View Full Version : FLYBE in to the black,but at what cost !!

16th May 2003, 23:49
JF and his team have certainly done a great job, turning round a Ģ20m loss in one year.
What about the cost ?
1.Rock bottom morale
2.Pilots and cabin staff leaving in droves
3.wages well below the industry norm
4.the CRJ fiasco.

Talking about new routes and replacing the 146's with 737's or whatever, is not going to stem the tide.
Unless the above issues are addressed quickly it's going to be a question of "will the last person to leave, please switch off the light":uhoh: :uhoh:

17th May 2003, 01:03

The number of resignations have not significantly increased since the 4% payrise was announced so my guess is that they have pitched it at about the minimum neccessary to not make matters worse. In order to make a real difference the increase would have to be 20-30% which would never happen.

BALPA seem to be have made no in-roads into the negotiations. As always we all have 2 options shut up or walk.

carlos vandango
17th May 2003, 01:43
bit of wishful thinking goin on here. How many Jet Captains have left recently?
No doubt about it, Flybe really should put theie T's and C's in order but there really aren't the jobs out there to trigger an exodus of experienced Jet Captains. That may change in time but unlikely in the near future.

17th May 2003, 01:59
73's ha

There is no way they will get a popular aircraft like that.
The reasons are very simple,they would have to pay the going rate for 73 drivers and there is no way the MD would do that while he continues to hate flight deck.
What they aspire to do is go for an all turboprop operation therefore enabling them to force the arificial low paydeal through as there is nothing to compare it to.
They have been using the old 73 line in exit interviews as a last hope for a while now.

Rgds K.I.L.

Raw Data
17th May 2003, 06:13
I see the flybe bashing machine is at it again! :rolleyes:

The truth is somewhat different to a lot of what is written above.

There is no intention to go all turboprop- that urban myth has been doing the rounds for ages. If you think about it, there is no way that could happen- it would mean, at the very least, the loss of all the Air France routes. Also, many routes are more often than not sustaining more than 90 pax per rotation- hard to do that in a Q400 without installing roof straps.

Many different airlines have different rates for 737 drivers, so the idea that aircraft selection is based on pilot salaries- laughable anyway- doesn't fly.

The Q400 is directly comparable with some other types, for example ATR72, Saab 2000, ATP. Well, maybe the ATP is in a class of it's own!

As for the MD hating flight deck- complete cobblers. I'm flight deck, have had several meetings with him, and have found him unfailingly attentive, pro-active and considerate of the needs of pilots- as he in fact is towards all the employees. I have always had prompt replies to emails I have sent him, for example.

What many people seem to forget is that he is trying to run a business. There has been no money for pay rises for some time- there is no point asking for a pay rise if the money isn't there for it (or if it would be irresponsible to do so in the financial climate prevailing at the time). The trick now is to obtain a pay rise that reflects the companies circumstances- insisting on a big pay rise would likely result in redundancies, or, as in the case of some big US carriers, severe pay cuts a year or so down the line.

I for one am very happy that the MDs plan has resulted in my continued employment. There have been some sticky moments in the last two years. It would have been much easier to re-start the business entirely, or make swingeing cuts in pay and lots of redundancies to realise the financial targets. We (the employees) are actually extraordinarily lucky- although few would agree, I guess.

Folks in flybe mostly realise that we are in a rebuilding phase. Yes, there are many problems with salaries, T&Cs, rostering practices etc. Yes, we need to see progress in these areas. But first things first!

Now just hang on while I get my (flouresecent yellow) flak jacket on... ;)

17th May 2003, 11:41
Commander Raw Data,

For a pilot curently in a base from where his type is being withdrawn, and where most of the pilots who were content with their lot are being asked to move to Southampton to retain their job at the complete expense of lifestyle. something which the company seems to consider quite acceptable. You seem oddly up beat about the current circumstances. Towing the company line is very commendable especially when when it seems FlyBe jet jobs north of the border are soon to be a thing of the past!

FlyBe/British European/Jersey have always been the employers of some of the finest, most loyal and in recent times, by necessity, tolerant crews but even you must admit that the tolerance is reaching breaking point!

17th May 2003, 17:59
I had just writen a very long reply and got a lot of points of my chest when my computer coughed and I lost it.
:p :p
I do believe that we are going to a single fleet.
We have lost contracts already the air bridge for example.
We have lost air france routes on the crj to city jet and brit air already in the past. Before anyone blames the crj remember air france has them operating on many of their routes.
Following a kick start meeting where I was lied to by someone I am supposed to respect I shall be leaving asap.
Oh and I am a jet captain looking around and what was the great company I joined.

