View Full Version : Aer Lingus suspends pilots & ops (merged)

Mach Buffet
22nd May 2002, 13:43
Earlier today the Aer Lingus Chief Pilot suspended a captain for failing to operate to a new set of Working Conditions that have not been agreed between the company and IALPA.

This enforcement is basically a tearing up by management of the current agreement that exists between both parties.

Sadly no respect is being shown for agreements or the law - by a State owned company and it's managers.

The suspension is reportedly without pay.

Industrial Action is sure to follow.

22nd May 2002, 14:07
:eek: Ballot boxes being dusted off as we speak no doubt!!

22nd May 2002, 14:40
Could someone tell us what "working conditions" are being imposed? What FTLs are being used and how do they compare with the existing agreeement? Also what pay cuts are management seeking?
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

22nd May 2002, 14:57
now remember to take your shoes off, you wanna make sure you see all of both your feet as you pull the trigger - dont miss a pinkie

Mach Buffet
22nd May 2002, 15:57
The pilots have recently given huge cost savings through deferring a pay award, and through the acceptance of a voluntary severance package for some of it's members.

The company have now demanded that crews be scheduled to their maximum admin manual limits - 14 hours, along with a lot of other changes - loss of days off. loss of leave entitlements, etc...

Aer Lingus has never been the best for money or conditions - but the current demands are beyond just about every other airline out there.

Just ask some of the 50+ pilots that have lesft in the last couple of years.

Captain Stable
22nd May 2002, 16:58
If it's effectively a change to the guy's contract, he has to approve it and sign it. Only then is it enforceable. They cannot change the pilots' contracts without their agreement (enforced or otherwise).

So, on the surface, and with not a lot to go on, so far it sounds like unlawful dismissal.

22nd May 2002, 17:01
Jo.......less of the one liners and more facts. Aer Lingus have treated their pilots with derision, ridicule,lied about facts and broke agreements to the point that as management as a whole have a farcial relationship with the staff. I for one am very sorry to see Aer Lingus pilots treated so badly. If management get their way AL pilots will be the cheapest in Europe and are nearly there any way. Some similarities are when Lan Chile bust their pilots union. I expect support for these guys not warnings where you take a p*ss.:mad:

22nd May 2002, 19:20
If conditions are so bad, then leave. For everyone outside being a pilot when the going gets stupid, we get going, either changing companys or career. If pilots did not cling onto 'seniority' and moved to the more common place meritocrisy then this is an avenue you would have.

Aer Lingus is in an awful state right now, a strike is just what is needed to get rid of those last few high yield passengers, keeping the whoile thing moving. With the ridiculous Shannon stop, it is as easy and as quick to fly to MAN or LHR and connect to a flight there - more and more people do it every day.

Mach Buffet
22nd May 2002, 20:03

Aer Lingus pilots have been acknowledged by the AEA to exceed the industry average in terms of efficiency for many years.

Currently Aer Lingus is enjoying a period of the highest ever load factors. And they are managing this with 1700 less staff than a year ago.

So Jongar, what awful state is Aer Lingus in? Perhaps you know something that the rest of us don't.

As for the Shannon stop - how do you blame that on the pilots?

And as for everyone leaving- fifty have already done so this year, with a lot more to follow.


the big fear - if they bust us, then every other association and group in Europe will follow.

Captain Stable
- just about sums things up. I heard their union - IALPA is going to hold a token 24 hour stoppage. Seems a rather pathetic gesture somehow.

22nd May 2002, 20:24
If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were talking about CX. Now all that is left is to fire a bunch of guys. Yikes!!! This is getting f*cking ordinary!

22nd May 2002, 21:07
CX went Union busting
LAN Chili went union busting
Willie Wanka has gone union busting in Ei

Spot the common thread?


Aiming to become WorstWorld

Crusty Ol Cap'n
22nd May 2002, 21:14
tonyryan, you hit it right on the nail!

Raw Data
22nd May 2002, 22:58
Captain Stable

so far it sounds like unlawful dismissal.

Suspension (with or without pay) is suspension, not dismissal. Unless of course you are thinking about constructive dismissal, which if memory serves is more a British thing, and less effective than it used to be.

They cannot change the pilots' contracts without their agreement (enforced or otherwise).

Can anybody actually confirm that this is the case under Irish law...???

22nd May 2002, 23:17
The Captain suspended refused to accept a 10 hour rest period. This is contrary to the 13 hours specified in the agreed working conditions.

By tomorrow, it looks like he will be joined by another 2 at least.
This is purely a union busting exercise by WW. Those of you out there in other airlines, especially oneworld members should take note.

:mad: :mad: :mad::mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

22nd May 2002, 23:39
Capt. Ted Murphy has been closely involved with what has been going on at CX for quite a while now. It seems that Aer Lingus is taking notes from CX and starting to try on a union bust of their own.

I would suggest all the members of your pilots union get ready for a nasty fight. It's been almost a year now since some of our 49ers have been at work. Have a look at the Fragrant Harbour forum, it can predict the future.

23rd May 2002, 01:11
Yep...and the news there is all BAD, especially for "union" guys.

23rd May 2002, 01:17
come on all ye alt comrades.........speak out of character will yus...tell the world what it's all about........a chief pilot that might as well stick to play'in the piano.as opposed to making decisions...why don't ye all stand up for those who have the balls to make a stand, butler you ain't one with any balls of your own...hang in there steve m...........u to colin and padraig.......we are all watching from afar to, see what your made of......


23rd May 2002, 05:13
Well I couldn't agree more. What Cathy did is really a shame. It's the boys there not doing anything? I suggest AL pilots to stick together and organise something....like unofficially declaring all flights by buddy pilots to go on high drag approaches and etc...... Show u mean business.

Mach Buffet
23rd May 2002, 09:10
The most appaling part of all this is that the Chief Pilot / Flight Operations Manager is a guy who was once the life and soul of the place - well liked and respected.

Unfortunately he now appears to value his personal friendship with WW so much that he is willing to suspend a classmate of 24 years standing and lose all the respect and even other friendships.

Might I suggest that he remove the "Chief Pilot" from his title as he no longer has the support of his pilots?

Let's wait and see how many of his former colleagues and friends invite him around for a BBQ this year - or ever again.

Rod Von Eddington
23rd May 2002, 11:18
At 1730z on 22nd May 2002 Irish ALPA served strike notice on Aer
Lingus to take place at 0001z 30th May for 24 hours following the suspension of an Aer Lingus Captain who followed IALPA's directive not to operate to the work rules which were rejected by 99% of IALPA members in a secret ballot.

In this instance the Captain, with 24 years unblemished service, refused to operate during his 13 hour rest period which management have reduced to 10 hours without agreement.

23rd May 2002, 12:52
Caught a radio brodcast this morning about this topic.

The former CEO of ALT, was suspended on full pay , pending investigation of alleged sexual harrassment.

Pilots who refuse to operate below the minimum agreed rest period, are suspended without pay .

Smacks of doule standards to me.

Where are the IAA in all this. Strangely silent.


Mach Buffet
23rd May 2002, 13:31
IAA? - The downtown office of Aer Lingus?

I presume they are doing their usual rubber stamping of the Aer Lingus Operation. Never been known to otherwise.

Anyway, why would ex-Aer Lingus managers behave differently given that they are still working for the same old employer - Mrs O'Rourke?

( I know she's gone from that Dept., but I heard they are moving her in to a back office up the road).

23rd May 2002, 14:44
Close 'em down fellas. If you cost them millions then the CEO will be the next one to go. You are lucky that you have laws that allow strike action without being sent broke.

Hasn't the management heard of AA1420 at Little Rock? What about the Irish media?

23rd May 2002, 15:46
Close them down?? Guys I hope that a oneday (if it ever gets to that) stoppage wont cripple The Shamrock. Things are only getting back on its feet, but having spoken to an EI jock this morning, you really think that the majority want a strike??? Me dont think so. Where are all the "HardMen" now?

When everything is running smoothly its "Guys There has to be changes" but when theres a problem , they seem to "Quiten Down"?...... only my observation!

So is the future going to be like this?

No wonder all the booking are getting very quiet, the public have little faith in Aer Lingus....... such a pity, as the employees are dedicated, well most of them.

So Go Get the FTLs fixed, its in black n white in the ops manual, what people can and cannot do, so crewing etc cant be asking the impossible.


24th May 2002, 14:01
Can we assume the 13 hours rest mentioned is brakes on to brakes off? For the non-pilots out there this is the equivalent to leaving your 'desk' at 6pm and sitting down at your desk the next day at 7am. Rest does not take account of travel by car/bus to work/hotel. Sounds like a reasonable rule. In BA it is 12 hours which is the very minimum humane rostering limit in my opinion.

Let's imagine Aer Lingus worked to 10 hours. A pilot would be arriving at DUB at 22:00. He would complete post flight checks and await the disembarkation of the pax, getting to his car in the staff car park at say 22:30. Driving home to his sleeping family, he'd arrive at 23.15. Popping under the covers at 23:30 he'd manage to drift off immiediately. In what seemed like an instant, the alarm would go off at 05:30. He'd wash, dress and pack his suitcase whilst his family still slept, leaving the house at 06:15. He'd arrive at work at 07:00 and brief himself and the crew on the weather and flight plan for the next duty which pushed back at 08:00 (10 hours later).

That is an example if you live 45 minutes from work(Time yourself from shutting your front door to arriving at your desk on Monday!)

10 hours is dangerous! Do YOU want your pilots to have 6 hours sleep before your flight?

24th May 2002, 14:14
The truth is that Aer Fungus's directors and management are full of it.

They are under strick orders, from the government, to make the company "look" good in the short term for a privatisation that has been repeatedly put off due to their own incompetence.

So they are, incompetently, firing at the wrong target.

Anyone care to work out the ratio of non-flying staff to flying staff in Fungus and compare it to other comparable carriers?

Then work out the ratio of managers & directors to flying staff?

Guess who really needs to be made redundant and suffer pay cuts. Managers.

24th May 2002, 14:58
Got the call that two more Aer Lingus pliots are suspended. To the Chief Pilot, you should resign as against watching your flock get culled. It will haunt you for the rest of your days seeing whats going on.

Capt Bearcat

Mach Buffet
25th May 2002, 01:12

I hope some decent people reading this will tell Joyce that you are responsible for at least two families around here being unsure of where their next meal is coming from.

Just something for you to think about as you play keyboards at Mass tommorow and enjoy Sunday lunch.

dallas dude
25th May 2002, 03:14
Ironic how the first Captain suspended recently received a letter from Lingus management commending him on his superior judgement skills.

They then suspend this fine Irish gentleman for simply recognising that 10 hours rest (potentially after an 8.5 hour two crew [non-augmented] transatlantic flight) may compromise his performance and his passengers safety (instead of the negotiated 13 hours rest).

Note, "rest" time off usually incorporates travelling to and from the airport, eating, sleeping, as well as at least one hour's additional pre-flight/departure preparation.

The FAA wouldn't allow an American carrier to do it. The CAA wouldn't allow BALPA crews to do it. Does A-L really want to find the limit of endurance? Most pilots are NOT Sir Earnest Shackleton!

Wee Willie might be an ideal choice for Mick McCarthy's job at this rate!

Despite what a prior post suggests, I'd say a 99% vote by the IALPA A-L members shows how unified they are.

Good luck,


25th May 2002, 12:12
And I thought that the 14h rest, in my company was limiting :(
Good luck in your fight. Win it for all, the rest of us :p

25th May 2002, 16:02
To those pilots that are operating on hire ins this Thursdayfor Aer Lingus, remember you are working for your collegues that are on strike who are standing up for their basic rights and that is not be treated like dogs. To the Aer Lingus Chief Pilot......you should hang your head low for what you have done to your fellow collegues. No amount of mass playing will get forgiveness.

25th May 2002, 17:49
Are these hire-ins wet leases or what? Is there a mutual assistance request?

25th May 2002, 18:00
One could suggest that the board and assorted management be taken out to Taiwan to assist in the recovery of bodies. A classic example of a small national airline in a cosy relationship with the regulatory authority.

26th May 2002, 16:57
4th & 5th suspended today. They landed @ 0220 last night after a 10 hour duty. No taxi to bring them to the hotel as usual. They got to bed at 0400.

Aer Lingus wanted them to be available from 1440.
They held the line.....Duty time operated+ 4 Hrs.

From the gang of 3, come on in the water is warm.


26th May 2002, 19:50
Rumour has it that Monarch are to operate the hire ins as the Aer Lingus pilots strike. I hope the Monarch pilots feel proud as they fly A/L out of a corner. Just remeber what Aer Lingus wants to do. They want to smash IALPA and all union activitity. This has repercussions world wide. Lan Chile were shafted in the same fashion. If A/L win every one may as well hang up there boots and let the industry go into free fall and watch safety plummet. Th

26th May 2002, 19:55
Min rest in my company was 9 hours at the hotel.
Thus ground staff ensured crew transport on a "min rest.
On sign in at the hotel the captain and the airport staff agreed via telephone the new scheduled airborne time.
During their 9 hours at the hotel the crew could, if they had any energy remaining after the previous 10 hour multie sector 2 man crew duty day, shower,relax,attempt to find food for dinner/breakfast at 02.00am, take some exercise by roaming the streets at 3.00am and converse with the local criminals whilst prepareing mentally for fun day duty 2.
A further multie sector, 2 man crew 10hour duty day plus 4hour deadhead back to base.
If motivated in what remained of their precious 9 hours rest, they could also revise their manuals for fun day 3.
A mornig deadhead to simulator and another 10 hour day, or they could forget any revision and sleep off their fatigue and reenergise to become well rested prior to Fun Day 2.

In real life.... crews fell asleep on the inbound transport, signed in, and then often fell asleep on their hotel bed in full uniform, to be awoken by the wake up telephone call, or the full Arabian dawn sunlight burning into their brains as they had neglected to draw the blinds prior to collapse.
In real life crews would not take a bath on arrival at the hotel as they would fall asleep in the bath.
Funn Day 4, was the simulator check day, which concluded with further dead heading back to base (if they had seats) another 10 hour duty day.

On arrival base you were often approached by rostering staff to fly later that same day and into what should have been your off duty rest day.
A quick midnight Bah/Lhr min rest then night flight Lhr/Auh dead head Auh/Doh/Bah.
Rostering often pleaded they were short of crews when in fact they did not wish to use their available standby pilots incase a greater emergency came up.

It was my observation (not surprisingly) a continual policy of max duty min rest lead to cumulative deep fatigue.
This continual cost effective practice also caused irrational behavior in crews.
Pilots appeared to be programmed to respond to such treatment by often flying poorly on base checks in the sim, others in real life became very bad tempered and some flew a series of very poor approaches badly below their previously demonstrated ability.
These examples lost their jobs but returned to normality after a number of weeks of rest and sleep, they now fly happily for other operators or a succesful in other careers.
The unlucky ones either did one really bad approach and crashed,
or their immune systems being so depleted took sick and died, mental breakdowns,heart attacks and cancers and brain tumours.
IMHO.. The sooner the insurance industry wakes up to the fact Max duty/min rest costs them money and bans it the better.
The Caa and the Faa staff by the nature of their chosen career have no intention of personally flying such schedules.
I doubt the Caa or Faa are powerful enough to stop the abuse of max duty/ min rest infact I fully expect them to agree it to let it get worse.

26th May 2002, 20:16
Any Monarch drivers out there want to comment on this??

Send Clowns
26th May 2002, 20:47
Good luck, IALPA.

How on earth does it come to be that we in the training side teach pilots safety and the operational side of the industry completely ignores the issue? It must, in the long term be to their cost.

Captain Stable
26th May 2002, 21:22
I will leave aside for now the issue of strike-busting, although I have some very strongly-held view on the issue.

Are Monarch crews operating to the same schedule as the Aer Lingus guys are expected to operate? If not, because of legality/safety issues, it would suggest that AL could save themselves a lot of aggro by admitting they have already lost.

A minimum of ten hours rest is, quite simply, not enough, and is DANGEROUS.

To attempt to rewrite a contract without the agreement of both parties is illegal.

