View Full Version : Australian to Hire Pilots External to QF

7th Nov 2002, 02:16
The CP of Australian Airlines has reportedly approached QF to hire B767 endorsed Capt's and F/O's direct to AA external to the existing QF pilot group.

Seems the cost of doing command upgrades and the prospect of cutting wages further through direct hires are the driving factors.

AIPA (of course) is doing nothing.

If true this is good news for the ex AN guys who are still out of work I suppose.


Going Boeing
7th Nov 2002, 04:11
The above is obviously a wind-up.

The cost of pilot upgrades is borne by the parent (QF) and then the pilots are transferred. This keeps the Australian Airlines bottom line looking good.

Your statement that "AIPA (of course) is doing nothing" is totally incorrect and there is a "contract" in place covering all aspects of providing pilots to Australian Airlines.

Whilst the majority of ex AN pilots would be very welcome in QF & subsidiary ranks, I believe that the Australian Airlines CP would not welcome the disharmony that would ensue if [email protected] were employed and I understand that a large number of ex AN B767 Captains have earned that title.

7th Nov 2002, 05:08
I broached this one both with Pete and sent an emai to AIPA about it. From my understanding of the discussion (which admittedly was six months ago and definately non binding), if the unfortunate circumstance arose whereby 'outsiders' had to be employed to crew Australian, they would still come via Long haul. IE, have a Seniorority number, jump through the QF hoops etc, etc. They would also be able to bid for QF upgrades etc when they had the seniorority. Pete indicated that that could be the way it happens and AIPA thanked me for my email.

GB, from memory FS is a QF driver and whilst doesn't appear to be a supporter of AIPA, certainly hasn't proved to be a wind up in the past (that I can recall). What was the source FS? Last I knew that AA had the right numbers, they were just awaiting of the training of the crew- about a half dozen if memory serves me correct. Eventually the piper had to be paid as far as training was concerned. It was either now or in a few years time when people start coming back! I can hardly see AA and QF taking on a pilot group about to enter a 'protected' EBA period for the sake of a half dozen or so command upgrades!! Can you? Whilst I admit to being wrong once ( ;) ), this sounds a bit like chinese whispers.

7th Nov 2002, 05:21
The start of this thread may well be a wind up, but there is still some logic to the point.

Clearly QF have to cut costs to be competitive over the routes that AA are flying, otherwise AA would not have eventuated. It would be folly to suggest that QF are not looking at all areas where costs can be saved. One that is always high on the list is Tech Crew. The big advantage that QF drivers have is their Union. If DE pilots are employed at AA, then pay cuts to QF mainline are inevitable. Remember, once the company has demonstrated that they can get guys for less money, then your position of power is significantly eroded. Just ask the A scale guys in the Cathay AOA.

There is no surprise, and little comfort should be taken from the fact that QF drivers have been used initially. So that QF procedures could be seamlessly introduced with out any training costs. Once the culture and procedures have been established, they can employ anyone. All the drivers in OZ should be seriously considering a combined union. Embracing all the airlines and regionals. The rot has already set in with the lower salaries at VB etc. If it is not stopped by bi-partisan solidarity, then the worst is yet to come.

There are many lessons to be learned from what has happened at Cathay. The divide and conquer theory seems to work perfectly with pilots. Keep in mind that the theory is being applied on a massive scale, not just within QF. i.e the fact that VB guys are working for less is noted by everyone. The fact that the powerful QF unions appear to be standing around and not trying to help ( as far as i know, and i know little about that area), is all valuable information for the bean counters. Now that they have divided QF, with the unions consent, it is only a small step to start messing with the salaries. I truly hope i am wrong, but attatcks on pilot salaries are happening all over the world. It is rampant in Europe.
Australia is no longer an isolated sheltered workshop for pilots. Through alliances and takovers, code sharing etc, Oz aviation is now subject to the same global pressures that most other airlines are, and QF is the standout targer in that part of the world.

Good luck to all. As i said, i truly hope that i am wrong, but i am yet to be presented with a convincing argument to the contrary.

