View Full Version : Those of you in the CEP "hold pool" forget it...

11th Oct 2001, 16:37
It is a clear fact the BA will definately not restart the CEP within a year. The airline industry is currently in turmoil, there will be a large increase on trained pilot available as this recession grows. When jobs do become available there will not be many, there will be plenty of qualified pilot to apply so competition will be stiff. BA have major cash problems that analyst predict will not be fixed with 3 year, so it is plain to see BA will not be starting a CEP in a hurry.

Rumour has it the 1 year "holdpool" is just a unlikely hope given by BA to applicants to , when both BA and industry analysts clearly no that this problem could take up to 5 years to recover some what.

I not a pesimist, I am a realist. I would like everyone to achieve their flying ambition however those of you hoping BA will magically restart their CEP with a year are mistaken.

11th Oct 2001, 16:55
Completely agree with you 767. Cannot imagine BA reinstating CEP for at least another 18 months. Glad I didn't get in; I would have been with the early september lot :eek:

Fortunately enough seems like my prefered choise in aviation is likely to see some more business in the future :p


Ps, Did anyone on the June 21 BAFB get in?

Capt Rommel
11th Oct 2001, 18:21

thanks for your friendly word of advice. Or maybe you should f*** o** and stop discouraging the CEP hold pool people. Why? Because nobody knows when the scheme will resume, apart from you obviously. Now before you bore me and everyone else with your apparent insight in the aviation industry, or the fact that you are a "realist", do everyone a favour and "realise" this:

Nobody can forecast what's going to happen. Yes, things will resume, but when this happens, nobody knows. 10 months? 18? 5 years? Is this worse than the gulf war? It may seem gloomy so at the moment, but the bottom line is that things depend mainly on consumer confidence, and nobody can claim to reliably know when this will resume. These things have happened before, and BA is in a great position to see this through.

If you had "sources" within BA, you would know well that even they don't know what's going to happen. Everyone hopes this will recover soon, and I'm sure that includes applicants as well as those responsible for the CEP scheme. I don't doubt for a second that BA will survive this better than any airline exposed to the transatlantic routes.

I am curious, then, why it is "a clear fact" that things will not resume within a year.

You're kiddin me, right? The industry is in turmoil? I would have never guessed. LOOK - you're telling everyone what they already know. It's just about hoping things will work out AND being realistic at the same time. Some of the people who *do* actually give productive advice on this forum, such as WWW, may well paint a gloomy picture of the future. At least they say what their assumptions are based on and they're genuinely helping the wannabees. You're not.

CAT - shame you didn't get in. Obviously you have the answers all figured out. Maybe you and neil767 should get together and, using your infinite wisdom, come up with the answers for all of this.

:mad: :mad: :mad:

11th Oct 2001, 19:00
All apologies heir capitan - But still nevermind!

I would like to make one thing absolutely clear here - I wish all CEP holdees EVERY success and every ounce of luck going because the point is that they are going to need it.

I don't excuse myself for not pulling my punches and I am very sorry if that upsets you but that is the way I think events are going to unfold.

But as you say the future is not written and I dearly hope to be proven wrong.


11th Oct 2001, 19:37
Though it does present a fantastic opportunity for those who could not afford an AB-initio course to enter civil avaiation, CEP schemes are not the be all and end all, there are other options.

Considering the current uncertainty, possibly the only productive thing to do at the moment for those who are committed to and desperate to get started on a career in the airlines, is to use this time to get things going.

But remember Clive Hughes's advice and never pay it all up front - (his book is worth getting if your are about to look into training and don't know where to start)

If you want it badly enough, the lack of CEP schemes should present an inconvenience not the end of your aspirations.

Good luck and get researching


11th Oct 2001, 23:34
I would much rather some one give us a realistic heads up, rather then blast b******t to make us feel better!!

Wee Weasley Welshman
12th Oct 2001, 01:06
For those that may be interested here is my assessment of when the BA TEP will be back in action. All info is either speculative, subjective or derived from analysis of 1991, talking to OATS staff or my somewhat vague contacts in BA HR...:

Supply - at least 400 wide body and 900 narrow body pilots are available to BA for recruitment at the present time. These figures are likely to increase by 20% over the next year. All carrying relevant type rating but by no means all the type of people BA would have employed in times gone by. At least 50% would not get into BA even in the current climate. Sim rides and pilot interviews are still sacrosanct(?).