To suspend staff for sticking to their current agreement with you is indefensible.

It's well past time that the IAA, which has shown itself time and again to be a toothless, ineffective and over-pliable rubber stamp was overhauled by the Irish Government. Failing that, Ireland should be expelled from ICAO.

Kaptin M
26th May 2002, 21:40
Monarch, along with America West, were proud to fly their planes during the attempted union-busting dispute in Australia.

It was in fact the companies - all FOUR of them that ended up going bust!

Does ANYBODY know on which SUCCESSFUL employee-busting model Aer Lingus and Cathay management are basing their tactics?

From observation, the theory is, as yet, UNPROVEN - but costs hundreds of millions during testing.

26th May 2002, 22:06
To My friends in Aer Lingus, my deepest sympathys. Lets hope this gets resolved quickly.

To those of you working in other airlines, especially UK airlines, who may be rostered to operate some sub-services on Aer Lingus routes on Strike day, a word of advice.

Following the change in the law on secondary picketing brought about by Mrs Thatcher, you must be very careful. If your company rosters you, within the terms of your working agreement to operate sub-service for ANYONE you must undertake the work or be in breach of contract. Furthermore, your employer can seek damages from you for any losses, and your Union may have their funds sequestered if they support you in your refusal to undertake work beacuse of an industrial dispute that is not tied DIRECTLY to your company.

This law was made VERY clear to all the UK airlines that operated in Australia in 1989. It goes back to the miners dispute. Be warned. I'm not sure this applies to airlines of other nationalities, so they, at least , might have the option of following their conscience, although I suspect in the current pilot market place, I'm not sure how many would want to refuse to work.

Sad days indeed. :( :(

p.s. for the benefit of those pilots NOT working for UK airlines, CAP371 (The UK CAA to FTL's) states that minimum rest away from base can be reduced to 11 hours in company provided accomodation, provided that the journey time from the airport to the hotel is less than 30 minutes, and that the hotel room is available for occupancy for 10 hours. So 10 hours in a hotel is legal, giving 11 hours "rest" total.

26th May 2002, 22:39

Tom the Tenor
26th May 2002, 23:56
Good luck to all EI pilots in your dispute. Hope it turns out the right way and that your suspended colleagues are back at work again very soon. Aer Lingus management have a long history of being so very out of touch. Why has it never got any better? You would think that eventually some reasonably skilled and educated types would have made it to the top of the company thus preventing them from getting in to these no win type of situations. I mean, there is a either an agreement whereby the roster can only be changed through negotiation or not? Or, are the gang from the PDF & brown boot club still calling a lot of the shots and organising for themselves hectic careers at the Collinstown base and so perpetuating the same kind of man-management? Sad, if true.

Ricky Hill
27th May 2002, 15:45
Oh, ******!

You mean that bullying pilots and making them the butt of all the company's problems, then trying to enforce un-agreed changes to the AFS doesn't work?

That's a shame, we were rather hoping to use those tactics at bmi.

27th May 2002, 16:15
It's interesting that the 'oneworld' members are engaging in union-busting activities. Now, at AA, Don Carty is pushing Congress to amend the Railway Labor Act to require winner-take-all style arbitration.

I have no faith in the 'purity' of the arbitration process, I can't believe management would rush to embrace it if they thought the process couldn't be corrupted.

AA's management makes a sport of liberally interpreting the contract, although the violations haven't been as egregious as those at AL.

Good luck to all.TC

Kaptin M
27th May 2002, 20:40
A strike almost NEVER gains public support/sympathy - esp. in the transport sector, and ESP. "fat cat" pilots.

May I suggest that one of the most effective tools that can be used to GAIN public support is ACTIVE involvement by the pilots in EXPLAINING the reasons WHY they are taking action.
Leaflets handed out, at airports, to the passengers affected, explaining how degraded rest conditions for YOU, directly impact THEIR immediate SAFETY, because of the increased RISK of DANGER, is time and money well spent.

Let them know that you - the pilot group - are on strike for the SAFETY of your passengers, whilst management are interested only in their MONEY!

27th May 2002, 22:49
You are so right Kaptin but the object of a strike isn't to curry favour with the travelling public, that of course will never work. The object is to deny revenue to the company, which always works in a work stoppage. The only thing the managers of these airlines understand is money and how much is made or lost. Make them lose a little money and they realise the changes aren't worth it. Then you sit down at the table and sort it out like grown-ups.

27th May 2002, 23:37
I get the funny feeling that the managment teams from Cathay, Aer Lingus, and Lan Chile have all been having luch together quite often lately. The union busting damage tally to date...

Lan Chile, sunk.

Cathay, listing.

Aer Lingus, first torpedo in-bound.

Look out boys at AA, and BA your managers are soon to be included at the lunchons....:(

27th May 2002, 23:59
More information regarding the strike busting airlines. Monarch was a ruse- the real culprits are Corsair, Hapag Lloyd and European Aviation.

I trust that these gentlemen will enjoy their pieces of silver.:mad:

28th May 2002, 00:33
If these new practices are dangerous or not in accordance with international regulations then should not the pilots

a) take it up with the IAA in the first instance and if (when ?) the IAA response is considered inadequate

b) take the problem to JAA/ICAO ?

If safety is being compromised due to lack of a proper regulatory environment, then I believe that those professionals competent to make such a judgement have an obligation to raise this issue at whatever level it can be addressed.

Getting into another management vs staff dispute won't solve the core problem - lack of proper safety regulation.

I guess this post also applies to the current Ryanair thread.

28th May 2002, 14:43
Aer Lingus “deeply disturbed” at IMPACT statement on
Survival Plan

Tuesday 28th May

Aer Lingus today said that it was deeply disturbed at the statement in a letter received from IMPACT that the union representing Aer Lingus pilots fails to see the relevance of the Aer Lingus Survival Plan.

This statement by IMPACT is totally at variance with the views of the vast majority of Aer Lingus staff who have voted for and implemented change in accordance with the Survival Plan. It is also at variance with the process facilitated by the Labour Relations Commission including the ruling of an independent agreed arbitrator.

Aer Lingus has consistently maintained that full implementation of the Survival Plan is vital for the future viability of the company.

As a result of strike action by pilots on Thursday 30th May and their ongoing refusal to co-operate with the full implementation of the Survival Plan, Aer Lingus will not be in a position to recommence operations on Friday 31st May. This position will be kept under review on a daily basis.

Aer Lingus regrets having to make this decision and the consequent disruption to our customers. It has been made inevitable by the disruption caused by Thursday’s strike, the ongoing threat of further action and the written confirmation from IMPACT that the pilots will continue to refuse to implement the arbitration rulings on the airline’s Survival Plan. The IMPACT letter went on to say that the union fails to see the relevance of the Aer Lingus Survival Plan.

Aer Lingus will issue regular bulletins on its operating plans.

Aer Lingus Corporate Affairs
28 May 2002

28th May 2002, 15:49
We at AA are already seeing what's coming down the road. Don is pushing for "Baseball style"(remember this phrase) arbitration.
That is both sides present their proposals for a contract and an
"independent" arbitrator chooses which proposal is best and that's it. They pick the entire proposal, not just segments of both.

Also, BA is already on the chopping block with the change to the retirement plan.

ALL the oneworlder's have been having lunch together.TC

28th May 2002, 16:50
On Thursday Aer Lingus will spend 7 figures on hiring in aircraft to maintain the schedule during the strike. On Friday, the airline is not viable without the pilots accepting the full terms of the "survival plan", and all operations will cease.:confused:

Does anyone believe this 5>1t?

What are we doing, saving the airline, breaking IALPA or devaluing the company?

Answers to;

Willie Wonka
Oneworld Airlines

28th May 2002, 17:12
Aer Lingus reservations have been told to not accept bookings for flights up until Thursday 6th June. Digging in for a fight methinks.

28th May 2002, 20:54
LINGUS to stop flying on friday.

28th May 2002, 23:05
According to Aer Lingus Dan the Propaganda Man the aeroplanes will all be in the wrong place on Friday to operate. (Quoted on RTE's 5-7 live.)

How will they get there on Saturday? Perhaps they'll be shipped?:eek:

29th May 2002, 06:52
From this mornings Irish Independent. (other similar stories in the Irish Times)

Aer Lingus to ground all flights in dogfight with pilots

AER Lingus is grounding all flights from tomorrow with no clear date for a resumption of services as its dispute with pilots worsens.

In a dramatic response to a one-day strike over the airline's survival plan, the company will shut down the airline on Friday. The move is an attempt by management to fully implement its cost cutting plan.

Tomorrow limited services will fly to Britain and the US as pilots stage their one-day strike. Instead of carrying the normal daily load of 20,000 passengers, only 3,000 will be able to travel.

The management yesterday said it would not be able to resume services on Friday when no customers will travel. It has not decided when services will restart and the situation will be "kept under daily review".

The dispute centres on the pilots' refusal to work a new roster which reduces time off and increases flexibility.

The change is part of the survival plan which saw 2026 staff take redundancy and costs cut by €200m in the wake of the September 11 global airline crisis.

Aer Lingus corporate affairs director Dan Loughrey said: "We believe the plan is the absolute minimum we need to survive. It is vital it is implemented in full."

The airline said it was "deeply disturbed" by a letter from the pilots' trade union, Impact, questioning the relevance of the company's survival plan.

Customers whose flights are cancelled can fly with another airline, accept a refund, or travel on another date.

Bernard Harbor, a spokesman for Impact, said there was no reason for the airline to close on Friday. "This is a unilateral decision of Aer Lingus to disrupt passengers and risk the future of the airline."

Mr Harbor added the pilots had co-operated with the bulk of the survival plan and were responsible for reducing costs by €12m. Seven staff have been suspended without pay for defying the new timetable.

John Power, chief executive of the Irish Hotels Federation, last night called on the Government to immediately step in to resolve the dispute before serious damage is caused to the 150,000-job tourism industry.

David Murphy, Deputy Business Editor

Hot Wings
29th May 2002, 11:10
Good luck to all the flight crew at Aer Lingus. Keep your spirits up and stay united. I look forward to watching your management back-track when they finally realise that you need to have co-operative pilots to successfully run an airline. Sadly, it seems that confrontation is the preferred approach by Oneworld managers, so I expect that those of us at BA will probably be in the same boat by the end of the year.

Hot Wings

29th May 2002, 12:19
I wish all friends and colleagues in EI the very best for thurs. I hope it all gets resolved in your favour. EI is a good operation run by top class crews, and future success depends on those guys/gals being properly rewarded and motivated. Hope WW keeps this thought to the forefront over coming days.

29th May 2002, 12:49
This is quickly becoming de-rigeur for the new Al-Qaeda style of airline management. Stay united, stop their insane and unsafe demands on flight time limitations. Call their bluff. Fatigue amongst professionals is a hot issue here in the UK, and the absence of any concern from airline managements for this crucial safety issue is a flashing red warning light.

We must stop this persecution of the profession. If you dig your heels and hold out, they’ll simply have to find an easier target. The shareholders will be pretty unimpressed with a board of directors who will not negotiate and promise a suicide bombing of the company unless they get their way.

This is contemptible blackmail. Don’t yield to it. We will all face this battle very shortly as this new style of ‘management’ comes to the fore. Fight it. We’re fighting with you. The very best of luck to you, and the very worst to the suits. You have our full support.

I'll take on the opposition anyday. It's my management I can't beat!

29th May 2002, 12:58

Hmm not sure i would rate a staff Vs management
dispute in the same league as America's war on terrorism however each to their own....your post rallying the troops sounds like the sort we have seen recently - normally a video filmed in cave's.

(edit for typing speed not matching brain speed)


29th May 2002, 13:29
rupetime, if you are suggesting that Aer Lingus flight crews should;
1 throw away their lifestyles to appease the insatiable demands of a rabid management
2 and in so doing participate in practices that could result in compromising the safety of our passengers ,
in order to stop the management from bringing down the airline they are supposed to manage, then so be it. Aer Lingus will be no more.

That is if you are foolish enough to believe any of the rubbish that emenates from Dan Loughery and Willie's propaganda machine. Fact- Aer Lingus is not in danger in going out of business not withstanding the threat from its own management. Flights are full. There is no cash crisis. The airline has not even availed of the draw down facility made available to it after September 11th. We have just had the 1st profitable March in around 20 years of trading. Fiction- Aer Lingus cannot survive without its pilots (5% of costs v. industry average 10%) doing 10 hour turnarounds.

For anyone who does not see what is going on here let me spell it out. Airline managers do not like pilots. They cost too much money. Oneworld management are engaged in a worldwide campaign of pilot union breaking . Lan Chile has fallen. Cathay Pacific has been holed below the waterline. Willie Walsh is in regular contact with Rod Eddington. BA is next. The future- yellow pack Aer Lingus pilots flying oneworld aircraft.

rupetime, I'd sooner work in McDonalds. At least if i burn the burgers I won't be prosecuted or dead.

29th May 2002, 13:56
Ronald, sorry Cluckingbell.

I have only met WW on a few occasions and as I am not AL staff
i have little interest in his "propaganda" be it useful or otherwise
but I would say that any strike action by pilots is extremely effective and potentially fatally damaging for an airline regardless of its current profitability or past losses.

How long will the aircraft be full and the profits be plentyfull if the strike goes ahead ?

Whilst not wishing anyone a life in McDonalds unless of course its what you want (did you know 8 years ago McDonalds were employing managers on £30K..not bad huh) I think you all have to be sure possible closure of the company is really a reality
that your happy to accept.

All AL employee's whether pilots or ground staff have the brains to not do something to endanger life or risk prosecution, if WW asked you to fly the aircraft naked would you all do it.......ok dont answer that!

All I say is good luck - one way or another the 97% could well be history makers.


29th May 2002, 14:34
As a fellow airline pilot (not with any Irish Airline)- and seen the new working conditions Aer Lingus are trying to implement I would like to say to each and every EI pilot -Good Luck ,stick together and don't let these new conditions get through-and to every other aircrew member-WE COULD BE NEXT.
Stop the EI Pilot slagging they know what they are doing and the majority of you out there don't know the inside of what willie [email protected] is up to.
I look forward to flying with each and every Aer Lingus Pilot in the future keep up the standards guys and Gals.
One final comment -

Once again to the pilots in Aer lingus the very best of luck to you in the future.


29th May 2002, 14:51
rupetime your point is taken and thank you for your good wishes. Rest assured none of us are taking this lightly and none have more to loose. We simply have no choice.

At least I can look forward to a pay raise as a McD's manager.:)

29th May 2002, 15:27
There will be little public support for a strike, other carriers will cover the flying with great pleasure however be assured the cost of using other carriers will have a big effect and hit WW's bottom line.

Putting to oneside the safety concerns of FTL changes there is a risk of serious, possibly terminal, damage to Aer Lingus should this strike take hold.

In the past ive always found that clever rostering and crewing of pilots and cabin crew can actually save money and this is within
any pre-existing ftl's - there is nothing more profitable than a happy and rested pilot...its a type of asset management use the assets well and they can earn you a fortune and work well for you, use it badly and they a) strike b)leave c)make mistakes.

The management should be aware a) is very costly b) is unfortunate c) is disaster.

And when I say clever rostering I mean keeping the company and the individual happy within EXISTING ftl's - ftl's that obviously worked at some point.



29th May 2002, 15:56
I know nothing of this particular dispute but since this is an open forum and the matter is being discussed in public, I would like to make a couple of comments.

It has been my experience in the past that having to wet-lease aircraft and crews is actually a good thing in the end. The fact that the management is having to spend an arm and a leg to keep going is likely to make them more interested in getting back to the negotiating table.

I have in the past and from time to time still do some flights which are rostered to the CAA minimum rest period of 11 hours. This is based on 10 hours in the hotel (8 hours kip and 1 hour either side of this for other matters). No allowance is made for Guinness time, shopping time or socialising time. Now I would not like to do this 5 days a week but if it is truly a flight safety hazard then why does the CAA allow the practice?

If you want your dispute to succeed then you simply have to get the public on your side. The truth is usually an early casualty in a dispute and it is perception that counts. In the SABENA dispute, whole sections of the community perceived them as being well-paid and privileged and were sick to death with the perception that lots of their tax contributions were going to waste. You simply have to have them on your side if you are going to win.