:mad: :mad: :mad:

Push to talk
17th May 2003, 18:56
Raw Data,

please correct me if I am wrong. But thought I saw your name not that long ago looking for an other job as well.:ooh:
I know plenty of people at BE and always hear that when they have JF on board he never makes the effort to go on the flightdeck to shake a hand. (and this is not because the door is locked and all)
Would make me wonder as well......:confused:

Aviation is not doing 'that great' at the moment, but people still leave flybe for other jobs. Says it all I guess. What happens if the business picks up?? Total exodus?!? It doesn't take much to seduce a flybe pilot!;) Seems that easy is giving flybe a bit of a sensitive blow, taking on loads of flybe pilots. :ouch: for flybe.

Loyalty will only work two ways, but after years of one way traffic the loyalty seems to be running out!:ugh: bakedbean seems to be a good example of this.

bakedbean, it has always been with flybe like it is now and most likely it will never change, so do what is best for you mate. Good luck!


17th May 2003, 19:11

You seem rather upbeat for someone who is considering returing home rather than fly a ghastly TP or suffer another base move. Safe journey to NZ you will be sorely missed.............................

Raw Data
17th May 2003, 21:23
Wow, civilised responses... whatever is happening to PPRuNe... ;)

JazzyKex (cool username BTW)

I'm obviously not overjoyed at what is happening at EDI, however having positioned to BHX about a zillion times in the last few weeks, I have noticed that all the flights I have been on (mostly in the middle of the day) have been full or very close to it. It seems to me that EDI-BHX is close to being ready for a jet.

I do agree, many people are pretty disillusioned at the moment. I am only upbeat because the company as a whole is on the up-and-up; the world does not revolve around my problems. A strong company ultimately benefits us all (or those of us who choose to stay). Many will stay, for a variety of reasons- for example not everybody want to work to FTL limits, get shafted w.r.t. bases etc.


You might think we are going to a single fleet- I have no idea why you think that, when we clearly need a 100+ seat aircraft for the routes we operate and the number of pax we carry on many of those routes. I suppose it is possible that all the directors have lied to us, that the people tasked with identifying a new type are actually just reading the paper all day, and that we don't intend to grow as a company. But I think not.

Yes we have lost a contract, but we have also picked up a lot of very lucrative work (for example some of the new charters).

Push to talk

Most pilots like to investigate new options, I'm no different... :rolleyes: If you had ever lived in NZ, you would understand... :cool:

People will always move on from airlines like flybe, most want to advance and of course if you are ambitious you need to have a Boeing or an Airbus on your licence. It has always been this way.

Easy has taken quite a few of our guys and gals, no surprise there as the equipment is better and the pay higher. Having said that, in the last few months we have also had a few wanting to return to flybe from Easy. Some have realised that despite the pay and equipment, there are times when the workload and other issues are not worth it. Easy is no paradise.

I agree though, that communication from our senior management is a serious problem. It has always been so, however a few of us have been vocal about it and hopefully it will change. FWIW, I have had a visit on the flight deck from our MD, but I assume he prefers not to in the current climate... I can also say that communication is a two-way street, most pilots sit in small groups and talk up a storm, but few actually pick up the phone and speak with a manager.


Would you want to fly a Q400...!!!

It might be a wonderful money-making tool, but from a pilots point of view... no thanks.

I think my point is that as long as I am in the company, I will support it as much as I can. It is actually a very good company- despite the bad press, we do treat our people pretty well... for example sticking by pilots with long-term medical problems rather than just ditching them. Most of it is not seen by most folk, but from many points of view, flybe is an excellent company. There are some obvious blind spots, but that is true for any company.

If and when I leave, it won't be because I don't like the company; more to do with other aspects of life.

If I didn't like the company, or where it is going, I would leave as soon as I could. So should anyone who has a problem with flybe, for their sake as much as for the company.

In the meantime, I will unashamedly support the company that pays my salary (whilst fighting hard to change some of the internal frustrations).

And if all that stuff makes you want to vomit... sorry! (not).

:yuk: :yuk: :yuk:

17th May 2003, 21:51
Love the rose tinted glasses which you look through,
Back in the real world 5 D8Q4's in BHD and one fisherprice jet.
Looks pretty one way to me!
Now they will have 146 skippers on jet money(sorry Flybe jet money) moving over to the dash and tp captains on the same aircraft on considerable less money.

Cadets climbing the walls to get out!(no prospects)
If they take a command,their mates on average jet money are still on more.

Oh and average jet operator salaries are within 2/3K not 10/15 behind the hole industry.