Demand - even allowing for all possible retirements BA will be carrying 250 pilots for the next year. As these become better utilised over another years ops then places might become available. It is likely that many pilots would take the opportunity to work very hard given 2 years of relative quiet (remember in BA basic pay is lower and flight pay/allowances are larger). Therefore any actual recruitment need is likely to be masked until 2.5 years hence.

It is likely therefore - accepting these figures which you might well not do - that currently 'finished training' TEPS can expect 2 years until being called for JOC/Type courses. Those in the holding pool for training would expect a similar wait.

In the early 90's most people who had a "you have been accepted letter" but who had not got a training start date were later told that they needed to re-apply to the CEP *when* it re-opened. Whether they follow the same pattern again is anyones guess.

The real issue that should be worrying potential BA entrants is that of the whole future of BA shorthaul.

Brit Med and GB are making a damn good job of making the longer BA shorthaul routes pay. Brymon/Brit Regional are starting to and are capable of making shorter short haul routes make money.

None of these companies runs a TEP scheme. Or a Waterworld...


12th Oct 2001, 01:18
As I've said on another thread, it is quite impossible to make any reliable predictions for when things will pick up while the aviation world is so jumpy, and world events are still directly affecting traffic loads. When military action is over, and people have stopped 'seeing' terrorists in every shadow, analysts will be able to start giving sensible predictions about the rate of industry recovery. That will obviously be related to both passenger confidence and overall economic confidence, both of which are shaky right now.
It will improve, and it will eventually recover to the line predicted before the 9/11 events - so there will be jobs, eventually. Once BA has some idea of the shape, health and future of their business, they will have to restart training sharpish. They still have a large number of pilots approaching retirement, and they can't afford to let their pilot establishment drop below the fleet requirements. BA has, for a long time, a policy of simultaneously taking in both experienced and ab-initio pilots, and I see no reason for this to change. So, even before any return to pre-September aircraft numbers BA will need new people. I personally doubt that you'll be in limbo for more than 6-9 months, but, of course, I could be wrong!
The main thing is, don't lose hope. But don't expect any great amount of information at the moment when no-one knows how it's all going to pan out. We're all using the same very foggy crystal ball!

Wee Weasley Welshman
12th Oct 2001, 01:33
Agreed. Very very difficult to predict things at the moment.

I stand by my figures though and can't see any TEP movement for 2 years.

Not to say I might talking out of my @<hidden> mind because, god help me, its happened before and will again.


Wee Weasley Welshman
12th Oct 2001, 01:37
You see folks. Even here at PPRuNe HQ 2 people (Scroggs and me) can have a differing views without calling each other names and getting all upset. The value of reasoned debate can never be underestimated...


12th Oct 2001, 01:46
My younger brother was caught in the 1991 slump as a BA Prestwick CEP. They were told "if you want to wait your turn, we will take you on in strict graduation order". He did and they did. However, while he was on the list they took over BCal and Dan Air - leading to a huge influx of more senior, laid off pilots who slotted into the pool above him (I believe he was holding down a number greater than 500 at one point!).

BA had first call on all CEPs for 12months - after that they were free agents. BA also said that they would consider on merit any application by a CEP to leave the pool before the 12 months was up if they were offered a job - and a great many did. My brother stuck with it, got a job in BA customer services at LHR in the meantime to gain pension/staff travel rights, and waited his turn. After 3 years on 737 at LGW he is now into his 3rd year on 777 at LHR/LGW. He believes it was worth it.

BA were true to their word - they gave all the CEPs jobs in turn although they were unlucky to get the DAN/BCal guys drop in on top of them.

My brother has been told that BA will need to replace over 200 pilots next year - even with the reduction in capacity. BA are not finding it easy to recruit from other airlines these days - the pay and conditions do not have much advantage over the likes of easyJet!!!! The BA CEPs here (who are behind quite a number of others in the pool) have been told ABSOLUTE WORST CASE is 2 years.

In my opinion - don't give up hope - you will get a job and I believe it will be sooner rather than later (BA will be recruiting once Stelios has bought you out, closed Waterside, sacked thousands of bean counters, expanded the route network and painted the jets orange!).