Finally, always remember that there is always someone out there prepared to do your job for less money and worse terms than you despite the presence of such august bodies as IFALPA etc etc. I well remember catching an (AA) flight out of Denver back in the 80s and seeing CO pilots on a picket line. Apparently they had been there for months. Strolling round either side of them were the replacement CO pilots. I thought it was a sad sad sight.

Good luck but be careful you don't overdo it!

Spearing Britney
29th May 2002, 15:57
We should all row in behind EI pilots at this time, maybe those boys who choose to operate the schedule on Tursday might like to mention their support for EI pilots in their PA's???

29th May 2002, 17:26
Ansett, Swissair, Sabena and now Aer Lingus. Whilst it was good knowing you all, once you're gone there will only be the odd re-union to attend. Oh, well the union's always get you in the end. Rest in Peace.

Hudson Bay
29th May 2002, 18:27
On the airlines web site the company has announced today that it will not be able to continue operations after 31 May 2002. The report blames the pilots because of there reluctance to participate in the companys survival plan.

29th May 2002, 18:47
Interesting timing of EI's hardball measures, two weeks earlier and a lot of minds would have been concentrated, mind you four weeks earlier and I'd have been in deep sh!t!

I wonder is Bertie thinking "hmm... BRU still open for business post SN" and imagining the same status for DUB?

North Dublin might pay for not electing Nora Owen yet, much as I despise her generally.

Crusty Ol Cap'n
29th May 2002, 19:05
Nora Owen has no interest in ALT or it's pilot's as she demonstrated to any of her constituents who wrote to her on the subject.

29th May 2002, 19:07
Uh, that's not what it says Hudson Bay:

"As a result of strike action by pilots on Thursday 30th May and their ongoing refusal to co-operate with the full implementation of the Survival Plan, Aer Lingus will not be in a position to recommence operations on Friday 31st May or Saturday 1st June. This position will be kept under review on a daily basis."

It just says they won't fly on Friday and Saturday.

29th May 2002, 19:16
Is this a 'lockout'? It sure looks like it, very tried and true union bust tactic.

I don't think the economic survival of the company has anything to do with rostering or FTLs. It usually has to do with debt financing and management techniques. Pilots payrolls rarely make up enough of the operational costs to have that much effect on the bottom line.

The management is on an obvious union bust. It is a power grab and nothing else.

Good luck Gents.

Blue Bay
29th May 2002, 19:21
I do not know all the facts but if I am right in assuming that EI management are now expecting crews to operate illegally outside the Cap371 or IAA equivalent then obviously this is a disgrace. Surely the regulatory authorities are getting involved. Or is it the case that the management have ammended working conditions, but within legal limits??
I wish EI the very best of luck.

Crusty Ol Cap'n
29th May 2002, 19:22
Thanks for the good wishes folks! A special thanks to the Oneworld Cockpit Crew Association for their ad in todays Irish Times. THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT AER LINGUS, IT AFFECTS OUR PROFESSION WORLDWIDE.
HOLD THE LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hudson Bay
29th May 2002, 20:01
From Aer Lingus web site:- "In the absence of such clarity Aer Lingus considers that it is still not in a position to recommence operations on Saturday 1st June".

29th May 2002, 20:06
For my benefit, can someone please clarify:
a) EXACTLY what the company are trying to institute for 'rest'
b) what the legal documents call for
c) what the 'industrial agreement' calls for
I cannot see this anywhere, despite a request on page 1, and, perhaps unsurpisingly, I've heard nothing from BALPA.

Hudson Bay
29th May 2002, 20:12
extract from the "Guardian"

The Aer Lingus board is to meet tomorrow to discuss its latest industrial relations crisis amid fresh speculation that the airline might be close to collapse.
The dispute between management and pilots took a turn for the worse yesterday when the company announced it could not guarantee services beyond tomorrow, when the pilots hold a one-day strike.

The company blamed the pilot' "ongoing refusal to co-operate with the full implementation of the [company's] survial plan" for its decision to cease operations on Friday. "

29th May 2002, 20:48
Just because it is in the paper, doesn't mean it's true. Airline managers hire some of the best spin doctors in the world because they know they are dealing with a highly intelligent work force.

Keep the faith boys!

29th May 2002, 21:20
"a) EXACTLY what the company are trying to institute for 'rest'
b) what the legal documents call for
c) what the 'industrial agreement' calls for
I cannot see this anywhere, despite a request on page 1, and, perhaps unsurpisingly, I've heard nothing from BALPA."

a)10 hours at base
b)CAA is 11 hours min
c)our current minima is 12 hours

29th May 2002, 21:27
Aer Lingus needed a survival plan to get over sept 11 and foot&mouth it did survive with the help of the pilots -the issue is not the survival of the airline but the pilots stopping willie [email protected] taking the **** out of his ex colleagues!!!!!!!

good luck to everyone -hold the line.

Captain Stable
29th May 2002, 21:44
cb, I think what BOAC was wanting is the IAA minima, not CAA. I think he's probably fairly familiar with those!

By the way, 11 hours is for rest in an hotel, not at home, which is 12 hours or the length of the preceding duty, whichever is the longer.

29th May 2002, 21:44
Thanks, cb.

From your post, since b) > a) the matter would appear to be a breach of statutory regs. by Aer Lingus. c) > a) is an industrial matter; b) > a) is a legal one.

If so, a good union press-officer will blow AL out of the water - or am I over-simplifying?

29th May 2002, 21:47
As an interested observer not directly invovled...

Why do I see the phrases like "union busting", more than once in close assoication with "One World Alliance", all over the forum threads on this topic but this has not, as far as I know, been mentioned on any of the news items on radio or TV, including extended interviews with union reps?

Is it bad PR to talk of union breaking or something?

29th May 2002, 22:18
Thank you Captain Stable for your corrections.

BOAC, Aer Lingus is governed by IAA minima, which are whatever Aer Lingus phone up and ask for. :(

In answer to your point on PR, it is being said. Interestingly, Aer Lingus Dan, the Propaganda Man, stated today on radio that the 10 hour turnaround was only for "emergencies".

I don't know if that meant it was to solve emergencies or cause them.

29th May 2002, 22:30
Fully support any employee who wants to defend their conditions and ensure safety.

However as someone has said you have to get the public and other AL staff behind you. A relative of mine works for AL (in marketing), they are by no means right wing and have supported the TEAM Lingus workers etc. However, they have little time for the AL pilots. If you don't carry young non aircrew AL staff with you, you haven't a chance.

29th May 2002, 22:54
Thank you all for your support. It is comforting to know such a large body of people that you have never met before, are out there sympathetic to your plight.

Facing into a strike is a nerve racking to say the least. What is most upsetting about this strike is how nasty certain managers have become.

All line pilots, along with the majority of management pilots have been consistent in their professionalism and dedication throughout their career in Aer Lingus, as in the majority of airlines. They have all adhered to their contracts of employment, and often delivered far more above and beyond the minimum required of them.

Now, certain managers have decided to no longer respect the contracts that exist and unilaterally impose new conditions on the pilot body. The pilots have serious reservations about the safety of the operation if these imposed conditions were to be adhered to.

Seven pilots have been suspended to date without pay for refusing to accept rest periods substantially below those agreed. These pilots were acting fully in accordance with their agreements and contract of employment.

If you are concerned with what is happening here in Aer Lingus, could I ask you to assist us by e-mailing the following that are directly involved in this dispute, and expressing your concern:

[email protected]

This is the current Chief Executive of Aer Lingus, and a former pilot. He is the driving force behind this dispute.

[email protected]

The Aer Lingus' Chief Pilot and Flight Operations Manager. This is the manager that has suspended the seven pilots to date, without good reason.

[email protected]

The Aer Lingus Press Officer, who has claimed, wrongly,amongst other things, that the average Aer Lingus pilot does effectively 10 hours flying per week.

As fellow pilots your support would be greatly appreciated.

29th May 2002, 23:08
One World should be renamed One Attack.

Best of luck in your fight, it must be horrendous.

BA next.

Count von Altibar
29th May 2002, 23:27
Good luck to all the Aer Lingus pilots who are now as I write commencing strike action. We all look on with support for you because this is not only an Irish fight but a fight for pilots working conditions in every airline across the world. The fact is we are all under attack. IMHO the management at ALT are trying to compound the situation and isolate the pilots from other workers. Ride it out. You should win in the end. Let's face it, you always have before in previous disputes. The only danger I believe is that WW and others may mean business and try to break the Aer Lingus we know to be replaced by a 'cheaper' alternative. Let's hope not. Good Luck!!

dallas dude
30th May 2002, 00:52
OneWorld should be re-named ThirdWorld!

All airlines are only as good as their last, safe, flight.

Sweatshop conditions DO NOT belong anywhere in aviation regardless of one's speciality/trade.

As a former Aer Lingus pilot Willie ought to know better.

I'm sure Bertie Ahern has already picked out the silver platter that WW's head will be brought to him on!

What "new" government needs this much aggro?


We know you're all up for it tomorrow at IALPA. Stand strong for the rest of us. Tell Amo we said Hi!

Bosco II
30th May 2002, 02:21
Interestingly, Aer Lingus Dan, the Propaganda Man, stated today on radio that the 10 hour turnaround was only for "emergencies".

There have been 7 pilots suspended without pay in the last 8 days because they have refused to work to the imposed conditions. That makes 4 emergencies, an average of one emergency every two days!!!!!!!! Who do you think you are fooling, Dan !!!!!!!!!!!

30th May 2002, 05:05
"is it bad PR [for companies] to talk about union breaking or something?"


friend with all due respect, and a little sarcasm, you are kidding aren't you???

Oneworld union busting tally to date...

maybe they should change the name of the group to "Oneworld without organized labor" ---harder to paint on the fuselage, but certainly truer to form.....:eek:

30th May 2002, 12:43
For those who don't know what its all about


30th May 2002, 13:03
That's not a bad summary I guess. What troubles me is there is constant reference to 'everyone else in the company' taking part in this survival plan. Well 'everyone else in the company' doesn't sit in the pointy end of a jet on a dark and stormy night trying to get the thing on the ground safely. Working hours for pilots are not the same as 'everyone else' and therefore shouldn't be compared to others.

It reminds me of a passage I read a while back, don't know who to give the credit to, I'm sure many of you have seen it.


DON'T COMPARE MY JOB TO OTHER JOBS Lot has been said and written in the press
concerning pilots' salaries and
compensation. We have been told
about how much it will cost our company, our job has been compared to others,
and various subtle and not so
subtle threats and intimidation tactics have been hurled at our group. In
light of the current situation,
please allow me, a pilot to give you a small glimpse into
my world... DON'T COMPARE MY JOB TO OTHER JOBS ..How many boardrooms explode
over Long
Island Sound?
...How many meetings conclude with hundreds of dead bodies?
...How many trucks cost $82 million dollars?
...How many doctors spend half the month away from their families?
...Do the children of media representatives cry when Daddy puts on his
uniform to go to! work because they know he'll be gone for a week?
...How many salesmen lose their jobs because they have high blood pressure?
...When your wife is watching TV an the program is interrupted by a news
flash of an aircraft accident, does she momentarily freeze in fear for what
she might hear?
There is not another profession in the world where the consequences for
mistakes are so catastrophic and unforgiving. THE PRICE
..I pay the price
when somebody loads full oxygen containers in the
cargo hold
...I pay the price
when a terrorist has a bone to pick
...I pay the price when loaders forget to
set the locks
...I pay the
price when engineers design a fuel pump not quite correctly
...I pay the
price when Mother Nature decides to
shift the winds
... YOU SPEAK OF THE COST ..Ask the CEO of Value Jet the cost
of a DC-9 buried in
the Everglades...The Cost..
.! ..Ask Fred Smith the cost to scrape a DC-10 and MD-11 from ! the runways
Steward and Newark...
The Cost ...Ask Korean Airlies the cost of a 747 that didn't quite make the
runway at Guam...
The Cost ...Ask Fine Air the cost to clean up a DC-8 off a Miami Street...
The Cost ...Ask Bob Crandall the cost of a B-757 impacting a Columbian
The Cost ...And if not for their Cool, Calm, Professionalism, what could have
been the cost of a cathay Pacific 747 with one engine alight plunging into the harbour.
How much were they worth to you that night?
Industry standard or 25 % below? The Cost....WHEN YOU TRY TO INTIMIDATE ME,
...It was I who sits alone at the tip of an F-18 in the silent instant before
I am catapulted over a cold,
dark sea, while you slept peacefully in your bed
...It was I who, one night watched my wings grow heavy with ice, ! miles from
the safety of the nearest
airport praying that I had enough fuel to find clear skies, while you watched
Saturday day night football
...It was I who flew a C-130 into Panamanian gunfire, while you decorated
your Christmas tree in 1989
...It was I who faced head-on the fourth largest army in the world over the
deserts of Iraq and brought it
to its knees, while you watched it on CNN
...It was I who landed an A-6 on a floating piece of tarmac no bigger than
your backyard, while you mowed
...It was I who orbited in unarmed tankers over enemy territory to replenish
others sworn to protect you
...It was I who watched missiles and bullets blossom in my face, yet didn't
turn and run, while you watched
the flowers in your garden blossom
...It was I who buried a friend
...It is I who knows a little boy who will never play catch with his Dad, so
that you may play with your
grandchild Sir, please don! 't try to intimidate me I am not your enemy, I am
your ! asset, an asset that has
experienced and accomplished things few others dare to try. Realise this and
there a few obstacles we can't

30th May 2002, 14:30
6feet--Tremendous post! The problem is, airline managers have figured the cost of labor versus the cost of insurance and litigation and the crashes have won.

Aer Lingus pilots--The pilots of AA are aware of your situation and realize the gravity of your fight. We are behind you 100%! I am going to check and see if AA has put on any flights to Ireland and make people aware that they are helping management break a strike.TC

30th May 2002, 15:08
6feet under,


now, what BALPA/ALPA/HKAOA/IALPA/ IFALPA need to do, no must do, is take out advertising space in at least 2 national daily newspapers in every country where there is a dispute/potential dispute going on and reprint this excellent article. Print it in a tabloid and a broadsheet for max coverage.
come on IFALPA, put your hand in your pocket and lets start to WIN the propaganda war for once......

folks, time to lobby IFALPA and your own unions. this could be a winner if we want it to be. or do you all really want to be working under a flag of convenience within 5 years? just look at the shipping industry.

30th May 2002, 17:59
posted 30th May 2002 15:13
i posted this on the Ryanair 900 hour post, but they just seem intent on continuing to argue amongst themselves...........

<<hey all you FR guys and girls.
lets ALL stop this petty bickering whilst your countrymen are under attack. the AL guys need your support - you are the only ones who can effectively support their cause.
please, don't try to make hay from the Aer Lingus strike or you may well be next.
time to put up folks.........stand firm BESIDE your AL colleagues and offer them some real and public support.

can you do this for them. will you?>>

come on guys, stop fighting eachother and help out your colleagues in their time of need.
we are all just as guilty of petty bickering, but now is not the time.

30th May 2002, 18:36
Good post "It was I"....unfortunately ailine managers (no misspelling) count on the professionalism and personal pride pilots have in doing the job well, as they screw them up the bum at every given opportunity.....so welcome to the "de-regulated" industry...BOHICA boys:confused: :mad: :confused:

30th May 2002, 18:56
6feetunder, what a load of crap. Most of the incidents, people bring scraped of hillsides and mountains were there because of the crews cock ups. Travelling salesman are away for weeks, die in road accidents by the dozen (and thus don't play ball with little Jimmy anymore) work all hours chasing targets and salary's way down from yours. Get real.

30th May 2002, 19:13
Talking to the MD of a long haul airline about rosters being packed with standbys to restrict days off to 12....
"we employ shift workers who do 3 on, 3 off, 4 on, 4 off, so they average 15 days off a month...if they want 9/12 days off they take 3/4 days leave...why can't we have 3 days off after a 3 day trip to East Coast USA or 4 days off after West coast USA?

