpetuating cancer so will PL be. Selfish short sighted transient people who dont care what it takes to fuel their egos.
Pucker up boys its balpas way or the chocolate highway

Jack's a dull boy
15th Jan 2008, 14:26
All PL commands will be available, subject to seniority, to any pilot on the seniority list, irrespective of how they got there

I am being literal when I say I am confused by the proposal. Someone way back in the thread (maybe you, HF) said that to join mainline and bid across would possibly be a quicker route to a PL command than to join PL as an FO. Someone else mentioned that BA seniority would be frozen whilst at PL - so that PL commands would be out of bounds to PL pilots for as long as there was a single mainline pilot wanting to bid. Or it would be a quota which would go to mainline FOs, like GSS' 2/3. All the above would be unacceptable to nearly all potential FO recruits (save for the most desperate)

But if seniority rises from day one of joining PL, then that would silence most critics. It still doesn't answer why anyone would want to join PL as an FO when they could join mainline on much better terms. Maybe because of lower entry standards for PL? - dangerous ground!...

Human Factor
15th Jan 2008, 15:04
But if seniority rises from day one of joining PL, then that would silence most critics.

It does. It's based entirely on date of joining (either BA or PL, it would make no difference).

It still doesn't answer why anyone would want to join PL as an FO when they could join mainline on much better terms. Maybe because of lower entry standards for PL? - dangerous ground!...

Wouldn't like to comment on standards, although I would imagine were PL pilots on the mainline list, the recruitment standards would become practically identical. The only reason I can think of as to why someone would want to join PL as an FO is that they may want to live in mainland Europe, which would be difficult as a junior pilot at LHR.

15th Jan 2008, 15:23
For all those folks worried about their quick OS promotions being stopped by BA FOs transfering over: BA management have already offered BA secondments to OS retining mainline seniority. They don't care about OS FOs promotion prospects.

The single seniority list has no detrimental effect on anyone vs. what is already on the table. It just stops mainline being shafted in the years to come (and gives OS pilots a whole host of options in later life).

There is no reason for pilot in-fighting.

15th Jan 2008, 16:26
U.S. pilot. I'm reading about how BALPA pilots are going to allow their parent company to start another carrier using different T&C's. I'm sorry, most U.S. pilots have realized that's a no vote.

We allowed that to happen about 20 yrs ago with 'exceptions' to our Scope clauses. That was the growth of the commuter airline industry feeding the mainline airlines. Many of us think it was a terrible mistake.

My recommendation? BALPA seniority list and standard T&C's. Otherwise the company has incentive to grow the 'cheaper' airline at the expense of the 'expensive' airline. There is less chance of 'bait and switch' tactics by BA management if there is one contract.

One company, one list, one contract. It's much safer that way.

Dick Deadeye
15th Jan 2008, 16:38
I think the commands will go to existing BA pilots and the likes of me won't get a look-in. I can't say how because I don't know the nuts and bolts, but somehow it will happen.

If you exhibit that level of analytical reasoning on your aircraft, then perhaps it's just as well you won't get near a command!

Seriously, if you can't be bothered to read and try and understand what has been written in reply to your points, then you'll just have to continue on in your own blinkered way.

Just don't say you haven't been warned not to get caught in the middle of a BA v BALPA dispute that now appears highly likely.

Human Factor
15th Jan 2008, 16:56
My recommendation? BALPA seniority list and standard T&C's. Otherwise the company has incentive to grow the 'cheaper' airline at the expense of the 'expensive' airline. There is less chance of 'bait and switch' tactics by BA management if there is one contract.

Agreed, in theory. Unfortunately, there has to be "give and take" in negotiations. The "give" is variable T&Cs. No precedent has been set as this has been the case in different parts of BA since the dawns of time, Regional, LGW, Caledonian and AML immediately spring to mind.

Swedish Steve
15th Jan 2008, 16:59
As for these aircraft,when Open Skies is up and running,they apparently will only visit LHR about once every 18/24 months for a C check....All other checks will be done in Antwerp.......Can anyone confirm these rumours??

The C Checks will be done at LHR, until the LHR B757 C Check line closes in about 5 years time. Last I heard all minor checks will be carried out at BRU by SN Technics on the Saturday layover ( BRU flight will not operate on Sat)

Another procedure
15th Jan 2008, 17:48
I understand the reasons for hoping BALPA is successful as posted previously but can’t help thinking that the main benefits BACC have for starting up OpenLies would be pretty much redundant if the T’s and C’s of BA crew are transferred across?

Keeping it separate allows them to have a more flexible workforce and indeed airline and allows them to treat crew in a way BA pilots wouldn’t like to imagine!

I think the term “Trojan horse” is misguiding, as it’s clear BACC want new opportunities to be taken up outside BA by the very existence of OpenLies, if it becomes a success it’s unlikely to revert back to mainline is it and this can only be the beginning of a very slippery slope (Jetstar/Qantas:=).

Ultimately if BA pilots loose their T’s and C’s there’s no hope for the rest of us!

All the best with the fight.

15th Jan 2008, 18:19
BA employees worked hard to make the profits that are being used to fund PL.
Except the proceeds of the sales of the regional ops to flyBE, the proceeds of the sale of the Qantas stake, and the sale of any other non-operating asset...quite of lot of those recently.

Further, there is no mention of funding - there is likely to be debt included - so probably best to leave the spurious issues and concentrate on the core issue.

Is it a threat to or taking away from the current workforces' jobs. As a union member, aside from safety, that is the only issue you should care about.

Forget the spurious ancillary issues as BA management will tie you up to Christmas and ignore the main point.

Super Stall
15th Jan 2008, 18:31
So its game on then.

The process has run its course with no agreement.

Balpa response to Ba's final offer (which falls short) will be on Thursday.

I despise the management of this company for what they have turned me into.

Shaka Zulu
15th Jan 2008, 18:46
I am really really angry.
Why are they f****** everything up....

Have your cake and eat it. I am ready to strike.

Big Kahuna Burger
15th Jan 2008, 18:47
Well said Super Stall.

I would have never have imagined that I would be voting for and willing to go on strike. But the BA managers have given me no option but to do just that.

I like many others am just simply tired of the constant attacks on our terms and conditions. Every few months its yet something else that they want from us. We work our bollocks off going the extra mile to keep the show on the road. Many pilots are stood down because they hit the 900hr mark.

And yet you repay our loyalty with yet more classic Harvard outsourcing cr*p like this.

I have my strike fund in place. I don't want to, but I will. :*

I am disgusted in the management that it has come to this.

Human Factor
15th Jan 2008, 18:57
I don't want to, but I will.

Same here, sadly.

Thoroughly disgusted with the short-termist bonus-seeking greedy contemptuous management who have no loyalty to or interest in BA beyond lining their own pockets.

We work bloody hard to keep this airline going and this is the thanks we get.

Reap what you've sown.

Airbus Unplugged
15th Jan 2008, 19:00
The talking is over.

The void remains.

The battle is joined.

Good Luck chaps, we're at DEFCON 1:ooh:

15th Jan 2008, 19:19
Mr.Walsh you have your answer.

There will now follow a series of strikes by BA pilots.

No longer ATC
15th Jan 2008, 19:21
My better half is in the garage,digging out an oil drum for the picket line....please can I help and run the tea stand??? Behind you all the way chaps.

15th Jan 2008, 19:27
I can see the BA side to this... the answer is predicting and controlling costs.

If the Openskys pilots are placed on the mainline seniority list and openskys is open to mailine pilots as a bid then training costs will soar.

Lets face it most openskys first officers would be bidding straight into mainline as soon as their (presumed) 5 year freeze is up, these pilots have to be replaced and ratings / training is a big cost. Also with mainline pilots taking commands in openskys they will be there for again say 5 years then bidding back to mainline, this generates costs on both sides to mainline and openskys. By keeping openskys a seperate entity these costs can be predicted and controlled.

I cannot see a mainline pilot giving up his pension rights to go for a command in openskys either.... next Balpa will be demanding that the "mainline" pilots retain their company pension contributions whilst working for openskys.... then open skys will want the same deal etc again costs soar.

I can see the fear of the mainline pilots over the threat of openskys to their t and c. Perhaps a different approach will be needed... an agreement that openskys will never operate into UK airfields? never "W" pattern into the UK etc? and it is kept an entirely seperate entity in europe with no rights either way of pilots transferring to mainline or vice versa.

15th Jan 2008, 20:06
Go get 'em boys and girls...and for the rest of us stakeholders around the world, let us not be mere spectators - THIS AFFECTS EACH OF US.

Rattle the cages of your union executives and let's see tangible support from all quarters for these who stand in defiance of corporate greed for, indeed, they stand for us all.

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

15th Jan 2008, 20:38
This thread is full of postings by self-righteous pilots, who give the profession a bad name. BA pilots may be quite professional, as a whole, but many of those posting outrageous statements here don't deserve the accolade of "professional".

I don't work for BA, but I do fly with them sometimes. I am a professional pilot with another organisation. I find BA to be well run once you get into the aircraft: the pilots and the cabin crew seem to be of a different quality than the management.

But having said that, why are 50 or so of the several thousand strong pilots making such a fuss about a small operation, which as someone else has said, is unlikely to succeed. Bear in mind, BA management is crap. So why should a pokey operation with a couple of B757s be threatening to anyone?

Furthermore, Openskies is not BA. It is (I believe) a different airline completely, and not to be based in the UK. As such how can BA pilots legally strike? They work for BA, not Openskies, and whatever you think may happen in the future, you can't or shouldn't strike just because you think something MIGHT happen. That is anarchy.

And that is why I think the small proportion of BA pilots who have shown themselves up to be pretty appalling individuals in this thread should be scorned by their more sensible colleagues. There is an element of hysteria here, and this is not something I feel comforting if I am flying with BA.

Final point is that is it any surprise that pilots are often treated like lepers by airline management?

15th Jan 2008, 20:43
The Leadership Team have forced me into a corner, I have a fund in place that gives me comfort in going for their throats!