RD I admire you upbeat,P.M.A. but your loyality will go with the rest of the good will that flybe/BE/JE have lived on for a long time.
(as a distant memory)

I sincerly hope they do get their act together as there is still enough time to get all the loyal long timers back on side and they will do well but as stated before "it takes 2 baby"

Rdgs K.I.L.

17th May 2003, 22:17
keepitlit - You seem to be on a bit of a downer on flyBE, I had hoped you might be more grateful as they gave you a job when no-one else would have you. Take some advice from one who hears a lot and says very little, but if it were me I would keep the old trap shut and shuffle gracefully back to the big blue bus...you never know when you might need another comfy seat the next time bmi start "downsizing"....

17th May 2003, 22:29
rathlin or what ever
I see you just reregistered,why!Do i know you?
with regards to your comments,get your facts right,before you try to impress me with your (lack of)knowledge.
I am merly airing my views of which these forums are set up for.

Rgd K.I.L.

P.S. i didnt start the forum,but hey i must of got under your skin,
I suppose I could hide behind a different name but then again im only stating what every one else knows.

No one else want you!

17th May 2003, 23:19
OK guys, perhaps I'm a bit naive. But when I started this post I really did'nt want to start a Flybe slagging contest !!
Once again;
When everybody else is going into the red, JF and his team get us back into the black...a fantastic achievement by anybody's standards, especially in this financial climate.
Whats needed now is some real leadership to get the morale moving in the right direction.
JF has admitted at kickstart that he was wrong and the 146 is simply not big enough to shift the passenger numbers he needs to move the Company forward. Therefore there is no way the Company will be an all D8-400 fleet, not unless Bombardier intend to build a 150 seat version ! The 400 will eventually be used to go into places that the 737's of EJ and Ryanair just can't go.
The pay may not be brilliant, we may not be flying shiny new 73's or Airbuses but many people in the Company are feeling a hell of a lot more secure now than this time last year.
As for going to EJ...... I'd rather give up flying and become a plumber !!

Raw Data
18th May 2003, 00:35

Fair enough- I hear what you are saying. My only response would be that what is happening at BHD doesn't reflect what is happening to the company as a whole- SOU is the bright shiny new base, and it is definitely a jet base. As BHD doesn't serve more distant destinations in Europe, it is only logical to go for a mainly turboprop operation.

The other point is that the majority of our charter destinations cannot be served by the Q400- not enough seats (or performance). Charters make us a lot of money.

Regarding no prospects- don't quite understand that. A cadet in this company can look forward to jet command, or turboprop command a bit sooner if he or she so desires. What is there to look forward to in Easyjet? A 737 command- maybe- if you keep the right people happy (such are the vagaries of a non-seniority based promotion system). Same goes for training slots- far more possibilities with us.

Anyway... time will tell.


Quite. I wouldn't want to go to Easy either!

18th May 2003, 00:44
You take the flack well.

I sincerly hope all works out for you and the rest .
My comments are not intended to be taken as harshly as some might think they are.

Yes I have a few things I dont agree with but thats all I have to say.
Apart from EMB190's would be nice

Rgds K.I.L.:ok:

carlos vandango
18th May 2003, 00:46
why get all vocal now about flybe..better to fade away in the current climate than make a name for yourself. In fairness to them they did give you a job when you 'left' BMI. At the time nobody else was hiring. Taking a career break rather than face redundancy was a particularly smart move on your part. But why are you going back early? I thought the BFS bus was crewed for the summer?
That aside, as you havn't flown a 'fisherprice' jet, don't knock it. It has it's good and bad points (more good) just like the bus.;)

18th May 2003, 01:28
Your quite right I havent flown it,fisherprice is just a local nick nickname,like scud,ect no jib intented


18th May 2003, 01:44

Lying by Management is unacceptable, period.

Being stitched up by Management is also unacceptable.
Although some seem to think other wise; as it appears to regularly feature in the MO of certain individuals, along with the frontal lobotomy.

Being "kind to the long term sick" is mandatory under current employment law.
6 months on full pay I think you will find as your starter for 10.

Boy am I looking forward to the Q500 (the 100+ seat, Pogo stick)

Have a nice day.

18th May 2003, 03:39

You remind me of an abused but loyal dog. It's master has pulled through the poor job climate and is still earning enough money to feed it daily but also gives it a good kicking every now and then. :sad:

....and my point is..... Just because you feed an animal doesn't give you the right to abuse it !