30th May 2002, 19:22
And who do you fly for Seriph?

30th May 2002, 19:49
It has been a difficult day. It has been a day that some of us have never imagined and all of us will never forget.

Today, after our picket of Dublin airport, we were addressed by the vice-president of the American Airlines pilot association, APA.
He spoke of the pilots of Lan Chile, who are now an association broken assunder. He spoke of Cathay Pacific, who have seen 49 of their pilots sacked for being union representatives. We see the road ahead, the ugly new oneworld.

We feel that today, in standing up to this rabid management, that we are saying on behalf of the past and future victims of the thirdworld approach, no more.

Our Chief Executive, a former pilot, has clearly stated his intentions. It is the complete destruction of the Irish Airline Pilots Association. We will not let this happen. We will hold the line.

This is a difficult time. We are without pay, and with little support in our own airline. We would like to thank all of those who have expressed support, in whatever way. Our special thanks to our oneworld colleagues who realise they are next.

We believe in this battle. We will see it to the end. We will hold the line.

30th May 2002, 20:23
35 yrs in aviation 6ftunder, military and civil, as pilot. The 'i'm Chuck Yeager' thing has worn off though. You may think your'e Gods gift to civilisation but I'm afraid the rest of the world doesn't share your exalted view anymore. When pilots run around demanding to be treated as professionals you know they are not, when they need militant unions along the lines of the teamsters you know the game is up. The rhetoric above was last seen in the UK in the 60's.

30th May 2002, 20:58
Seriph, your attitude is typical of someone who has been around as long as you have. Perhaps a bit jaded, maybe you should leave the preservation of the profession, sorry trade, sorry occupation, sorry what would you call it? to the younger guys who have an interest. Maybe you have had enough.

Few Cloudy
30th May 2002, 21:37
Ignore Seriph - can't spell, use commas or logic (UK based) but has been a pilot for 35 years... Wind-up merchant is more like it.

Good luck to the union during this difficult time.

30th May 2002, 21:45

if that piece of writing you posted was published in the press it would kill off whatever public support there may be for the pilots.

How arrogant can you get ? All that post says is "I'm better than you" What a load of garbage :rolleyes:

"Don't compare my job to others" Have you ANY idea how many other people could say that ? Probably most of us one way or another.

I actually believe the Aer Lingus pilots have a strong case in their dispute with the airline but I'm starting to not care - mainly because of the posts on this board.

PPRuNe is not doing the pilot community any favours at the moment. I guess most journalists know about this site. I wonder which side of the argument they will start to support after reading these threads.


30th May 2002, 21:50
Perhaps the only good thing that may come of this is the complete reconstruction of Aer Lingus. The airline is a dinasour that hasn't, (despite the best efforts of the staff), adapted to the real world.
There have been a few comparisons to 3rd world airlines on this thread, and frankly, that just about sums Aer Lingus up.

Before you shoot me down, I've no wish to see anyone unemployed, but I've been a regular passenger with Aer Lingus over the last 12 months, and they just don't compare in terms of efficiancy or customer service, to other airlines who've turned themselves around in the last year.

Sort it, and do it quickly before someone else does it for you.

Hudson Bay
30th May 2002, 23:02
Aer Lingus has just announced that it will be unable to resume operations. They had hoped to restart the flight schedule on Sunday but this has now been ruled out. City Jet with the backing of Air France is waiting in the wings along with other Airlines to pick up some valuable routes and in particular the Heathrow slots.

Hand Solo
30th May 2002, 23:20
But ruled out by whom, and for what purpose? Does anyone really believe that one days disruption was sufficient to bring the whole airline down?

31st May 2002, 00:39
Be very careful with the phraseology on this issue - Aer Lingus are not "unable to resume services" - they are choosing not to resume services..... Big big difference. There is no reason why Aer Lingus cannot run a full schedule this weekend - apart, that is, from the fact that the CX seems determined to bankrupt Ireland's national airline - most likely so that he can pick up the pieces at a rock-bottom price.....

Kaptin M
31st May 2002, 06:50
Who is bankrolling these management "strike-backs"?
I can`t believe that there are a few managers in each airline, who hate pilots' unions so much that they're willing to sink the company that provides them and their families with an income, on the gamble that they will be successful in reducing pilot salaries by an effective amount, after losing hundreds of millions in the preceding "War".

Certainly the actions that Aer Lingus are taking are new ground - unless they plan on roughly following the 1989 Australian dispute, which was a financial DISASTER for ALL 4 companies involved - even WITH Government support.
A quick precis of the events for those who are unfamiliar:
i) Pilots take limited action (0900-1700 work);
ii) After 5 days, companies stand all pilots down, and cease airline operations;
iii) Pilots' union (AFAP) is declared "irrelevant" by the companies, and they refuse to talk with AFAP negotiators;
iv) Companies issue individual, personal, writs for "unspecified damages (for flight cancellations) on those pilots who were rostered to fly before 0900 and after 1700, and who didn't;
v) Pilots are advised (by QC's) to resign, to avoid further liabilities;
vi) Companies then offer Individual Contracts to pilots;
vii) The "candy" is seniority will be based on "first back = most senior", regardless of previous rank, type, and time in company (hence many junior F/O's became "senior (scab) captains";
viii) Advertise vacancies.

Perhaps Australians were too gentlemanly in their dispute, and expected the companies to play by the Marquis of Queensberry Rules. they didn't!!

Irish have a tough reputation - a Kiss of the Blarney Stone might well deter scabs more than the many ads placed in newspapers and magazines!!

Finally, without sounding boorish (I hope), one of the MOST effective weapons in the Australian episode were the leaflets (YOU ARE ABOUT TO FLY WITH A SCAB PILOT) handed out at airports to potential travellers.
They are cost effective, target the people directly affected, get YOUR message across, and attract media interest. The message is SAFETY - the people most affected and at risk are the travelling pax.

Good Luck!

31st May 2002, 07:30
What's Cathay go to do with it?!

31st May 2002, 07:31
Regarding the involvment of Monarch - I doubt it as we do not have spare capacity at this time of year. If we were rostered to do this dirty work it would be a breach of contract to refuse.
As for Austrailia, those people were volunteers. I don't know why they did it, but all I can say is that not everyone volunteered, so don't tar us all with the same brush.

Pilot Pete
31st May 2002, 09:19
CX - Chief Executive, on this occasion I think.


31st May 2002, 11:47
Or Wx as in Cityjet airline two letter ID.:p

31st May 2002, 15:36
Those bashing the pilot unions clearly don't have an understanding of the genesis of the union movement in aviation.

Just as many operating proceedures are "written in blood", so are the sections of airline pilot labor contracts. If you are delivering Pepsi, you can operate on 6 hours sleep. Even those who load the bags on the airplane can do double shifts frequently and not lose their effeciency.

The FAA requirements for flight and duty time are a bare MINIMUM. The airline unions have recognized that fact and included more realistic rest requirements in their contracts. The very same people who bash pilot unions would be very nervous knowing that the cockpit crew is on the fourth day of a trip with only 10 hour layovers.

Example after bloody(I'm not from the UK:D ) example of exhausted pilots flying when they shouldn't have are out there for all to see. Yet the union bashers brand us whiners. Yes, we whine--calm discourse with the management does no good!

The art of "pilot pushing" was highly refined in the '20's and '30's in the fledgling airmail/airline industry. The new-breed, money-grubbing CEO's are resurrecting their old friend to squeeze the last penny out of labor costs.

As for seriph's concern with our egos, yes, we are the best at what we do--because we have to be. We aren't driving a Cessna around the patch with only ourselves at risk. We are landing on semi-improved runways in Africa, working our way through lines of level 5 thunderstorms over Tulsa and alone in the middle of the night over the North Atlantic.

Maybe some have been in this business so long that they have forgotten the feeling you get on your first trip as Captain. You know, when things turn to s**t and EVERYONE turns and looks at you to see what YOU are going to do to fix the situation. The buck really does stop here.

We think highly of ourselves and our profession because we are expected to perform at our peak--AT ALL TIMES. We are no different than the top surgeons, Special Forces types or anyone else who holds the lives of others in their hands.

That's why we make the big bucks and that's why the travelling public cannot afford less.TC

just a customer
31st May 2002, 16:21
I've just found your website by accident and I have never read such immature rubbish in my life.

The "don't compare my job to yours" reads like something a love sick 12 year old school girl would write. It is complete trite.

I have nothing to do with your industry and I suspect that most of the contributors don't either (this is more a union whinge site than a professional airline pilots page)[the professionals seem to be getting on with their jobs happily with easyJet, Ryanair etc and the ones who can't get jobs spend all day moaning on this page].

I have flow EI loyally for over twenty years but now I would be glad to see the back of them so hopefully a professional and reliable national airline can emerge. We will no longer book them for work travel - FR are simply much more reliable and professional in everything they do.

The pilots of EI are not professionals by any definition and I for one would be glad to see the back of them.

Thank god management have now got the back bone to stand up to these union bullies.

beaver eager
31st May 2002, 16:47
just a customer

You're not Michael O'leary by any chance are you? What exactly did you expect to read on a Professional Pilots Bulletin Board?

Most of the regular (pilot) contributors to this Bulletin Board will just be laughing out loud at your ridiculous assertions.

I'd start preparing myself for a flaming if I were you.

31st May 2002, 16:52
Quite agree 'customer' most of us find these pages embarassing to put it mildly. My sister is a nurse, she literally handles peoples lives daily, she's paid £9 per hour. I find it difficult to stay awake over the long dark stretches of ocean, the auto pilot and computers do it all, in 35 yrs in aviation I have yet to confront a life threatening situation, use your head and they are quite easy to avoid.

31st May 2002, 16:54
just a customer, why don't you apply for a job in Aer Lingus management. There could be a top postition up for grabs very soon.

I think you have many of the required qualities. Your name isn't Willie is it?

Stan Woolley
31st May 2002, 17:11

As they say: ' Better lucky than good '.

I wouldn't like to sit beside / behind anyone like you.

31st May 2002, 17:17
just a customer, your name says it. Stay out of discussions you know nothing about.

31st May 2002, 18:54
Here's the new Aer Lingus advertising slogan-

Log-on, Book-in............LOCKOUT

31st May 2002, 18:58
Incidentally, our BA colleagues might be interested to hear of the type substitution on City Flyer's Dublin-LGW service today. It was one 4-engined type for another- B747 for a BAe146!

BA crews beware of the thin end of the oneworld wedge. I needn't point out that EI salaries are about 50% of yours.

Hand Solo
31st May 2002, 19:23
Well if thats true then its very disturbing, although do we know whether they were carrying AL passengers, or just the many hundreds who buy the BA codeshare tickets and whom BA would be obliged to refund otherwise? Unfortunately it appears to be the case that any BA crew member rostered to do this unpalatable work has no legal fall back should they refuse to do so, and so would face suspension or even dismissal.

31st May 2002, 21:06
Posts such as that from [B]'Just a Customer'/[B] are exactly the reason I started a thread about 18 months ago, suggesting that this forum should go back to it's roots, i.e. a Professional Pilots Rumour Network. At that time I was shot down in flames, and most likely will be again.

To suggest that EI pilots are anything other than highly dedicated professionals is total garbage.

I'm feel certain that EI pilots are fully aware of the state of their company's finances and have no wish to permanently put themselves out of work.

As a UK pilot with 38 years in the industry, I think that I have sufficient seniority to confirm that a 10 hour rest period is totally inadequate. The UK (CAP371) minimum of 11 hours away from base and 12 hours at base is the absolute minimum. CAP371 allows those minima to be reduced at the Commander's Discretion to be reduced to not less than 10 hours at the place of rest, but such reductions should be regarded as the exception, not the rule.

I fully support the EI pilots, and wish them the very best in their struggle with an inept management.

Good luck Guy and Gals.

31st May 2002, 21:09
Really plumbing the intellectual depths now aren't we fellas. If my doctor, lawyer or other professional spoke in thiese terms I'd run. Now I know why we have TRADE unions.

Mach Buffet
31st May 2002, 21:23
.........."it appears to be the case that any BA crew member rostered to do this unpalatable work has no legal fall back should they refuse to do so, and so would face suspension or even dismissal."

If such pilots do not throw a sickie and operate any Aer Lingus flight, I WILL GLADLY reciprocate the action when the time comes. If his colleagues quietly sttand by they are equally culpable of being scabs.

ENOUGH of you wimps hiding behind secondary picking legislation. If you have any balls at all you will easily find ways to avoid be scabs.

Just don't forget:
... the world is round, and what you gives comes back around.

crusin level
31st May 2002, 21:43
Its a harsh business world out there.
The demand for flights to Ireland are great at the moment- why shouldnt BA capitalise and use bigger a/c?

The faults not BA's

Tom the Tenor
31st May 2002, 21:47
The management of Aer Lingus are treating their passengers like cra p. I have just come back from Cork Airport and it was so sad to see an Aer Lingus A321 parked so tightly at the very back of Cork's South Ramp to use up as little space as possible. For shame, Aer Lingus managers! Otherwise Cork was heaving with two more 747s landing for Lourdes charters tomorrow:cool: !

31st May 2002, 22:43
Well if thats true then its very disturbing, although do we know whether they were carrying AL passengers, or just the many hundreds who buy the BA codeshare tickets

Well its true anyway, extra flight tommorow too. Boeing 777 operating a LGW-DUB-LGW roatation. I'd imagine its BA taking care of their own pax.

Send Clowns
31st May 2002, 23:03
Now I am not yet an (employed) commercial pilot, so correct me if I am wrong: surely even if the routes are covered by other airlines on a wet lease AerLingus are still losing money hand over fist? I realise they are not losing money at the same rate as they would if they were having to deal with stranded passengers, but it is not as bleak a situation as might be inferred from some posts here.

BA may also be putting extra capacity in to cover two eventualites - people let down by AL still needing to fly, taking a fat refund and buying a BA ticket, and AL simply block booking stranded passengers. Now the effect is much the same in some ways as wet lease, but there can be little complaint about BA selling tickets that are requested or about BA pilots therefore flying those routes.

Seems rather more like BA cashing in on AL's misfortune, and given the nationalism and cross-airline jealousy it probably sickens AL management that their actions help a rival, and one I believe is not within "Oneworld".

The alternative of this extra market being ignored will cost AL no more but simply irritate passengers and put people off air travel.

Whatever the situation with route cover, best of luck to the AL pilots in getting a message to the management.


On a related issue has anyone else noticed the bias in BBC coverage of the strike?

In the news the strike is always over "pilots not accepting the companies survival plan". Of course this is the case from the point of view of AL management. From the pilots' point of view it is over the management forcing damaging changes to their lifestyles and more importasntly the safety of air travel. Perhaps we could email the BBC en masse with a complaint - I would happily append my name to such a message.

31st May 2002, 23:31
Well, first and formost, the strike has my support, these manager-Dublin4-types (excuse my gross tarring with same brush) should look out of their own @rses for once, the very same types running eircom. :rolleyes:

I think that if the worst happens and AL goes down the swanny, I'm sure that the market will have a gaping hole in transatlantic flights, and If you're quick about it and do it before Virgin, BA, get there mitts on it, a new transatlantic service provider can be found. Let's just hope it's either Aer Arann(with a large bank loan and support from Enterprise Ireland) or a new company, maybe even run by ex-Aer Lingus pilots (and please God not O'Leary!).

Of course, I could be grossly mistaken

Hand Solo
1st Jun 2002, 00:12
Send Clowns - I'll correct you because you miss the third possibility, that BA are flying pax who've bought a codeshare ticket to Dublin which is actually on AL. These pax have bought the ticket from BA, have a ticket with a BA flight number on it and the money they spent has gone to BA. BA thus have an obligation to carry them. If you're referring to BA in your comment about so-called 'cross-airline jealousy' then I suggest you take a look at who founded the thirdworld alliance, then pick up a biology book to learn your @rse from your elbow.

Mach Buffet - I don't care much for your tone. I fully support the AL strike and have many friends in the airline participating. They however are all participating in a legal strike, with the full support of Irish labour laws. I believe most BA pilots would follow their conscience if asked to operate services to Ireland, but if anyone could be pinned down by management in such a way as to suspected of secondary picketing then they'd be out of a job with no legal recourse, a path which you don't even expect your own colleagues to follow.