Better to make a stand now than to accept a decline in conditions across the entire industry. If BA succeed then everyone else will fall in line and do the same.:mad::ugh::uhoh::=:*

Human Factor
15th Jan 2008, 20:50
...you can't or shouldn't strike just because you think something MIGHT happen.

Correct and you'll find out soon enough that this isn't the case.;)

15th Jan 2008, 20:52
Riverboat, you are making the same mistake as others in saying that OpenLies is not a threat. Read about QANTAS/Jetstar and then come back and say the same thing. The parallels are striking.

Dave Bloke
15th Jan 2008, 20:53
So why should a pokey operation with a couple of B757s be threatening to anyone?

Have you been asleep for the past 7 pages or what?


15th Jan 2008, 21:22
No, I haven't been asleep. In fact I have read the whole lot from start to finish, and, to be honest, I am appalled by the nasty postings. By all means stand up for your rights when there is a genuine actual threat, but not just a possible threat. What do you expect to happen to you? Terms and Conditions decimated because you didn't strike now? If T & Cs are rewritten, that is the time to take action. In this day and age it is hard for a company to tread down on its staff. Why not just keep a close eye on things and then consider action when you are directly threatened? This will be just as effective and, in this case, legitimate. Striking now would be stupid: it would be illegal, and the public would not support you. Management, and the much of the rest of BA staff (who have been denigrated) would just shake their heads and say - "pilots!"

15th Jan 2008, 21:36
I am always amazed at how little fuss there is from the middle class as it is beset on all sides by the greed of corporations, the corruption of their executives and the indifference and/or outright collusion of governments the world over - never mind the oppressive burden of taxation it bears.

Wait for the T's & C's to change and then kick up a fuss? Bollocks...fight early and fight hard, BALPA.

15th Jan 2008, 21:39

Why do you think BA do not want a common seniority list? We are not even suggesting what the terms and conditions for Openskies should be. So a BA mainline pilot bidding to work for the new company would not be costing any more than an outside pilot.

The reason BA do not want the common seniority list, is that they want to drive down BA mainline's terms and conditions, by playing one airline off against another. If you cannot see this, then there is not a lot of point in any discussion about it, because it IS FACT.

I hold a significant number of BA shares, and as a shareholder, I am gobsmacked that the leadership team would push (perhaps it's most loyal) workforce to strike action over this. It is clear we cannot afford to lose this battle. BA would like to win, but we simply CANNOT lose. We have given so much to this company since 9/11, and now they are choosing to waste all that effort with these strikes.

Unless they back down, BA are going to wish they had never even thought up the concept of Openskies.

They will not win this battle, it is simply a case of how much cash they are going spew, before that fact dawns on them.

Human Factor
15th Jan 2008, 21:57
Striking now would be stupid...

Matter of opinion.

...it would be illegal...

Rather depends what you choose to strike about.

...and the public would not support you.

If we expected public support, it would be an issue. We don't. It isn't.

Shaka Zulu
15th Jan 2008, 22:23
copied and pasted a post by one of my colleagues on the flight ops forum:

Echoeing the comments of my colleagues.
I feel extremely saddened to see it come to this.
You leave me no choice.

Often a backbencher and not quick to jump to a conclusion I've been trying to
get to grips with the issue and thinking of what needs to be done to make it
work for either side.
I cannot see where you want to take this with the current hardline stance.
We've given you every incentive to make OpenSkies a success even if it's an
operation with very tight profit margins initially.
So the only conclusion I can draw is that there must be an ulterior motive
involved. The writing is on the wall : Qantas-Jetstar.

Here I was thinking that maybe we were at the dawn of a very bright start
to the future of British Airways, coming through a patch of very hard decision
making and great sacrifices made by your workforce. Fostering an adult like
relationship between employer and employee.
As indicated by yourselves in the Flight Ops Newsletters, we've led from the
front and led by example. But you seem dead keen to pat us on the back in writing
and stabbing us in the back in doing.
This cannot and will not continue.

Very soon all 3100 pilots will know exactly what there is to lose. And may I remind
you that we will all lose. It could have been a great success for all at the dawn
of T5.

Signed by a truly saddened employee

15th Jan 2008, 23:51
Having read threads on three different forums,it is clear you have the support of the BA Cabin Crew.

This will also affect us at some stage and we will no doubt have to fight it also.

You like ourselves are only trying to protect what you have left and what happens next could affect us all.

Strikes have to be the very last resort but BA management seem to have the worlds greatest ability not to listen or act.

One year down the line and our IFS Management have not delivered on their promise and as unreal as it may sound,we are having to ballot again!!.:ugh:

However our forthcoming dispute I feel may be a small one compared to the 'OpenLies' one you have with them.

I always find you a great bunch to fly with so from one side of the door to the other,may we your cabin crew colleagues wish you well.


The Member
16th Jan 2008, 00:29
So Human Factor "you are not expecting public support so going on strike is not an issue!" Tell that to the thousands of passengers you and the other members of BALPA are going to inconvenience by taking strike action which you seem hell bent on doing. Those passengers pay your wages . Life is tough in the airline business as you know so do not weaken the good that you and others have done in the past couple of years to get BA back up on it's feet.
I think Riverboat and 757 Flyer have put across some good points and perhaps it would be in keeping with your professionalism as a BA pilot if you accept that we all have opinions and not everybody necessarily agrees with you.

OpenSkies should be a stand alone airline without the baggage (pardon the pun) of BA mainline working practices and management.

I do not know the full history of the Qantas /Jetstar scenario and I have not heard of any threatening noises from Qantas pilots. If I am wrong about this please enlighten me.

16th Jan 2008, 00:46
Life is only tough in the airline business if you're a rank and file employee of the business or one of the poor sots who actually have to use the service on a regular basis.

If you're a private vulture capital fund, a board executive or a corporate officer, the skies are a remarkably more brilliant shade of blue.

That said, we certainly wouldn't want to inconvenience anybody in this little squabble over an acceptable standard of living for ourselves and our families. We may consider doing many things...but inconvenience somebody? Shudder the thought. Back to the drawing board boys...

16th Jan 2008, 07:01
As a Balpa member I fully support the action the BACC is about to take.
However at present I believe WW has a number of other problems to overcome.
1/ The 757 is not really suitable, why would you spend 500k on wingtip mods on a low cost outfit, if the 3% range improvements were not necessary.?
2/ The US authorities have already said BA can not use JFK only EWR.
3/ BRU has already been ruled out as not having enough premium traffic.
4/ Paris ORL has already been ruled out by the French so it has to be CDG. ie head to head with Air France
5/ That means that FRA & Milan are next in line, with the range problem mentioned in 1/ a bigger problem.
6/ Low cost this project certainly is not, BA have at least 35 senior staff working in Waterside as I speak.

With pilots about to strike is it really worth the candle,?
I believe BA is also in mortal danger from having too many eggs in one basket, ie a huge proportion of their operation into New York. With all the top US/UK bankers about to retrench, it is questionable whether they will fill the seats they are already offering.

16th Jan 2008, 07:43
For the benefit of those pilots wishing to joing OpenSkies without common seniority, may I take the opportunity to warn you of the general incompetence of the average BA manager. If this does go ahead and end up being sold off/shut down/going bust in a couple of years ( a search of GO/Citiflyer/CitiExpress/BA Regional threads will give you an idea), then you will be jettisoned without a backward glance. Ask the ex Dan Air pilots how much redundancy they got from BA.

16th Jan 2008, 07:57
And the members of your self declared "leadership team" will simply pull the ripcords on their golden parachutes and float gently back down into the mother ship with hardly a ruffled feaher. :yuk:

Only do it if you can be absolutely sure that the whole managment team are leaving BA for good, are taking exactly the same risk and are on exactly the same redundancy package as everyone else. If not, avoid it at all costs. One of the Directors of this new venture probably holds more responsibility than anyone else for the whole BA Connect fiasco.

If they tell you that they are 100% comitted to this new venture, check, check again, get it in writing and always work on the assumption that you are being told a load of porkies. :rolleyes: You will be.

16th Jan 2008, 08:39
OpenSkies should be a stand alone airline without the baggage (pardon the pun) of BA mainline working practices and management.

BALPA have never said it shouldn't be all we are asking is a common seniority list that is all. Working practices will be standalone, management will be of the usual high calibre BA standard.

I do not know the full history of the Qantas /Jetstar scenario and I have not heard of any threatening noises from Qantas pilots. If I am wrong about this please enlighten me.

In those sentences you have neatly illustrated why you have no idea what our problem is all about. Please read all you can about it and then come back and argue the management's case for them.

idol detent
16th Jan 2008, 08:49
So Human Factor "you are not expecting public support so going on strike is not an issue!" Tell that to the thousands of passengers you and the other members of BALPA are going to inconvenience by taking strike action which you seem hell bent on doing. Those passengers pay your wages . Life is tough in the airline business as you know so do not weaken the good that you and others have done in the past couple of years to get BA back up on it's feet.

You're quite entitled to your opinion like the next man. Are we to stand by and watch our careers go down the river? BALPA have been entirely reasonable. BA, as usual, have initially ignored our requests to talk. They have been obstructive at every turn. We have now run our course. The only sanction we have left is to withdraw our labour. If that inconveniences our passengers then I am truly sorry, but I must fight this.

I think Riverboat and 757 Flyer have put across some good points and perhaps it would be in keeping with your professionalism as a BA pilot if you accept that we all have opinions and not everybody necessarily agrees with you.

Respectfully, I don't think that they have grasped the serious nature of this at all. They are still, of course, welcome to keep posting. If they have truly read this entire thread they would have some small inkling that BA management are being disingenuous with intent. Do you honestly believe that 3000+ pilots in BA actually want to strike?

OpenSkies should be a stand alone airline without the baggage (pardon the pun) of BA mainline working practices and management.

And as far as the pilots are concerned it will be. The Mainline working practices for pilots will not exist in OpenSkies. We have said that all along. Just like LGW.