12th Oct 2001, 01:53
Aw! WWW, don't spoil the fun! Outside, now, you and me (cries of 'Fight!, Fight!).

Bet my Dad's bigger than your Dad.

Wee Weasley Welshman
12th Oct 2001, 02:11
All wise words - and Scroggs I refuse to hit a man wearing glasses... ;)

The difference I see this time around is that 10 years ago there was no low-cost sector. Shorthaul BA never made money. With - Low cost coming into being the losses they now make are possibly no longer sustainable.

Virgin for example would not be affected as they are a long haul only airline. The Charters are not affected as they have never had one arm propping us the other - merely summer/winter schdules to balance. The transient and historic cycle will surely come and go as many have pointed out and drawn examples from.. Except, except, this time WILL BA shorthaul survive?

Between Franchising to BMed and GBAirways, between Brymon and Brit Regional buying Embaraers and being able to fly half way down Europe, between easyJet, Ryan and GO offering point to point cheaply and with sometimes equally attractive branding, between the decline of the all in one travel agent and the sort-it-yourself independent traveller with access to the Net and travel search engine.. can anything other than the 'very hard to break into; premium long haul routes remain profitable and in BA hands..?

I don't know.

But things are different now. As its only BA that do a full TEP then perhaps the TEP idea itself is now past its date?

Probably not. But possibly so. How things change and in what short order.



Capt Rommel
12th Oct 2001, 03:30
Wise words at last! Thanks for restoring order, WWW& Scroggs.

Well, IMHO BA isn't in as much trouble as it may seem. The short haul product is still different to that offered by *any* other UK airline, if possibly not to that offered by some continental carriers.

No matter whether BA's claim of superior customer service is true (I do think it is), there is a group of customers who will never fly the likes of Easyjet, Ryanair and Go; who will continue to fly BA. It's the same group of people who started complaining about taking the union jack of the tail planes, and the same group of people who have always flown BA. This may or may not be an "emotional" decision, but nonetheless the BA brand is about a million times stronger than that of *any* no-frills carrier - even if Stelios sticks fancy ads in the tube.

Now this powerbase of loyal customers may not amount to much in terms of passenger load. But, in reality, it's not just the brand and image that's different - it's BA's short haul product itself. Yes, it costs more to fly BA - but you can move on your seat and get some food as well. It also offers the unique advantage of taking people where they want to go. The no-frills market depends, as it happens, on taking people to and from no-frills airports - with cumbersome connections and hours of wasted time.

My point is that although no-frills is taking passengers off BA (and this has hit the company's bottom line), there is no reason why an appropriate short-haul product should not be profitable. But it's the "appropriate" that counts. Hence this may or may not involve some serious restructuring of the operation, but the mere fact that there is a passenger segment that is (1) willing to pay more for decent service (2) wanting to travel between the big airports means that there will always be business for a superior BA short haul.

Already the company has started to focus more on the profitable customer segments, and we know what that is - the premium passengers. I genuinely believe that this can be exploited even on short haul, and the no-frills carriers, by their very nature, are in no position to compete with BA here. The only real competitors are the other European flag carriers.

But while these things were already at the forefront of BA's mind *before* 9/11, the added "inconveniences" now make the whole thing a little more difficult...ahhh! Well I hope the CEP scheme will resume soon. But I'm just sick of 'experts' making their supposedly accurate predictions of when this will happen. :mad:

WWW, IMHO *any* airline that focuses on one segment too much is in danger - no matter if this is in terms of routes (Virgin - atlantic) or customers (easyjet - no frills) as soon as passenger loads in that segment drop. BA, by contrast, is very versatile and has therefore not been hit as badly as some others. What will happen if some occurrence just wipes out the no-frills market tomorrow? Having nothing to rely on, those carriers would just get wiped out, especially where there are no real assets and the planes are leased. This is why Virgin has been hit so badly, even though they're not a no-frills carrier: simply because they've been exposed to that one particular market segment. Nonetheless I do agree with Scroggs and think 2 years would be an absolute worse-case scenario. We'll see it through....