Seriph - If your sister had worked harder she could have been a doctor, with ultimate responsibility for patient lives, and earning £120 for doing my medical in 30 minutes when she wasn't available for NHS work.

Apparently the 744 did operate the service today, crewed by management pilots who felt the need to pass through LGW in civvies rather than uniform. Perhaps they do have some shame? My source tells me their purpose was widely commented upon on LGW frequencies.

1st Jun 2002, 02:22
just a customer - please invest in a copy of Dr Stephen Covey's management bestseller. It will clear up your misunderstandings and make for a better-run company. Available from amazon.com. Everyone here can see through your ruse, even our resident press lurkers.

A most pathetic and childish attempt, when you could have had the opportunity to put across the management line in a constructive and adult manner.

1st Jun 2002, 02:28
Hand Solo, I am interested to hear that management pilots operated the 744 today. I also accept your point about secondary picketing. However, I don't accept the benign explainations of today's activities.

I have it on good authority that the type substitution resulted directly from a telephone conversation between Willie Walsh and BA management. This is an extremely worrying development for both Aer Lingus and BA pilots. As to what can be done vis a vis legislation, I don't know.

As an aside- Seriph, do you hate yourself? I think you should see a professional (don't look in the mirror). :eek:

Chimbu chuckles
1st Jun 2002, 06:49
AL guys/girls...I just watched a report on CNN...walking with signs saying 'reporting for work' will not do it for you alone. The CNN report in general and the interview with one of the other Union 'Leaders' from AL was pointed in isolating the pilots as 'not in step' and as the root cause.

I can see 89 all over again...I wasn't involved in that dispute but ,like this one, sat back at long distance and watched as opportunities were squandered.

If you don't get an accurate message out to the media voicing your concerns and the real reason for this dispute then you are dead and just don't realise it yet.

Management immorallity must be exposed to a very public airing..if you play by gentlemens rules you will be shatt on from a great height. If you aren't prepared to learn the lessons of Oz 89, current CX and numerous other disputes over the last 20 years then why bother in the first place?

You need a suitable spokesman, in uniform, calmly repeating the essential information over and over on every TV and radio station you can get his face/voice. No emotion just the facts of the situation...and some short pertinant questions for management to answer in the public domain. Newspaper adds...whatever.

If it's true that,

1/. You're the most cost effective crews in Europe,
2/. That rostering practices are being dangerously flaunted,
3/. That pilots are being suspended without pay for working within agreed guidelines,
4/. That management are on a cynical, greedy, money grabbing Union bust
5/. And that independant professional analysis proves the airline is not in the dire financial situation that management claim due 911.

then you have grounds for complaint in any morally competent society.

Get that message out constantly by whatever means comes to hand and you may stand a chance of gaining public support and embarrassing management back to the negotiating table with some semblance of 'good will'.

Don't and you will be percieved as sitting in the corner playing with your willies(rather like HKAoA at the moment)...undeserving of the support you wish for from aviation professionals world wide and the public in general.

Best of luck.


Mach Buffet
1st Jun 2002, 08:20
Hand Solo

The issue here is that the 747 was operated on a day that the pilots were locked out. The pilots were not on strike!

It was put on the route not to just carry BA pax, but to carry EI pax as well. The use of the 747 was a blatant act of provocation, designed to assist EI continue as much of their operation as possible, possibly bringing some Heathrow passengers as well, and taking work away from Aer Lingus pilots.

If BALPA sit back and permits this, do you expect us to do any different when the tables are turned. Hiding behind secondary picketing legislation is childish. Last year the police force here, all went sick on a given day as they were prohibited from striking.

Wake up guys YOU ARE NEXT whether you like it or not.

Hand Solo
1st Jun 2002, 09:33
MB - BALPA has no say whatsoever in whether BA put any aircraft on any route. The 744 was operated by management pilots, the vast majority of whom are not BALPA members, the same group who operated services during the last BA pilots strike and who will do the same during the next one. If BA want to put a 747, a 777 or even Concorde on the route they have enough non-union management pilots sitting around to do it. We are not hiding behind secondary picketing legislation as you put it, but you may remember a certain Thatcher character who came down on unions like a ton of bricks. Any attempt at organised secondary picketing, or an orchestrated sick-out, would not only be illegal but see BALPA in the High Court being sued for every penny its got in damages. It happened to the American pilots association, I've no doubt BA have taken note. We are fully aware that we are next, and had it not been for Sept 11th our own dispute would probably have come to a head last year. However there is no sense in propelling ourselves headlong into a different dispute with BA for which we are unprepared, and which itself could severely damage our union in a futile attempt to prevent something over which we have no control. We all wish you well in your strike, but our management are world leaders in nasty, strongarm tactics and if they want to run sneaky ad hoc charters they'll find a way to do it and crew them themselves regardless of what we do.

1st Jun 2002, 10:29
Chimbu, we are getting our message out where it matters most- in the Irish media. Today the 7 suspensions have been lifted and negotiations are beginning.

The brinkmanship at the heart of management strategy is now exposed. The suspensions are lifted, threat of strike action is lifted, talks are starting. The lockout continues.

1st Jun 2002, 12:07
Don’t let management divide and rule

True to form, Aer Lingus management is trying to create divisions between pilots and other Aer Lingus staff.

Myth no.1

The company says pilots have refused to make sacrifices to ensure the company’s survival. They have not:

Pilots have accepted a pay freeze – by agreeing to the postponement of an independent pay review last year, they have already saved the company over €12m over and above the considerable contribution made by other staff.

Pilots have accepted non-payment of PPF.

Pilots have accepted non-payment of increments.

Pilots have accepted cuts in leave.

Pilots have accepted reduced staffing including redundancies.

Pilots have told Aer Lingus they are available for talks on other changes – but the company refuses to talk.

Myth no.2

The company says pilots are jepordising the airline’s future. They are not:

The pilots’ strike was only triggered after pilots were suspended without pay for following a union instruction, which was based on a 99% vote of staff (even senior management get paid during suspension).

Since then, they have refused to discuss the issue with pilots or their union.

The company is threatening a LOCKOUT, which will indeed jepardise the company’s future and everybody’s jobs.

Management seems determined on confrontation instead of negotiation. And if they beat the pilots they will surely go after other staff.

Myth no.3

The company says all proposed changes to pilots’ working practices are necessary to the company’s survival. They are not:

The company is proposing the very minimum terms of employment, including flight rosters based on legal minimum standards alone.

The company have often insisted that changes were necessary and then relented when unions proved them wrong. The U-turn on compulsory redundancy is an example.

Pilots have said they are prepared to talk about necessary changes but not draconian measures that are unacceptable, unsafe and unnecessary to the company’s survival.

Myth no. 4

The company says the Labour Relations Commission report on work practice is binding. It is not:

In the LRC talks, the management and union sides both said the report could not be binding.

The LRC report does not say it is binding.

Aer Lingus have rejected many LRC findings in the past.

Pilots are doing their bit the secure the airline’s future. But like other groups of staff they are not prepared to accept draconian measures that are not needed to secure the ongoing survival and success of Aer Lingus. Neither can we accept the imposition of changes to existing agreements without agreement. No group of airline staff would accept that.

Experience has taught Aer Lingus staff to treat management’s claims with suspicion. If they get away with imposing changed work practices on pilots, they will immediately do the same to you. If they get away with this, nobody’s contracts of employment will be worth the paper they are written on.

Pilots supported other staff groups when they were on dispute last year. We hope you will do the same for us. Don’t let management divide and rule.

:confused: :confused: :confused: :eek: :confused: :confused: :confused:

Nearly Nigel
1st Jun 2002, 12:36
Most excellent post INLAK!

I am sure that most of my (non-management) colleagues in BA thoroughly support the Aer Lingus pilots.

We all know that there is a creeping cancer within the senior management of the OneWorld Alliance and we will be the next victims if you do not prevail in your current dispute.

Be assured that I will do all I can to fulfill IFALPAs "request for mutual assistance". Oh dear... I've just put my back out lifting my heavy briefcase into the flight deck!

1st Jun 2002, 12:59
One world is clearly attacking the pilot community. Aer Lingus wants the battle. My full support and best wishes to all AL guys and girls. Sadly the media battle does not appear to be going well. I hipe BALPA is watching this one closely


Kaptin M
1st Jun 2002, 13:34
It would appear to the naieve - such as I - that whomever decided to shut down the Aer lingus operation must be leaving himself open to damages claims by affected customers.

The pilots WANT to work, the rest of the airline ARE working (or are available), however Aer Lingus aircraft have been grounded on the whim of some "higher authority".

The culprit needs to be identified and given plenty of public exposure (B & W photos printed on A4 are fine!) for the UNNECESSARY inconvenience and expense incurred on Aer Lingus' loyal customers.

1st Jun 2002, 15:33
Seems a class action suit against Aer Lingus is in the process of being put together.

Heres the link:


Can't be good.

Kaptin M
1st Jun 2002, 15:53
Interesting...suddenly it's "Aer Lingus' (one or two) management" versus "The World".

One would have thought their mentors might have been a little smarter - and less rash - with tactics that punish the PUBLIC rather than those terrible unionised pilots.

In reality, I guess management (the one or two, making the decsions for the other 30 or 40) will try to duckshove the responsibility onto their "advisors" - who are, in fact, lawyers!! :D

And therein lies another story.

Meanwhile poor ol' Aer Lingus (and their paying customers) suffer!!!!

Time to show some DIRECTION, BERTIE!!

1st Jun 2002, 17:56
So when you lot sink AL and are seeking other employment, will you tell the managers at interview how it should be done, put your money where your mouth is and 'manage' your own airline, or tug your forelock and politely request a job? The latter no doubt.

1st Jun 2002, 17:57
legolas quoted me thus:

"is it bad PR [for companies] to talk about union breaking or something?"


friend with all due respect, and a little sarcasm, you are kidding aren't you???

I apparently did not make myself clear. I was wondering whether it was bad PR for IMPACT / IALPA, not the comapany (obviously :rolleyes: ;) ), to point out what AL, as part of the One World Alliance are really up to - union busting as opposed to 'airline saving'.

I (a joe public in this issue) sympathise completely with the pilots view on the safety grounds alone but you guys are being hammered in the media who have generally appeared to have been following the airline management's agenda (the constantly repeated "pilots not co-operating with the airline's survival plan" line referred to by other posters is just one example) and are generally ignorant of the most basic of facts - the one time I did hear an interviewee mention "One World Alliance", the news reporter didn't know what he was talking about, by her follow-up question, obviously assumed that "One World" was some sort of international trade union forum. This actually happened! In another interview, a rep from the Irish Chambers of Commerce was allowed to dismiss "the safety issue" in his first sentence as "a red herring" without challenge. This is what you are up against and, to be honest, I don't think you are making a good job of fighting it.

One line that the union has trotted out about the 10hr min time-off is the effect it would have on family life - I've heard the "home late, up early, don't see the kids" storey a couple of times and, to be perfectly frank, I don't think that's going to win many hearts in a country where so many couples/families have both partners working and/or are commuting several hours a day. They'll sympathise but say 'Tough! Join the club!'.

What I haven't heard is a forcefully put safety angle along the lines of what happens six months down the line when Joe Pilot is confronted with a single-engine landing in a crosswind on five hours sleep. Or perhaps publish a list of fatal accidents where pilot fatigue was found to be a major contributer? Scare tactics? Over the top? Bad taste? Maybe, but if the other side is playing dirty pool...

If you want the public on your side (and public opinion WILL play a part in this), you'll have to push the line that you are doing this in their interest and not for your own greed, which is what most people are taking, rightly or wrongly, from the current press coverage. You also have to make your case that AL are taking their course of action for reasons other than 'surviving', as has been asserted on these forums.

In short, get your PR sorted if you want to win.

1st Jun 2002, 19:05
Absolutely right cormacshaw.
You guys need to sort the PR battle sharpish. Fighting the "lifestyle battle" will garner little support on this Celtic Tiger era.
Fight the battle on safety grounds alone and you're on a winner. Get the message across to the public that its their safety and their safety alone that is the issue and you've won the hearts and minds battle.
You need some media-friendly senior captain type as your spokesman to hammer home this message, and only this message, at every opportunity. Shouldn't be too difficult to find someone to do this.
However, absolutely what you do not need is some guy, as on RTE Radio 1 a couple of days ago, going on about "my union" and his lifestyle over and over. Totally counter productive.
The public need an education as to what this is really all about. Only yesterday I was talking to someone who thought that the 10 hour rest was after every sector!!! So do more ads like appeared the other day in the papers, hammer the safety point, drop everything else and you'll win the battle.

Good luck!

Hot Wings
1st Jun 2002, 19:45
STC - I work for BA and I feel sick about what is going on. As usual there is silence from BALPA. Hopefully a new GS will take a more active leadership role. Anyone who couldn't see that alliances, franchises and codesharing, etc... would lead to strike busting needs shooting.

Sadly, there are a few pilots in every company who can only see as far as their next pay cheque and, unfortunately, BA (partly as a result of its cadet scheme) has more than its share of pro-company drones. I suppose if you've only ever had one job since school you can't be expected to know much about the real world.
Still, most of us at BA support our friends across the Irish Sea and we're well aware that we will be next.

Mach Buffet
1st Jun 2002, 19:47
Hand Solo,

when I posted my point about the 747 being used LGW -DUB I was not aware at the time that it was crewed by management pilots. I certainly did not mean to cause you offense but many UK based pilots went to Australia in 1989 and scabbed. Many of these were BALPA members, and pleaded UK secondary picketing legislation as a defence.

The point I'm making is that by strike breaking you will be seen as legitimate targets when you face your row, and after Aer Lingus is finished it looks like BA are next on the list.

Pilot sickness on the basis of operating under duress on such an occasions would appear to be legitimate grounds for non operation.

1st Jun 2002, 20:48
Whats happens if the airline does not start up again. Will your one world 'brothers and sisters' stand up and pay your mortgage, put food on the table etc.? Im not defending management but in the present climate of the whole airline business, what is the point of striking when most are happy to have any sort of flying career?

1st Jun 2002, 20:49
Why nothing from BALPA? Why no storied in the press about pilot fatigue and the new rostering system intended for our Are Lingus colleagues? Any strike battle is clearly won and lost in the press yet I hear nothing in defence of the AL pilots. If it hasn't already happened, AL will seek to blame the collapse of the company on the pilots. The fact that they have three times the employees of Ryanair and carry one third of the pax will not be mentioned. It's all about PR and what do we hear from our representative organisation.......er....NOTHING. Oneworld is on the warpath. We should be getting max info in the press about any isue that undermines management claims to be putting safety first rather than money.

I for one will not operate in such a way as to undermine those in AL. I hope others will act likewise. Good luck to all those at AL.


P.S. Hotwings, While not wanting to divert the thread I must take exception to your remarks re: cadets...they have been most let down in our community in recent deals so I can sympathise if they feel somewhat antagonistic toward BALPA. Frankly I've heard plenty of very experienced folk from all sorts of backgrounds think only of their personal circumstances. Where do you think the mnagement that flew the 747 came from?

1st Jun 2002, 22:21
Diesel said "why nothing from BALPA?".
I agree,,,,
I recall the Lufthansa union were pretty accomplished at issuing supporting PR material during their dispute last year.
Why don't the AL pilots have similar documents and information issued?

Hand Solo
1st Jun 2002, 23:04
Hot Wings - Given that most recent BA cadets have trained alongside AL cadets at various schools, and as such have many AL pilots as friends, it's highly unlikely that any of them would be fit to operate any 'controversial' service to Ireland at this time. Perhaps you should reserve your ire for the more senior types concerned only about their mortgages.

Incidentally, these days many BA cadets are on a career change from another profession, just like their AL colleagues, and so perhaps are more acutely aware of their personal worth in the modern market, unlike some of the crusty old dyed-in-the-wool BA types.

1st Jun 2002, 23:23

I also whole heartedly agree, Oneworld pilots lets pressure our member associations to issue some PR!!! This fight, being so bravely fought by our Irish friends, has to be supported now!!