I do not know the full history of the Qantas /Jetstar scenario and I have not heard of any threatening noises from Qantas pilots. If I am wrong about this please enlighten me

Sorry Member, that statement alone tells me that you have only skimmed this thread. An Aussie pilot has already posted (post #91). Why not google Qantas/Jetstar and educate yourself. Then come back to this 'forum' with your opinions. I will be interested to see if you change your stance on this issue.



(Darn, beaten by MMouse!)

16th Jan 2008, 09:57
I work for charter in the U.K., yet fully support you guys. Who wouldn't in all honesty want to defend their T&C's. All you have to do is see what happened in Oz, to work out what will happen.

As for the children out there who suggest.....you have so much already, I want to have a go (read with a childs whining voice).....GROW UP.

As for an earlier post suggesting that we should all support you guys because you have industry leading T&C's, and any erosion of your T&C's will filter down through other airlines. I don't see it myself. We do not use BA as a bench mark (oh how I would like to).

dallas dude
16th Jan 2008, 14:22

In the 80's American Airlines asked APA (AA pilot union) to allow it to begin flying a couple of 19 seat prop jobs under a different banner (American Eagle).

Unfortunately, we were not focused on the future and allowed AA to begin what has become a nemesis.

Today, American Eagle flies over 300 jets and has drawn appx $4bn investment from the core airline. AA has parked close to 200 mainline jets in the past few years but not one Eagle jet.

No one would argue that with 20/20 hindsight the very least we should have done is ensured the original pilots were on the AA seniority list.

I know the Qantas pilots have learned an important lesson with Jetstar.

Very encouraging to see that most pilots at BALPA understand too.

Help from across the pond is on the way.


16th Jan 2008, 20:19
CHINOOKER in reply to your VP- post...

VP- is a prefix for an aircraft registred off-shore...

VP-B.. B is for Bermuda
VP-C.. C is for Cayman Islands

Either way, it is a cheaper option and one which gets round lots of CAA stuff!


16th Jan 2008, 20:25
Had the opportunity to chat briefly with a BA 747 skipper in BLR...looks like a fight is brewing...welcome to the USA style pilot group whipsawing...:ugh:

Tell you what Dallas Dude..I was flying for one of those carriers then...when we attempted to approach APA to get included into your pilot group, thus negating managements efforts to undermine your careers, and use us against you..( we couldnt even get jumpseats then...those of us in the "turboprop ghetto" couldnt possibly be real pilots right?) we were rebuffed and treated like last week's garbage...so dont blame your management, look at your own union's short sightness..no wonder 50% of my company scabbed when Continental struck...not me mind you...you wanted our support, but weren't willing to provide us with yours...not a personal attack...just stating the facts...none of the "real AA pilots" were interested in any kind of flow thru, until it became apparent they might need a "flow back"...you reap what you sow...enjoy...you brought it upon yourselves!!!!

Sonic Bam
16th Jan 2008, 20:35
They are proposing to use what was the Flying Colours AOC (owned by BA) so the aircaft will be G regs. Also, the line maintenance will be carried out by existing BA engineers at BA line stations. The A Checks to be done at BRU as previously posted by somebody else.

757 with winglets being used because it is the correct sized aircraft for the business model they have come up with and the hulls can be made available. Yes, range is a problem though, hence the winglets.

Some of the posts above go on about BA using Open Skies to expand their business at the expense of LHR and therefore limit opportunities for mainline. What expansion possibilities are they at LHR? It is at capacity, that's why it is one of the worst airports in the world to travel through and work at. Every business needs to keep on expanding to survive so why not expand in Europe? Good idea as far as I'm concerned. Is it going to be a sustainable business - jury's out for me but my gut feel doesn't think so.

Creation of an operation in Europe going to destroy the T&Cs of all pilots in the UK? Hmmmm, tenuous reasoning IMHO.

Human Factor
16th Jan 2008, 20:53
Some of the posts above go on about BA using Open Skies to expand their business at the expense of LHR and therefore limit opportunities for mainline. What expansion possibilities are they at LHR?

You're correct in your assertion that there isn't much scope for expansion at LHR at the moment. However, if some parts of the LHR operation end up being moved to Europe ergo room for expansion at LHR.

None of the BA pilots want to prevent BA from expanding their business. Far from it in fact, we want to be fully involved - just like the Lufthansa pilots are with their subsidiary operations. What we want to ensure is that this expansion doesn't happen at the expense of BA pilots.

16th Jan 2008, 22:34
Nor do we wish to end up in the situation like where Jetstar is undermining QANTAS mainline at a rate of knots.

17th Jan 2008, 00:33
Never as the arrogance of so few, brought so much anger from so many as our present management.

No matter were you work in BA we're still managed by the same idiots.


dallas dude
17th Jan 2008, 01:49

Wind your neck in son I was being critical of my fellow AA pilots [and portraying our mistake], no one else. Certainly wasn't Eagle pilots' fault at the time.

I'm glad it seems to have worked out for you.

A multitude of lessons to be learned from past failures rather than continually re-inventing the wheel.


17th Jan 2008, 09:26
I cannot believe that we may be facing IA just as we move into our new home - unbelievable timing! I've been with the company for a relatively short time - in that period, the pilots/BALPA have been nothing other than cooperative with management's proposed changes, the most recent being work-coverage. BA is a great company but it has SERIOUS PROBLEMS (largely created by weak management......... ) Flight Crew professionalism, loyalty and motivation are not among them. Yet we have a management willing to pick an unwinnable fight with one of the most on side working groups within the company.......it beggars belief it really does. The BACC has some great intellects on board and I have every confidence in their abilty to see the wood for the trees - i.e the Company's End game. The company are deluded if they think we are unaware of the parallels with Qantas/Jetstar and the threat posed by OS. It's all very depressing.............:uhoh:

17th Jan 2008, 10:30
Good luck to all you "Boys and Girls" that sit at the front end with regard to this fight....I only wish my own union in Engineering was as strong as you are!....Over the past few years,(since 9-11 ),our own T&Cs have been eroded/steam-rollered over on many occasions,all in the name of "progress/cost efficiency etc etc.......Only recently have BA management, in some respects,"woken up" to the fact that a demoralised workforce is not good for business.....In our case many of the younger engineers BA spent thousands of £££ training,have simply "jumped ship",to persue other careers,which has basically left our area with a workforce consisting of a few guys in thier mid 40s and a whole lot of techs who are probably nearer to putting "one foot in the grave",than picking up a 787 licence!!.
Shortsightedness,coupled with KPIs/Bonuses is a BA management trait at the present time and it just may be that a bust up between BAs pilots and Wee Willie may bring them back down to earth!,(although reading on the CC forum about the outcome of thier previous dispute),probably not!!

With regard to the future of "Open Skies",several posts on here have alluded to the fact that BA may purchase 787s,(once Boeing have learned how to glue them together properly),for this venture?.....Forgive me if i am wrong,but won't BA be starting to offload the 767 fleet at around the same time......Nearly all of them are ETOPS rated...Have a 3 class configuration complete with Avod....all that would be needed would be a lick of paint on the outside and "hey presto" Open Skies" doubles in capacity!!

Looking on the bright side....If you guys and gals do actually have a bust up for a few days,at least the ADD count should have reduced by the time you all return,spares permitting!!

Good Luck to one and all

The Member
17th Jan 2008, 11:01
M.Mouse & idol detent thanks for filling in some of the gaps so I can see "the wood for the trees". If as you say you are happy for OpenSkies to be stand alone apart from a common seniority then I support the cause.

I do not see BA allowing OpenSkies to encroach upon their main core of business from LHR. It will hopefully bolster the bottom line of the group by operating on routes not covered by BA mainline but by US and Mainland European carriers and that ALL BA staff enjoy the upside.
I wish you well in trying to get your management around a table to sort this out and hopefully you can look back in 5 years time and say that BA was right in setting OpenSkies up. I am still of the view that the only way OpenSkies will succeed is to have management who are able to work outside the current framework of BA along side supportive BA Crews and Engineers. Good Luck!:ok:

17th Jan 2008, 12:13
Chinooker - thanks for the engineers' perspective - very insightful! I've been under the impression for sometime now, that you boys n girls in engineering are understaffed/overworked - I think you've confirmed that fear.....It's so ironic that the very areas/working groups which are over-resourced/low in productivity continue along in their inefficient/incompetent ways whereas areas like flt ops and engineering continue to be squeezed..........Talk about getting your priorities wrong........

The member, forgive me, but you are wrong. Lets talk about a pax who wants to fly JFK to CDG with BA. Currently they fly LH to LHR and then xfer to SH for the hop across the channel! OS flying same pax direct would therefore most definitely be 'encroaching' onto BA's 'territory'....................

19th Jan 2008, 00:57
Apparently, there are guys currently being offered positions in this Mickey Mouse outfit.

Be warned:

If you accept this offer, you will deserve whatever comes your way. there WILL be casualties!

I will do EVERYTHING in my power to ensure it is YOU and not me that suffers.

Until this is resolved, you are very unwelcome!

Take my advice. Think very, very carefully before accepting.

19th Jan 2008, 10:42
How low can you go ? Sad , very sad

19th Jan 2008, 12:01
On the 14th, HF repeats that OpenSkies pilots on the mainline seniority list are BA pilots. It is also true of course that OpenSkies pilots not on the mainline seniority list will be BA pilots. They won't have an automatic right to bid onto a mainline fleet, but OpenSkies is a BA company

19th Jan 2008, 12:21
MANBLK is actually quite right.
BALPA / BACC have asked for preferential secondments into LHS at OpenSkies. In other words, mainline get to bid first (possibly subject to a cursory interview), the command is theirs based on mainline seniority. Openskies RHS occupiers only get what's left and only then or with growth will openSkies continue to recruit DEPs.
Clearly "big" BALPA see the inequity and have pressed for access to mainline for OpenSkies DEPs as the price to be paid (by the company notice, not the union).
The OpenSkies CC becomes a puppet CC to the BACC as most joiners under these terms see their future in BA proper, aspiring to a bidline seniority and PP that most people can't realistically expect.
BACC at the same time maintains control of all BA LH flying and commences the journey on closing the T&Cs gap.
My guess, some secondments, no seniority and messy strike action, with BACC attempting to unseat WW. I wouldn't.