7th Nov 2002, 09:27
See where you're coming from druck which I think is the 'glass is half empty' view of where I'm at. There is certainly cause for some level of concern about where AA is headed. That said, training has to be paid for eventually. AA will have to pay for it eventually- even if they take direct entry people. A command upgrade in QF for a 767 endorsed F/O is probably going to take a similar length of time to check to line a 767 endorsed pilot from elsewhere. Someone has to pay the piper. Thats why I can't see Pete being so short sighted on this one- unless it is a DELIBERATE union busting tactic which again, would suprise me somewhat. Not impossible and as with you hoping to be proved wrong on your thoughts, I'm hoping to be proved right.

Again, spoken to a couple of skippers (who were permanent pattern) and they reckon they'll be on EXACTLY the same money. They've 'lost' a few different entitlements which were of variable value to different people. Anyway, interesting times!

7th Nov 2002, 09:43
This thread is no wind up.

The discussion I refer to was not six months ago but occured in Cns last week.

The second wave of pilots to AA will be hired outside QF.

This information comes direct from an individual who heard the Aust Airlines CP say that in future he would be 'looking for direct entry pilots to save training and salary costs'.

The cost aspect of this equation has backing from the parent airline as well.

QF has been effectively paying for command upgrades but not seeing any product for the training expense, as the newly trained pilot pisses off to AA for 3-5yrs.

In QF's eyes this is hardly acceptable.

External hires will reduce costs and increase the bonuses of the associated managers. This is the motivation for taking action - regardless of the legality or morality of the current contractional arrangements with AIPA.

This situation has eventuated because AA has not attracted the numbers of captains from longhaul it thought it would.

Thus we now have a trigger for external hires and a further reduction in conditions. In this druckmefunk is quite correct.

As for hiring the ex AN guys - personally I agree with you GB but the CP does not give a fU$$k about '89.
QF has a multitide of 'heros' both TN and AN now flying the B737, B767 and the A330. None of the rest of us are happy about it but the message from QF is clear - live with it or you will personally pay the consequences.

Keg I hope you are right, and I know you are a AA supporter, but do a 'ring around' of F/O's about your seniority and you will be surprised at the number of 'good operators' who have been overlooked in favour of junior pilots.

You wanna hope the AA CP's judgement is infallable if you are going to throw out the seniority system for promotion or I fear you will be a F/O for a long, long time.


Chimbu chuckles
7th Nov 2002, 09:59
There are certainly a bunch of newly minted B767 pilots at PX, both Captains and F/Os with enormous general experience to boot, who are just praying that this happens...and most of them already live in Cairns:D

Any other scenario would seem to be bucking the world trend!


Capt Fathom
7th Nov 2002, 10:19
QF has been effectively paying for command upgrades but not seeing any product for the training expense, as the newly trained pilot pisses off to AA for 3-5yrs
As the 767's go to AA, there will be a surplus of pilots left at QF which they will have to pay. Cheaper to cop the upfront cost of Command Training now than pay the salary of a surplus pilot. QF will get their Captain back in the future.

Kaptin M
7th Nov 2002, 11:09
IF AA were to recruit external pilots it will be an interesting test of the pilots' resolve and AIPA.

The BEST solution is to prevent it (external direct recruitment) ABSOLUTELY, and NOW.
The conditions at QF are not so great now, but to out of work pilots - who have proven before that they don't give a toss about anyone except themselves - you can BET they are greedily eyeing YOUR positions for themselves.

OTH, QF management may have decided to "float" this rumour to try to gain leverage in any upcoming negotiations with AIPA.

Obviously AA was set up (at a cost of tens of millions of Aussie Pesos) as a low-cost (read low salary) company that WILL slowly(?) make inroads into QF, as routes are slowly shaved and passed on/shared with AA.
The plan seems to be to start with the lowest/oldest type first, which the union is generally willing to let go of anyway.
Done this way, it avoids direct confrontation with the unions, but is nonetheless a union destroyer - like a systemic poison.
I'm seeing it done in Japan - all with the (naieve) union's permission.

Don't underestimate the seriousness of this situation, AIPA, as innocuous as it seems!
Under NO circumstances should DE crews be tolerated.