Get on the phones, pilots of all airlines!!

Let's start talking with a louder voice about how safety standards are being eroded by longer and longer duty times! How many of us view these threads everyday! write to your local, and national newspapers. Call your representatives, congressmen, make them work for a change! Take action now. The flying public has the right to know just what the issue is here, and how much is really at stake.

Aer Lingus managment has orchestrated a full scale lock out of our AL collegues who's only fault is to try to keep safety standards at there company from being compramised. Remember when fatigue leads to a hull loss, it is never a company that is faulted, no. Pilot error is always blamed, a corporate white wash that always seeks to pin the blame on us, at the pointy end.

Enough is enough, sadly the tragic events of 9/11 have been used as an excuse by corporate interests to hammer us into submission. The sad irony is that in light of this horrible event, true airline safety is being victimized! The media and mass public still have not realized this because, we as the those who risk our necks on the line day in and day out have not been vocal enough to say "this is what we need to make our sky's safe".

So instead of responding to this post, use anonimaty if you have to, but talk to your organization rep, e-mail a paper or a congressman, and lets get the word out.

Good Luck Aer Lingus Pilots!! All of our support is behind you!!
(and good job without Keane against Cameroon!!!):)

Tom the Tenor
1st Jun 2002, 23:26
Just to let you know a BA 737 operated into Cork today from LGW. ORK-LHR is a EI/BA code share. City Flyer, now a part of BA pulled out of LGW-ORK last Sept/Oct.

Kaptin M
2nd Jun 2002, 05:56
At last, Aer Lingus management have been able to achieve that which other airline managers and H.R. departments have dared only ever DREAM of - an airline WITHOUT pilots ;)

Now watch the profits soar!! :cool:

My guess is they'll come out of their huddle sometime next week and announce a "watershed" in Aer Lingus' history, with a new, trimmed down airline - initially in pilot strength, but later in ALL other areas - ready to re-launch.
It's a gamble they're going to play, and if they can't get enough pilots to get the operation up fairly quickly using Aer Lingus aircraft, they will have shot themselves in the foot.

Time to start thinking about stress induced leave methinks.

Joyce Tick
2nd Jun 2002, 10:20
Can someone explain just what it is about pilots that make the management of every airline in the world dislike them and try to "break" them?

Why is it that the management has always been, is always, and always will be " in the wrong"?

Are we missing something vital here?

2nd Jun 2002, 10:26
While the other guys are out there growing their business and increasing revenue, the oneworld Alliance continues on a path of internal destruction attempting to bust the pilot unions of their airlines.

Star Alliance(TM) welcomes Asiana, LOT and Spanair to its roster of world class airlines; Carriers to join over the next 12 months

SHANGHAI, June 1 /CNW/ - The Chief Executive Board of Star Alliance, assembled in Shanghai in The People's Republic of China, today approved the addition of three new members to the global airline group. Work will commence immediately on the integration of Asiana Airlines of South Korea, LOT Polish Airlines and Spanair of Spain into Star Alliance.
No official date has yet been set for the official entry into Star Alliance of the new member airlines. It is anticipated, however, that they will all become part of the world's leading airline alliance within the next six to 12 months.

"We are proud that Asiana, LOT and Spanair have chosen to join Star Alliance," the Chief Executive Board said in a statement. "They will add further strength and quality to our worldwide route network by increasing its global reach and thereby its customer value. With the addition of Asiana, LOT and Spanair we have taken another important step in the development of Star Alliance as the world's premiere airline alliance," the chief executives added. Representing Air Canada on the CEB is the airline's President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Milton.

The addition of these member airlines represents an opportunity for Air Canada to continue enhancing its worldwide passenger network. Earlier this spring, Air Canada formed a commercial agreement with Spanair coinciding with Air Canada's start-up of daily non-stop service between Toronto and Madrid April 7, 2002. Air Canada operates daily non-stop service between Vancouver and Seoul and currently offers flights to Warsaw on a codeshare basis with Lufthansa via Frankfurt.

"Asiana is excited to join Star Alliance, the leading airline alliance that will continue to shed new meaning and light to the airline business," said Chan Bup Park, President and Chief Operating Officer of Asiana. "By working closely with Star Alliance members in the Northeast and Southeast Asian markets Asiana will become a great asset to the alliance, providing an extended network that will significantly benefit customers and Star Alliance."

Jan Litwinski, President and CEO of LOT said, "We are extremely happy that the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board today accepted our application for membership in this truly global airline network. I am convinced that the values LOT will bring to Star Alliance will benefit customers as well as the member carriers. Our membership in Star Alliance will connect Poland with the world and the world with Poland.

"We are delighted to further our valued airline partnerships by joining Star Alliance," said Gonzalo Pascual, President and Chairman of the Board of Spanair.

"After many years of successful cooperation with some of the world's most prestigious airlines - all founding and current members of Star Alliance - we look forward to providing travelers in Spain with the enhanced recognition, benefits and global access they deserve. Today's decision by the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board is an important milestone for Spanair that has been enthusiastically awaited by our customers, employees and shareholders as we complete the remaining steps to fulfill our role as Star Alliance's member in Southern Europe," Pascual said.

Asiana Airlines was established in 1988. It serves 64 destinations in 15 countries, including 14 cities in China, out of Seoul with a modern fleet of 64 aircraft. Asiana carried 12 million passengers last year. The airline employs more than 8,000 people.

LOT Polish Airlines can look back upon a history that started in 1929. The airline serves 12 domestic and 49 international destinations out of Warsaw with a fleet of 51 aircraft. Some 3.2 million passengers were carried in 2001. LOT Polish Airlines has 4,355 employees.

Spanair was set up in 1986 as a joint venture between Star Alliance member SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Teinver SA of Spain. The airline operates services to 25 destinations in mainland Spain, the Balearic and Canary Islands as well as internationally with a fleet of 49 aircraft. More than eight million passengers were carried by Spanair in 2001. The airline has 2,750 employees.

Star Alliance was established in May, 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance. The member airlines are Air Canada, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways - ANA, Austrian Airlines, bmi british midland, Lauda Air, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, Tyrolean Airways, United Airlines and VARIG Brazilian Airlines. The Star Alliance network serves 729 airports in 124 countries.

bob ted
2nd Jun 2002, 16:26

Trying to bust their pilots associations it's not a privelege restricted to Oneworld airlines. Varig , one of the Star Alliance members ,has recently sacked all board of directors from Apvar (Varig's Pilots Association) , as well as other 32 captains and F/O's in the midst of an industrial action movement

2nd Jun 2002, 17:14
Customers make pay days possible

Having carefully perused this thread I can find no mention of customers or of their needs. Part of the problem?

Joyce Tick
2nd Jun 2002, 18:06
Baily - don't be silly, an airline is run so that pilots can have a career - what on earth have passengers got to do with anything?

Captain Stable
2nd Jun 2002, 18:14
Baily, on just a very quick perusal back 3 or 4 pages I have found the following:-

Kaptin M:-
It would appear to the naieve - such as I - that whomever decided to shut down the Aer lingus operation must be leaving himself open to damages claims by affected customers.

Tom the Tenor:-
The management of Aer Lingus are treating their passengers like cra p.

Hand Solo:-
Well if thats true then its very disturbing, although do we know whether they were carrying AL passengers, or just the many hundreds who buy the BA codeshare tickets and whom BA would be obliged to refund otherwise?

Kaptin M again:-
The message is SAFETY - the people most affected and at risk are the travelling pax.

Apart from the fact that the sort of tactics Aer Lingus are adopting affecting the livelihoods of every professional pilot in Ireland AND the UK, which would (naturally, I think) get almost anyone exercised, this dispute (as I understand it) is largely about AL reducing safety margins. Whilst no pilot that I know is particularly keen on killing himself through fatigue, the concerns of most pilots are for their passengers. It is vitally important that the real basis of this dispute is made known to the travelling public. Our safety is their safety.

2nd Jun 2002, 18:28
Baily - ignore the quip form 'Joyce' (we'll give 'her' the benefit of the doubt, both on gender and motive, eh?) - there is a significant majority of flight crew who DO care about you, the passenger.

It seems to me that the AL flight crew are available to fly you (but cannot), so maybe you should ask the AL managment what they feel about the passenger?

While you are there (and I'm pleased that you have spoken up) - I'm sure we NEED to hear from you and your kind - what are your views on potentially tired crew flying you around? Does that bother you or do you just want to feel that 'someone' cares about you? How much do you want crews to care?

Do you think that airline directors who will, no doubt, award themselves SIGNIFICANT bonuses this year (as ever) care about you, or just your money.

The crew have spoken out. They may be right, they may be wrong...but, trust me - when you are in their aircraft, they care about you.

2nd Jun 2002, 19:51
Although a non-pilot I've been keeping up-to-date on this thread, so please pardon my intrusion at this juncture.

Since Flt Lt W Mitty has specifically asked for passengers' input, I'd like to point out that the idea of putting my life into the hands of an insufficiently-rested crew holds no appeal for me whatever.

In fact, I would never knowingly fly with any airline that adopted such a policy.

2nd Jun 2002, 22:10
In reply to fatigue in the workplace. I have taken an interest in these threads the last week because I will be flying AL at the end of this month on a trans-atlantic trip. To me it is hideous to nitpick time off hours at the expense of personal safety. In the workplace, cutting corners and overworking individuals definitely compensates safety. And by doing that, what are you really saving. This whole issue has been a blatant violation of safety from the start. I wouldn't want a partner in my line of work as an electrician, to be unrested. We certainly don't want the men & women flying these aircraft to not be properly rested. Thanks for all the input.

2nd Jun 2002, 23:36
RIP all the ground and Cabin Crew jobs............RIGHT or wrong, there is a lot more than meets the eye.

3rd Jun 2002, 00:04
Apparently Aer Lingus management has accepted a peace plan.

I hope the outcome is successfull.


3rd Jun 2002, 01:19
Some of you on the Aer Lingus forum have already hinted at this and I believe it to be very real. There seems to be a concerted effort within the management of Oneworld carriers to seriously weaken or flat out get rid of their unions. Lan Chile's pilot union no longer exists, Cathey went from a class act to a catastrophe within a matter of a few years, Don Carty, the grand master of potential union busters, is attempting to lobby congress to take away U.S. pilots right to strike.
I would urge all pilots from Oneworld airlines to keep very vigilant on these issues. Let your union reps. know your concerns and voice them to your elected officials. I spoke with a friend of mine high up in APA and he indicated that the Oneworld cockpit coalition is exploring ways to give it teath in dealing with these kinds of threats on an international level.
Any ideas, comments or insights on this issue would be greatly appreciated. In the meantime I hope our Aer Lingus brothers prevail and set an example for the rest of us on how to stand up and fight.... Great job.

3rd Jun 2002, 03:41
Pilots set to accept Labour Court proposals
By Padraig Yeates, Industry and Employment Correspondent

Aer Lingus pilots are expected to accept the Labour Court proposals to end their dispute at a mass meeting this evening. If they do, the airline could have a full schedule operating before the end of the week.

The rest of the story is here:



Kaptin M
3rd Jun 2002, 04:17
Personally I believe that it is absolutely DISGRACEFUL that the pilots found it necessary to have to take strong industrial action over a SAFETY ISSUE - and previously agreed upon by Aer Lingus - to bring the problem to a head.
Surely the airline cannot be so short of pilots, that for roster and scheduling requirements, they found it necessary to reduce the STANDARD rest period. Not just once or twice, in a short period of time, but more than half a dozen.
It almost appears to have been a concerted campaign!

However, even more DISGRACEFUL, and with total disregard for Aer Lingus and its customers, were the selfish, irresponsible actions of (some) management in shutting down operations for NO APPARENT REASON, other than the flexing of their management-muscle power.

If it were the US, I'm sure that some pilots, and their families would be looking at suing for the stress created! :eek:
There may YET be repercussions and claims from customers who were disadvantaged by these ill-thought-out tactics.

Chimbu chuckles
3rd Jun 2002, 05:37

The dispute has been a major test for the company's new chief executive Mr Willie Walsh, who is himself a former Aer Lingus pilot. Although he has been criticised for locking out the pilots, he had a dilemma which increasingly faces Irish employers, that of dealing with guerrilla tactics by unions, which cost them little but disrupt companies' operations severely.
End quote:

What about guerilla tactics by Management....or are they exempt?


3rd Jun 2002, 05:48
I saw this piece in this morning's Indo and I couldn't help wondering which planet this guy was on; looks like it was planted.

Anyway, things look better now and likely to get back to normal. The LRC has recommended 12 hours or the preceding duty plus 2 hours, whichever is greater. EI accepted this straight away (strange?) and the pilots are expected to accept today.

I must say I find the management's behaviour through all of this very strange, to put it mildly.

- They unilaterally tore up an agreement and suspended pilots on the basis of a new imposed agreement. WHAT DID THEY EXPECT? In this day and age, surely they cannot have expected the pilots to take this lying down?

- The pilots only ever struck for one day and as far as I'm aware, never threatened further strikes (not guerilla tactics, surely?) and the airline itself decided, over a potentially very lucrative bank holiday weekend, to ground itself. Again, what the $^&*"!! were they thinking?

- And then, when the recommendations come out, they accept them almost immediately, despite the fact that they only "gained" an hour - down from 13 to 12 - as a result, and lost at least €12m (plus back pay and whatever legal claims are involved).

Is there a discernible strategy here? What did they hope to get out of this?

I'm not a pilot and don't work for EI, but I have to say that this debacle must raise serious questions about WW's strategy.

3rd Jun 2002, 07:43
So let’s see. An ex-pilot who thinks he’s a born again chief executive just because he’s done the three week ’shaft the staff’ course at Harvard, who’s embarking on a jihad against those nasty pilots he once counted amongst his colleagues.

Now do we know any other airlines with similar warped personalities children?

Oh dear, it’s going to be a long hot summer.

I’ll take on the opposition anyday. It’s my management I can’t beat!

3rd Jun 2002, 09:48
akerosid - good post, i agree.

Kaptin M
3rd Jun 2002, 10:41
Are the words "ACCOUNTABLE and MANAGEMENT allowed to be used together in this - and other similar - situations??!! :mad:

Or are some fanciful accounting procedures going to be applied eg. the projected revenue was never actually realised, therefore there are no losses to account for!
We ALL know that this type of accounting procedure is total bs, yet it is conveniently used to cover aggressive managements' excesses.
Unfortunately the losses DO present at a later stage, generally resulting in the loss of employment of people who were not responsible, while the REAL culprit(s) maintain thei 6 or 7 figure salary.

3rd Jun 2002, 10:48
Did LGW - DUB - LGW on Saturday.

Full to the rafters going out (737 - 300), 777 following behind us doing the same thing about 2 hours later.

All pax very happy etc etc. Coming back speaking to the BA sttion manager in DUB he said that we had 2 spare seats in club class (even though we had 33 already!!), he had rung AL to see if they had any PAX they wanted to squeeze on our flight (considering airport at a standstill lots of cancelled flights etc etc) - the reply he got was....No....?????????????

He couldn't understand it either, but with a slot to meet and all PAX with BA tickets satisfied and on board we went with empty seats.

Now this doesn't sound like an airline to me that looks after it's PAX, so I can completely understand why they don't give a toss about their staff - CRAZY!!!!:eek:

3rd Jun 2002, 16:03
Problem is management/accountants see pilots as an expense rather than an asset. A good pool of pilots is worth its weight in gold...

3rd Jun 2002, 17:21
Perhaps it's time for the pilot groups of the major alliances to form their own "union". How long before STAR management begins to follow oneworld's lead?

It may be that EI management was just "probing the wire" to see how strongly the pilots of a financially troubled airline would react.

Thank God the EI pilots have the fortitude to stand up to their management. Stand by for the next attack.TC

3rd Jun 2002, 17:49
Customers make pay days possible

My earlier post was prompted by a perception of a lack of commerciality (is that a real word?) in the many interesting posts on this thread.

