View Full Version : GB Pilots to join BA?

Miss Inform
25th Aug 2002, 23:19
Rumour has it that GB pilots are to be added to BA's pilot seniority list in due course. Something to do with SCOPE, I believe. Anyone know anything about this?

26th Aug 2002, 05:11
SCOPE is the baby of BA CC (acting in close harmony with BALPA (the British Airways Line PIlots Association once again) who see it as a device to keep the platinum brigade in the postion to which they believe they have a birthright enjoying the plum routes equipment and Ts and Cs.

The unwashed masses in the regions operating franchises are seen as a threat to to their idle rich life style and represent a threat as they are prepared to do a day's work for inferior terms.

SCOPE at its most basic ensures that those of us who are not in mainline BA are kept in our places and are denied the opportunity to fly anything bigger than 70 or 100 seats unless we are considered "the right stuff" by BA criteria. (Forget it if you are a TP driver....you don't even exist!)

Oh yes....SCOPE is "a two way valve" allowing the flow of piots from the Franchises into BA and vice versa.........B*?!cks it is!!!
Look at the small print.

Dont fall for it guys!!

26th Aug 2002, 05:33
Didn't understand a word of that !!!

crusin level
26th Aug 2002, 10:06
Bit bitter are we TINYTIM???

Scope is essential to all BA pilots to keep BA's work within BA and not allow the work to be franchised out.

In its basic form it also keeps pilots jobs for uk pilots- bet your interested now!

I'm one of the "platinum" brigade and have earnt my right to be there via loyalty. I resent your remarks.

Miss Inform
26th Aug 2002, 10:27

I think you have summarised SCOPE rather well!

I'm sure we can all understand the guys at BA wishing to preserve/improve whatever they have going for them - who wouldn't?

Anyway, my understanding is that the franchises themselves have come in for much scrutiny following the "Future Size & Shape" report, which has caused much concern in many departments.

I believe that the BA CC are effectively preventing GB from further expansion by preventing the transfer of further loss-making routes to them, something which has apparently been to the benefit of both companies since the dawn of franchising.

The GB management/owners will have to decide where their best interests lie & are apparently considering "doing a deal" with the BA CC to break the impasse.

The carrot to the GB pilots is, of course, the promise of mainline pay, T & Cs etc. not to mention access to all that BA has to offer. Just the thing to drive up costs in these ultra-competitive times, but in line with BA's history of throwing money at problems!

Certainly, access by BA pilots to the franchise flying would be a major part of the deal - whether it would work quite so well in the other direction is another matter!

Watch this space!

26th Aug 2002, 10:55
Thanks Cruisin Level !!

You fell right into the trap posed by my provocative post and thereby made my point exactly for me!!

No one's asking you and your mates to give anything away. But we sure as hell don't want to be told by someone (particularly someone enjoying a highly privileged position within the Industry) who doesn't work for our company what we can and cannot fly or what we will be paid to do it.

Harry Wragg
26th Aug 2002, 11:17
TinyGuy I think you are deluding yourself, or at least believe the management propaganda. Wouldn't mind a move to GB myself as it would be an improvement over life at BA Gatwickland.

Oh, and you might get a bit defensive yourself when YOUR management find people to work in YOUR company on inferior T's and C's.


p.s. BA is pants, just a matter of time before a better offer comes along.

crusin level
26th Aug 2002, 11:24
Tiny Tim

Or did you just fall into my trap????

Your bitterness is outstanding! Lifes not all roses at BA you know. Or are you naive enough to think it is?

26th Aug 2002, 11:24

so you've seen the proposed SCOPE agrement then?and read the small print that you intimate having knowledge off?

I thought not...

Hand Solo
26th Aug 2002, 11:58
The unwashed masses in the regions operating franchises are seen as a threat to to their idle rich life style and represent a threat as they are prepared to do a day's work for inferior terms.

Quite! Although at least we're working hard in the regions covering your (our?) work instead of sitting around waiting for broken Embraers to be fixed again. "Ooops, broken again, better go home". Remind me again, are you employed as airline pilots or rental car drivers?

I believe that the BA CC are effectively preventing GB from further expansion by preventing the transfer of further loss-making routes to them, something which has apparently been to the benefit of both companies since the dawn of franchising

Sadly wrong. Firstly its not our fault the routes are losing money, its the ineptitude and overheads of Waterworld that are hurting them. You are welcome to the routes if you think you can make them profitable, but only if you're going to take a proportionate share of the Waterside staff and costs. What were not happy to let you do is cherry-pick those routes and then leave us with fewer routes to support the same Waterside mass. Secondly the purpose of franchises is to develop routes to a stage where the parent carrier can operate them profitably, then the franchise goes and develops new routes. Thats expansion, what you propose is nothing more than route theft. The purpose of the franchise is not to mask corporate waste and inefficiency in the parent carrier by allowing them to easily attribute costs to the wrong people (flight/cabin crew). Perhaps you can explain why GB can operate the MPL route at a profit the day after EOG cut it, despite the fact that GB pay their flight and cabin crew almost exactly the same money as EOG?

26th Aug 2002, 13:14
I am just loving this !!!

Really, BA boys!!!..... Face up to the facts.... Your CC are acting like dogs in a manger trying desperately to preserve by industrial "agreement" what by the operation of the open market they could not otherwise sustain.

You are overpaid, underworked and pampered compared with the rest of our industry in the UK plus the market dosn't want your product anymore.

Now that you've been rumbled SCOPE is being wheeled out to enable you to take more of the available pie for yourselves to the detriment of the rest of us.

SCOPE is about GREED pure and simple.

SCOPE as proposed belongs to the dark ages of industrial relations when inefficiencies and anti-competitive practises were jealously guarded to the long term destruction of those very jobs that the exponents of those practises were trying to preserve. Remember the chaos in the printing and dock industries a couple of decades ago? (You probably are too young). Well, what you are proposing is no different.....

Understandibly your CC are dead chuffed to have installed an unashamedly militant and pro BA man in the top slot at Balpa and so it is perhaps understandable that having taken over Balpa they think that they can dictate to the rest of the industry.

I look forward so much to your replies!!!!!

26th Aug 2002, 13:16
Oh, I get it...... BA franchised GB to build up routes so that they could take them off them when they'd made them profitable! :rolleyes: And as for GB pilots getting paid the same as EOG - 10k + allowances and a final salary pension - I think not!!!

Notso Fantastic
26th Aug 2002, 13:16
Don't even waste your breath on this headbanger! Keep it in house (where this aggressive, abusive troublemaker is excluded)! Look at the profile! Hiding behind anonymity whilst being so aggressively contrary is a worrying feature!

Miss Inform
26th Aug 2002, 13:35

Once again, you make many valid points about the purpose of SCOPE.

Naturally, the guys at BA don't like being told the facts of commercial life - but when your back is up against the wall, what can you do?

Hand Solo,

The franchisees do not cherry-pick. They do not go in & audit BA's entire network & decide which routes they like the look of. They look at what is being offered to them by BA, these being the routes that BA no longer consider viable. They then make a decision to take the route on, or not, based on it's commercial potential to the franchisee.

For this, they pay BA huge sums of money - a flat fee for the "honour" of being a franchisee & support services, plus an ongoing cut of the revenue from ticket sales. They certainly do not get anything for nothing. In addition to this risk-free revenue, BA get a continued presence on the route, keeping their face known & providing competition for those who would prefer that BA weren't there at all. They also have their own overheads to pay for.

You don't seriously believe that the function of a franchise is to pep-up an ailing route for BA & then hand it back to them, do you? Maybe in BizzaroLand!

How do you know whether or not GB is making a profit on the MPL route? If they are, good for them, maybe you can learn something from them!

With regard to flight crew & cabin crew salaries, a comparison of payslips during a stopover might be revealing. If the pay is so good at GB, maybe SCOPE should be pushing for BA crews to be on GB payscales.

Anyway, this is rather getting away from the purpose of the original post, which was to invite comments & further information on the state of play regarding GB.

Is anyone willing to comment on the likelihood or otherwise of the entire GB pilot force being forced onto BA's seniority list in return for the co-operation of the BA CC?

Lucky Strike
26th Aug 2002, 16:07
I have to apologise for my colleague at BA CitiExpress tinytim (stature or manhood?).

His posts on our company forum are as offensive mis-informed as the ones on this thread.

Most of us at BACX dont give a toss who flys what as long as we get paid on time and we don't get 'managed' out of business by the Waterside lot.

If tinytim wants to fly BA's toys then he should go through the selection procedure like the rest of you lot did. I never applied because I couldn't be bothered filling in the application form and frankly didn't understand half the questions anyway. Perhaps the the form was the first aptitude test.

Regarding scope; if all company councils had a rigid scope agreements like the BA CC apparently does then I guess Gatwick would not be littered with foreign registered 767's painted in Excel colours and the airways wouldn't be occupied by Canadian Skyservice A320's under Kestrel callsigns. Excel and My Travel would be forced to use UK crews and aircraft and tinytim could get a job with either of them and poison their company forums instead of ours and this one.

26th Aug 2002, 16:33
Agree wholeheartedly. BALPA wouldn't be such a waste of time if they actually represented BRITISH pilots instead of justBA pilots. mytravel are using American,canadian crews and are using foreign(Belgian) contract pilots, whom they are considering keeping on permenently rather than hire UK guys and girls. It's about time BALPA stood up for our industry as a whole and not just for one section.

Notso Fantastic
26th Aug 2002, 16:39
That's quite a slur on BALPA that I don't think is justified. BALPA has struggled in a very difficult environment (UK aviation) to represent all pilots interests in the best way it can. At the end of the day, BALPA is just an Association of pilots all doing what they can for their respective Company Councils in a very hostile anti-union environment with very powerful anti-union legislation. There's not a lot else working for us!

Batman, thank you for the background. Sounds like the young gentleman has problems & likes his 'sauce' too much! Perhaps when he wakes up he may start deleting!

Lou Scannon
26th Aug 2002, 16:52
This all sounds like that bloke who "fiddled" while Rome burned.
Get real chaps, the losses are mounting the cheapskate operators are booming and all you can talk about is relative seniority.

If BA long haul folds, are you seriously suggesting that the BA "main line"pilots should have a claim to a job with GB Air?

26th Aug 2002, 17:16
You betcha! It's always been seen as a nice little job to 'unwind' in on retirement from BA - I get the feeling that it's a case of 'that looks anice job, I'll have some of that!'. BA CC don't seem to be making such a noise about wanting to go to Kyrgystan, Beirut and Addis Abbaba.

26th Aug 2002, 18:45
I doubt that GB pilots would want to get involved in combining with BA pilots. They (GB)presently work for a company that is profitable and is sensibly managed by its owners. The franchise lasts for another 6 years, and then GB are free to work independently, or sign up with another airline(easyjet?airfrance?whatever).
Why get more closely involved with a once proud airline that is creaking with bad luck(sep11), militancy and mismanagement. BA has debts of 5.9bn and two-thirds of its income is being used just to pay the interest bills. BA can't afford to keep their present route structure on that kind of financial base - it has to shrink and that means less pilots. GB pilots would insist on being equals on a merged list to avoid being at the bottom of a shrinking combined business. Pruners all know that BA BALPA would not agree, because they wouldn't understand the significance of GB bringing a profitable and independent operation to the party.
The final point, of course, is that the owners of the airline call the tune at GB - not the workforce.