7th Nov 2002, 19:38

I agree that QF gets the capt back in the future, but flt ops management does look at the situation that way.

Training costs effect the bonuses of the associated flt ops managers. They only take a year-to-year view of issues like this.

I am not a management pilot BTW. I am personally horrified by the way the AA scenario is playing out - hence why I posted this thread.

AIPA is powerless if DE pilots are hired as AA is a separate company and has a crewing agreement with AIPA.
That agreement can be changed and legally, industrially there is nothing that the QF pilot body can do about it

7th Nov 2002, 21:55
Kapt M

Since when have you given a stuff about QF conditions? They didn't back you in your dispute and they harbour war criminals in the form of exAustralian Airlines strikebreakers.

Surely the crux of your post is to keep a few exAN 767 drivers in purgatory, preventing them employment.

Regarding unemployed pilots greedily eyeing the new Australian Airlines, I think you will find there are a lot more aspirants than just the out of work.

Direct entry onto a 767 would appeal to some at VB and many expats abroad. With recent terrorist threats hinting it is OK to attack expat communities on Muslim soil, the Aussie lifestlye went up another $30,000 a year in commensurate terms. Especially in the Gulf region.

I would have thought QF conditions dragged VB conditions up a little by now. This does not appear to be the case. Maybe this is the real threat to QF boys and girls, not half a dozen or so un-employed exAN 767 Captains!


8th Nov 2002, 02:21
Flak Jacket on-here goes. I love the irony of listening to your typical SKYGOD attitudes and marvel at their hypocrisy and naivety. The call for an amalgamated union of pilots is a pretty big call when it was the AIPA that split from AFAP many moons ago. The reason for this call is to simply support QF pilots ,not to help those outside the system.That particular action was the REAL start of the breakdown in oz aviation. I seem to recall AIPA pilots doing domestic flying in 89 and gaining out of it. Qantas pilots seem to gladly profit from the demise of others-almost gleefully. The AIPA are a bunch of amateurs when it comes to QF management and the whole saga of AA. Didn't they see what happened at Kendell? AA is flying low yield stuff so when it starts losing money to a leaner competitor it will by necessity seek to lower costs. As sure as eggs. One ridiculous comment above has a qf 76fo command upgrade panning out at the same as a DE recruit already qualified. Please!!! QF took some AN 76 dudes very early on who were on line in a few weeks. In any regard I dont think the training cost is an issue because it does not recur for DE recruits as it will always do for QF people who will cycle in and out of AA . That is a significant cost as they will probably have to change types back at QF. I think the only possible way for QF pilots to retain control of AA is for transfers to be permanent or a lot longer ROS.No I am not an 89er

8th Nov 2002, 03:50
Walter, a few points.

Firstly, QF drivers did NOT fly domestic sectors during '89. That point is on legal record. If you want, I'll provide the references.

Secondly, a QF 767 F/O can do an upgrade to command in less than eight weeks if all goes to plan. Anecdotal evidence suggested it was five and a bit weeks to get the former AN 767 Captains on line. Having flown with one of the former AN guys recently, he suggested that the cultural differences were 'significant' and that it took him 'some time' to fully adapt.

Secondly, direct entry F/Os will ultimately require a full and complete initial training package when they run out of qualified blokes who fit the profile (which will be about 12-15 weeks or more). Currently, AA are SAVING on those training packages because they aren't required at all. All but a few of the F/Os are previously qualified on type. What they are losing on the command upgrades (mostly 767 F/Os) they are making up on not having to do much F/O training.

Thirdly, any southern base will probably see a rush of hands shoot up as people do the sums and work out 'same money, better flying than the J curve and more time off due to long sectors out and back'. They'll be knocking them back at the gates. DE guys at the the 'southern base' will end up costing them MORE than sliding crews across due to the training that I talk about in my next point.

Finally, eventually, with DE crews, AA will have to pay for the training. They may be able to save some money in the short term but it will cost them in the long term. Someone will have to pay for the training- either QF, or AA. It all adds up to the same final amount anyway. The big difference is the industrial 'implications' of going the DE route as opposed to secondments.