19th Jan 2008, 15:30
If we don't 'take on' wee Willie over this, we're stuffed - we have no choice but to stand firm over this issue..........IMHO of course, but I would wager that the majority (increasing rapidly) of my colleagues feel the same. I would venture to suggest that it's Willie who shouldn't be taking us on. The mood amongst the pilots is moving towards belligerance at a rate of knots. Oh, and didn't Willie take the Aer Lingus pilots on and lose both the struggle and his position? Or am I misinformed? :E

Human Factor
19th Jan 2008, 20:36
On the 14th, HF repeats that OpenSkies pilots on the mainline seniority list are BA pilots. It is also true of course that OpenSkies pilots not on the mainline seniority list will be BA pilots.

Er, no. They will be pilots for a subsidiary, same as Cityflyer.

They won't have an automatic right to bid onto a mainline fleet but OpenSkies is a BA company.

They won't have any right to bid onto a mainline fleet, same as anyone from BA Connect or Cityflyer. If they decide they want to join mainline, they will have to apply and go through the selection in the same way as any external applicant. Any time they will have spent with Open Skies will not count in any way. Ask anyone who applied from BA Connect.

As far as I'm concerned, OS pilots are more than welcome, provided they are on the seniority list. Otherwise, they are potentially a danger to my terms and conditions and I'll be standing next to Tandemrotor. Sorry but I have to protect my livelihood first.

20th Jan 2008, 11:23
I'm with Tandemrotor and HF. Any pilot handing in notice to their current employer to join OpenLies had better know exactly what they are getting into. The nickname I've already heard is 'Scab-Air' - emotive maybe, but when you upset 3000+ BA pilots, emotions do run high.

Pilots joining OpenLies at the moment are playing into BA's hands - the masterplan being to drive a wedge into the T's and C's of the entire employment market in the UK.

20th Jan 2008, 12:39
OS: Surely "warning off" OS applicants is a job for BALPA to do, if appropriate :eek:

My understanding, as a BA pilot, is that our "argument" is with BA, and that BALPA have issued no instructions, warnings or advice to potential OS applicants.

For those who have applied, or even been accepted, surely the only issue is whether or not they end up on the BA Seniority list? They may or may not be interested in whether that becomes the case...

In short, as far as I see the situation, I am not in agreement with your "attitude" to (potential) OS pilots...


20th Jan 2008, 12:53
Whilst I generally agree with the basic stance that is being taken by the BACC due WW’s obvious Trojan Horse tactics, I think people like Tandem are not making it easy for union HQ in dealing with this with their comment regarding the prospects of anyone who might be “foolish” enough to apply to this company.

Once the lawyers start, the status of a group of staff in a subsidary relative to those in the parent company and the so called “clear blue water” is likely to become very muddy, particularly if one group is facing a redundancy situation. The term “mainline” is unlikely to have much meaning in court and any attempt to shed one group of staff when another part of the organisation is recruiting for the same role would not be impossible, but it would be difficult. BA managed to get round this to some extent with BAcon by “selling”:ooh::rolleyes: it as a going concern, but they were very much aware that as a solvent company continuing recruiting externally, that they would have significant legal difficulties just dumping a bunch of pilots regardless of whether they were in a subsidiary. This latest development will be very awkward for BALPA too if they don’t stick solidly to basic principles. If that means going nuclear :ok:then so be it, but they need to be decisive.

If I had legitimately applied for and been accepted for a job with a BA company funded and equipped by BA managed by BA Directors and was then shortly afterwards dumped due to some totally predictable “industrial development”, I would certainly be expecting my union (including NEC members who happened to be on the BACC) to fight for my colleagues and my own right to continuous employment within that group of companies ahead of external recruits, regardless of whether I was on a master seniority list.

Big BALPA have some skilled negotiators who I am sure will be will be well aware of the need to represent all pilots caught up in this. Some comments here suggest that the BACC alone have the sole discretion to waiver BA’s selection system if and only when it suits them to achieve some particular political aim. Either the full recruitment process is vital and must be maintained for anyone going on the BA list, or it must be scrapped particularly for anyone already working in the same role within the group already flying Group owned aircraft.

Statistically, a good 75% of the BACon pilots would have failed to pass the tests. Would this have meant that they were all unsuitable to do the same job in a different part of the company? Personally, in most cases, I think not. The BACC has to make its mind up though and either go with the demands of those who are obsessed by Clingons and watering down the brand, or not support any further attempts by management to divide and create further prejudice amongst a group of professional workers. BA at the same time should also make its mind up for once and accept form the start that if it wants to buy or create a new airline operation then the crews that go with the deal are either fit for purpose from day one, or they are not. If there is any doubt then the deal should not proceed, they can't just keep making it up as they go along. It is not the job of a union either to help perpetuate unpleasant prejudices between groups of professionals doing the same job, something in which in my view, they have been guilty of until now.

In the case of BACon, there appeared to be a significant number of people on the BACC not to mention management who had an “over my dead body” approach to relaxing entry criteria even though they were of course happy to turn a blind eye to accepting 30 or so Bacon RJ 100 pilots only, without any form of selection, just because it happened to fulfil a short term aim. It didn't go unnoticed that the Scope enforced secondees in Bacon became known through out the company (BA) to have ended up in one of the most highly paid and cushiest SH posts in the company and this sort of thng wasn’t missed by the likes of WW. More ill though out secondment fudges like this will not help in the long term.

Tempers may be frayed, but I think TR, HR and others should tone it down for a while (in public) until the big meetings come to their natural conclusion. BA learnt quite a lot about what they could or could not get away with in the five years it took them to asset strip the LHR slots and then shed BACon, but they also learnt that some things weren’t quite as simple as they thought they would be;).

20th Jan 2008, 13:54

Your thinking on the mainline secondments to BACON appears a little 'muddled'. However that is now a dead issue.

Hope you are enjoying life as an ex-rasher.

More importantly:

Anyone who thinks there will be no casualties in the impending dispute, underestimates just how nasty (and lengthy?) this action has the potential to become.

The stakes are very high for both sides.

I just wouldn't want anyone to be surprised!

20th Jan 2008, 14:07
I agree, its likely to be very nasty and messy, but I just don't think BALPA should be led down the path of trying to invent dome kind of secondment arrangement on the hoof just avoid a bigger confrontation. Good luck to you all though.

Creating situations in which another group of pilots train BA pilots, fly with BA are tested by BA pilots pilots on aircraft insured and owned by BA and yet at the same time not accepting them as being the right stuff to be a BA pilot is not something that a Union should get involved with. Hence, I agree, 100% on the BA list or not at all, but I simply do not think secondment arrangements for political reasons are healthy for the industry.

My only regret about being an ex rasher is that we didn't see what a farce it was more quicky on and try to force some action to remove some of the Waterside mismanagement strings. What has become very aparent is just how efficient the sharp end of BAcon had actually become.

As for my understanding of the secondment arrangement into Bacon, I can only go by what our reps were telling us at the time so I could be very wrong, but I do know that none of them moved into managment within 3 months of the ink drying. :=

How is he getting on these days? Is the Bobby the Scope Kid likely to be joining you??:)

20th Jan 2008, 14:29
NoD - point taken, I know that OS pilots will be represented by BALPA and of course anyone has the freedom to apply for any job they wish.

I was just emphasising that there is a bit of a row going on and that perhaps potential employees should be aware of the facts...

21st Jan 2008, 00:01
Hi biddedout

Just to clarify: As far as inventing some kind of secondment arrangement "on the hoof" is concerned. Management's very first approach was to offer exactly that with OpenLies. We could have secured ALL the available commands on that basis! Balpa were not interested. Perhaps because of the mistakes that were made in Bacon?? Maybe for other reasons. (Perhaps there are bigger fish to fry!)

Which is why I suspect you were not told the truth about BACC's resistance to Bacon pilots joining the Master Seniority List. I think you were exceptionally badly represented, and I cannot imagine why the BACC would be the group to block the incorporation of Bacons into mainline.

I'm sure you should be looking elsewhere.

However: Even BA pilots have not yet woken up to the intensity to which this dispute will be escalated.

Who knows where this might end up?

Anyone who claims to know is either lying, extremely naive, or just lacking in imagination!

That's all.

21st Jan 2008, 13:54
As a BA pilot I totally support BALPA in wanting Openlies pilots on the master seniority list and welcome ALL pilots to be able to apply for the jobs available after current BA pilots have been given the opportunity, I suspect there will be plenty of positions available but the selection process has to be the same as the rest of us went through.

Also if Openlies is not crewed by pilots on the mainline seniority list why pray tell should BALPA represent a bunch of pilots operating for what would be a company operating totally in a non British enviroment.

Please can all of us PROFESSIONAL PILOTS treat each other with respect and courtesy and save our vitriol for our scum management.

21st Jan 2008, 14:55
Well, this afternoon the BACC have formally told BA of the intent to ballot for strike action over Openskies.

Legal formalities mid week, then the propaganda will start flying and the ballot papers will be issued.

Human Factor
21st Jan 2008, 15:02

21st Jan 2008, 15:52
Danny, Mods, I thought it was worth starting a new thread

See baplane-bapilot.org (http://www.baplane-bapilot.org/)

21st Jan 2008, 16:12
Here's a press release

British Airways Pilots Vote On Strike
Updated:16:35, Monday January 21, 2008

British Airways pilots are to be balloted for strikes in a dispute about the airline's plans to launch a subsidiary business.
If the pilots do strike, it will be the first time they have taken action since 1980.

Pilots could strikeThe British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) says all of BA's 3,200 pilots will vote on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.

The dispute flared over the airline's announcement of a new subsidiary, OpenSkies, due to start in June and offering luxury seat flights from continental Europe to America.

The union wants there to be "open access" to jobs between the airline and the new unit.

Balpa had been due to announced the ballot last Thursday but delayed the news following the crash-landing of a BA aircraft at Heathrow airport.