Milly Bar
26th Aug 2002, 18:57
It's funny I thought SCOPE was all about

British Airways Pilots wanting to fly any aircraft painted in British Airways Colours operating British Airways Services

be it Longhaul, Shorthaul, Passenger, or Cargo.


26th Aug 2002, 22:40
SCOPE is an abberation to the modern-day world. Regardless of how you apportion overheads or anything else, I would challenge anyone to categorically state that BA's costbase is lower than that of GB or other franchises on a like-for-like basis.

There are some routes within BA which are absolute basket-cases and certainly were (not so long ago) losing so much money that they had no right to be in existence. Take Gatwick-Bilbao, for instance. Scope clauses dictate that there is no problem with BA dumping that poorly-performing route, but there is a problem with GB Airways taking it over if GB believes that it can make a profit on it. The provisions of scope mean that BA would prefer to dump a route and let a non-BA competitor take it over and make a profit on it rather than allowing a company close to home to do so, thereby still contributing franchise fees and connecting traffic revenues to BA coffers and maintaining a BA presence on the route.

BA and its unions are neither tackling the inherent problem of BA's costbase which means that it cannot make money on routes where others can; and its fall-back option is to yield routes to its competitors to make a profit out of it due to scope. How can this be in the interests of anyone other than BA's competitors?

And before anyone harps on at me about BA's costbase, just look at the industrial agreements over and above CAP371 within which BA crews (both flight and cabin) work. That, coupled to the bid system, has to cost money which is part of the problem.

Hand Solo
26th Aug 2002, 23:12
Oh, where to start?

And before anyone harps on at me about BA's costbase, just look at the industrial agreements over and above CAP371 within which BA crews (both flight and cabin) work. That, coupled to the bid system, has to cost money which is part of the problem

CAP371 says no more than 900 hours per year. Paul Douglas (Very Senior BA Flight Ops manager) quoted in The Times this week as saying that even with no industrial agreements they couldn't get more than about 720 hours per year out of short haul LHR pilots. Thats what working at a busy airport means. Have you ever worked out of LHR? I clocked 650+ hours last year in a quietish regional airport doing short sectors, I'd easily make 720 given a bigger proportion of long sectors. And what do you say to the long haul guys who reach 900 hours after 10 months?

Fiftyfour - BA is undoubtedly mismanaged, but how succesful do you think GB would be without access to the BA brand? I've heard a thousand times that you pay a franchise fee for it, but BA mainline are operating with one hand tied behind their back because of the cost of Waterside. You get a damn good deal out of that franchise fee and I suspect it doesn't even come near to a proportionate cost of keeping the BA bureacracy running

HolyMoley - the naff destinations haven't escaped our attention. I'd remind you that Tehran, Baku and Almaty were all once BA destinations, and Almaty was a very popular trip.

Lou Scannon - if BA long haul folds then so does BA and the brand, which puts GB in big trouble as well (not to mention BMed, Maersk UK and BACE)

Mialo - Its the BA BALPA CC thats turning the screw on BA on the scope issue. If you want to be rid of Skyservice then ask yourself what the Airtours CC are doing to stop it.

Miss Inform-

The franchisees do not cherry-pick....
They look at what is being offered to them by BA, these being the routes that BA no longer consider viable. They then make a decision to take the route on, or not, based on it's commercial potential to the franchisee.

Sounds like a good definition of cherry picking to me.

You don't seriously believe that the function of a franchise is to pep-up an ailing route for BA & then hand it back to them, do you
No. The function of a franchise is to develop routes which cannot be viably served by the major airline using smaller aircraft. When or if the route can sustain a larger aircraft operated by the major the route returns to them. A franchise should not operate identical or even larger equipment to the major.
I dont need a comparison of pay scales, Norman Stanley Fletcher made it quite clear what he earns as a GB FO on another thread, which is more than most of my peers, both DEP and CEP.

Tinytim - against my better judgement I'll rise to your pathetic goading. If the market doesn't want our product any more (high fare, high quality, reliable, frequent service on comfortable aircraft), then where does that leave you (high fare, low quality, grossly unreliable (leading to) infrequent service on tiny uncomfortable cigar tubes)?

26th Aug 2002, 23:31

Once again you have struck the nail fully home.

Tiny Tim: I've flown on those things against my will and I can't for the life of me understand how any business user faced with the choice of a BA (full-fare) franchise using them versus a full-fare proper airliner (eg MID) would ever plump for the cigar tube.


I've also in the recent past made arrangements NOT to position on the 'regional' jet - I'd rather take the train.

Reality Checks
27th Aug 2002, 06:33
Well done everyone!

Over the past few years BALPA as a whole has overseen the general decline of our T & Cs and standing within the industry. The industry is recovering fast after September 11th and the budget airlines are booming. There are plenty of passengers who want to fly with airlines like BA, for many very valid reasons. There is an upcoming shortage of experienced pilots. In short we should be in a very strong bargaining position.

So what do we as a collective workforce do? Do we get together to increase our effectiveness and present a united front? Nowe bicker like children and call each other names. BRILLIANT.

The airline managers must be laughing all the way to the bank.

BALPA is the only hope for the pilot workforce. The fees demanded from pilots are high and BALPA must start giving us value for money.

27th Aug 2002, 08:52
Remember the title of the thread everyone? GB pilots to join BA?

It makes good commercial sense to pool a body of 737 pilots and Airbus pilots into the same group to save on rostering issues and training costs etc. All I hope for is that our BALPA representatives incorporate Bid Line into the joint agreement and avoid divisive aspects such as single base agreements. Let us work together.

27th Aug 2002, 10:00
I agree wholeheartedly with you re: Airtours C.C. However I am
very disapointed that BALPA the "union" do not make this more of an issue with airline management, the CAA and the UK Govt. Individual councils need the weight of the Union behind them and I am not sure they get it, except BA. I may be wrong but thats my opinion.

27th Aug 2002, 10:15
If that Scouse Rat, Jet A1 comes anywhere near my company the safety implications will be disastrous, I don't mind buying the big issue off of you boys every now with a bit of spare change to help you out but I see no reason why we should give you the company silver!!

Seriously though, I would look forward to a few Malaga, Moroccan lay over days.

27th Aug 2002, 12:14
My interest in this thread is because I rate GB as a company very much and thinking of applying to them when recruiting pilots again. From their accounts and performance I see a well run Company with good housekeeping. However, as a relative newcomer to this side of the aviation business I didn't realise that CC was short for Company Council

As a way to lighten up this thread its far more interesting if you follow my mistake and read "Cabin Crew" for CC. :confused:

PS BAs long financial mismanagement which I with other businesses watched with interest and sadness for many years, will take a lot of unravelling and time to get right. I wish Rod all the luck. He needs it.

Miss Inform
27th Aug 2002, 13:21
Hand Solo,

You wrote:-

"The function of a franchise is to develop routes which cannot be viably served by the major airline using smaller aircraft. When or if the route can sustain a larger aircraft operated by the major the route returns to them. A franchise should not operate identical or even larger equipment to the major."

Well, clearly GB are not playing by your rules - they have been operating B737-300/400 & A320/321 on the same routes as BA before them, who were using pretty much identical equipment!

Also, as far as I am aware, GB have not returned even 1 such route to BA in all the time that they have held a franchise, despite achieving considerable success on many of those routes.

How do those cheeky chappies get away with it???

Norman Stanley Fletcher
27th Aug 2002, 18:52
As a GB pilot who is delighted to work for them, I have to admit to feeling slightly unnerved by 'Big Brother' in the form of the BA Company Council breathing down our neck.

The apparent paranoia of the BA CC in identifying GB (among others) as 'the enemy within', without recognising that the real battle lies with the Low Cost Airlines at Gatwick has a familiar ring to it. This posturing is very reminiscing of Stalin purging all his key army staff immediately before facing the German onslaught, and discovering the very people he needed to fight for him had all been killed by his own hand. We could, and indeed wish to be, rock solid allies to BA in what is turning out to be a very hostile world. Why on earth do you want to attack us and not easyJet or Ryanair? That is where the real battle lies - not with us. You need every friend you can get right now, and friends come in many guises.

It is unrealistic to expect GB to shoulder some of BA's self-induced costs at Waterworld. GB is a very efficient airline who is sharing the burden of the fight in head-to-head conflict with easyJet which BA just cannot do at the moment. A number of these cheap deals that BA are offering right now are because we are operating a lean, mean operation that can support them.

Even the most ambitious GB management type wants the comany to grow to 19 Airbuses. They will directly support BA and make money on routes that you can never make work. If you carry on the way you are going, you will alienate your franchises and they will end up getting franchise deals with other companies who will see them for the value they offer.

As a last thought, the plans that are being agreed between the GB and BA CCs are just that - plans by some union mates in a smoke-filled room over beer and sandwiches. I note that buried deep within the newsletter we were sent by the GB CC on the subject was a sentence mentioning they had neglected to contact Mr Gaggero (GB's owner) to discuss the wholesale donation of all his pilots to BA. I imagine the man himself might not be best pleased at such an omission! Similarly the BA CC have not got the slightest agreement from their management on the subject. Perhaps all this talk is a bit previous.

Therefore, to all you blokes at BA - we really are on your side, and I suggest you need all the friends you can get right now

Hot Wings
27th Aug 2002, 19:06
I've heard all of this before - from CFE pilots. Not surprisingly though, once they got on to the BA seniority list they couldn't stop themselves from bidding on to the 744 or 777!

The Scarlet Pimpernel
27th Aug 2002, 21:33
So, Hot Wings, what would you rather them do.....sit down then roll over?

I am just flabbergasted at the misinformation and prejudice being displayed here. I don't think GB is biting the hand that feeds it, rather ensuring that the reputation of the national carrier is in some small way enhanced by offering as good a service as possible at a reasonable cost to the punter. So why are some (note the some) elements within mainline hell bent at wanting the penny and the bun (and the Bakery while we're at it)? If you want to fly GB routes, fly for GB......!

27th Aug 2002, 22:45
Yes, but one doesn't exactly have a lot of options if some smart alec at BA decides to move the fleet on which one operates out of your base airport. What exactly were the CFE pilots supposed to do - obediently follow the RJs to MAN & BHX?

Hand Solo
And you believe Paul Douglas?

crusin level
28th Aug 2002, 07:46
Quick question for those in the know???

How does BA vet the standard of pilot when they introduce them onto the BA seneority list ?

Surely BA must be worried about any real or perceived dilution of standards to their much admired pilot standards.

Does/should BA only employ certain pilots who can "make the grade"?

Would TinyTim make the grade for example?

I know my answer!!!

Rider of the Purple Sage
28th Aug 2002, 10:14
:rolleyes: For heavens sake, what do you mean????
I am a turboprop base trainer on the BACX turboprop fleet. I have had direct contact and involvement in training some of your so called people over the last six months or so. Shall we discuss the ones who had to be RTB'd for further training, the ones who needed to do extra training, the ones who failed the technical exams, the one's who STILL can't land an aircraft consistently????? Yes it's a bit different actually FLYING as opposed to the systems operation you practise back at BA mainline.
Pass the recruitment system, (Roars of hysterical, lego-based laughter!!!!) All you need is a contact, or relative in the system. I passed without, mind you, but decided to ignore the call when it came, having got to know the Airline Industry a little better by then.