Whilst I never under estimate the ability of management of any company to be short sighted, to use the cost of upgrade training as in excuse for DE crews as in this case would be the shortest sight I've seen from QF in a long while! Again, wouldn't surprise me if they came in on the bottom of the seniorority list and then seconded across straight away.

8th Nov 2002, 05:01
I am sorry to say that you guys are probably toast. To clarify, i am neither ex 89 nor employed in australia, so i am commenting from a fairly neutral position. What I can see yet again, is a re-emergence of the nastiness left over from 89. 1989 is of no relevance now. That is not to say it should be forgotten. It just isn't relevant. Until you can all agree on that, you have no hope. The companies just need to plant the seed and you guys will just wind up and self destruct. You must and there is a huge emphasis on must, put 89 behind you, consolidate your views and confront the bean counters with a united front. If you dont, then you will all suffer the consequences.

One of the things I notice in my part of the world, where we are all mercenaries, is that when conditions change for the worse there is a large group who just say 'It doesn't affect me, so I dont care'. This attitude plays directly into management hands. It allows them to little by little erode conditions. Mark my words, if they are taking conditions away from someone you know, then your turn will come all to soon. DJ guys are the worst in this regard (I dont mean this in a mean way) but they are probably thinking "if we are happy to work for this amount then b****r off and let us work", but the reality is that they have set a new standard, in the wrong direction, which has allowed QF to start attacking salaries. And make no mistake AA is an attack on pilot salaries. .

Once QF start reducing salaries, it will give DJ more leverage to put downward pressure on Their salaries. Dont think for a minute that there is no room left on DJ salaries. Think for instance if pilots had an across the board award wage of 80,000 a year for a captain. Would you rather be a captain on a 737 with all the airline support, or would you rather be loading bags on your 402 in Numbulwar. There will always be someone who will work for the lower salary. Always.

From where i sit, i cannot see any difference between AA and QF. AA is a QF product designed to boost the bottom line at QF. Some of the previous posts seem to think that the cost of training is something that has only become apparent since the AA operation has started. Surely you dont think that the QF management hasn't carefully considered this and had a strategic plan in place long before the first pilot changed over. The total cost of one QF driver leaving must be enormous once all the follow on seat changes occur. Why would you start a new airline and leave in place one of the most debilitating training burdens i have seen. It just doesn't make sense. Just think of the amount of retraining that can go on at QF when one F/O moves to AA. I'm sure that in the fullness of time that QF will not be so benevolent to just accept those costs. They will have to be justified.

You must come up with a unified approach, and it must come via the QF union as they are the ones witht he most clout. But as i said, too many will be saying "not my problem" and management will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Kaptin M
8th Nov 2002, 08:48
Just a thought :)

Why doesn't AIPA formally ask AA and QF if this is going to be the case (DEcrews)?

If the answer is "Yes", then an immediate issue of a RECRUITMENT BAN will let the company, and pilots, know in no uncertain terms what to expect if it proceeds.

BTW, all the debate wrt "training costs" is poppycock! :eek:
Think how many hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent in establishing a NEW company, based in CNS - instead of using the infrastructure ALREADY in place in SYD - the conception and marketing of the new corporate image, the design of the new company logo and colour scheme, etc, etc.
Training costs of ALL staff are a write-off against tax.

Don't kid yourselves, the money ALREADY spent has been done with a view to re-couping it from staff salaries and increased productivity.

Gnadenburg you ask me, "Since when have you given a stuff about QF conditions? They didn't back you in your dispute and they harbour war criminals in the form of exAustralian Airlines strikebreakers.

Surely the crux of your post is to keep a few exAN 767 drivers in purgatory, preventing them employment.