Of course I want to fly on a safe airline with contented and rested crews but I am also keen to fly on a profitable airline as my experience of business is that profits are the secret to a good, secure and continuing company. Therefore I am eager to know that management is concerned with my comfort and safety but I will be very concerned indeed if they do not see me as a source of profit. A customer who does not generate a profit is seldom worth having and is unlikely to be cared for.

Businesses are run for profit not for their staff or their customers - however sensible managers soon recognise that the only way to regular profits is contented customers and that the best way of securing these is contented staff.

"A good pool of pilots is worth its weight in gold..." - Yes of course but only if they earn a profit.

I do apologise as a non-professional pilot if this sounds patronising. I do not mean to be so and I agree that most of my comments are truisms. However pilots could do so much more to recognise the truth of my headline. We are the point of it all not just SLF

Captain Stable
3rd Jun 2002, 18:15
Quite so, Baily.

I do not wish to work for an airline that is about to sink financially. I will not work for an airline that is so desperate to make a profit that they will quite blatantly erode safety margins.

"Management" is about leadership. You enthuse your workforce to the point that they are as committed to the future of the company and its success (and the means of obtaining those goals) as you are. In a revolting cliche, you ensure you are all singing from the same hymn-sheet.

You do not see yourself as the captain of the ship up on the quarterdeck, the pilots as the galley-slaves who need to be whipped just that little bit harder before you can go waterskiing.

If AL cannot function commercially within safe limits, then it is probably better that they go down before they have a severe and fatal accident.

However, I doubt that this is the case, and I would not wish unemployment on any of their staff. Instead, I would suggest that it is probably time they re-evaluated their entire cost structure and their investment in their least replaceable asset - their crews' training and experience.

3rd Jun 2002, 19:57
Captain Stable:

I had rather hoped that I would not be writing to you so soon but your latest posting is just so full of the most high-flying prose that I think sick bags might be needed all round. What a wonderful lecture in leadership and all that is great in the world it is!

I am beginning to think that you are not long out of the Directorate of Flight Safety in MOD (or whatever they call it nowadays) and have not really been anywhere else in the outside world for any length of time.

Try to keep it short, precise and to the point.

PS. Well done to the Aer Lingus guys. I hope things go well for you from here on in.

3rd Jun 2002, 20:50
Well done EI pilots!!

However, you wont see me on an EI flight unless it is DUB/AMS. Your great management scared me away over 4 years ago. If their is compition, I am on it. I suggest you do the same if you get the opertunity. EI can not be long for this world :( .

Captain Stable
3rd Jun 2002, 21:15
JW411 - and you'd be wrong (again!) :D

I write the way I write. If you have a problem with it, then it's your problem. Live with it.

3rd Jun 2002, 21:30
As always with life, there are of course two sides to every story. What we have on this thread is one very obvious side, which is perfectly understandable as this is a pilots forum, but as I've said there is another side to this as well. Anyone who has worked in Dublin airport and has had dealings with certain "groups" will know exactly what I mean.

4th Jun 2002, 00:07
Captain Stable

... your latest posting is just so full of the most high-flying prose that I think sick bags might be needed all round...


This remark seems both unnecessary and inaccurate. This is a serious subject as it has ramifications outside just Aer Lingus.

Non Iron Chippy
4th Jun 2002, 00:54
I'm just back from a weekend 'hedonistic beano' to the Costas and was booked with EI DUB-AGP-DUB, ended up doing DUB-BCN-AGP-BCN-LHR-BHD, all the One World and bmi ground staff esp. the people from Iberia, did a fantastic job at every change over sorting tkt changes and missing bags etc.

The 'self loaders' that I got speaking to at various times in the whole did not bear a grudge with our EI colleagues for a 1 day stoppage, but they could not comprehend why after the 24hrs that it was the management refusing to let the aircraft fly.

4th Jun 2002, 07:46
Are there any details yet of the 'acceptance' of the proposals that akerosid mentioned?

Duty + 2 hours or 12 hrs min, is what was quoted, and I understand from akerosid's post that this was a 'reduction' from the previous industrial agreement?

Can anyone in AL confirm?

4th Jun 2002, 12:45
Come on Aer Lingus!

Spill the beans!

BBC Teletext at 1200 told me you had settled and flights 'resume this PM'

Keep PPrune up-to-date please?

4th Jun 2002, 14:24
OK.. so whats the deal.. are you boys flying again?

The news quotes AirLingus as flying again after "the pilots walked out for 5 days" !!!

Who locked who out? I would be proud of the useless PR department that you pilots use.. :mad:

Me?, I'm just a lowly biz-pilot who uses the airlines occasionally..hence am just joe public..

edited as it came across a bit harsh.. what I wanted to say is that the media once again gets it wrong.. journo-twats

4th Jun 2002, 15:24
Yes folks, it's over. First round anyhow.
The Pilots Association executive recomended the Labour Court deal to the members last night. There was a heavy 4.5 hour debate with the mood swinging either way at various stages, but in the end it was carried by a massive majority in favour.

A lot of people are not happy to have had to accept this. The alternative (rejecting the executives recomendation) was even more unpleasant. At least we've walked away with our solidarity in tact. We are ready to hold the line of resistance and advance it in the future.

The few tweaks that the final deal hinged on could have been agreed without the companies bizarre lockout. They disrupted our customers unnecessarily for four days because it has gained them nothing in the end.
In that respect....they lost this one hands down.

BTW, the 10 hour rest item was made 'discretionary' under the LRC deal. I know how I'll be dealing with that one.

Resign Henry. You're a disgrace. We have no further confidence in you or your puppetmaster WW.

4th Jun 2002, 16:28
Well done Willie, you shut down the airline for a week and a cost in the region of €15m. That does not in include the costs of litigation, which will ensue. It also does not include the lost revenue from pax who realise that you don't give a damn about them.

What have you achieved. You sought to break IALPA and throw our working arrangements in the bin, leaving pilots to operate to non-existant IAA limits. This would have meant 10 hour turnarounds and pilots having fewer days off than 9-5ers. You achieved a one hour reduction 'n minimum rest to 12 hours and 2 fewer days off per year. Six times a year you can request our cooperation to operate a 10 hour turnaound. How many times will we oblige?

Was it worth it? IALPA is now more united than at any time in its history. You have had to reinstate our 7 suspended colleagues with back pay. Your attempt to lock us out without pay has been deemed illegal. Our working conditions with their minor alterations are now enshrined in a Labour Court ruling. We have held the line and now we will advance it.

Was it worth it? You have shown yourself for what you are. Not the evil genius we had built you up as, but a second rate bully with the strategic vision of a demented baboon.

Now it's back to us and our frontline colleagues to try and repair some of the damage to our reputation, if it isn't too late already.

Some survival plan.

4th Jun 2002, 19:56
Speaking from the outside ... there will only be one loser from this: Everyone.

Looking in the paper (The Independent) (London as opposed to Dublin) they refer to the ratio of staff to aircraft and compare them, naturally, with Ryan. I know that is an unfair comparison but somewhere there has to be a half way house. I doubt if the paying public will care very much who finds it first. If they (airline customers) discover that they DO care about minimum service and so forth it will, of course, be too late!

I don't think anyone comes out of this looking god.

5th Jun 2002, 00:44
PAXboy, being a 'civilian' I wouldn't expect you to understand the tedious technical details of airline crewing, so I'll put it as simply as I can for you.

A) Ryanair do not operate long haul heavy crew routes. Does that mean anything to you?
Probably not...but who cares, eh...least of all you I expect.

B) The mainstay of the Aer Lingus medium haul fleet is the A321/0. None of the 'no frills' companies have ever bought an airbus aircraft. Do you know the reason why...or the implications that has for crewing?

Thought not.

Get down the back and just drink your G&T you numbskull.

5th Jun 2002, 00:57
Dear Idunno,

Let me put it as simply as possible. I was not attempting to draw comparisons between AI and Ryan, only commenting that the media and general populace will. If you trouble yourself to read my original post you will see words like, "I know that is an unfair comparison". You will also see that I muse upon the fact that - should EI fail - the fare paying public will only realise too late what they have. If that is not sympathy for the airline business, then I am not sure what is.

>A) Ryanair do not operate long haul heavy crew routes. Does that mean anything to you?
Of course they don't. Did I say that they did?

>Probably not...but who cares, eh...least of all you I expect.
I am concerned that you think I said things that I did not. The dispute is primarily about long haul and the turn around times for crew. Management want to move from 13 to 10 hour turns on long haul, to realise savings. Flight crew are concerned at the way this could impinge on saftey standards. Crew are also concerned that management is not making enough cost and head count savings on the home front. I stand to be corrected.

>B) The mainstay of the Aer Lingus medium haul fleet is the A321/0. None of the 'no frills' companies have ever bought an airbus aircraft.
So I understand. They have different requirements. One of which is that, there are more flight crew qualified on Boeings than anything else (for obvious reasons) and that will save them costs in their recruitment and operations.

>Do you know the reason why...or the implications that has for crewing?
If I do not, I am sure that you will be so kind as to tell me!
>Thought not.

>Get down the back and just drink your G&T you numbskull.
I think that you meant to say, "Welcome aboard and thank you for paying my salary."
Thought not.

To show, further, how the issue is being played, this from The Independent:
There is little public sympathy for the pilots, whom most people think are mollycoddled. Confidence in a once-proud symbol of a small, independent nation has all but vanished. Little wonder Bertie Ahern, the Taoiseach, had to tell Mr Walsh and the pilots to "cop themselves on"

5th Jun 2002, 07:10
The Independent carried a rather unfavorable brief story on the stike, and its settlement, today. Here is the link (http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/story.jsp?story=302224) and here is the story:

Pilots bring Celtic tiger down to earth
By Katherine Butler
05 June 2002

How many pilots does it take to bring Europe's most dynamic economy to a juddering halt? Apparently 537. That is the number of pilots that the Irish carrier Aer Lingus employs to fly its 33 aircraft.

Today the struggling state-backed airline is resuming services after Impact, the unfortunately named pilots' union, voted to end an industrial dispute. The row erupted when the airline's no-frills boss, Willie Walsh, (nickname Boxcar Willie) told the pilots they would have to fly more and cut the minimum 13-hour rest between flights.

A one-day stoppage led to havoc: the fleet was grounded for five days over the busiest holiday weekend of the summer. Weddings, funerals and World Cup departures were missed, business deals put on ice and holidays ruined in departure halls. Public anger grew when Aer Lingus offered only minimal refunds. The lucky had to buy tickets at inflated prices from rival airlines; the unlucky are still waiting. One couple's odyssey from Boston took them to New York, London, Glasgow and Belfast and the last leg to Dublin on a rickety bus.

Aer Lingus carries 40 per cent of passengers arriving in Ireland but is under relentless pressure from low-cost rivals. It came close to collapse after 11 September and has now lost €6m (£3.86m) in five days. There is little public sympathy for the pilots, whom most people think are mollycoddled. Confidence in a once-proud symbol of a small, independent nation has all but vanished. Little wonder Bertie Ahern, the Taoiseach, had to tell Mr Walsh and the pilots to "cop themselves on".

Tom the Tenor
5th Jun 2002, 08:44
What a load a 5h!te an' onions! E minus in today's Leaving Cert English Paper. Back to the nuns for another year for you, my dear!

5th Jun 2002, 09:29
I sympathise that you and your collegues have been through a lot recently. But is drirecting your frustrations at the public (who may or mat not be as well informed on the finer points of running an airline) who frequent this forum and answering your "own" questions to him in your posts really isn't going to further your cause.

Why not explain to PAXBOY the differences between Ryan Air and AL before condeming him as alcohol swiging idiot. He could be one of those people who decides HOW his 30 executives travel and WHO they travel with every year.:eek:

5th Jun 2002, 11:45
Thank you Shadowpurser and I agree that the Independent report was not good.

IDUNNO may be interested to hear of my most recent trip to Ireland. I had not visited the country in more than 14 years. When I was married to an Irish woman we used both EI and BA.

In April 2000, I had a short trip come up and decided to try out Ryan from my local airport, LTN. The experience was so unpleasant that I shall never use Ryan again and advise any who ask to do likewise. That said, I am a fan of both EZY and GO.

I regret the way in which the airline business has got itself into a corner over costs. Having worked in commerce for 22 years (across a range of industries and in differrent countries) I know how cost control works. I also know the way in which management can treat long serving and loyal members of staff. It is no comfort to you that what you are experiencing, is something that has been happening for the last 12 years in general commerce. How the airlines have survived so long ... well, that is another thread!

As to my lack of understanding of how the airline business operates, I have a nephew who is a Captain (not in the UK).

As to my understanding of being a PAX, I have been travelling as one for 36 years.

5th Jun 2002, 14:21
sod the lot of you. Any time a union strikes it is over saftey - the public care about saftey, they dont care about people trying to hold out for uneconomic employment conditions. Aer Lingus have 2 problems that are preventing it from becoming profitable and expanding. The first is the unions. Face it, you have no public support. even if this is over saftey, the saftey exuse has worn very thin over the years with to many unions. Also Pilots have to be the highest paid unionised workforce. continuation of the seniority list vs the prevailing meritocricy method employed in the rest of the world does not endeer yourselves to the public mindset. While many of you earn 30-40K (GBP) the public image is of well tanned flyboys, earning 100+ and driving fast cars. I think it is often forgotten that you are little more than highly qualified bus drivers or min cab drivers, going from point to point on predetermined routes. Now I fly a lot and respect your proffesion, but I dont respect being left in the lurch at an airport and having to postpone, cancel or lose face over a deal. If Aer Lingus goes bust, you will only be missed by a few - Delta will increase service, as will BMI and BA. the flag carriers from other countries will pick up the slack. Oh and lets not forget ryan, ez and co. If the numbers quoted in the independant are correct then that is shocking 537 pilots for 33 planes. divide by 2 for a pilot and an FO, thats 250 + thats still over 7 full crews per plane. Do you want the airline to have a slow death or a quick one - either way you oposition to economic reality is startling.

Second, the stop in shannon - purely political and quite unnessasary, maybe BA should stop in MAN on the way to LA :)


5th Jun 2002, 15:09
jongar, such an eloquent and informed response!

Ryanair doesn't do long-haul, your numbers mean nothing. Your insults are uncalled for and your comment about respecting our profession is lost in your immature attitude.

5th Jun 2002, 15:34
I think the earlier post was a rather rude and parochial dismissal of a purportedly exterior view of our industry to Mr PAXboy and uncalled for to say the least. What is difficult for outsiders to realise is that flying aeroplanes is a profession surrounded by mystery and jealousy. The long, arduous and intensive training that a pilot undergoes is not evident to the casual observer. The perception is all too often of the primadonna Porsche driving ladies man who sits at the front of the plane reading the paper and pressing whatever button the computer tells us to. If something goes wrong we simply reboot the system and recover Windows. Right?

Well ,if it is then investment banking is throwing darts into the share pages of the FT and buying whichever stock gets hit, heart surgery is master butchery, web design can be done by anyone with a copy of Dreamweaver. If you find any of these parodies offensive to the professions to which they pertain, you will understand the frustrations of the pilot community.

Your overpaid Porsche driving womanising anti-hero, or in reality modest-meaned, I wish, one wife two kids, an aspiration to a house, school and health care for the family man has a job unlike any other. He/she has an awesome responsibility for the lives of hundreds of people, most of whom consider themselves invaluable. There are situations we face every single day when a decision must be made with great consequence. It cannot be delayed, ‘kicked upstairs’, delegated, wait for next weeks symposium, put it off to the Brighton conference, just phone Dave cause he knows, blame it on the CEO, ooh I’m just off for my break can’t Sales deal with it? It’s your call, right now, and it won’t wait. The accuracy of your decision will either go unnoticed or result in the deaths of hundreds of people, maybe more on the ground, and will in many cases bankrupt the company, deprive your family of a father/mother, and in this day and age have your family sued for the roof over their heads.

You might expect that such and individual would be carefully chosen from a well-trained background and highly experienced over many years of safe airline flying. Well, they don’t think so anymore. We deliver productivity everyday, by flying safely. We make judgements, we exercise discretion, we decline where we think it’s unsafe. You might expect that such a highly qualified professional would be well rewarded. But the reality is that we suffer continuous attacks on our terms and conditions, we have to rely on our elected representatives to fight our corner. Management know that as committed professionals, we are almost powerless to fight them, and will simply keep taking the punishment. After all pilots are overpaid Porsche driving layabouts, aren’t they? And we hate them with a vengeance.