The union said the row was not about safety and stressed it had nothing to do with last week's incident at Heathrow.

General secretary Jim McAuslan said: "We hope the BA leadership will think again. This is not about money and it is not about safety. We have been prepared to accept that a service will need lower costs to build business and that Balpa would be able to crew the service to meet the BA business case.

"But we are not prepared to see the pilot body broken up in the way BA plans and are bemused as to why they will not use BA pilots."

OpenSkies is due to start with one Boeing 757 aircraft operating from New York to Brussels or Paris, with a second 757 added later in the year.

BA plans to have six 757s in operation by the end of 2009

21st Jan 2008, 16:26
Don't post often (!) but 'Behind BALPA 100%' :D

Terminal 5
21st Jan 2008, 17:18
Is it is a case of damned if you do damned if you don't in this as if pilots strike it will encourage BA to possibly put more routes out to Europe, if you don't they might do it anyway.

Is it too late for talks now or are BA and BALPA meeting on a regular basis?

21st Jan 2008, 17:57

The likelyhood is that OpenLies will be almost universally unattractive to those currently working in mainline. The lower pay won't be such a problem, but the planned rosters that I have seen will be an absolute nightmare to live through.

So direct entry into OL will be required regardless.

This is NOT about mainline access INTO OpenLies! Hardly any of us want that kind of misery.

The stakes are much, much higher than that!

21st Jan 2008, 17:57
.... Or will Willie Walsh be kicked out of his second airline by the board..... ?

Dave Bloke
21st Jan 2008, 18:01
Assuming all this goes ahead , will it actually be possible afterwards to go direct entry to openskies without ever working for mainline.

Yes. There would be no requirement to move to LHR or LGW unless you chose to. You could stay at Openskies for good.

21st Jan 2008, 19:03
IMHO OpenSkies is a reactive and separate business opportunity. If it were my money/trainset I'd do it this way too. So I have to say, it will be a NO to strike action for me.

Please don't shoot me down for stating my opinion, and no I am not a management stooge.

Super Stall
21st Jan 2008, 19:13
But your not being balloted, as you are clearly not a BA Pilot or not in Balpa.
If you were you would understand. Everybody else already does.

Nice try though....:E:D:=

21st Jan 2008, 19:14

appreciate the comments, I too will have to seriously consider which box I will tick; the BACC are not denying that openskies is a great opportunity for BA - for a nil cost option, with openskies crew being on the mainline seniority list, I can't see why the LT would wish to push this to a strike.

Recently flying with a SM the argument was - BALPA will, if OS crew join the mainline seniority list, eventually push for equal terms and conditions! hence OS will fail! BALPA have said that they except equal terms and conditions!!!!! in order for OS to succeed! so why not BA agree to OS guys having the benefits that we have now - a flow between fleets??

good blog for any interested.....


agree with Super Stall - if you knew the facts!!!! BA pilots/BALPA are not against open skies!!!! It could be great for BA - amazing with the support of the pilot community.

21st Jan 2008, 19:16
Out of interest, what was the "Go" deal when it first started...........were its crews BA ?

21st Jan 2008, 19:24
BALPA's proposal benefits everyone in this scenario. Mainline terms and conditions are infinitely easier to protect and DEPs in OS have a much easier route into mainline when their seniority number permits it. No-one wins long-term if BA get their way with this. It's just the very thin end of a very long wedge that ultimately will see all of our terms and conditions diminished in, I would suggest, all airlines. After all, if BA manage to destroy mainline T and Cs such that top pay skippers earn 50k less than they do now, can anyone see VS sitting back and letting that go unnoticed?

21st Jan 2008, 19:54
Virgo - no. Go did not ever use BA aircraft or Pilots.

The crucial difference though is that Go was never going to affect BA's core (80% of profits) business - the North Atlantic. OS aircraft will be carrying passengers that would otherwise be on Mainline seats, and it's very easy to extrapolate from that why BA will use this to drive down everyones pay & conditions, and thus why I'm 100% behind the BACC....

opal fruit
21st Jan 2008, 21:42
I have read with much interest the threads over this. I see both sides, BA management will do what ever they see fit as a PLC company. Whilst i appreciate BA pilots want to protect their t&c's, I applaud you for this, however, everyone is entitled to apply to openskies and shouldnt be held responsible, everyone will do what is right for them. I question the strength of BALPA and its motives. Remember there is no sentiment in business and there is always someone there ready to fill your shoes. Just as an example Tesco opens stores worldwide and employ people on different t&c's and do they really care about their employees welfares, all they care about is the $ in the bank! Your only as good as your last flight!

PS....As the daily mail says 'your all good looking'!!!;)

21st Jan 2008, 21:55
I question the strength of BALPA and its motives

I think you will find that BA is doing the same.

Talked to 4 of my mates in the carrier today and will say this. All are level headed and pragmatic people who understand that change in a changing world is a must. Of the 4 of them guess how many fully support the BACC on this issue?

Survey says: 4/4= 100%

Anyone want to wager when the company backs down?


stormin norman
21st Jan 2008, 22:14
Going on strike for people who don't even work for the company yet sounds stupid.

21st Jan 2008, 22:16

Extracts from full article in The Times today:

British Airways pilots use Heathrow crash as weapon in dispute

The pilots’ union will use the narrowly averted disaster last Thursday to appeal today to British Airways to abandon what it claims could be a weakening of safety standards at a new sister airline.

Minutes before a Boeing 777 crash-landed at Heathrow, the BA committee of the British Air Line Pilots Association (Balpa) had voted to hold a strike ballot among the airline’s 3,000 pilots.

The union, which is objecting to BA’s plans to create an airline with a separate body of pilots who will fly between New York and Paris or Brussels, decided to suspend the ballot to allow the airline to focus on recovering from the crash-landing.

BA has claimed that the safety standards will be the same at the new airline, OpenSkies, as at the main company.

But Balpa says that it is concerned that separate qualifications are being introduced, meaning that OpenSkies’ pilots would have to take additional courses if they wanted to transfer to British Airways.

Balpa will argue today that the crash underlined the importance of having highly trained and experienced pilots conforming to a common set of standards. BA has praised the quick actions of the pilots, John Coward and Peter Burkill, in preventing a far worse incident.

Jim McAuslan, Balpa’s general secretary, said: “If the past 72 hours haven’t changed the company’s mind, I don’t know what will. We are concerned that OpenSkies may have different standards.

“We are also concerned that, once you start outsourcing, you lose control of quality.”


Hand Solo
21st Jan 2008, 22:21
And if we don't go on strike they never will and will become a low cost competitor for BA mainline jobs. Even more stupid to allow that.

opal fruit
21st Jan 2008, 22:26
Whilst i commend the pilots of BA 38. I am astounded that the Times would make such remarks about the capabilities of other pilots for other reputable airlines. I seem to remember that some of the best aviators in the world came from far and afield and not just the UK and BA. We all strive for perfection,that is about being a professional, when the day comes that you dont strive for perfection, it is time to hang up your hat. How dare they say that BA pilots are better than other airlines pilots, we all do the same job. :cool:

21st Jan 2008, 22:37
Just my two cents, or pence in this case.
If there was ever a reason to strike this is it! If you allow the camels head in to the tent on this issue you will be forever lost. Stand your ground and DEMAND that BA management use BA crew at existing rates. The APA and I think all Oneworld unions will support you on this. This is a watershed event gentlemen! Make no mistake!

Albert Hall
21st Jan 2008, 23:19
This action is ridiculously out of proportion, and headlines in every daily newspaper screaming "BA pilots to strike" will not be at all helpful to the airline during its peak booking season.

As I understand it, the core BA mainline fleet will either remain at the same size or will grow. In order to release the 757s for Open Skies, the A320-211s (the BCal order) will remain in the fleet for around three to four years longer than originally planned. They had been scheduled for retirement this year and next year, but will instead remain in the fleet to free up 757s from short-haul operations to go to Open Skies.

On that basis, no BA pilots will lose jobs and their promotion prospects will be no better or no worse than they were before Open Skies was born because the BA mainline fleet size will be exactly the same.

Surely there is a compromise here which says that as long as the BA mainline fleet remains at X aircraft and can continue to grow with the scheduled deliveries of the four extra 777s and then A380s/787s further down the line, then that ought to suffice? Striking over putting two 757s into Europe on non BA T&Cs is simply ridiculous and those favouring such action really need to stand back and consider just how ridiculous this is. Provided that there is no impact on BA's mainline fleet, why should BALPA have the right to represent crews on those aircraft and be on mainline T&Cs? No other start-up airline would be forced to.

If you want to ensure that the operation cannot be a "Trojan Horse" then propose some kind of ring-fencing of the core BA mainline fleet of X aircraft in return for which Open Skies could operate 2,3,4 aircraft - whatever. If it grows beyond that point, Open Skies could only add an aircraft if BA mainline adds an aircraft to its mainline fleet. That way, you ensure that the existing BA jobs are protected and that growth prospects still exist in both operations. A strike will be messy, there is no guarantee you will win and if you lose the battle, you will be far worse off than a sensibly-negotiated compromise like this which meets everyone's needs and avoids a serious impact on BA customer perception this year.

21st Jan 2008, 23:32
It'll never come to a strike in a month of Sundays, pilots are the most supine bunch around in this regard. Hat will be eaten and photoed if proven wrong.

Hand Solo
21st Jan 2008, 23:48
Supine huh? BA pilots haven't been on strike for 20 years because management have always settled. Do you think they think we are supine. They might be trying it on now, but I've still got three months salary stashed away from the last dispute. I'll last a strike longer than BA will.