QF didn't "go out" with us, but they certainly REFUSED to fly extra domestic operations. The scabs they have now are as a result of the (long overdue) takeover of the old domestic Australian Airlines (TAA).
The crux of my post here is NOT "to keep a few ex-AN 767 drivers in purgatory, (by) preventing them employment".
But by the same token I would not like to see any of the ex-AN scabs being given the opportunity to AGAIN shaft more Australian pilots. And quite a few in that category wouldn't think twice about it, if given the opportunity! :mad:

8th Nov 2002, 11:18
Funny comments by some indeed, I was under the impression AA was created to provide more opportunities long term for Aussie pilots, F/A's and Engineers at the expense of the same personnel in the Asian Airlines.

Pity M Kaptin was not as vocal when Impulse and Virgin Blue created havoc on the Domestic scene.

8th Nov 2002, 21:32

Sorry to say mate but I think you are overestimating how much 'the standard' means to anyone outside of flt ops in QF.

Example: A move to get pilots to pay for their own endorsements (a la VB) was reportedly only stopped by the QF CP - the idea having come from finance and backed by members of the board.

DE pilots can be hired so they only require a minimum number of sectors to be checked to line - and they are revenue sectors anyhow.

Just advertise for endorsed pilots, currently working on type with say 5000 total, 1000 in command 767 in Flight International and you would be trampled in the rush.

QF may have a requirement to hire only aust residents as pilots, but as I have said before AA is a separate company and can do what it pleases industrially.

VB conditions are the new benchmark as far as airline execs are concerned. And remember most of them do not have an operational background and either do not understand, nor could care about the difference in quality between you and a China Eastern (for example) F/O.


8th Nov 2002, 22:00
Nothing on this in qrewroom yet? Lets get some discussion in there.

9th Nov 2002, 00:23
If you want to start a thread on Qrewroom - be my guest, but I doubt you will have many interested parties.

Too much fear and disinformation out there these days.

9th Nov 2002, 00:29
Fear being the main one. Great culture isn't it.

As always time will tell. Make hay while the sunshines and hope/pray for the best. The company will do what they want to do anyway.

Tool Time Two
9th Nov 2002, 02:10
Old Wal (Mitty) has hit one nail on the head, when he or she stated the rot began with the defection of QF from the AFAP in the very early '80's.
The fact they didn't fly domestic passengers in '89 was mere tokenism.
That action alone (splitting from the AFAP), was predictably the beginning of the end of pilot unity, that unity a goal commenced by the AFAP with the integration of GA in the late '60's.
Now, exacerbated by the greedy and unprincipled, aka scabs, pilots in Australia are a disunited and disgruntled bunch of individuals, with the QF pilots mind numbingly led in its so called union by a thoughtless bunch of leaders since its inception.
When you Aussie guys and gals start to think with your brains, instead of your thrust levers, you might start to get somewhere with improving conditions for ALL Australian pilots, including those who are at the beginning of, or about to start, their careers.:cool:

9th Nov 2002, 03:38
I doubt very much if AA would be able to employ anyone who did not qualify for australian residency. AA may not be bound by QF agreements, but they will certainly be bound by the rules that control work visas into Australia. That is not to say they would have to be Australians, but it certainly cuts down the pool available.

9th Nov 2002, 23:14

Good point. Option B is to base guys o/s - a la the Thai cabin crew, although I agree this scenario is stretching things a bit

Nothing would surprise me however.

I agree that an all encompassing pilots union would be desirable but the situation is that even within QF longhaul thier is a 'stuff the other fleets' mentality which says "hey this change does not effect me so I don't care"

Pilot unity in this country is dead unfortunately. What saddens me is the inability of AIPA to draw a line in the sand when its needed.

Meanwhile the CP and DCP pocket millions in bonuses each year at our expence and are laughing themselves silly all the way to the bank.


10th Nov 2002, 00:35
QF could get non Australian qualified pilots into the country easily according to my neighbour(he's an immigration lawyer ).

They qualify for 60 points on skill and provided they speak good english and are young enough he reckons he could get them in within a few months, especially if they have a guaranteed job to go to.

And if that doesn't work QF could just call Bob Hawke. He knows how to get foreign pilots in real easy.