Having been involved in training your cadets and DEPs, I have all the names, little man. Believe me, it is a well known fact that our standards have been diluted by the introduction of so-called mainline expertise.

The complex issues you mention??? Don't make me laugh! You are referring to the selfish egotistical attitude of mainline, who are unable to see anything except the preservation of their own Ts and Cs as they were relevant to a previous, profitable age. You are completely insensitive to any discussion of a subject which may force you to admit that BA mainline is no longer the Worlds Fave (if indeed it ever was outside the Saatchi offices) and no longer profitable, and hence logically that something will have to change - but it won't be you, my cuddly litle dinosaur, will it. Remember Tunguska, it is approaching again!

I grant you that your management are difficult to define as such, given that they have managed to ruin the profitability of three Regionals who used to make a lot of money, and now, they/you are starting in on the Franchisees.
You and your management deserve each other, the tragedy is that you are both dragging so many of us, - (who never wanted anything to do with you anyway!) - down with you with your spiteful, ignorant, short-sighted approach.

Go to hell, you and the horse you rode in on!

Tinytim can at least fly an aeroplane, which is more than you can say for most of the BA people we have had to adopt.


Notso Fantastic
28th Aug 2002, 10:22
Well THAT raised the temperature a little bit didn't it? Might I suggest we cool down un peu? And if we HAVE to discuss it on an open forum rather than private, stick to the point and be nice bunnies to each other, not like the instigator of this thread and the supporter (I am still suspicious they are not two separate people) set the scene. I really don't think there is any further point discussing in public, certainly not resorting to open abuse.

Hot Wings
28th Aug 2002, 10:26
Crusin Level - there is the odd example of someone who fails BA's training and goes to work for another airline only to end up back at BA a few years later. Thats just the nature of the beast. Anyway, its easy to fail someone on a check - we all have our breaking point!

As far as failing the selection is concerned, I have met a couple of interviewers/ selectors with very big anti-DEP, anti-RAF, anti-anything but Hamble chips on their shoulders. As with any company there are some people that should have been hired and a few odd-balls that slip through the net.

With regards to the bidding, etc... of the ex-CFE pilots is concerned, I just wish that people would put their money where their mouth is. Why not just bid for 737s at LGW or follow the RJ? Many of us remember Andy Walker's anti-BA tirade in the BALPA news letter. He even went as far as to slag off our staff canteens, yet right now he's probably enjoying the fine cuisine rather than eating at Harry's keebab van around the corner. And he probably bid for Concorde!

28th Aug 2002, 10:31
i also agree it was a little harsh!! but the reality is, there are quite a few that had failed BA interviews and/or sims while at CFE and then presto, were BA pilots due to company merges. the same is with GB, there are a LARGE number that have failed BA selection but could also be joining through back door antics. remember, it is white collar management that are opening the door not tech operations!

Spearing Britney
28th Aug 2002, 10:53
If BigBrutha shaved off the handlebar moustache then looking down his nose at the rest of the world would be easier. ;)
Taking off the white gloves might give him more of a feel for the real world too...

Remember not everyone BA offers a job to takes it, and not all BA pilots are skygods. Other carriers have high standards too, maybe even higher than BA's - imagine that:eek:

Anyway, since its market value is higher why doesnt GB buy BA and make it as efficient as it is?

crusin level
28th Aug 2002, 11:28
Rider of the purple sage- wow!- calm down!

You shouldnt be worried because from my limited knowledge of the BA seniority system youll never be senior enough to move off the turboprop!
You adopt a strange attitude for a base trainer!

28th Aug 2002, 13:26
EXCELLENT posting BigBrutha!

I was just sharpening up my stick to give you BA boys another good prodding ....but you elevated this debate onto a higher intellectual level...way beyond me!

Face it guys..... you belong to a byegone era. You've had your day. No one loves you anymore but yourselves so stop acting like a geriatric prima donna who thinks that her adoring fans still owe her a living long after her looks and voice have gone!

Keep the personal abuse and insults coming..... if it makes you feel better!

Notso Fantastic
28th Aug 2002, 14:13
I think this thread has degenerated into "I wouldn't take a job with BA if you offered it with a bargepole blah blah" (or words to that effect). I think discussion on this topic is counterproductive! May I suggest no more AGAIN!

28th Aug 2002, 15:29
So what is the answer, then? Do the BA pilots and/or management want to see the end of franchise pilots and why? Do they want an end to franchise flying on nice comfortable jets only or all the way down to the Islander and Twin Otter? If there is a cut-off, what's the logic behind that? Do they genuinely think that we'd all love to fly for BA and the only reason we don't is because we 'failed' the selection procedure? Do they realise how many good pilots were unsuccessful on several occasions before getting in? Do they know of the sh!te pilots who have joined - I know of one who joined just as he was sacked from his previous job (a franchise) for incompetence - and he's now a trainer!:confused:

Miss Inform
28th Aug 2002, 17:31

You clearly have no idea of the training standards within the franchisees.

GB began with with virtually all senior management positions filled by people who were seconded from BA, or recently retired from BA.

From Day 1, GB have used BA SOP's, manuals & training standards, down to identical checks in the simulator.

Line operations are regularly audited by the appropriate BA department, receiving high levels of praise.

GB is a small, efficient company that does not have the resources to waste putting unsuitable people through courses, unlike the BA "sausage factory."

If GB's standards are as low as you suggest, what does that say about BA's?

In any case, this is not about GB pilots wanting to be BA pilots, it is about GB as a company deciding it's own future.

Incidentally, I think you have just alienated your 15,000 cabin crew - do BA include CRM courses in all that fine training?

Taxi Dancer
28th Aug 2002, 18:32
:eek: from a CitiExpress perspective, the sheer arrogance and idiocy of BA is a bit difficult to take. Fortunately we have a CC who sees through them, as do GB, and I suggest we stick together, and refuse to accept their dictatorial short sighted selfish stupidity. Dinosaurs - I like that!

Eventually, their Atlantic Baron attitude will probably split the old BOAC thing off, and we can then all clean up actually making money in Europe and the Regions. Will be interesting to watch the BACC scramble for seniority then. Wow, be interesting also to turn them down for Regional jet jobs, lol.

Bunch of prats!!!:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Nigel Nearly
28th Aug 2002, 18:42
:mad: I've seen the proposed scope, and it is a one way stitchup.
Us at BACE will be taken to the cleaners; don't think it will happen without a fight.

Don't know why I'm even writing this, I've joined the future, and it is coloured ORANGE!;)

B clam
28th Aug 2002, 19:17
It gets so frustrating when any thread concerning BA degenerates into a slanging match (both corners as bad as each other). To put the record straight about differing skill levels/ability, BA pilots are generally no better nor worse than any other UK airline's pilots.

I now work for BA after flying for a major (and one of the most respected) charter airlines. I am also ex-RAF and QFI so I should have an idea!

Let's keep to the original thread and discuss the various implications from both sides and cut out the pettiness.

Rider of the Purple Sage
28th Aug 2002, 21:02
Well said Bclam.

I do not however apologise for my remarks, as they address the all too common attitude of frequently inept BA pilots incapable of any rational self-analysis. I do however accept that type of remark is unhelpful, and I would not wish to be thought of as such, however it is difficult not to point out drivel wherever one encounters it!

I was ex-Air Force too, not a QFI, but a QWI and TWI, which I would not have mentioned before you, but which I agree with you gives one a certain platform to judge relative ability from.

BACEX is a good Company, it was significantly better run before the advent of BA.

28th Aug 2002, 21:51
nearly nigel...how apt your handle..

if you think that SCOPE will disadvantage you,you are quite frankly, deluding yourself.
Perhaps you want to spend the rest of your days flying E-145 out of manchester-there is nothing wrong with that-but given the chance to access mainline BA, and all it has to offer,I know what I would choose.and your getting it through the back door.
but then again,you say you've turned orange.you can't quite make up your mind can you!

28th Aug 2002, 21:57
Now who would've thought it? You of all people, Mr Purple Sage, being an ex-RAF QWI/TWI in posession of "a certain platform to judge relative ability from".

What has the RAF got to do with anything?

You are a civilian pilot now and like any good ex-forces pilot you should know that the two roles are mutually exclusive apart from the laws of aerodynamics and lack of reheat (Concorde excluded).

What on earth was your first post about?

We are, with the occasionally divergent posting, trying to prove that the pilots of GB Airways and British Airways are doing the same job to the same S.O.P. We are being paid the same salary and on the whole, work as hard as each other, albeit on different rostering systems. We fly the same aircraft and use the same simulators. There is cost saving written all OVER this. Forget the Waterside brigade. Forget the C/C (Cabin Crew). GB and BA working 'togevver'?

Please accept that without such solidarity from our CC's we will played off against each other quicker than you, MR BASE TRAINING ex-QWI, can bid for a LHR command.

Not all Cadet entry pilots are Officer material I agree, but not all ex-QWI's are Base trainer material, are they?

Off to shine my shoes, in case I run into you.

Hand Solo
29th Aug 2002, 00:43
The scope deal is not intended to force GB to be absorbed into BA, and this debate is not about who's the better pilots or whose Dad is bigger. The deal is to set up access to GB work for BA pilots and vice versa. NSF is correct that GB represent a commercial advantage for BA, the problem is that BA management are using them to create a threat to BA pilots. GB makes money because it is a lean operation, BA lose money because they have too many hangers-on. Neither companys fortune is determined to any significant extent by flight crew pay rates. The problem is that BA wish to palm off marginal routes (which are marginal through no fault of the flight crew) to GB in order to create revenue. A sensible idea from a managers point of view, but effectively outsourcing BA pilots work. GB may wish to grow to 19 Airbusses, but how many of those routes will come from BA, and how many BA flight crew jobs does that represent?

The ideal solution would be to gradually eliminate most of Waterside and replace it with GBs structure, but the managers will never buy that. So, the scope deal aims to ensure that if we need to use the lower overheads of a franchise operation to make a route profitable then it can be done without the loss of BA pilot jobs, perhaps through some sort of combined workforce. What I think is certain is that GB crews would retain the ability to stay on their aircraft, fly their routes, possibly benefit from a pay rise (if mainline rates are higher) and have access (if they wanted it) to opportunities on other BA fleets. BA pilots get the opportunity to continue to fly routes that were viable before the Waterworld wasters ruined them.

BTW Miss Inform your last but one post made my point exactly. GB are not operating by the 'rules' of franchising, which is precisely why the scope issue has risen to the fore.

29th Aug 2002, 08:05
I for one have no wish to join a bankrupt airline at the arse end
of the seniority list with or without the selection procedure.
The owner of GB should contact his pal SIR COLIN and thrash out a deal with the union.
I know what's side my breads buttered.

29th Aug 2002, 08:28
Mr Hand Solo
So if, for instance I were an FO at GB looking at a command within the next year, by joining this BA link up I would have a possible pay rise and access to all that mainline has to offer (from the bottom of the seniority list - what would that be?). In return I would see an extra x years in the RHS, have another [email protected] money-purchase pension and be as happy as the rest of you. What's my incentive, exactly?? Or doesn't it matter?

climbs like a dog
29th Aug 2002, 09:56
This would appear to make the imposition of scope an even bigger stitch up for BACX than before.