Albert Hall - BA's word counts for nothing. Once Open Skies starts without pilots on the seniority list BA will simply ignore any agreement on it's restrictions. BA predict just 3% growth at LHR. Any significant future growth in BA is out of the EU or in the US if the 2nd stage of the Open Skies treaty goes ahead. BA pilots are not prepared to see themselves excluded from this work in return for a handful of new aircraft at LHR.

the heavy heavy
22nd Jan 2008, 00:24
that 777 sitting on the grass didn't really wake anybody up down at waterside did it! mainly because it will have less effect on profits than the fine our inept management incurred last year. (100 mill right off for the jet, what did we right off due to w*nkers on phones?)

had it been sitting in the middle of hatton cross the i shudder to think.

seems the 2 seconds off pilots being clapped into the lobby and thanked for their efforts counted for f*ck all.

willy dosen't want the best pilots flying for the safest airline. he's not interested in working with us. he really doesn't give a fig about BA. willy is only in it for whatever makes him the most cash in the shortest time. and that means he want's the cheapest pilots flying for an airline that's just safe enough, and only for as long as he is hanging around. this is the start of the end, unless we say enough is enough.

i can stay out longer than the board will let willy keep me out. massive mortgage, kid and expensive lifestyle will not be an excuse. if i don't my already reduced pension will be calculated against a much reduced final salary, and all so that a bunch of greedy snake oil salesmen can swan off into the sunset with bags of cash, sorry boys id rather buy a smaller house and teach the rich stupid wannabes that os will be recruiting than impoverish my future for the boards present.

f*ck 'm

Capt Kremin
22nd Jan 2008, 01:03
Qantas pilots went through this process 3 years ago and are now paying for their trust in management by the planned exponential expansion of Jetstar International without their involvement.

Committee members were told back then that Jetstar International would be no more than 9 aircraft. Latest orders of the 787 have 115 to the group and the CEO saying they could ALL go to Jetstar if it suited them.

BA guys, learn from the management text book writ large for you. Either get yourselves into those flight decks from day one or forget about what you thought were your career plans. Not a warning, just a simple statement of fact.

Good luck guys and girls.

Albert Hall
22nd Jan 2008, 03:19
The heavy heavy, I think it is unreasonable and unfair to drag the recent 777 event into this debate. With due respect and huge credit to what those guys achieved last week, it's insulting and degrading to other pilots to say that they could only have achieved the same safe outcome only if they were on the BA seniority list or were BALPA members. We both know that's a sweeping generalisation and I suggest that we park that subject on the other topic where it rightly belongs and has an equal right to be discussed at length.

I think it is also worth mentioning that airlines cannot run themselves. Whatever you may think of those who work in Waterside, they do have a job to do, just the same as you. There's a hell of a lot less people working in Waterside and Compass Centre than there were five years ago. I'm not saying that it's enough less than there were - there may be scope for further cuts, I don't know - but BA or any airline cannot function without them. Just remember that some of those "w*nkers on phones" are the people who sort out your payslip and transfer money to your bank account each month. Would you rather sack all them and not get paid? I think not.

I stick by my views. BA may predict only 3% growth in LHR but that figure is not going to get any better or worse regardless of whether Open Skies takes off. That's what you signed up to, and it's not worth foregoing that 3% growth as long as you have some protection of the core operation and a deal which ensures that growth is spread through both mainline and the subsidiary. The Qantas guys don't sound to have done that, but it shouldn't take a strike or threat of one to achieve the protection you need.

stormin norman
22nd Jan 2008, 06:02
Hand Solo

'but I've still got three months salary stashed away from the last dispute. I'll last a strike longer than BA will.'

You may,but try telling that to the missus, family,and the morgage lender.

I bet a pound to a penny you've never been out on strike ?

22nd Jan 2008, 07:25
It is extremely important that these open skies cockpits are populated at least in part by mainline pilots.

If there is no expression of interest say from a junior fo to bid for an Open skies command ( surely there will be financial reward for a promotion) then management will say and justifiably so that it will be crewed from direct entries.

This gives BA carte blanche to create whatever T Cs it wishes.

This hugely weakens the bargaining position of BACC , whose bottom line position must be that OS cannot be used to undermine and/or diminish the current mainline package and mainline work.

People like stormin norman pitifully miss the point and unfortunately see themselves in a BA cocoon divorced from real world economies and factors.
This is not about going on strike for someone not in the company .This is about going on strike to protect what you have.

BACC , while I wish you every success , you may have a considerable education program to undertake to ensure the result which you most correctly seek.

ps I am not a BA pilot but pilots unions everywhere are watching this one extremely closely.


22nd Jan 2008, 08:01
Albert Hall you are missing the point completely.

Jetstar did exactly what BA plan to do. Small operation no problem guys you are OK. Move on 5 years massive expansion new BA 787s or whatever aircraft sent straight to OpenLies. Routes they fly? Direct Europe to the USA. Which passengers? Those who previously flew Europe - LHR - USA. I have no problem with that if all the pilots are on a common seniority list and ultimately will then have the same aspirations and common interests. Without then there is nothing to stop BA diverting more and more of the company resources into OpenLies to the detriment of mainline. If you think otherwise then I am afraid I see that as very naive thinking.

stormin norman

I dislike trade unions. I dislike trade union militancy and above all I hate the idea of striking. Unfortunately it is a fact of modern life that those who manage at the top will line their own nests comfortably at the expense of anybody else. They then sail away and start all over again elsewhere leaving behind a trail of degraded terms and conditions.

In the past year I have seen my pension degraded significantly. I have seen my flying hours increase to close to 900 hrs p.a. and now WW wants to start taking LHR passengers away from LHR. That is fine but I will fight to protect my right to access that work and support those taken on directly by OpenLies when it is BA management, BA money, BA aircraft and much else all coming from BA to setup OpenLies. We are not asking for identical terms and conditions just a common seniority list, why is that such a problem?

Will I strike? With heavy heart, you (and WW) had better believe it.

Wayne Ker
22nd Jan 2008, 08:35
Striking is a serious business and action will not be taken lightly I guess. However, with the global economic turmoil, is it wise to rock the boat to such a degree. The Openskies airline is surely an insurance policy for BA economically. It is a seperate brand to mainline BA and gives BA PLC a foot hold in Europe and the skies to the states.

LHR is at capacity now, always loads of delays and because expansion is not likely in the near future,it is unlikely to improve. Punters will go via Europe instead to avoid delays and expense. BA have to be a part of it to maintain their presence on the Atlantic routes.

I am sure most BA pilots would not want to fly it as the rosters will be very different to what they are use to. What about having a mixture of direct entry and also BA retirees to keep a weather eye on things and to dilute the mix of non BA people, not that I think that is necessary, there are a lot of good professional pilots out there in the world who may bring newer ideas to the think tank? :ok:

I do not see BA diluting the brand at all, it is a seperate entity.

22nd Jan 2008, 08:46
Whether you strike or not over O/S will come down to whether you give value to BA's word. The dispute is about a written agreement, sch. K. In it BA gives it's word to work with it's pilots to "enable BALPA to proceed with confidence that the interests of Pilot Officers are being and will be protected and enhanced...". In exchange "BALPA agrees not to inhibit the deployment of aircraft for best commercial or economic advantage..." and basically not get in the way of BA making pots of money.

Sch.K only works if there is honesty of intention on both sides. To this aim BA agree to keep in regular confidential communication with a select BACC panel. The spirit of the agreement is that BA/BALPA won't make under-hand changes that affect the aims of sch. K, whilst acknowledging the need to move with the times. With this equality of arms BA/BALPA can enter any discussions knowing the facts and intentions.

Well BA mentioned P/L (O/S) in the spring yet wouldn't even discuss it until December when they had already started recruiting. If you look outside the Heathrow goldfish bowl their are glaring examples of what happens when an airline turns it's affection on a younger willing sibbling. JAL/JALways, Qantas/Jetstar, Iberia/Clickair, Cathay Pacific/Dragon Air. All OneWorld.

If you believe that BA's word is it's seal then there is no need to strike. If you think they haven't honoured Sch.K then only a complete fool would trust their latest O/S Summary Document promises.

I think their word is a crock of s:mad:e.

22nd Jan 2008, 08:56
Trust BA's word. Ah bless.

Fight's on Willie. The stakes are far far too high for me not to fight this one.

Mr B

PS How long before the usual crows about guys expecting to walk into DEC on our 744s? ;)

Iva harden
22nd Jan 2008, 09:04
BA are out to make money like any other business. They want the lions share of the Atlantic routes and to that end will do what they have to do to secure that. Pilots are just cogs in that business, true , a pilot is an important cog, but all the same BA will do what it wants as it has done over many years to the detriment of people and other Airlines...Dan Air, Bcal, Laker etc.... I can see why BA pilots are worried, this new airline could do very well and take business from LHR, but money talks and BA will have to make money elsewhere to get the growth they need. I guess Openskies has been made a subsidary to avoid the union demands and to enable it to have a much lower cost base to give it a fighting chance with the competition. I do not think strike action would do BA/ pilots any good, it will cause more disruption at LHR and drive the customers elsewhere.....europe. Damned if you do....but less damned if you don't.

22nd Jan 2008, 09:04
This action is ridiculously out of proportion, and headlines in every daily newspaper screaming "BA pilots to strike" will not be at all helpful to the airline during its peak booking season.
So perhaps WW should act accordingly.

Basil, BA retd. so unfair to talk the talk when not reqd to walk the walk.

the heavy heavy
22nd Jan 2008, 09:24
albert, you miss my point.

only time and the aaib will decide what factor the skill of the handling pilot had in the outcome of the 777 'incident'. my point was for a brief second it looked like the company had been forced to remember exactly why you want the best pilots available sitting in your aircraft. no disrespect to anybody sitting anywhere else.

market forces will surely force the best qualified into the best paid jobs. want the best pay the best. want to run an airline on the cheap, expect a lower quality of employee, it's not that hard to work out is it!

the only people in BA who do not see the need to strike are the management and the already sorted, recently extended, senior guys who with a couple of years extra pay care little for the prospects of those of us with 20 years left to do.

22nd Jan 2008, 10:18
I agree with the BACC's stand on this issue. Some onlookers still don't seem to understand that motivation is not standing for the benefit of future OpenSkies pilots T&C's!

It's about standing for OUR (mainline) T&C's which will be driven down as a result of OS's success. If OS is a big hit, I want it to succeed as well - it's good for my company as a whole.