[ 11 October 2001: Message edited by: Capt Rommel ]

Harry Wragg
12th Oct 2001, 04:57
Have to disagree, BA is in TROUBLE. Question is, will the EU or British government bail it out. Don't give up, just expand your horizon's beyond BA. There are better companies to work for.


12th Oct 2001, 12:51
It will get better...

The problem with redundancies is they hit
the bottom line and make things worse rather
then better in the short term.

You need to be doing quite welll to afford to make redundancies on the scale BA want!

Wee Weasley Welshman
12th Oct 2001, 13:47
You have to feel a bit sorry for BA. Unlike Lufthansa and Air France they have not one, not two, not three but FOUR low cost carriers competing in their own backyard.

Which is why I think BA may be the first airline in Europe to have to split out it short and long operations. Back to the days of BEA/BOAC.

Interesting but idle conversation.


12th Oct 2001, 16:46
On paper BA shorthaul doesnot make a profit. This is largely down to the fact that the shorthaul operation is used to feed the longhaul flights. for example:- a pax buying a BA ticket from Man-BWI would have to travel man-lhr then lhr-bwi. As far as the accountants are concerned the man-lhr is also deemed to be a part of the longhaul budget.

i think BA shorthaul has a very largepart to play in the future, otherwise who else would provide the connecting traffic to LHR. Pax get pissed off with transfering to and from terminals let alone differant airports!

The Guvnor
12th Oct 2001, 18:06
I strongly suspect that BACE will be sold, in all probability to Maersk. BA's own shorthaul operations would then be in some doubt - and may also be 'franchised off' elsewhere.

This, as WWW rightly identifies, is an area of BA that has been a consistent money-loser; yet profitable for others.

I'm personally convinced that BA's going to transform itself into a 'superbrand' which will franchise out all operations and have a staff of 20. People would be employed by the franchisees, each of whom would have their own T&Cs.

I suspect as well airlines are going to pay much more attention to costs: and that will mean drastically salary cuts at the higher levels; more productivity requirements; and far less - if any - investment in CEP schemes. I also foresee the end of the seniority system which will mean that people will be employed based on the ratings they already hold: so if XYZ Air wants B777 pilots they will go out and employ 777 rated pilots; equally if they intend to close down the 737 fleet then that would mean that only the people on that fleet would be affected.

This is going to mean that more airlines are going to require that wannabes come to them with ratings that they need - as Southwest does in the States. No 737 rating; no interview. Simple as that.

Anyone who thinks that things are going to go back to they way they were before September is dangerously naive.

12th Oct 2001, 21:50
3 Greens is right - BA shorthaul never got a penny for moving pax from INV to LHR to get on to their transatlantic (or other ) long haul flights. This was used as an excuse for suppresing terms and conditions in the regions - all of which were apparently losing money (but only on paper).

A big shake up in accounting, management and associated procedures is called for. Why do short haul pilots get paid less for working harder? Even if they do fewer hours (not likely) they do more sectors, more take-offs and more landings - so should get more pay.

Once BA get rid of the bean counters and look at the big picture (outside of the comfey, open plan office) then they may see the light. Damn well hope so, anyway.

Splitting long and short haul to get a real idea of the state of play would be a good start - but is not just an excuse to recruit more managers!

Wee Weasley Welshman
12th Oct 2001, 22:47
The argument that BA shorthaul is profitable its just the way they do the sums is spurious.

IF other airlines were allowed to feed into LHR and LGW then it would be true. However, they aren't due to slots and therefore the nature of BA shorthaul is that it IS in fact subsidised by Long Haul.

BA's costs are massive. I feel sorry for the operational people - it would annoy me to hell that my productivity was soaked up by so many leeches in the Corporate Free Gift Strategy Dept.

But I'm no expert on airline economics and could well be dangerously naive and missinformed. Flight training, licenses and jobs is my area.

So I'll shut up now.

Cheers, WWW

rolling circle
13th Oct 2001, 04:32
"But I'm no expert on airline economics and could well be dangerously naive and missinformed. Flight training, licenses and jobs is my area.

So I'll shut up now.

Cheers, WWW"

It's taken a while but, at last, you've got something right!

Wee Weasley Welshman
13th Oct 2001, 23:45
Oh how droll.


14th Oct 2001, 02:50
Now come on .... after all it is HIS forum!

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