10th Nov 2002, 02:31
I think the "foreign devil" argument is a bit thin because there are heaps of ozzies 76 qual. and current(awops etc). In any regard I am of the belief that the loopholes which allowed foreign pilots entry in 89 still exist.
The whole point is still the one made by fartsock. It is a separate company and the workplace relations act prohibits action by qf pilots( bargaining period or not). I personally think its a miracle AIPA has got has far it has given what AA could do. I think they took this path to ensure a smooth start up. The Letter of Agreement b/w AIPA and AA does mention permanent transfer issues should they arise. Perhaps it should state "when" they arise.
I stiil love the attitude of some."AN pilots would be welcome at QF and subsids". How generous, but as long as they are at the bottom and cant touch me.

10th Nov 2002, 04:42
This is NOT a wind up...

I am intersted as to what grounds there would be for implementing a DE recruitment ban?

Because, as my thinking goes, if there is reciprocity, Australian pilots can forget about joining airlines o/s.

Think Global Economy...

10th Nov 2002, 05:26
I dont believe a recruitment ban is feasable - nor could be justified.

The AA pilots would be on individual contracts, therfore not members of AIPA / AFAP therfore not associated with IFALPA.

As I said before, I am not happy about this, but it would appear (as pointed out in other posts ) the the plan was/is to use QF mainline drivers to impliment the beginning of the airline and to go for contractors after that

Notwithstanding the fact that during the second last Air France pilots strike QF pilots scabbed on AF by operating SYD-PPT despite IFALPA support for the AF pilots action. As the HKAOA guys (unfortunately) are finding out IFALPA is also a waste of time and money


10th Nov 2002, 13:06
The arrogance of some of the posters on this site is astounding……their assumption being that only they have the god-given right to employment in the Australian aviation scene.
Re employment here for “outsiders” one dope with a forgettable name said “under no circumstances” bleat bleat
Reality check: There are hundreds…not a misprint, hundreds of heavy jet qualified pilots with a dream about to be realised of working in Australia.
Immigration problems? Get a grip…….a large number of these are Australian born.
Ability?……may surprise a few of you but standards are international not a QF patent.
Types?……..anything Boeing or Airbus make.
Adaptability/ Flexibility?…….These people are can-do types . No cowboys, performers…because no performance , no job.
Operational conditioning?… some attention getting weather around Europe and really scary stuff in southwestern US.
I know you heroes flew over Mt Buller once or twice but you need three times at least to qualify.
Management worlwide are very interested in contracting cockpit crew and these types have all the qualities to attract attention PLUS they want the job PLUS they will come without union baggage.
Course in protest at this effrontery you could all throw your toys out of the cot a la CX style.
That worked a treat, eh?

10th Nov 2002, 13:39
Sidewalk, with that sort of talk you'll attract all sorts of written abuse. How dare you talk about globalisation and a global employment pool? Good thing you didn't say anything about that sacred seniorority system.
I couldn't work out why AA was established in direct competition with QF. (For those who don't think it is, or will be, in competition, just wait.) Things are starting to be a little clearer now. Seems to make a lot of sense to employ already trained pilots rather than getting cadets and GA recruits and spending a fortune and years getting them into the left seat.
Maybe Airservices should try something similar.

10th Nov 2002, 13:42
At least the interested AWOPS fellows should get an opportunity at this....:confused:

10th Nov 2002, 19:35

All the points you raise about the availability of drivers are correct. I have worked in europe and there are lots of aussies keen to come home.

However what you fail to realise is that if you 'come home' you will now be on VB money or less - not what you are used to being paid contracting overseas.

Frankly if I had my time over again I would have stayed o/s. Although you only ever hear the horror stories, a lot of '89ers that left got good well paying jobs offshore

I believe it is natural for exisiting QF guys to want to protect thier current situation - you probably would if you were in our boat also.

The point about 'the standard' was made for Kegs benefit who doesn't realise some of the above.

10th Nov 2002, 20:44
If AA employment practices go the way you suggest, the people who should be really concerned are the GA industry and up and coming would-be's who will not be able to get a look in while the airline employment intakes are dominated with experienced contract pilots. To get the experience these people will have to look at going overseas. To go overseas, why bother with the Australian ATPL? A UK or USA ATPL will be the far better licence to hold.