What I don't want is it taking away my mainline job cos it suits the company to do so! I don't want to end up with my back to the wall, forced to choose between redundancy or a post in OpenSkies (a not unforeseeable consequence!)

As for the ballot - to vote No is a wasted vote. If the vote is carried, you will be exopected to go on strike anyway (after all, it is called a UNION)! A Yes vote is a clear declaration of intent. The company may do an 11th hour climbdown in the face of overwhelming support, but this time the future of both groups (LT and pilots) is at stake, so this one is going to end messily.

As a BALPA member, I have only one option here - and I am already making preparations for the inevitable. It has to be a YES.

22nd Jan 2008, 10:32
BA won't climb down no matter how strong the yes vote. Willy doesn't really have any other plans to improve BA's profits. This is the sword he is going to have to lie down on and strike action is the sword we will have to lie down on.

On this one we will have to actually strike, and on several occassions, until the shareholders hand Willy the sword.

22nd Jan 2008, 10:34
I'm 100% With the BA pilots! Do not allow BA to destroy your T&C's.

Just look at the mess easyJet are in with different contracts around europe. easyJet has just drawn up new contracts for european pilots... no sick pay... no pension etc etc.

I just wish BALPA where more proactive with the easyJet pilots on this issue!

Don't allow it guys....... next year openLies could be flying from Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast or Cardiff to the USA.

Terminal 5 is going to look pretty empty on it's first day!

22nd Jan 2008, 11:04
There is huge support for the BACC on this topic, it may well be the most important dispute in the last 20 years. We BA pilots will fight this all the way and in doing so lay down a marker for all other airline management that have similar plans. Before anyone starts the BA pilot bashing I suggest you read the proposals and then consider what you would do in a similar position. It's not a nice course of action, no-one doubts that....

northern boy
22nd Jan 2008, 11:15
Gents you are doing yourself no favours by referring to openskies recruits as scabs as one poster did, or trying to claim that only BA mainline pilots are safe and competent to operate the routes. Remember that there are more BALPA members outside of BA than in it. Until BALPA issue an edict not to apply or work for openskies then no one is going to not do so. As you have so frequently said in this thread, the BA pilots care not a fig for anyone else, they are looking after their own interests. Fair enough, however the O/S recruits are looking after theirs and many are probably BALPA members themselves. You need the support of the rest of the membership (outside of BA) if you want to win this one. Alienating other pilots by claiming superiority is not going to help.

A. Le Rhone
22nd Jan 2008, 11:34
....yes but Northern Boy look at it another way. BA pilots might like to view themselves (and I am happy for them to do so) as the standard-bearers for the industry but so what?. They MUST stop management heavy-handedness. They MUST nip this nonsense in the bud NOW. Otherwise they will end up just like the very weak and sychophantic Qantas pilots, cunningly bypassed by the Trojan Horse that is Jetstar.

By quashing this threat now, BA pilots are not being arrogant - they are being the standard-bearers for not only themselves but the industry as a whole. Victory here will at least send a message to the idiots of the management world (read O'Leary etc) that you can't screw your troops forever.

Good luck BA pilots. You are not only fighting your own battle. Clamp down on this Open Skies now, and clamp down hard.

Fake Sealion
22nd Jan 2008, 11:37
EU Open Skies

Following this thread with interest. Is the BA business plan to form a separate entity for trans-altantic traffic unique? Would it also be a tempting move for Air France, Lufthansa, KLM etc al? Surely if pilot unions on a pan Euro-wide basis could challenge this, the collective airline management would be under severe pressure to back down.

22nd Jan 2008, 12:05
northernboy we are not trying to claim superiority, that we are safer or any other arrogant and unjustifiable claim. What we are asking for is a common seniority list to protect not just BA pilot's long term future but to give us all a sporting chance in improving OpenLie's pilot's Ts & Cs when the business is established, booming and can afford to share some of that profit with those creating it.

Ryanair is a good example of how the pilot groups are hopelessly dividied (legally) when it comes to trying to improve their lot.

22nd Jan 2008, 12:13
Obviously not much chance of the directors and managers cuting their ties with the mothership, but just wondering whether OS is going to be a stand alone operation from an acconting point of view. Or will it be like BACiti Express, with the books consolidated into the main company accounts so that no one can see what is going on, partcularly the cross subsidies/ handling / head office charges? :rolleyes:

22nd Jan 2008, 12:15
but to give us all a sporting chance in improving OpenLie's pilot's Ts & Cs

OpenSkies future T&C's are incidental to this ballot - that is not the object of the BACC's stance on this issue. It is the protection of the existing mainline pilots, and the addition of the OS pilots to that mainline seniority list.

The OS pilots' greater longterm benefit will be found within the BA mainline pilots' community, not outside it - if they remain outside it, all of us can kiss our respective T&Cs goodbye longterm!

If we start saying we want this strike to be a platform to improve the OS pilots' lot, then we are playing into the company's argument - namely, that BALPA wants to directly interfere with how BA wants to play with its new toy, which is not quite the case.

22nd Jan 2008, 12:46
northern boy.

Just to make it absolutely clear there is no suggestion from BA pilots that any O/S pilot is any less worthy or that pilots in other airlines are in anyway lesser pilots. Indeed, many BA pilots were once flying for other airlines including members of the BACC. The O/S DECs have seen it / it done it, and most once flew BA 757's. The best pilots' pilot I know flies for Ryanair (John Coward excepted).

We are aware that we do generally have better T&C's and that our company makes better profits. If the equivalent of Ryanair was suddenly attached to us it would eventually drag our T&C's down. As it is O/S wil already affect the future but we are trying to mitigate it.

To stop this we propose (and BA oppose) common seniority, aka common pilot goal. Therefore pp24 Jumbo command is an achievable aspiration for all BA mainline pilots (and O/S pilots will be mainline pilots).

Of course there will still be general grumblings about the Golden Runways, I fly from the southern 3rd runway and have a few gripes but within time I will have access.

Now if the BACC capitulate it will drastically affect all UK pilots T&C. Your own T&C's (which are very good) are negotiated with an eye to BA. At the moment your company can only say "but you only fly 760hrs". In five years time they will say "but we are paying you more than BA".

22nd Jan 2008, 16:41
The OS pilots' greater longterm benefit will be found within the BA mainline pilots' community, not outside it - if they remain outside it, all of us can kiss our respective T&Cs goodbye longterm!

I am sorry that is what I thought I said but in a different manner.

Gertrude the Wombat
22nd Jan 2008, 17:41
A BA strike would simply be a reminder of their most famous advertising slogan ...

We never remember you have a choice

Oh well, just to be on the safe side, better book my next trip with someone else then.

Hand Solo
22nd Jan 2008, 17:44
I get it! That was like a joke, just without the humour!:rolleyes:

22nd Jan 2008, 17:51
Gertrude - I appreciate that BA has not got a very good record over worker unrest/IA in recent years. However, the pilot workforce are not want to down tools at the drop of a hat (unlike some of our colleagues) - please bear that in mind and not tar us with the same brush...........

Gertrude the Wombat
22nd Jan 2008, 17:51
No, perfectly serious. I've got a trip to make in a couple of weeks' time, and I don't want it to be cancelled due to a strike, so tomorrow morning I'm going to check which airline it's with and if it's BA I'm going to change it.

If I go on strike I expect to lose customers first and my job in the end. It's the same for everybody.

Hand Solo
22nd Jan 2008, 17:59
You clearly have a hard employer who can dismiss the workforce then rapidly replace them, coupled with deep pockets that will permit said employer to outlast you. BA don't share that comfortable position.

FWIW I'm not booking my holidays on BA either, seems a perfectly sensible move.

Terminal 5
22nd Jan 2008, 18:05
As well as thinking about the possible threat from inside, ie Openskies, BALPA should also be thinking about the threat from outside that will do more damage to BA terms and conditions than BA ever will!!
The threat comes from Airlines like Lufthansa in Europe and Emirates and other middle east carriers with pots of cash. Wait until they start doing more routes from Europe and as they have already started doing they are bypassing Europe on USA - Asia / Mid East flights so that will eat in to european airlines revenue.

Look at what Ryanair and Easyjet have done to the European market.

If BA don't do this someone else will.

Hand Solo
22nd Jan 2008, 18:06
BALPA are very happy for BA to fly routes from Europe. All they ask is that the pilots are on BA's master seniority list.

22nd Jan 2008, 18:16
Good luck you guys at BA. What WW is upto is a clear attempt at dividing and conquering whilst opening up Pandora's box for future terms and conditions in the industry.

Let this one through and we will all be staring at Ryanair conditions in years to come.

Gertrude the Wombat
22nd Jan 2008, 18:23
You clearly have a hard employer who can dismiss the workforce then rapidly replace them, coupled with deep pockets that will permit said employer to outlast you.
No, I know that if I go on strike my employer's customers will go elsewhere and my employer will go bust, thus losing me my job.

Hand Solo
22nd Jan 2008, 18:29
Your employer only goes bust if they want to. Fortunately in large companies CEOs have a responsiblity to their shareholders and are generally not permitted to tough out industrial action by staff all the way to bankruptcy so eventually a compromise postion is reached, as it will inevitably be in this case. So thanks for the prophecies of doom but we've heard them all before. Nobody is going into this with their eyes closed.

22nd Jan 2008, 19:53
I heard from a close friend who works for Thomas Cook/MY Travel in Manchester, that they had been approached to manage Open Skies as far as engineering, maintenance, rostering and general management are concerned.

Although I am still waiting for information with regards to crewing, and all this does sound quite bizarre, please note that around 30 BA managers met recently at the Thomas Cook/My Travel engineering hanger last week!

If I hear anything further with regards to the above and Flight crewing etc, I will post the info for you.

22nd Jan 2008, 19:58
Correct - Thomas Cook will be Ops, Crewing, Rostering, Maintrol and a few other functions for Open Skies. I understand that the operation is likely to sit on the Thomas Cook AOC to enable them to get ETOPS from day one.