Well there comes a time. All reasonable people have their limit, and the only way we have of getting the management’s undivided attention is what Aer Lingus pilots did last week.

Did that explain it?

I’ll take on the opposition anyday. It’s my management I can’t beat!

5th Jun 2002, 16:22
Guys and girls - come on!

Why are you allowing jongar to wind you up?

Did you not learn with the guvnor? This one is but a pale imitation, without the linguistic abilities and, (it hurts to say it), the intellectual ability of the recently departed 'TG'.

Leave jongar alone and he/she/it will drone off somewhere else. When he/she/it drones back again, just ignore it again. It works!

Incidentally, Roobarb - top post! I'm looking at putting web design on my CV!

5th Jun 2002, 16:59
To be compared to The Guvoner is a gross insult and in more enlightened times I would demand satisfaction. In lieu I may have taken your first born female as a bride. To have a go at my use of the queens language is also a trifle dubious. Sadly I work during the day and taking support calls from some of the morons who use our software can become intelectually tiring this may well dull what I hope is an otherwise satirical form of writing laced with barbs of truth and fact.

Unlike the guvoner I work for a living in an attempt to live a lifestyle i cant afford but non the less enjoy.

Roobarb. Yours was one of the more informed comments to read, and for that we are blessed. There are issues still outstanding. Not withsatnding the freedom of the press to massage numbers, is it tru that there are 537 pilots and FO for 33 planes. These numbers seem crazy. Are the numbers of cabin crew also as inflated ?

If they are true, then it can only be assumed that Aer Lingus needs to make changes

5th Jun 2002, 20:20
I don't think that Roobarb is trying to slap me down and will not take it as such. Correct me if I am wrong!

Roobarb does set out a very good set of examples as to why working folks do not undestand the pilot's point of view. This holds just as much for many working in the airline business!

One or two points ... "a purportedly exterior view of our industry to Mr PAXboy"
I have never worked in the airline biz and have no expectation of doings so - in any capacity.

"The long, arduous and intensive training that a pilot undergoes is not evident to the casual observer."
I agree. having seen my nephew go through it from the boy's dream when he was 12 to now being a captain and instructor, I am have been awestruck at what is involved.

"Well, if it is then investment banking is throwing darts into the share pages of the FT and buying whichever stock gets hit"
Having worked in the City - I think that you are spot on!

"There are situations we face every single day when a decision must be made with great consequence. It cannot be delayed, ‘kicked upstairs’, delegated, wait for next weeks symposium, put it off to the Brighton conference, just phone Dave cause he knows, blame it on the CEO, ooh I’m just off for my break can’t Sales deal with it?"
This is the BEST way of describing the situation that I have ever heard. Having sat in the jump seat and watched the F/O (on that occasion) wrestle with the wind and driving rain on finals, I know that it cannot wait. I was fascinated to see at first hand the problem of having to counteract the angled wind to prevent crabbing onto the deck but, the moment the wheels touched, all of that correction had to be removed (gently) to prevent us from exploring the non-tarmac areas of the field. Pax have no idea.

"But the reality is that we suffer continuous attacks on our terms and conditions, we have to rely on our elected representatives to fight our corner. Management know that as committed professionals, we are almost powerless to fight them, and will simply keep taking the punishment."
In the course of my working life, I have had management believe what a machine was telling them, rather than me (I was later proved correct but it was too late). I have been made redundant at zero minutes notice and all the rest, so I am not in the dark about the 'skills' of management. I have seen trade union disputes and mgmt ones. I feel even handed about those two groupings!

"... undivided attention is what Aer Lingus pilots did last week."
Did that explain it?
Yep and in my first two posts I never said otherwise. I did say that all will lose and the reason I said that (but failed to state) is because mgmt will muck it up! The moment they laid you off for the next four days, it was all over and the chances of recovery must be slim.

Also, the politicians want to have a bite from the arse of people who cannot easily fight back. Airlines are always considered part of 'national pride' until reality arrives.

Did that explain my posts?

5th Jun 2002, 20:27
Do wish you wouldn't post things like that Roobarb. I'm now all of a tiz worrying about all the life and death decisions I'm going to have to make tomorrow, but more to the point all those that I apparently missed yesterday. Difficult deciding how much fuel to add to the plog for a start. Must rest now for at least 10 hrs. night night.

5th Jun 2002, 22:34

1. 447 pilots - 34 aircraft - 4 fleets
2. 2 year pay freeze
3. Deferrement of independent pay award €12m
4. Management have stopped all unpaid leave for pilots
5. Management have indicated not all pilots will not receive all Annual Leave this year
6. Pilots find out each friday what they're doing the following Monday

I am one of the pilots who has time after time stepped up to the plate, gone the extra yard, extended duty, taken min rest kept the operation going only to be shat on by a bunch of avoricious suits who thought we were a load of pussies and could be rolled over.

Jongar, put the bunny down and leave the room.

6th Jun 2002, 03:43
I am one of the pilots who has time after time stepped up to the plate, gone the extra yard, extended duty, taken min rest kept the operation going only to be shat on by a bunch of avaricious suits who thought we were a load of pussies and could be rolled over

You are in good company, matey. Spot on.

I’ll take on the opposition anyday. It’s my management I can’t beat!

6th Jun 2002, 15:38

1. 447 pilots - 34 aircraft - 4 fleets
2. 2 year pay freeze
3. Deferrement of independent pay award €12m
4. Management have stopped all unpaid leave for pilots
5. Management have indicated not all pilots will not receive all Annual Leave this year
6. Pilots find out each friday what they're doing the following Monday

Thnakyou for taking the time to post the correct information. It is far easier to be objective, when you have the facts.

Sadly, that still works out at 6.57 2 man crews per plane. That does sound very high. A 2 year pay freeze in unfourtunate, I however had to take a pay cut when my company went into trouble. You will get very little sympathy from the public at the moment. the defered payment is something thet should never have arisen, and managment are to blame. No unpaid leave - doesnt make sense, but they run the company - there call. If you really want unpaid leave call the doc. Annual leave is something earnt on a per month accumaltion, there are laws that protect that in EU member countries
and the last item - well its the same for a lot of people that use your planes - we all have a choice of career. You knew as a pilot you would be away form home.



6th Jun 2002, 15:50
jongar, some of the flights Aer Lingus does have a long enough duty period to require 3 pilots. Your numbers aren't accurate. Ryanair doesn't do longhaul.

6th Jun 2002, 16:16

I don't think you'll find that the AI crewing ratio to aircraft is too excessive. Even in the low cost world 6 and a bit per aircraft is not uncommon, and we certainly have to go for efficiency. You then add in the long haul side which always needs a much higher crew ratio per aircraft, and I think you'll find they are not way of the industry norm.

Big Kahuna Burger
6th Jun 2002, 16:39
And of course, when you have four fleets, you lose three sets of economies of scale, which the Ryans have. Do not underestimate the effect of scale on a fleets crewing ratio.

Send Clowns
6th Jun 2002, 18:44

I understand that the world-wide average for airlines is 7 crews per aircraft putting AL, a flag carrier, a little below average. I cannot remember the reference but I remember the figure due to the surprise I had at reading it. It was in the reputable aviaiton press though.

P.S. when you compare us to bus drivers also compare us to train drivers. The latter can earn, with overtime, GB£50,000 per annum. They do not get checked three or four times a year to see wether they will lose their career. They did not use £40 000 of their own money and 18 stress-filled, income-less (not even welfare benefits) months of their lives to reach their position, nor take on work at £12,000 per annum after the training, as many pilots have (I earn about that at the moment, doing a highly-skilled job, waiting for my first 'real' job in a typical industry downturn). They don't have one of the highest divorce rates, due to job pressures, and one of the highest incidences of death soon after retirement due to stress-induced heart disease. They don't face the instability of the industry, or the crazy levels of press scrutiny. Yet many pilots earn less.

Yes, we are glorified taxi drivers, but many of us don't get nearly such a good lifestyle.

Crusty Ol Cap'n
6th Jun 2002, 19:51
Just to put some shape on the AL pilot to aircraft ratio debate. The agreed crewing rate between the union and AL is 6 crews for the first two a/c in a fleet, 5 for the next three a/c and 4 crews thereafter. The reality is that this is not always practical for scheduling reasons and extra crews are needed.

The reason the numbers are currently way out of kilter is as a result of the management going on a recruitment binge over the past few years. This recruitment drive, during a company wide recruitment ban, was deemed necessary to cover a major expansion. The expansion was cancelled by WW when he came to power and was replaced by cutbacks in operations. The airline has disposed of the surplus aircraft but still have the pilots on the books.

The two parties agreed a method to shed pilots some months ago but AL are dragging their heels on offering severance to those who applied and so are creating a false surplus.

6th Jun 2002, 20:07
I am not comparing you to Ryan air and co. I am looking at it with a clean sheet of paper, and looking at the number of hours I can be expected to work myself. Its a high stress job, and while not life threatening, my perfomance affects many others most notably those below me's ability to meet the mortgage and our shareholders. From my own numbers I would have though 4 full crews per hull would be adequate, 4.5 to cover eventualities. Stress I am afraid is something we all suffer from, and is probably why I will either resign on Monday or take a role lower down the food chain. Now i did not spend a great deal of time in education in order to get to my position. But I have put in 6 soul destroying years getting to these lofty heights and sacrificed a great deal in doing getting here - ie no place to call home because of all trave and frequent relocation, and the affect that has on relationships - 24 hours is considered a sign of commitment :)

The thing is, like yoursleves I went into this with my eyes open. Business is a cyclical thing, and right now we are in the depths of a trough. The key thing is we have choices, if I felt I was being screwed by the company I would leave and seek employment elsewhere. The systems are in place to do this, all founded on the system of meritocrisy. The pilots and thier unions put in place the seniority system, and that effectively stops you from seeeking employment elsewhere and exploiting your skill sets for financial gain without incurring penalty. Everyone ecept the week benifit in a free economy.


6th Jun 2002, 20:24
jongar, there are many universities that offer degree programs in airline management. If you have completed one of these please share it with us, otherwise your opinion of how many crew are needed to run a scheduled airline is no better than an uneducated guess. Most airline ops managers would tell you that in order to run a scheduled service on a long term daily basis you need about 5 crews per a/c. This takes into account many things like using the a/c as mush as possible, leave, sickness, recurrent training, I could go on, you get the idea. Now as we have been trying to tell you, some flights need augmentation. Where do you think you get the third pilot from? Some airlines that do a lot of long haul have a lot more crew per a/c. Face it, you are in over your head mate.

As for your thoughts on the seniority system, it works to the company's advantage as well. When a pilot has invested a few years on a seniority list he is reluctant to leave and start at the bottom elsewhere. This makes him sort of trapped by the system which can lead to abuse by management. There are two sides to every story. The seniority system works well for us, it keeps everyone honest and you always know where you stand. Promotion is based on merit, it's the opportunity that is based on seniority. It also keeps the right seat from getting stale, bitter and twisted.

6th Jun 2002, 20:27
I am amazed that a person not involved in this industry feels able to say what is an appropriate crew to aircraft ratio. Even an expert would need to see the flying program!

Send Clowns
6th Jun 2002, 22:47
Although I for one having been employed on the periphery of civil aviation for only a year would not hazard a guess at the crewing requirement for an airline, I have, as stated, seen the figure of 7 crews world average (May have been in FI airline survey). Now the industry is not known for its soft heart towards pilots. It is known for maximising use of what is, after all a very expensive asset, that can only be used when there is a crew available for it. Therefore 6-7 sounds not unreasonable to me.

You suffer stress Jongar : it is not caused by the fact that you are likely to be the first killed if all goes pear-shaped, followed rapidly by 2-300 others. Alternatively that a lesser mistake due to your lack of sleep causes an incident or the company to lose money, and you are hauled before the chief pilot. The stress you suffer will not cause the loss of two aircraft with 800 people on board as it leads to an error, or the removal of the top floor of an hotel. You are not stressed by two strict medicals and two flight tests every year, any of which could end your career. You don't have to think every time you injure yourself "will I ever be able to do my job again?" - the first thought I had when I was involved in a road accident recently, fortunately the answer was "yes" and I have my class I medical back.

6th Jun 2002, 23:18

Best to adjust your reading/posting ratio until you've figured out what goes on in this industry

7th Jun 2002, 01:20

Perhaps you will dismiss the responses to you by pilots as special pleading. I am not a pilot. I am not in the airline business. I am an employer and business owner.

I can tell you the following. We know that in the well-regulated countries there is an average of 1 airliner hull loss for every 750,000 cycles. We also know (i.e. have measured) that at certain levels of lack of flight crew rest before a given flight (the formula is a complex one that calculates the effects of variables such as time zone changes, length of the previous flight, and so on) the probability increases progressively. My calcualation of the AL proposals as far as I know them is that they will bring the probability up to about 1 in 450,000 across the whole network, and somewhat higher on Trans Atlantic flights.

We also know (i.e. have measured) that when flight crews are flying on a short term roster plan the probability goes up about 20%.

Etc. Etc. I could go on, and on, and on. The point is that in ANY work setting errors increase with increased worker tiredness, stress and social disruption. In high stakes safety settings such as aviation when working practices are adopted that increase the incidence of such things we are KNOWINGLY trading cost off against safety. But if a plane crashes due to tiredness induced loss of situational awareness we always talk about 'pilot error' and never about 'rostering error'.

I am SLF to the tune of about 200,000km a year. My employees between them add about another couple of million. Of course I am price conscious. But if I become aware of morale or industrial problems in any airline, and especially if I become aware of crewing practices that indicate hull loss probabilities of worse than 1 in 500,000 cycles, I issue instructions not to book that airline until the situation improves. I also let the airline know what I am doing and invite it to let me know when they change their practices for the better.

I am not just being hyper-sensitive to very long odds. Hull losses are just the most dramatic indicator of a whole lot of things. For every hull loss there are many human errors that do not generate a hull loss, but many of which generate such things as flight delays, lost luggage, rudeness, and other forms of discomfort and inconvenience that are an entirely predictable consequence of management decisions. What I think is the smartest thing about the 'Southwest Airlines formula' is that their management practices took these issues into account. I am by no means confident that the other 'low cost' carriers have really got that point. So when I am in the USA I am happy to book SWA (I may be a CEO but I don't give a **** about business class and frequent flyer lounges), but in Europe I am not yet so sure about Easy, Ryan etc.

So, Jongar, you will gather that your argument worries me greatly. It worries me because I know how prevalent it is - and the extent to which desperate airline managers are responding to those signals from the business passenger community. There is also the minor consideration that pilots are human beings who deserve to have a long and happy life just like the rest of us, even though I sometimes find it hard to remember that when I see some of the childish, choleric, self-important and self-obsessed postings in this forum.

7th Jun 2002, 08:22
Rongotai - may I suggest you consider placing (perhaps a copy of?) that posting in the 'Safety, CRM and QA' forum? There is a lot of relevance in your posting relating to those topics.

Also do not be misled by EVERYTHING you read on pprune. There are a lot of flight crew out there with safety very much in mind.

BA Forum moderator

7th Jun 2002, 09:48
It Seems to me that it does not matter whether you have 4 crews per plane or 6 crews. What matters is utilisation. How many sectors a day are AL's planes flying and how many of their crews are they using? Are AL's pilots flying 4 to 6 sector days like some of the competition or just 2. AL's problems may well be that their aircraft are in the air too little and their pilots on the ground too much. This has nothing to do with minimum rest, just how productive are the flight crew compared to say BA, bmi or the low cost sector.

I am not trying to be contentious here but business is business and everyone wants to see their assets working for them rather than not being used at all or at least in an inefficient manner.

Groundhog Night
7th Jun 2002, 09:52

You sound like a caring and reasonable employer, I was beginning to think they had all disappeared. Your post cheered me up - a bit!


Nearly all flight crew have safety very much in mind, even egotistical and childish ones.