10th Nov 2002, 22:37
When you say "VB money or less" do you mean Impulse money or less? Don't forget who started this here in Oz. What happened to them again, that's right, they were bought by QF. Now QF have two low paying airlines under it's belt. Times are interesting.:D :D :D :D

11th Nov 2002, 00:20
I think that qantas will transfer more and more flying to AA because they are cheaper to the extent that the Mainline wont operate the 767. it is there plan to have a company operate a type, like Eastern being the Dash operator, Airconex the 717, and when the type is no longer wanted they fold the company up, see what happened to Southern 146 pilots. there will be no jobs for the 767 pilots in AA to go back to..... unless they want to bump 2nd officers off the bottom...

Waste Gate
11th Nov 2002, 01:34
While I agree that AA will take an increasing amount of mainline flying, it'll be restricted to the leisure routes like CNS - NRT, ADL - DRW - SIN etc etc.

Mainline needs to keep its AA puppy on a short leash because, if mishandled, it will erode the mainline market. Most of the talk on PPrune about AA refers to the cheaper labour costs of AA; if labour costs are all that matters to mainline, then you'd expect to see AA operating Cityflier services. I don't think so!!

There is still a "premium" market in Australia, and that is partly what drove QF's expansion post Ansett. The company knows that to turn it's back on that to serve trunk routes with tightly configured orange 767s leaves a market to be exploited by a new full service operator like SQ - and that then has serious ramifications for QF international because it would feed directly into the pockets of the airline's fiercest rival.

And on some of the other international 767 trips such as SYD - SIN, QF competes against full service airlines like SQ. Why would you remove your premium product from that route? You'd be handing market share to your rivals.

As for AA aircrew wages being less, anyone knows that's a load of [email protected] A high proportion of AA pilots have taken a pay rise to go there. Pilot wages comprise a wee small portion of operating costs (as they do in mainline), and most of the labour savings are being made in cabin crew.

To suggest that AA will take over more and more mainline flying simply to reduce pilot labour costs is just plain dumb. There is a whole lot more to strategic planning than simply going for the lowest labour costs. I'd suggest that they're a long way down the list of priorities.


11th Nov 2002, 02:14
…To suggest that AA will take over more and more mainline flying simply to reduce pilot labour costs is just plain dumb. There is a whole lot more to strategic planning than simply going for the lowest labour costs. I'd suggest that they're a long way down the list of priorities….Wastegate

Spot on.
Chocks in.

Flight Crew costs historically have never been above 2% operating costs.
Take a bit of effort to recover that information to prove it to the doubters but it is in the public domain.Years ago IFALPA used to put out a very detailed yearly study on all matters under its watch which included the above, but there are other sources.

There is absolutely no reason why a low cost and a full-service operation cannot co-exist as they cater for entirely different areas of the market….a fact well proven in Europe over the last decade. Essentially the low cost operation is another airline altogether. This however needs to presented in Special English to the braindead unionist.

In a former life prior to my flying career my boss was heard to say………..
”When you own 50% of my business, you get 50% of the say in running it.
Until then shut the **** up and get back to work.”

11th Nov 2002, 03:04
Agree to some extent on the labour costs, but how much does it cost to get a pilot from initial employment to right and left hand seats? Agree also on the short leash, particularly in terms of the effect on the Qantas brand. No competition on the premium market, but the competition for the economy market will be still there. The big benefit will be the flexibility that contract crews will bring to the organisation that doesn't exist to the same extent with QF.

11th Nov 2002, 03:24
How much does it cost?.........Close to a big fat zero not counting the additional salary.
Infrastructure is required to be in place for normal ops and amortised.
So ten people or twenty people in Sim building means more bang for your buck but little to no effect on the infrastructure cost, apart from the salary component, although it puts a strain on the logistics side. Rarely have airlines expanded training facilities to cover increased requirements from the training department, typically fitting the training roster into vacancies allowed by mainline operations, which accounts for the substantial delays experienced.
Aircraft requires two bums on seats and cannot differentiate the rank or status of the button-pusher, consequently to allow a slow learner an additional 20 sectors for e.g. costs zip.

rescue 1
11th Nov 2002, 03:42
This style of out sourcing is certainly gaining momentum - don't forget Jetconnect's operation in NZ, the other "low cost" operator in the QF stable.