22nd Jan 2008, 21:02
Gertrude, you are wise to book elsewhere, I would in your position and I am sorry to see you do that but view it as inevitable. However, in your world perhaps you are free to move elsewhere if you do not like the crass way in which your company is being managed. Regrettably I am not because oif the way the aviation world functions. My future is inextricably tied to BA. So should I just sit back and see a deliberate attempt to screw me and my colleagues by a transient management only interested in feathering their own nests as quickly as possible? E.g. Robert Ayling.

Frankly if BA goes bust and disappears, which I doubt, we will have saved Mr. Walsh a great deal of effort. The younger guys have far, far more to lose by not defending themselves than I have but I will support them every inch of the way. And I take no pride in saying that.

22nd Jan 2008, 21:15
I do not work for the airline industry and I find quite puzzling most of the comments and the demands of airline staff. True, pilots have not gone on strike for a while, and often is other parts of BA who have caused disruptions. Nonetheless - reading these posts - I can not help but be amazed at the presumption and demands that employees of BA or other transport industry companies make to their employers.

Outside the transport industry pension plans are significantly changed without notice, unpaid overtime a standard practice under the pressure of completing tasks, benefits (such as free flights) unheard of and more importantly 1 month notice and pretty much no protection against redundancy. And yes - when redundancy comes you are lucky to get an additional week per year of service.

Perhaps if you tried working in other industry you would appreciate your job more, and realize how lucky you are...

22nd Jan 2008, 22:32
Firstly I am current F/D on a UK airline. Secondly I am a member of BALPA. I have been following this thread since it started and I can certainly understand your (i.e. BA mainline crews) opposition to WW's ideas about starting this "new" airline , in your position I would probably vote yes for strike action as well. However, several comments made by BA people on this thread have really not helped your cause. Any reference about the quality of other companies pilots compared to BA is incredibly arrogant and fundamentally wrong. There are good and poor pilots in every company and as we all hold the same licence with the same qualifications, theoretically we are all equal. My personal view is that putting a bigjet into a small Greek island in the middle of the night with no Nav aids,is infinitely more demanding than flying "needles" into any big airfield, in any sized aircraft. Also,banging on about destroying other companies T & Cs if yours degrade, is unfortunately complete tosh. The days of people looking up to BA (especially CEOs and accountants of other airlines) are long gone and you are fooling yourself if you think otherwise. All other airlines cut to compete with the "lowcosts" , not try to raise services/costs to compete with BA. Nobody likes it, especially me, but unfortunately that's life.BA mainline crews may be about to be forced out of the 1930s to join everybody else in the 21st century. Murdoch broke Fleet Street ,WW may have a similar brief for BA. Best of luck if you strike ,but if you want the support of all BALPA members in the UK don't let a few of your members talk out of their a**e and p**s the rest of us off.

Hand Solo
22nd Jan 2008, 22:45
Windytoo - I think the Virgin crews would be surprised to hear that all other airlines cut costs to compete with the lo-cos. I seem to remember them getting a rather large payrise, helped in no small part by benchmarking themselves against BA. Your outlook on the future of your career seems particularly bleak if you believe you are powerless to resist cost cutting and hence slashing of your T&Cs. We prefer to influence our futures.

On the subject of us all being theoretically equal, well yes we are. In reality we know thats not the case or we'd all get the same results in our sim checks. The reality is there's a big spread, good and bad. BA have said their selection criteria will be different for Lauren to mainline. Different technical ability, different psychological make up, different numerical ability. Does that sound to you like they are expecting to hire the good guys?

22nd Jan 2008, 23:03
Windytoo, having just joined BA from a UK charter airline where I often had the chance to fly a visual approach to a Greek island in the middle of the night could I point out that it is BA and not the BACC who have decided that Openskies pilots are not the same as BA pilots, indeed under the current proposals if an Openskies pilot wishes to join BA they must go through the same selection process as a candidate from any another airline. If the BACC's proposal was accepted Openskies pilots would be able to bid for another fleet with no restrictions.

If you think that BA T&Cs are rooted in the 1930s then you are delusional. When I worked for a charter airline that flew to Greek Islands (and much longer sectors) I worked less overall for more-or-less the same money. Incidentally the company I used to work for used BA amongst others as a benchmark for the last pay deal I voted for which increased salaries for some by as much as 10-15% so from my experience it is your assertion that is "complete tosh"

22nd Jan 2008, 23:38
I'll quote from you: My personal view is that putting a bigjet into a small Greek island in the middle of the night with no Nav aids,is infinitely more demanding than flying "needles" into any big airfield, in any sized aircraft.

I've flown for BA and I've flown in charter. Don't kid yourself that BA Pilots are not able to do the sort of flying you do - they do it, and generally very well. I could list airfield after airfield, but what is the point. By the way, the quite difficult small Greek island airfields I operate to are daylight only - maybe our Pilots don't eat enough carrots!

Another quote from you: Best of luck if you strike ,but if you want the support of all BALPA members in the UK don't let a few of your members talk out of their a**e and p**s the rest of us off.

I'm not quite sure I understand, apart from a**e and p**s. I would imagine that BA Pilots intend to go on strike all by themselves - I wouldn't have thought they would be looking for your immediate support.

Nevertheless as a charter Capt I support them all the way. Maintain the pay and conditions at the top and we may continue to enjoy a percentage thereof. Destroy the pay and conditions at the top and........

Another quote from you: theoretically we are all equal

Quite right. My own experience is that the best in charter is as good as the best in BA; however the worst might be significantly below the standard that BA would employ. The average (in my opinion) is probably just below that enjoyed by BA - and I could be wrong of course (partly because I haven't flown with all the charter pilots in the UK).

I wish you all the best.


23rd Jan 2008, 07:38
BA want to employ 250 pilots on very poor terms and conditions in their new Openskies airline.

Those 250 Pilots could join BA on the full BA terms and conditions if this position taken by BA is defeated.

Please visit BA Strike Blog (http://ba-strike.*************)to leave anonomous or not comments and add your vote to the vote as well.

If you run a website, please link to this blog to get it as high up the google rankings as possible.

If you use social networking sites, please tell everyone about this blog. Facebook, myspace, Digg etc all need to know.

Would a PPRune administrator consider making this thread a sticky please!

Open Lies
23rd Jan 2008, 07:51
Northen Boy

Can you please answer me this.

You are close to gaining a command in Virgin. Virgin was until recently aiming to setup a 787 EU - US operation and it was presumed that it would be VS mainline pilots flying those aircraft and therefore expanding your career opportunities.

Despite VS putting those plans on hold - what would your opinion have been if the Bearded wonder had not given you guys any opportunity to fly the operation - just as VS at London is stagnating?:eek:

On the other main point - all of the other posters have explained far more eloquently than me the point about average terms and conditions and needing to maintain the best conditions possible.

BAs plan is not about commands/money/EU-US, it is simply about creating an offshoot, that will with time, eat away at its parent. Its that simple.:ugh:

23rd Jan 2008, 08:29
The very simple truth is....BA management will do what they want with what they have. pilots balloting about possible strikes, or not.
BALPA has no backbone, plain and simple.

It will thus never change, except to slide further downhill.
Get over it.

Hand Solo
23rd Jan 2008, 08:33
I was wondering when the voice of Alzheimers would pop up. Shouldn't you be over on the 777 thread chirping about how another Brit jet has landed at Heathrow with no fuel? Good to see you're playing the B side of your cracked record today.

Shaka Zulu
23rd Jan 2008, 08:35
It wouldnt be 411A again with his big mouth and over arrogance.....
Mate, get a life.
We dont need you in aviation.

We will stand up for our own T&C's if we see fit. This time there will be a ballot for strike and it 'might' get messy.
For reasons so eloquently put by my fellow pilots a) in BA and b) outside of it.
The writing is on the wall and our destiny is still in our hands.
We'll do something about it.

23rd Jan 2008, 08:50
We'll do something about it.

You might think so, SZ, but it is not likely to actually happen.
BALPA...a toothless tiger.

Knackered Nigel
23rd Jan 2008, 09:13
BALPA are (for once) quite forthright. They have negotiated as much as poss, but BA is not budging - hence the last resort of ballot.

It's all of our industry T's and C's in the balance if you look at the BIG PICTURE.

And don't resort to the usual Nigel bashing.... I might get upset :)

Stand by for little or no holding into LHR when it all goes quiet.

23rd Jan 2008, 09:14
And you, 411a, an intellectual void. Buffoon.

Can't be long now before you disappear up your own fundament

23rd Jan 2008, 09:25
SAS management are cooking up the same plot here.

Experiments to the tune of O/S underway at both short haul and longhaul level.

I sincerly wish BA/BALPA success in giving WW the stick. It will certainly help the rest us to be able to point to discouraging precedent as seen from the management side.

Best of luck.

brgds Kingsnake, 340 driver.

23rd Jan 2008, 09:33

"However, in your world perhaps you are free to move elsewhere if you do not like the crass way in which your company is being managed. Regrettably I am not because oif the way the aviation world functions. My future is inextricably tied to BA"

Why is that? Is it because of seniority? Which you will fight tooth and nail to protect?

23rd Jan 2008, 09:34

The very simple truth is....BA management will do what they want with what they have. pilots balloting about possible strikes, or not.
BALPA has no backbone, plain and simple.

It will thus never change, except to slide further downhill.
Get over it.

This is, and has been, very true for years now. Certainly in ezy. We have had these very same issues now for a couple of years or so... But we are told that we are "Unable to take industrial" action for issues relating to a "separate company". Is this not the same problem here?

To the defense of our CC in easy I have to add though that we have waaaay to many people who "Keep their powder dry for the "REAL" battles" :confused: and therefore giving our CC not enough leverage when negotiating... It a little bit strange though, one would think that if 65-70% (??) of the pilots walked out there would be very little flying done after a day or two..? :confused::confused:

So although I agree with 411 on this one I salute the BACC and its pilots for fighting for our, thats right, OUR, not only BA's, T&Cs!

Good luck to all of you!