Scope was designed to to keep us regional pondlife from flying anything that we are obviously not capable of doing, such as flying anything over 70 seats (which some of us who've had extensive training do anyway - only the brightest mind you :o - on 146's).

Spot the anomoly. BA has several franchises who fly the same types as BA such as GB. Ahhhhh. So what to do? I know. Let's incorporate them into mainline and try and protect our work.

OK, from a BACX perspective let's run over some old ground. As BACX we are now a BA subsidiary not a franchise. We fly on routes (in the main) that BA mainline can't turn a profit on using the equipment it flies with the attendant BA overheads. Ours are lower. Also we fly aircraft which are cheaper to run (in the main). TP's and the Bendy jet, which horrendous as it may be to fly in, keeps a route open for said pax to fly on. We also now pick up work on RJ's (we already operate 146's) and the BAR routes which displaces those mainline pilots flying the heavier metal already. Now we have BA mainline pilots who don't wish to move and they are being given a secondment agreement where they are paid BACX rates and allowances plus a top up to make up for pay and allowances being left behind in BA. Now it'd be interesting to see what percentage of a BACX jet captain's salary that would be extra per annum. If it were any less than 15% I'd be suprised.

Mainline pilots are trying to have their cake and eat it. It isn't our fault that we don't carry, in the regions, the cost of waterside. The BA mainline posters accuse the franchises of cherry picking. Well from my perspective (not a franchise pilot and not one of the BA family if previous posts are to be judged) the biggest cherry pickers are the BA pilots themselves- routes, types the lot.

I joined a regional airline for the lifestyle. Not for me the glamour of international air travel. I'm here because I like the base and the flying. You can poke the shiny BA long or short haul where it's brown and smelly.


29th Aug 2002, 11:52
Climbs Like A Dog.........

I can tell you that the amount extra per month that a seconded BA Mainline captain on the RJ will be paid is no less than 1000 (ONE THOUSAND POUNDS) per month plus of course retaining all his BA mainline benefits and a preferential bid (allegedly) with his final salary scheme, first class travel etc.....

How do I know this?

I shared a taxi with such a secondee who was crowing with delight that he'd be better off than he was before and laughing all the way to the bank.

Need I say any more?

Miss Inform
29th Aug 2002, 12:24
A point, subtly made in recent posts, is that many pilots are quite happy with life outside of BA, however hard this may be for some to believe! Not everybody thinks that it is a great favour to be forced into the BA fold.

In fact, it would seem that many non-BA pilots see any such link-up as ultimately detrimental to their careers & lifestyles.

In an attempt to win over the "wobblers" at GB, I propose that the GB pilots join at the TOP of the BA seniority list, or the BA pilots join at the BOTTOM of the GB list!

29th Aug 2002, 12:38

That should lead to an intriguing Flight Deck Relationship; I would not be too happy with that at all.
Will the Nigels' vast ability include operating from the RHS I wonder? Or, does that mean that standby call outs and two Captains rostered together will not only show a BACX Captain always in the RHS as well as losing out on 1000 smackers per month?

I have to congratulate Tinytim, Climbs like a woofer and RPS etc.
The most accurate point made on this thread is the reference to the BA guys being the worst offenders at the cherrypicking. I think the management may well find (as they are already finding with the BAR cabin crew, god love them), that mixing two sets of people on such different Ts and Cs is not a very efficient idea.

Mis Inform, absolutely. It has long been interesting to note that most BA pilots just cannot believe there are a lot of us who have never wanted to be in BA, and don't like it now we're here. It's easy to say "well leave", but why should I do that and lose my pension rights?

Answers on a small postcard please. to the Manchester base.

29th Aug 2002, 13:32
B Clam/Rider

Well hooey hoo, you are ex-RAF! What on earth has that to do with being so all wonderful as to judge civilian airlines???? Sounds like you are the typical prats BA love to have! You love yourselves don't you?

All the BA retirees who work for GB now all comment about the exceptional standards within GB. Our training standards are second to none and the airline was launched with a BA Pilot at the helm. Since then it has grown from strength to strength.

Who wants to be involved with BA? Crappy pay, pension, low morale etc. You are not the be all and end all of aviation as you so arrogantly display.

Passengers hate flying with you, and as for the so called recently published "117" complaints that BA allegedly received about their attrocious service services last year, I say that is a load of B****cks! Get real, passengers complain every day, dozens of times a day. Multiply that by 100!

BA staff are in tears every day having to put up with cr**p management and no resources to carry out their tasks. Nearly all are looking for jobs elsewhere.

So there you go all you prima donas. Leave GB alone. Anything you have touched in the past has turned to a can of worms. We make money and are good at it. Passengers love flying with us and our staff are content.

We are quite happy at GB thank you very much, so leave orff!

Hand Solo
29th Aug 2002, 14:22
HoleyMoley - it depends where your command is coming from. If its a command created by retirement/natural wastage within GB then I would think you would still get it under the terms of the scope deal, and rightly so. If you anticipate a command based on new aircraft deliveries, aircraft which are intended to be utilised on new ex-BA routes, then thats a different question because without a scope deal to give you access to these routes you won't be getting them, ergo no requirement for the new aircraft. I'd still say having access to a BA seniority number is a bonus, even if you stay in exclusively within GB operations. After all, who's to say that you won't fancy a change in a x years time? Nobodys going to force you to join a mainline fleet, but if the options available it doesn't hurt you to keep it open. Likewise if the option of mainline pay is available and it turns out to be better than GBs nobody will force you to take the pay rise.

Climbs like a dog - you accuse BA pilots of being cherry pickers. Well rightly so, after all it is our work. BA wanted rid of the RJ from Gatwick and wanted mainline pilots out of the regions. As a professional body we disagree and had the balls to stand up to our management. The price of our compliance with BA is a pay neutral deal for BA pilots who wish to stay in the regions. If BA think that price is too high, they can always walk away and keep the RJs at Gatwick. They have chosen not to do it, so obviously they think the deal is worth it. Your problem is? You seem to revel in the fact that you will be paid less than a BA captain for flying the same aircraft. That could only happen in Britain! Its worth remembering that there is always someone willing to do it cheaper, and they could just as easily give your new RJs away to someone else. You say you joined a regional airline because you like the base and the flying. Did it ever occur to you that there most BAR pilots are in the regions for the exact same reason?

29th Aug 2002, 15:10
Many, like memphisbelle, seem quite happy at GB, and long may that remain the case. If they can prosper in their own right then so be it and anyone would wish them well.

The problem is that they are doing this prospering in the guise of BA. The average passenger thinks that they are flying with BA.
BA mismanagement seem hell bent on handing out the flying to franchises, subsiduaries and wet leases. Any group seeing their work handed elsewhere are inevitably going to object.

If GB can thrive operating as GB, then no one can complain, but if they thrive by appearing to be BA and at the expense of those working at BA, then they should'nt be surprised to get lots of negative comment and resentment.

29th Aug 2002, 15:20
It is quite probable, that if BA Balpa and the Scope plan is pressed too far, then GB (when the franchise expires) will decline to renew it (assuming BA does indeed offer a renewal). The present situation seems to be that every new route that GB would like to start gets refused by BA, because Balpa is leaning on BA management with scope threats.
BA will then find themselves with twenty routes being run by a new competitor called GB Airways in alliance with possibly another major airline. There will then be lots of cockpit jobs for BA pilots to fly B737/A320 on those routes, if BA has the resources to finance a dozen extra aircraft. The problem is that it has already been proved that BA cannot make money on these routes by themselves. It would be the road to further disress within BA mainline - twenty new loss-making routes, just to keep the pilots happy flying 'their own' routes in BA colours. They won't even have the slots, because the slots used are currently GB slots, won fair and square and built up over time. Remember that GB goes back to 1931, in its original form, and to 1989 in its present form at LGW.
So, for the militant pilots at BA, I suggest you think through your plan. Will it really provide you with more aircraft to fly, or are you going to cause even more finacial stress to BA, and ultimately destroy your own prospects.
GB may be small fry compared to big BA, but it is not so small (or weak) that it is going to go away.
The best plan for BA pilots would be to get on with making their own outfit successful, and leave their friends in GB alone.

Miss Inform
29th Aug 2002, 15:38
Fiftyfour - well said!

I would go even further & suggest that this could lead to an unprecedented level of co-operation between the GB pilots & managers in an attempt to work around the issue.

I, for one, would be more than happy to see GB prosper in it's right, without having to go begging, cap in hand, to the BA CC.

Maybe it's time for GB to wash their hands of the whole, sorry mess?

29th Aug 2002, 16:45

You are probably aware that the first announcement made on board our aircraft makes it quite clear that the flight is operated by GB Airways, so don't bleat that we prosper in the guise of BA! It is also quite clear on the timetables (that have now disappeared due to BA cost-cutiing!) that we operate the flights we do.

If anything, it is embarassing having anything to do with BA given the complete shambles of inadequate service during the last few weeks with no gate staff, tug crews etc., and still the circus goes on.

I am sure that you are also aware that we started up your Glasgow/Edinburgh routes out of Gatwick for a year, made them profitable and then handed them back to you on a plate! What do you do?, you start making such a loss on the routes that you now have puddle jumper RJ's doing the route!

You lot are just greedy. You just want it all. How the mighty have fallen. Don't begrudge BA giving us routes that are making heavy losses and we turn them into profit. What would you rather BA do, hand the routes to easyJet/Ryanair? At least BA have a strong presence in these regions that we operate to and it costs them nothing! We pay for it. If the situation were reversed and our routes also suffered losses, what would be the response to us asking for the cost of the Franchise to be reduced? I'm sure you know the answer to that!

Let's get one thing clear, we do not get handed routes from BA that are making profits, we get loss making routes and turn them into profitable ones.

You suggest we are spongers, I say get a life and wind your neck in.

Mike Mercury
29th Aug 2002, 16:48
:) It makes such a change to read a sensible post. With ref the whole GB/BACE deal, it seems a pity that there is so much dissension between fellow professionals.
It is always a predictable flareup when one's skills are disparaged, and it is highly regrettable that it is usually a BA pilot who starts the same old ball rolling.

So, why not be constructive, and work together. Consider the following:

1. It is entirely understandable, and even praiseworthy, that BA do not want to lose work, or see their jobs farmed out to leaner and more profitable wholly owned subsidiaries or Franchisees.

2. It is also highly understandable that BA cannot, under any circumstances, make a profit on some of their routes. (Reasons are probably Waterside based overmanning and incompetence, rather than any misplaced notion of over-paid pilots.)

3. If BA pilots insist on operating the loss leading routes at their own high D.O.C. level, then BA is doomed.


1. BACEX and GB etc etc are perfectly placed to make a good return on these same routes. (Whilst we would always hope for a payrise at yearend, most of us are not actually unhappy with the current pay scales, certainly not that we see joining BA as a 'must have' option)

2. BA need pilots. The training organisations of both airlines are perfectly suited to deliver a well trained product, and there is no rational reason I can think of why BA mainline recruitment should not come through the Regions/Franchises. The SOPs will end up being identical, where they are not so already. The Regions/Franchises will arguably get a higher quality of recruit, as younger guys in particular will welcome the career progression available.