Where next for them?

11th Nov 2002, 03:46
AA is targeting a completely different market to Qantas internationally. Should AA begin domestic operations it would compete directly with Virgin, and take capacity from mainline. It might even be possible that AA takes up almost all the Qantas domestic market, and sees Qantas return primarily to international services - as it was prior to the merger!

After all history is a circle :D

Having said that, I don't think any of these sinister propositions will come true - AA is targeting its own market for now, and there are strong, fair ties between the mainline and AA pilot bodies. Its alright for the boss to admit he would like to employ direct entry pilots because they're cheaper in the short term - he's got a job to do... but everyone knows the problems involved, and in the long term, the gains probably don't outweigh the effort involved. The QF 767 crews are already pretty darn good value on the world scene!


11th Nov 2002, 05:57
I agree with those who make the point about the current wage situation at AA not being less than QF. For most of those who have gone it is indeed a payrise, and good luck to them

What I said at the beginning of this thread was that in an effort to reduce training costs AA will take DE pilots.

This comes from comments made by the AA CP recently.

The point from sidewalk about training infrastructure is well made, but there must be a cost saving though DE guys, otherwise one presumes the comment would not have been made by the CP in the first place

It may well be that the DE guys are paid the same as the ex QF guys. On this I have speculated only that if you are going to have DE pilots this gives an opportunity to have a different set of conditions also.

The situation where a wage cut eventuates will only be determined with time. Maybe there will be different pay scales for DE / QF guys.

I am a bit exasperated at the anti union pilot sentiment expressed by a number of posters when AIPA is neither militant nor aggressive industrially.

11th Nov 2002, 07:43
Unions should be a desirable and necessary part of industrial life, but are incapable of rising to the challenge.
Union officers unfortunately are somewhere between Parking Cops and Politicians and CASA in the food chain……and that’s insulting to most Parking Cops but probably the originating source to that well known phrase………” **** floats to the top”
Often with a strong British or Scottish accent….why is that?
Educated?………..not visibly.
Interests?………..self advancement, recognition, power
……in that order.
Track record?…...truly legendary. Just ask an Ansett employee. If you don’t know one wait outside Centrelink. But such track records are industry wide not industry specific.
I was never an Ansett employee and I regard their actions collectively and individually as a new way to spell dumb, but weigh up ACTU response to the influx of Hawke assisted IFALPA pilots and recalculate the self interest quotient that is the hallmark of all unions.

12th Nov 2002, 03:10
It is about training costs a lot, salary a little but mostly about power.To avoid the AIPA qantas took the first step in the early 90's to cause natjet/airlink. This was the first low pay jet group.AN felt they lost some competitiveness here and so put the F50 into Skywest at reduced wages to AN. Now we see QF doing it again in New Zealand(former short haul flying).Add to this Impulse etc. and you can see a pattern developing.Its called divide and conquer. Of course the AIPA do basically ****** all about it because of the long haul domination and a "it doesn't affect me" kind of attitude. The AIPA has the ignominy of allowing the creation of multiple low pay competition to erode its own position in the long term.I concur with sidewalk and say that unions are self serving and short sighted. I will stand up for my old union at AN and at least say they did take the company to court to fight for equal pay at Skywest for the F50.They lost but tried. Airline management are basically as stupid as your average pilot.They dont give a stuff about your life,career,family etc and if they reckon they can get a cost saving they will. Its business. If one company manager believes his competition has an advantage in some way. no matter how small, then he will move mountains to have the same to level the field. Our challenge as pilots is to get all pay scales roughly the same . This is the challenge too for the AIPA. They remain the pre-eminent group in oz and thus are responsible . If the AIPA pull out all stops to uphold the profession ,rather than look after their own short term wants, then I will stop bagging them, we'll all be better off and management will stop fighting with its own employees and start fighting the opposition like it should be doing.

12th Nov 2002, 04:03
Windup :D