3. There is no reason, other than mainline intransigence, why there should not be a two, or even three tier pay scale. One could almost, though I hate the terminology, be considered to be working one's apprenticeship, with no obligation to take it up if one found life in the regions acceptable on a regional rate.

It is regrettable to read Hand Solo, and his militant talk of OUR aircraft and routes. It smacks of far too militant an attitude. They are not yours mate, they belong to the shareholders unfortunately, and given your current shareprice, one can see what THEY think of you. As ever, the only logical, and sensible route is via co-operation, but BA are acting like ......Luddites I think someone said. That's going a bit far, but one can see the "No Surrender" placards waving already. At the end of the day, the customer is king. He would rather fly an Embraer on a route at a reasonable price, than an Airbus at a ridiculous one - whatever the reason for such pricing. So why oh why do we not consolidate, and act together. It is not coincidence that it is always BA who who act aggressively trying to defend their position of ten years ago, rather than trying to innovate. It would be very easy to provide a position which disadvantaged no-one, but enabled the whole system to put the appropriate aircraft on the appropriate route at the appropriate cost - this is not rocket science, and operated by people from one Company, but at diffeent pay rates. Lets face it, there are not very many jobs I can think of which pay the same rate in the Northern Midlands as the same job collects in a London catchment area. Why should the Airline business be any different.

Unfortunately, again to paraphrase an earlier post, BA pilots are behaving in a manner which has been shown historically to lead to the eventual collapse of their Company and/or localised Industry. If you insist on turning lower cost Regional and Franchisees into a BA clone, or even part of BA on the same cost base, then you will have just guaranteed the rise and rise of Stelios and similar. Unfortunately, as ever, when CCs start assuming postures of attack and defence, they are very difficult to retreat from.

Gentlemen, the ball is in your court.

Hand Solo
29th Aug 2002, 18:32
Militant? Moi? The reference to our aircraft and routes relates specifically to the RJ 100 and the routes from the regions. The routes in question were all operated by BAR, and the aircraft in question are the former CFE, now BA aircraft. If, as you say, the losses made on some of these routes are nothing to do with the cost of the pilots, then why can the pilots not stay on and operate the routes? Why are the ex-CFE guys not permitted to remain on their current (inexpensive) payscales and fly out of the regions if they choose to do so? Why are the current BAR pilots not retrained to fly the RJ100, which is unlikely to be more expensive than training the BACE pilots on it (excluding those 146 rated already)? The answer is because politicking is the key factor in the demise of the regions, not operational efficiency, and that is the reason we are suspiscious. To suggest that BACE will always turn a profit on marginal BA routes is pure fallacy. Do you think BACE are making a profit on the late BHX-BRU service, the one so unreliable they've lost the slot for it?

To address a couple of your points directly:

2) I can think of a very valid reason why the regions/franchises can't be used as a training ground. How happy do you think GB would be if they were paying for FO training only to find them being poached constantly by BA? The regions already get recruits from the standard BA pool, how will offering them x years in the regions/franchises attract a better class of candidate? I thought we'd already established there was no question about the calibre of franchise pilots?

3) We already have a multi tier pay scale, LHR at the top, with lower scales for LGW and the regions, with lower scales still for CEPs. The lower you go, the harder you work and for less money? Sound fair to you? Should I get fewer days off, do more sectors and still earn significantly less than my LHR colleagues, even factoring in London Weighting? What about the regional captains who live in the same street as LHR captains but earn less? Where do you draw the line - when the new starters are working a 6 month probation for free? Multi tier pay scales achieve only one thing and that is to drive pay down. I am amused but not surprised that some people have still not grasped this concept and are keen to exert downward pressure on the pay of those trying to get a foot on the ladder.

To address your final comment, nobody has any desire to turn franchises into bloated clones of Waterside, quite the opposite in fact, but we do expect to protect our job opportunities. Theres no economic reason why giving BA pilots access to franchise/regional flying should damage the company, after all Stelios and Cassini pay comparable rates to most of our crew.

29th Aug 2002, 19:46
What an intractible debate this has become. I have two questions to the GB pilots who have so far contributed to this thread.

If your date of joining was 'merged' into our seniority list, how would you feel about the whole thing? This has happened before (BCAL), and there's nothing to stop it happening again.
If BA S/H was merged with GB under the roof of GB management would you feel as aggrieved?

As for BACX posters, please read the title of this thread.

Mike Mercury
29th Aug 2002, 20:21
Nice one. I can see how the negotiations between BA and BACC are so protracted, because you can both twist meaning and content of expression so cleverly.
1. I would point out that the CFE routes, when operated by CFE were profitable. Now they ain't. Watching this forum over the last couple of years, it was clear that the 'deal' offered to CFE, did in fact, give most, (but not all, Harry) a pay rise. Conclusion, it was the Waterside addition to DOCs which primarily affected profitablity, as I suggested in my previous transmission. However, it is pretty obvious that if BACE started operating the RJs on their current route structure, under the BACE management and cost base, then these routes would instantly return to profit. You can quote politicking and operational efficiency as much as you like, but the figures relating to cost base (not PILOT costs alone) are the ones that are unarguable.

2. The current BAR guys, AS YOU WELL KNOW, are in fact already being retrained to fly the Rj. They will be collecting a massive supplement above and beyond the BACE blokes remuneration who will also fly it - not conducive to either industrial or flight deck harmony.

3. You use the term "poached" and again, instantly shoot yourself in your flying boot. If we truly all were to be one Company, then there would be no 'poaching', rather a progression - for those who wished it - through the Company's structure. If you have been with BA for a significant time as you quote, you must be aware that am initiation through Highland Division offered a far better balanced and experienced pilot profile than the chaps who transferred straight from Prestwick to the Airbus.

4. With reference recruits from the standard BA pool, you also know as well as I, this is currently a one-off due to management inability to plan properly, and is not a policy. Talk to the recruits, half of them have a weird idea they are here forever, and actually, they're correct, until the next change of mind.

5. In terms of the salary scales, and the differentials, there is a basic fact which has nothing to do with the ostensible difficulty of operating one's type. It is that a large aircraft makes a lot money, potentially than a small one, and the operator, to retain its pilots, is in a position to pay more. To suggest that an ATP pilot, or a J41 pilot is less skilled than a 7474 pilot is insulting - however to expect the same remuneration is ridiculous. This basic concept is transferable to the whole industry, and it is the attitude of BA longhaul with their route cherrypicking, and allowance structure which distorts things. If one were to define an allowance, obviously it is a compensation for missing something, be it a meal, a tea break, having to do a non-standard duty, like watching a fuel gauge during refueling etc. It would be most interesting to ask ANYONE, in any part of the airline industry, whether they actually use their allowances, or expect to turn a profit on them. As you well know, the main difference in earning potential between BA fleets is on sector length. OK, so thats a done deal, but lets not pursue the idiocy.

6. Whether you like it or not, this is a market economy. Plenty of pilots = surplus capacity = lowering of wages. Fortunately, the reverse is true, but not right now. Ignoring a basic law of economics is likely to hand a lot more routes than you like to think about both to GB and to us, it's pretty clear. Market forces dear boy, market forces. Yes, you can declaim stridently about strikes, and bringing the Company down - but........I wonder how many potential strikers and mortgage payers there REALLY are out there? You won't half do a lot for BACE and GB expansion if you go down that road!

7. And finally, protecting your job opportunities? Ah, I see. You seriously expect there to be lots of current, serving BA line guys who want to come and work in the regions? Yeh, right.
Apart from the fact that mixing two dramatically different pay and allowance scales on the same flight deck may just create a bit of an atmosphere, we know you are actually after a scope agreement which will affect BACE dramatically, in every respect. What it will NOT do is affect your BA line guys who will (they think) come and fly with us.
Reading between your lines is easy. You are basically divisive, and want an unrealistic world where everyone is on your package, even where it is unsustainable. All one needs to do is, sadly, look at what has happened to CFE. Marginal pay rises for most, a position at the bottom of your master list (which will only benefit the youngest elements) and a loss leading Company again. Well Done! Could this achievement, do you think, be responsible for the "RJ to the Regions" suggestion in the first place? I suggest BA might have been quite content to have left CFE where it was, making a positive contribution to the overall balance sheet had you not insisted on amalgamation, involving also the dead hand of BA commercial expertise.

Finally, multi tier pay rates DO NOT drive pay down. In fact, the opposite is true, as those on the lower tiers who wish to, try to move up the tiers, maybe to LHR (though why anyone should want to.......). Also, the better paid the upper tiers the better, as the lower tiers are dragged along like a jet pump, in the same way that the BA pay awards have traditionally been used as a benchmark by the rest of the industry. Nothing wrong with that either, and a lot good - but to expect that everyone in a Company gets the top rate lowers your credibility, and makes you a laughing stock with management. Never start a fight you can't win, old sport!, even if you expect a Pyrrhic victory.
The only real good points in this sad and tawdry little mess is that the actions of big BA, are, eventually, the best thing that could happen to BACX and GB and the other franchisees.

Thanks old sport, thanks a lot. I hope you enjoy your retirement watching what you have wrought!

29th Aug 2002, 20:41
I can't, for the life of me, understand the twisted logic applied to various arguments dealt with in this thread by certain individuals.
My only assumption is that the human nature ensures that self- preservation overides everything else and that to various individuals, the fate of others need only be addressed once 'I'm allright Jack'.

Take 'Big Airline'. They decide that they cannot continue to operate a route profitably because their overhead structure is too great. They have one of two options, give it up and let the free market sort it out or as BA have done, ask their subsiduary/franchisee company to take on the route. This ensures that they continue to maintain visible market presence and in the end profits are kept in house.

Now, of course there are employees within the subsiduary/franchisee who are looking to move on to bigger and better things. But there are many, for whom the company they work for, is their long term career, they are happy with their lot. They prefer to work for less money than company BA if it means that they get to live in the regions, enjoy their lifestyle and have a modicum of job security. An absurd concept I realise!

Of course the problem comes when employees of company BA see their jobs or lifestyle about to change because of the state of their company. They either wish to; a) prevent the subsiduary/franchisee from operating that type of aircraft or b) insist that they be sub-contracted to work for the subsiduary/ franchisee maintaining their current conditions of service. That's my route and aircraft they cry! That's my job they shout! all true, it was!! but company BA is in trouble and has to off-load these loss making routes. No doubt, if the subsiduary/franchisee found the routes loss making then they too would off-load them, with all the ensueing employee turmoil that would then create.

In a), BA could do this, but I do not see it preventing the route loss. It would only ensure that the route was lost to a company outside the group. In b) we now have subsiduary/franchisee employees working alongside ex-BA employees, on substantially better terms and conditions. This ;- a) Create's all the obvious dis-content one would expect. b) ensures that the sub./fran. has to contend with higher overheads.
Who says that only flight crew/cabin crew should be given the opportunity to jump on the leaner sub./fran. bandwagon, why not managers/staff from waterside, wheren't those their routes and aircraft as well.
Oh hell! Now the sub./fran.bandwagon is getting too cost base heavy and is loosing money. Oh well! no loss ( except for the original employees ), we are really BA, with that higher BA seniority and therefore go back to BA.

'Im alright Jack!'

or mabey my route will be given to someone else who will be forced to employ me. It is after all, my route? :cool:

Don't mis-read this post as anti-BA, it is far from it, my livelyhood depends on their continuing to succeed. Even so I'd better get to the fox-hole, I sense incoming!!

29th Aug 2002, 22:27

Made the LGW-EDI route profitable? All by yourselves?

That must have been difficult, considering the considerable seat demand on the domestic sectors.

What's your next challenge?

Mike Mercury

From your distant planet you will note that share price is largely irrelevant unless you are a daytrader.

The opinions of a few market makers clad in red braces affect the short term share price. It is the long term trend that is of import.

Revenue (bookings) is what drives an airline, not share price.

Furthermore, you say <To suggest that an ATP pilot, or a J41 pilot is less skilled than a 7474 pilot is insulting - however to expect the same remuneration is ridiculous. >

Why ridiculous? It could be argued that an ultra short-haul pilot is exposed to take-off & landing far more frequently than his long-haul cousin, and should be remunerated more. You sound as if you are falling into the trap of thinking that pilot pay has very much to do with airline running costs. In a one-horse outfit maybe, but not in an airline of any size.

Our pay is a drop in the ocean of costs of a substantial airline. Our collective aim here should be to drive UP everyone's T&C's - not to drag it all down where management want it.

Thought: - perhaps you are management?

Finally: you appear to contradict your own argument - a bit steamed up maybe?

<Ah, I see. You seriously expect there to be lots of current, serving BA line guys who want to come and work in the regions? Yeh, right.>

then in the next para:

<those on the lower tiers who wish to, try to move up the tiers, maybe to LHR (though why anyone should want to.......>

So only non-BA pilots wish to work in the regions?

FYI current LHR BA pilots cannot now come to the regions. Only current BAR pilots could bid to stay and fly the RJ. Some did, plenty more didn't.

For those bleating about differentials. It's a fact of life, bills have to be paid and if it is offered then you cannot blame individuals for at least considering it.

There is a peculiar airborne disease evident on this thread. Closely linked to envy, it sits uneasily in a website designed to be for the benefit of all professional pilots.

Those of you here who are running down the good fortune of others whom you perceive to have better terms & conditions than yourselves should maybe re-examine your postings. Ask yourselves how management will feel when they read your willingness to give so much hard-fought territory away due to this peculiarly British disease.

I bet they're splitting their sides.

Miss Inform
29th Aug 2002, 22:44
Mike Mercury,


29th Aug 2002, 23:16

Firstly, can I correct a factual inaccuracy above. GB's operations on the Gatwick-Edinburgh route (a nightstop, if I remember rightly) were undertaken on a wet-lease basis for BA Gatwick, i.e. at BA Gatwick's commercial risk. Without wishing to detract in any way from the validity of a number of the points of view expressed here, Memphisbelle, I'm afraid that this one simply cannot stand! BA's presence on the Gatwick-Edinburgh route stands or falls, and always has, on the basis of commercial decisions and cost bases determined by EOG.

I think we are getting a little too tied up in one particular aspect of the debate here. I know the topic title is about GB pilots but the aircrew remuneration and working practices at BA (by which I mean both flight and cabin crew) are part of a wider problem - not the sole decisive factor - which enable GB to make profits on routes where BA cannot. I fully subscribe to fiftyfour's fine logic earlier in that ceasing the current franchise arrangement cannot be in anyone's interests, least of all the customers who keep all of us in a job in case some of you hadn't noticed.

Instead of a lengthy-running internecine feud between pilots who all fly aircraft with British Airways down the side, has anyone actually bothered to consider (let alone tackle) the problem at the root of all of this - BA's costbase? It will take a concerted effort from everyone in the company (including the pilots) to sort the tangled web of arrangements, agreements, contracts and problems built up over years of relationships with employees, suppliers and customers alike to get that business onto a sound footing. There ain't no sign of that effort starting either at the top or bottom of the ladder right now and that's where I think you ought to be concentrating the venom.

Hand Solo
30th Aug 2002, 00:27
Mike Mercury - my genuine congratulations! Firstly because you have managed to break airrage's record for most verbose posting on PPRuNe, and secondly because in my five years of PPRuNeing yours is the first post I've had to print out in order to digest and respond to. I'll spare all other readers the misery of scrolling up and down reading yourpost, but here's a response to your points:

1) CFE were profitable before the merger, but that was also before the economic downturn hit and before 911. BACE are not going to pick up any route previously operated by CFE so your point is irrelevant, nor are BACE currently profitable.

2) Currently nobody in BAR is being retrained to fly the RJ. Yes they will get a supplement, its the price BA pay for our agreement to allow you to fly BA RJs. If we hadn't agreed you wouldn't get the RJs, end of story. Deal with it.

3) In whose opinion did Highland Division produce a better and more experiencedpilot? Yes, the HD guys kne how to operate an ATP outside of controlled airspace but we dont really need that in a jet environment. I fly with many capable and respected colleagues, some flew ATPs, some have flown nothing smaller than a 757. All equally professional and capable. Its not the aircraft, its what you do with it.

4) When I said 'Regional recruitment' I referred to the BA regional bases of MAN and BHX. No reference was inferred to any BACE base. Current recruitment to BACE is indeed a one-off event.

5) You refer to 'BA longhaul with their route cherrypicking'. Would you care to elaborate on this in any way which provides meaning? Long haul isn't franchised, what cherrypicking? As for 'allowances', it has been stated previously (on this thread or the BA pay offer thread) that allowances exist as part of a historical throwback to the nationalised days when it was a convenient means to increase pay without triggering a rash of claims by other workers for an identical pay rise. Historically allowances have been accepted as part of our pay, but I would be happy to renounce allowances for an equivalent basic pay rise.

6) What pilot surplus? As for the the number of potential strikers within BA, you have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER of the current level of anger amongst BA flight crew. If we go out on strike, we will win, no ifs, no buts, and there'll be no benefit for anyone but BA flight crew if were forced down that route.

7)Well at least you've displayed your total ignorance of BA. The vast majority of BAR Captains wish to remain in the regions and seniority for regional commands has gone through the roof. Clearly there is significant demand to work in the regions. Frankly I don't care what you think about the pay differential for the seconded BA mainline crews. If you don't like it then don't fly the RJ.

As to your final comment on multi tier pay rates, well you've really excelled yourself here. I quote directly:

the better paid the upper tiers the better, as the lower tiers are dragged along like a jet pump, in the same way that the BA pay awards have traditionally been used as a benchmark by the rest of the industry

Yet there you are proposing the introduction of lower tier pay just so it can be dragged up to higher tier rates. BA used to have perfectly reasonable, seperate rates of Prop pay and Jet pay, but now you'd like to create lots of lower tiers so that even more people can be shafted. Great idea. Rest assured if it all goes tits up then it certainly will not be the best thing that could happen to BACX, no more than Swissairs bankruptcy helped Crossair.

Thanks to anyone who could actually be bothered to read this post, I know I gve up on this thread a long time ago.

30th Aug 2002, 10:12
Thanks, Hands S.

You illustrate my point, perfectly!:cool:

30th Aug 2002, 10:20
More BA wallys.

It would make me laugh if it weren't so sad, and if I weren't a part of your Company now.
I think the guy may have been referring to the seniority route cherrypicking which goes on in BA longhaul.
However, what does come to mind, and is more to do with us than GB is Scope. Since this thread has become the usual slanging match between those divinely qualified BA chappies, I shall start another one.
Congrats to the dude, one of the few who make sense, well said mate, but I do wish you were wrong!:( :(

30th Aug 2002, 11:15
This thread has run its course!
:) ;) :rolleyes: ;) :)

3rd Sep 2002, 18:42
Wow, I havent visited the RP thread for a while, mainly since the New In-house Forums provide a Platform free of wind-up merchants and managers attempting divide and rule tactics(no surely not). It is funny how this division has conveniently reared it's ugly head at a time when BALPA are getting increasingly militant and finally getting their act together with regard BA Pay Negotiations, coincedence ?

How pathetic to boast that you can do a job an get paid less for it, are you serious ? Hell I could work for free but I wouldn't want to and I certainly would hold it as an aspiration.

Scope is not about just protecting BA jobs. The future of every Pilot world-wide is under thraeat. A long-term solution stable solution is not ever going to be acheived if we start underbidding each other for jobs. There will always be someone junior/less experieneced willing to do it for less, including future autopilots. It doesn't mean it's safe however and Airline Management in their efforts to preserve their own expensive and non-productive jobs will push things down to the lowest common denominator. They would replace us all with monkeys if they thought they could get away with it.

For those who benefit this time, beware because if the line breaks down now, your turn will be next. They will either force you to take even less pay/work harder or they will find someone else in the world who will. Do not laugh at the struggles of BA Pilots just because they have been the first to feel these Global Tremours over the last decade and certainly don't wish that they fail at securing a Scope deal because that will leave you all WIDE OPEN in the future. BALPA are fighting the corner the best they can by focussing on the areas where they have the most resources to do so. If the center of the front falls what happens to the weaker flanks ???

BA's strife has had little to do with the current Pilot workforce(over 1/3rd of which on B-Scales, and the other 2/3rds earning the same in BA after decades of loyalty, as low-cost Pilot's after just a couple of years). The agressive response some here receive from implying otherwise is out of frustration that this Reality BA Pilots have had to endure being first in the firing line. Do not believe this is a BA Company Problem, all Airline's management will not stop their attack on Pilots T&C's at the collapse of BA pilots. Try to look from beyond your current uniform Colour and try to see that BA Pilots are the first to raise a stink not because we are all Inefficient Spoilt Crybabies but because we have been under threat from these issues for much longer, the very same issues that will soon work against all Pilots if we don't unite now.

We all have more in Common as Professional Flying Comrades than with any management structure no matter how caring or efficient they may be compared to BA's. BA Pilots are no less Professional or Inefficient than any other outfit's Pilots but are bearing the full force of taking off OVERWEIGHT down the back for years. Don't let them divide us Pilots. who really are the only ones who fully understand the job we do.

This is not a "BA ISOLATED PROBLEM" caused by "EXPENSIVE INEFFICIENT" Pilots(just ask any recent BA DEP's you might know personally if their Pre-conceived Pre-joining Nirvana-image about being an Overpaid Underworked BA Pilots match the Reality once in) but we are first to be attacked. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it sooner than you had wished and miss the days when BA Pilots were around to take all the FLAK !!!!!!

3rd Sep 2002, 20:38
Your whole arguement is based on the following false initial premise;

"Take 'Big Airline'. They decide that they cannot continue to operate a route profitably because their overhead structure is too great. They have one of two options, give it up and let the free market sort it out or as BA have done, ask their subsiduary/franchisee company to take on the route. This ensures that they continue to maintain visible market presence and in the end profits are kept in house."

You mention BA have only 2options available and are missing the only Option for BA that will really turn things around, even though it stares you in the face in your own paragraph quoted above. If BA;

"cannot continue to operate a route profitably because their overhead structure is too great"

........ then they need to confront the costs of their overhead structure. Cancelling routes and outsourcing will not solve BA's problems but only delay making the necessary "Overhead" Structural changes. Of course your options would save a few expensive BA management Positions for a little Longer but it won't make BA any more efficient or improve BA's long-term viability.

PS. Apologies to the moderators for the "double-Post" however it does represent a vastly different chain of thought than that above.

The Little Prince
3rd Sep 2002, 22:05
For a while I thought maybe airrage had perhaps developed some common sense - some hope. :rolleyes:

I've never thought of BA pilots as being expensive and inefficient - however, the point you have demonstrated so well on this and other threads is that you clearly place yourselves above the market. Granted, you may have fallen behind in real terms. Granted, BA is a monolithic, overmanagement-manned, inneficient and incompetent edifice. However, YOU CAN'T BUCK THE MARKET.

Eventually, BA will have to sort out its act, and become viable. THEN, would be the time to demand a slice of the pie. Currently, the above mentioned market is being demonstrated to great effect by Ryanair, Easy, and everybody is falling over themselves trying to copy their business model. BA would be far better redefining what they do best. This low cost thing will not take everything over, the savings of merging are already proving false, it is simply impossible to grow organically at the current rate. They will fall over - in fact, the cracks are already appearing.

So, Kevin old sport, timing is all. The time at the moment is all wrong. Mind you, I think you may find that Rod will be only too pleased to give us (BACE) and GB even more of your work even faster when you try it on industrially. Don't expect me to do more than smile at your picket lines, 'cos with your attitude to scope, you have shown clearly where your thoughts lie - in your collective back pocket.

Now, what about that Airbus course!:)

Hand Solo
3rd Sep 2002, 23:27
Which all assumes that the subsidiary can operate a profitable, reliable , high quality service that our customers will pay a premium for. Of course currently the BACE group is unprofitable, highly unreliable and operates aircraft less comfortable than our competitors (even the low cost ones) on many routes. If you had a successful model we'd buy that argument, but you don't. Now whens my Embraer course, 'cos i think scope should take all your jets away (if you can call a 145 that).

4th Sep 2002, 08:06
If everything in the garden is so rosey at BACE, why do they have to cancel eight flights a day out of MAN due sick crew.

Another little gem I picked up recently is that the seat pitch over the emergency exits seems to be just a little tight on the Barbie Jet. The professional solution..... stitch up the seat pocket! Seems to me that is not all that is being stitched up at BASE. :confused:

Amazon man
4th Sep 2002, 09:15
Hand Solo/ Kippa

What is it with you guys this size thing do you both drive cars with long bonnets and large engines, the Embraer was designed for a specific job and one that it does very well with over 600 sold in some five and a half years, so its safe to assume there are a lot of airlines who regard it as a money earner.

The seat pitch on the Embraer is more generous than most and worse than some, I recently travelled on one of Mr Boeings larger aircraft and the seat pitch was frankly bordering on the dangerous, big aircraft does not automatically mean more comfort.

BACE is profitable how many other airlines in the present climate can say that, we have been told over a million pounds this year not much given total turnover but a million more than BA mainline have managed, .

The lack of cabin crew has been mainly caused by BA mainline's ban on recruitment until recently, this has no doubt caused many flights to be cancelled but with over 140 new cabin crew hired this should be resolved fairly quickly.

Instead of bickering about who flys big aircraft and whether I should earn more than you etc etc, all the pilots now working for the BA group and thats a large number of people now ie ex Cityflyer, Brymon, Bral should be pulling together to obtain the best terms and conditions possible.

United we stand divided we fall or at the very least fail to achieve the full potential of the BA group

4th Sep 2002, 09:42
Dead right.

In fact once again, our current problems can be laid squarely at the door of BA. Recruitment freeze + dwindling number of cabin crew. Unlike BA, we don't pay our cabin crew more than the F.O.s, so we tend to lose more.

I suppose BACC in the form of Han Solo, airage or kippa will now say that Cabin Crew aren't overpaid either in mainline? or that they don't contribute too much to BA's costs?
Well, ours don't, thats for sure, in fact we don't have enough and they are badly underpaid - thats why the BA management decision has resulted in our canx flights.
However - as my colleague said - we do at least make a profit, rather than relying on long haul subsidies!
I hear our next rebranding exercise is to be BEA to run alongside mainline longhaul's BOAC.

I'm listening chaps?????:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

4th Sep 2002, 10:55
The Little Prince has a good arguement. BA (and its pilots) have got to sort out their own problems by making their own operations profitable.
GB has brought on its own account about 10 routes, aircraft ,capital, personnel and experience to the BA family. It has paid (and continues to pay) hard cash to operate (until 2008) about another 10 routes that used to be operated by BAEOG. Some of these routes are not nearly as profitable as they were expected to be (or used to be) because BA has reduced its long haul, and short haul connections at LGW since GB took on the financial risk of the 10 ex-BA routes. The Brazil long haul was moved to LHR a few years ago. Also, for example, Tunis to LGW (not an ex-BAEOG route) used to carry 30 plus connecting passengers to long haul Houston. Houston now flies from LHR. No consultations from BA, they acted with their own best interests at heart, and GB had to manage the shortfall. Fair enough, its a tough world.
Following the arguements of some earlier posts, that would give GB pilots the 'right' to claim that GB pilots should be allowed to fly some BA aircraft at LHR because some of the passengers used to be 'GB passengers' interlining from GB routes. (These oil industry passengers now fly Tunisair to LHR for connections to Houston). It's a tenuous thread - the arguement doesnt really wash does it?
Sorry BA guys, but you will have to stick to what you've got and fly your own aircraft.
One final point about a franchise. GB cannot operate (in BA or GB or any other colours) on routes without BA permission. That is a neat way of BA stopping GB using its own few valuable slots to cherrypick BA's most profitable route out of LHR, MAN or LGW and flying it in GB colours. I doubt GB would want to do this anyway, because they have a long association of friendly cooperatiion with BA that goes back over 60 years. GB used to charter BEA aircraft and crews to fly some of its flights for them for many years. For future routes at the moment, GB is limited in effect to having scraps from the BA table. It would be better for BA and their pilots to learn how to make a profit out of scraps, thus securing their own future health, rather than trying to muscle in on GB turf. As for SCOPE, I doubt GB pilots would have anything to do with being on the bottom of a seniority list of a shrinking airline (BA).
Once BA becomes more profitable, and is then in a position to easily pay(as opposed to struggling to pay) the interest on its staggering 5.9billion debts, it will be able to expand its routes and aircraft (and pilots). When the franchise comes up for renewal, it will be able to reclaim some of those routes that GB has nurtured in the meantime.

Hand Solo
4th Sep 2002, 13:43
Cornflake - next you'll be blaming the recruitment ban for the orchestrated sick-outs being conducted by your cabin crew.

4th Sep 2002, 14:15
Little Prince;
"however, the point you have demonstrated so well on this and other threads is that you clearly place yourselves above the market"

Where is this reflected in my post ? By saying we are the first ones to feel the effects of outsourcing but you could be next ? My whole post was about how we should(as UK Pilots) be standing together on issues such as SCOPE. If BALPA fail at BA to secure Scope you could find your own job being done by a 3rd-world Pilot sooner than you think. You might be a lower cost solution now but don't you think mgmt will look for even lower cost solutions in a couple years ? How about when Hungary, Turkey or Greece join the EEC in the next year or so ?

"Eventually, BA will have to sort out its act, and become viable."
That was my point exactly in my post to thedude. Outsourcing flights to GB, will not "sort out BA's act." or solve the real issues.

"Some of these routes are not nearly as profitable as they were expected to be (or used to be) because BA has reduced its long haul,"
" for example, Tunis to LGW (not an ex-BAEOG route) used to carry 30 plus connecting passengers to long haul Houston."
So you finally admit there are some advantages to being part of BA's route structure then do you ? You can't pick only out the disadvantages and ignore some of the advantges of being part of a BA franchise. How many people in N.America have heard of GB Airways, how many have heard of BA ? Overall I think your bosses would admit they benefit from being part of the Brand.

Talking A/C size, seat pitch or level of service is a waste of time. We fly the planes we're given and we all do the best level of service we can.

The real Issue is SCOPE affects or will affect all Pilots world-wide over the next few years, especially with future "Free Skies" and Mergers. I wouldn't wish ill on any Pilot anywhere in the world fighting this problem Now because I want a clear precedent set everywhere that it is unacceptabel.

Big Dog's
4th Sep 2002, 15:28
Hand-surprised to see you stooping so low as to get involved in nasty little jibes-I've always found your posts well informed and sensible.

Getting back to the original thread-GB pilots to fly for BA. We will, no doubt, hear the jaundiced out look from many an idiiot over the next few months as this thing progresses. The reality is,as has been said before, we must protect ourelves from being screwed by airline management, be it BA's or GB's. BALPA can be our only hope at the moment. We at GB exist only because of BA and it appears that we are rather victims of our own success-we offer a great product at a competetive price, our cost base is low which enables us to cope when times are a little more lean and we seem to have chosen the right aircarft with which to expand. If our owners are to be convinced that SCOPE is the way forward for our company, perhaps you will find GB running most, if not all, of the BA short haul operation at LGW over the next few years. That is if we can maintain our cost base at a similar level to the current one. Paying our pilots at BA rates would not make us unprofitable-far from it. In this way we can continue to operate as a franchise and contribute to BA as we now do. Any thoughts??

5th Sep 2002, 04:56
I'm jumping into this a bit late but from stateside I have never understood how the euro majors allow outside carriers to fly their routes. SCOPE in the US has always meant that any flying done on mainline routes was performed by mainline pilots.
Then the RJs reared their ugly heads. All of a sudden (especially since 9/11) RJs were being put on mainline routes to substitute the 737s and A320s that were running half empty. At my carrier we have seen all the projected growth go to the Express (regional) people. We had pilots (and F/As) on furlough while the RJS were taking over entire city pairs that we had run full with 737s. And its not because we are too expensive, our seat mile costs and our crew costs are far below industry average. Perhaps it is because we are in contract negotiations?
We have a very weak SCOPE clause. We will be changing that in the next contract. 50 seats will be the max. Anything larger will be flown by mainline crews. Our CEOhas said we will never get the A318s we have on order. He wants Canadair 900s. We think he is crazy since no one really wants to be stuck in a little tube for more than an hour. The Jungle Jet is worse. That is such a piece of Sh## that has only sold because the Brazillians give them away to keep their aircraft industry. (kind of like EADS if you think about it). Pax want mainline aircraft to mainline cities. The smaller city pairs get the props and the RJs because you cannot always fill 120 seats. But the bottom line is that an express carrier or a franchisee as you call them should exist only to feed the mainline. Jobs and pax should flow to the major.. You should not expect to have the same pay as the mainline unless you are flying the same jet. ALPA set the wage rate years ago by aircraft size and performance. The Beech 1900 pilot works a lot harder flying 9 or 10 legs a day solid IFR than I do going from YVR to PHX to FLL. But you know what, I get paid a little more because I am hauling more revenue. The BALPA pilots are right in insisting that BA flying be done by BA pilots. I am also sure there is a lot of fat that could be cut at Waterside. But a 737 or A320s direct operating costs are probably the same no matter who flys them. The problem is that BA management for years wanted to operate a virtual airline. You can't do that and keep any kind of corporate culture, enthusiasm or loyalty among your staff. And in a service industry, if the staff is not happy then the passenger is not happy. Southwest's Herb Kelleher had it correct when he said that the passenger comes second - his people come first.

Norman Stanley Fletcher
5th Sep 2002, 10:43
There seems little doubt that this one is going to run and run. I have had a couple of very interesting conversations with people 'in the know' in the last couple of days, and there is no doubt that this is becoming a big deal. I am told that GB will shortly be holding roadshows to discuss the issue with their pilots, and it has also been suggested that the GB cabin crew could form part of any agreement reached as well. The basic view of the GB management team seems to be that they are totally opposed to this move as it would add significantly to the direct operating costs of the company. (Various figures are being bandied around from 1.2m to 4.0m per annum). For some reason it appears that the first of the 3 franchises (GB, Maersk and British Med) to be targetted for integration is GB. It is almost certainly because we are so successful.

There is however a recognition that if BA pilots choose to strike over Scope then GB would be heavily leant on to come into line, and that GB would be in an extremely difficult position to resist. I have to confess to feeling somewhat down about the whole situation because it is quite apparent that as long as this uncertainty hangs over GB then our proposed expansion is likely to grind to a halt.

The doomsday scenario is actually not the take-over by BA, however unattractive it appears to GB right now. The real glitch would arise if the pilots are not taken on by BA but the Gaggeros (GB's owners) decide that because of the uncertainty they will not press ahead with the expansion. Then the FOs will find themselves in a small company which will never expand and many years to wait before promotion is possible Many pilots who joined GB in the last few years are finding that the goalposts are moving faster than they can run to catch up. Whatever the rights or wrongs of the issue, and we have heard many eloquent arguments on both sides, there can be no doubt that a speedy resolution one way or the other is in everybody's interests.

The tragedy is that GB is a top class, successful company that enjoys huge loyalty from its staff, particularly its pilots. In my time in the company I have hardly met a single pilot who does not think it is a great company to work for. What is really interesting is that even recently-promoted Captains who possibly have the most to gain by a move to BA are not very keen. The honest truth is that this is all a game of Snakes and Ladders. Where you are on the board at the time of any merger will determine how good a deal it is for you. A young FO will effectively jump up a ladder several squares in that overnight he is in a huge airline with fantastic career opportunities. Older FOs who joined GB late on will drop down a large snake as their chances of promotion in BA are significantly poorer than they would be at GB. You cannot blame anyone for wanting the deal that best suits their own circumstances.

I personally hope that BA are politely told to clear off, but I fear that the writing is on the wall.

5th Sep 2002, 11:44
Cactusbusdriver: well said! A very fair summation.

This thread is the most depressing I have ever read on pprune. Divisive, insulting, petty, and, by some, deliberately inflammatory.

We would ALL do well to keep in mind that this is OUR profession, all of us. We all sweated, planned and fought our way to the career we wanted. I think it is literally tragic to see us bicker in this way.

Most managements no longer see us as professionals, and rates of pay across the industry in the UK reflect that. Anything that divides us as a group is meat and drink to them, and I think all of us, as professional pilots should keep that in mind.

For what it is worth, I have been in BA for over ten years. Morale has been getting worse and worse and my pay is no better, in fact worse, than several colleagues in Monarch and Ryanair. I admit that there is the pension, but since the closure to new entrants, you can bet your life that the existing scheme, NAPS, will close too. "Sir" C*lin said as much at the AGM.

Cost levels in BA have nothing to do with pilot pay: I wish people could be given a guided tour of the airline and see why they are as high. A quick look at the "jobs section" of the BA news will provide a clue. Just check out some of the job titles and then see if your organisation supports them?

I do not regard myself as a better pilot than my mate in Monarch, or any other UK ATPL for that matter. I do fear for UK pilot jobs, professionalism in the face of relentless cost cuts, and for my financial future. I am sure I am not alone.

Lets all examine everything we say and do in that context and fight for the future of the profession that we all care deeply about together.

5th Sep 2002, 16:37

I completely agree with you. it's refreshing to here some balanced and reasoned words here for a change!

Harry Wragg
5th Sep 2002, 18:41
Having read all the way through this thread I am now well and trully confused.

To conclude, BA pilots are overpaid and underpaid prima donna's who are at the same time much better but worse than the other pilot's within the industry.

Everybody does/doesn't want to work for BA because they do/don't want the payrise/paycut.

I think there is so much disinformation that the thread now makes no sense whatsoever.

Personally I think that the problem with having such a complex organisational structure, BA, BACE, GB, One World is that it is unmanageable. If it ever gets simplified then maybe BA will be in a healthier financial position and the people who work for it will be happier.

Having worked for BA mainline, then a franchisee, then BA Gatwick I marvel at management ineptitude on many levels. However, they have successfully managed to divide and conquer the entire workforce who are now reduced to arguing amongst themselves for the crumbs.

Harry (dazed, confused, and still sending out the old CV)


Red Snake
6th Sep 2002, 08:37
And judging by the thrashing all the other airlines also get on these forums, it sounds like BA is no better/worse than the rest.
It just depends where you are in the pile.

6th Sep 2002, 10:25
I agree that there are lots of advantages to GB in being part of the BA brand - lots more advantages than disadvantages. Load factors on every GB route jumped by about 25% after they were designated by BA flight numbers. Serious money for the company. But GB does pay BA the fees - when the going is good (like now) or bad (e.g. mainline cabin crew strikes a few years ago which affected GB bookings by 50%). BA needs cash cows at the moment.
There is plenty of future for the BA brand in europe with its decent seat pitch, reliability, customer service etc. providing the ticket price is not perceived as a rip-off.

7th Sep 2002, 09:48
Let's face it folks, this thread has run its course!

It started off by asking for information and comments about the possibility of GB Pilots being absorbed into the BA system.

Looking at the subsequent heated postings it has veered completely off the track now with the Nigels showing their true colours once more. A bunch of self-conceited pompous prats!

BA is a shambles and the Nigels know it. GB gets the scraps from the BA table when loss making routes are dumped and we make a success of them. Shouldn't that set alarm bells ringing?

I thought being a member of BALPA was to have a secure feeling in the job that our airlines employ us to do, not be a bunch of (I'm alright, Im a BA Jack, Prats). BALPA should be well warned that the UK airline membership will be leaving in their droves as the true colours of BALPA are shown once again.

GB Airways is an excellent successful airline and we want to keep it that way. We are not interested in joining a bunch of failures.

In a nutshell BALPA BA, we are quite happy with our lot in life so keep your mitts off and continue cocking things up so that we can make even more money!
:D :D :D :D

Big Dog's
7th Sep 2002, 16:58
Nice to see that times like these bring out the more maladjusted among us. Perhaps you are right, this thread has run it's course. I hope that those of you in BA will not qualify the deranged ravings of this idiot by posting a reply.

Good luck to all involved in this.

8th Sep 2002, 12:20
As I taxiied out to the holding point on 26L yesterday morning (Sat 7/9) the GB flight in front of me was definitely operated by a BA 737-436 (G-DOCL)...

Has something happened via the back door here? Are our pilots flying GB routes now??

:eek: :eek:

8th Sep 2002, 12:54
Memphisbelle, your comments have qualified the previously posted theory that the pomposity has eminated from both sides. Congratulations to you on making comments that fail to address many serious points made.

All the best with your 'scraps' and if we do get to share these so called loss making routes (such as Faro and Malaga etc) then I do hope we can hear the RT over the sound of you grinding your teeth.

Love Nigel.

8th Sep 2002, 14:12
For what its worth, my thoughts are that BA pilots dislike franchises, because they are perceived as the easy way of getting rid of cost problems, rather than forcing BA management to get its house in order. You could argue that it is not the franchise pilots fault. Very true, however, as a mainline pilot, I do worry about the reducing number of routes/bases available as a career. {Through no fault of mine} The average BA pilot earns less than the market rate. Hence the need for so many people to commute from abroad or outside of the South East.
BALPA knows that it cannot get these routes back under mainline, so the other alternative is to make sure all the pilots are under mainline terms and conditions. Seems like a good strategy to me.....

Jet A1
9th Sep 2002, 10:51
GB often 'borrow' EOG machines when GB aircraft go tech !! <Usually the airbus mind you !!!> GB flight deck operate the flight and use their own cabin crew...Likewise BA have sometimes asked GB to operate flights for them on their own routes eg LGW-EDI when EOG find themselves in a corner !!!! Handy agreement really !!!

Norman Stanley Fletcher
9th Sep 2002, 13:56
I note with interest from this week's Flight International ('Routes' p 17) that GB are starting services next March from London Gatwick to Girona in mainland Spain and Mahon on the island of Menorca. Steady expansion which fights the low costers on their own turf sounds like good news to me.

9th Sep 2002, 18:33
Jet A1 your info is not correct. There was a deal with the 737's until a while ago but it no longer happens. There was never a deal with the bus.


10th Sep 2002, 12:20
MaxAOB, your info is not quite right either.

It is a little more simple than 'having aggreements'.

If BA can't operate a flight due to a/c or crew going tech, they need to find another a/c and crew to operate the flight or cancel it. The prefered company to ask for BA to do so is GB for (like it or not) obvious reasons and visa versa. By the way, the two ops departments happen to get on very well and co operate whereever they can.

So, the BA aeroplane refered to earlier on in this thread was working on a 'sub' for GB.

GB often ask BA to operate a flight for them in times of nead but BA do not have much spare capacity so the next route of call is Excel, Air Atlanta...etc.

Regards to GB and BA pilots alike.

Jet A1
12th Sep 2002, 16:02

I am sorry to piddle on your bonfire, but as a GB'er, I have used EOG machines as a stand in for the GB-300's a few times...Even heard a crew being called out to do a EOG route using our own GB-300 as EOG could not cover it !! Amazing how you seem to know more though !

crusin level
13th Sep 2002, 16:10
I've heard from a "source" that any airline joining the BA seniority list is required, for insurance purposes, to have all their pilots flight tested by BA instructors to ensure they reach the BA standard.

Anyone shed any light on this?

Norman Stanley Fletcher
13th Sep 2002, 23:15
It is probably true - and it certainly would not bother any GB pilot. There is something of a precedent in the current situation at GO/easyJet. For reasons of practicality there has been an initial period of parallel operations while SOPs etc are firmed up prior to full integration of the pilot workforce. At some stage there will be a time (I have heard March mentioned) where all pilots will be flying to the same hymnsheet and the same procedures. Presumably a similar situation would exist at BA/GB (or is it GB/BA?). The difference in this case is that GB SOPs are already virtually identical to BAs and vice versa so I cannot imagine any real snags. I just hope the situation never arises!

There are far bigger fish for both GB and BA to fry right now, and any takeover by BA of GB can only be an extremely unwelcome distraction at a time when all our minds should be focussed else where - like the forthcoming Gulf War or the threat from the Low Cost Airlines.

Capt Pit Bull
13th Sep 2002, 23:43
Didn't happen during CFE integration.


Big Dog's
14th Sep 2002, 09:25
Let's face it folks, if BA are going to set LGW up as part of BA CitiExpress, why would GB want to get involved. Tell me it's not true! It can only be bad for us. If I was a BA mate at LGW I'd be looking to fight that one before I worried about the Franchise part of SCOPE-good luck to all of you at in BA at LGW-you are going to need it!