Firstly I fully understand what you are saying regarding Jim turning the airline around, I too am glad to still have a job and also do not have a great desire to work for Easy. Unfortunately it doesn't help matters when we hear rumours that the latest BALPA pay claim was ignored by Jim right up to the last minute and then only looked for a total of 15mins during the pay negotiation meetings before basically being ignored again. :uhoh:
As for the comment Re. communication and us contacting him - surely it is the job of a manager to motivate his/her staff which involves communication for him/her to their staff, not the other way round. You may well have a much better insight into the mind of our beloved leader than we do but perhaps that is because as management yourself, it is your job to communicate with him.

Come on JF, do us all a favour and give that dog a bone !


carlos vandango
18th May 2003, 06:13
perhaps Jimbo was abused by crew in his time as a traffic agent at LGW and is taking his opportunity for revenge now!:sad:
One thing is for sure, he doesn't like crew and most likely never will.:uhoh:

18th May 2003, 06:44
Presumably, with the numbers of people leaving it can be assumed that anyone still at Flybe is there through some sort of choice - and rest assured that there are many companies worse than Flybe to work for (been there and done it!)

RD : I agree with a lot of what you say, but whilst the Q400 may have some faults what is wrong with it from a pilots viewpoint - modern glass cockpit, good FMS, Fadec... but of course you know about those things, flying a 146. The reality is that unless you crane your head round to see the props you could almost be in a CRJ, except there is more room to slide your seat back on the dash. The only issue is the salary.

KIL : Assuming I have guessed your identity, the company you are returning to offered you two choices after 9/11 - career break or redundancy. Some of the BMI bus pilots were offered RHS instead of LHS and a return to F/Os salary. So surely the jet pilots flying dash 8s on ringfenced salaries shows that flybe are treating its crews better than BMI did in a similar situation. Under employment law they could almost certainly get away with t.p. pay or statutary redundancy payments - as, if what you say is correct, the jet jobs at BHD aren't being offered to anyone else - they are ceasing to exist.

PD2 : Are you a Balpa member - if so talk to one of the cc reps - supposedly the pay talks are far from dead.

18th May 2003, 09:17

Unless you have a clause in your contract allowing "ring fencing"
or any other terminology that effects your pay by a deduction, then it is an unlawful deduction of salary.

You must (and are entitled to) remain on your full salary including in service increments/loyalty increments regardless what type the company decide to retrain you on.

All the other Airlines (that I'm aware of) that have demoted Captains to First Officers, or, have retrained crews on to a smaller type(whether it be a jet or turbo prop) that warrants a deduction in salary, have such clauses in their contracts.
So it is "Lawful"under their contracts of employment.

My contract does not allow that facillity, and therefore would be an
"unlawful deduction" which could be challenged at an Industrial tribunal and/or the High Court, should it be neccessary.

So the bottom line is, under the current employment laws, which cover our Ts & Cs, you retain what ever salary you are on; including the in service increments, which are also part of your
Ts & Cs.
It's THE LAW end of story. Unless your contract says other wise.

Read your contract .

PJ2, nice one!
Nip back paddy wack..........

18th May 2003, 19:59

I think you're rant just reinforces the point I was making to KIL.

You say that Flybe have to keep pilots on the higher salary as it is the law - and BMI didn't have to as they deliberately included a clause in their pilot contract enabling them to adjust the pilot's salary downwards if required.

So who has treated their staff better - Flybe (salary maintained), or BMI (salary reduced) ?

"Ring fencing", in this context, is the term that was used by MW at the base meetings last year to describe keeping jet pilots on the same salary when they returned to the t.p. fleet - not a way of reducing salaries.

18th May 2003, 20:11
Well pilots that I talk to from other airlines including scheduled and charter by the sounds of things have had it worse than us at flybe. They may get paid more in the long run but it all sounds like swings and roundabouts to me.

I'm keeping low and quite and enjoying the exodus as my seniority slowly starts to rise compared to its stagnation of past.

Out with the old and in with the new I say.

18th May 2003, 20:27

Not a rant, just sharing the info, so that others may make up their own minds and draw their own conclusions.

Hope this helps.

18th May 2003, 20:30

Yes I am a BALPA member and yes I'm sure the pay talks are far from dead.

My point is...... When members of the CC go to all the trouble of producing a detailed pay offer and then give it to the management months before arranging a pay negotiations meeting, I would have at least expected Jim to read it BEFORE he walks in to that meeting. :mad: I know he has got to play hard ball for the sake of the company but if you don't treat people with respect, including BALPA, then you can expect them to give you the same treatment.

18th May 2003, 23:25
Sorry your a bit of the beaten path with your info
just like a few others,nice try though,some interesting comments,

Rgds K.I.L.

Card players never reveal their hand unless they have to!

19th May 2003, 00:00
Could it be that MW did not give Jim the details of the pay offer, also like the number of people leaving.

19th May 2003, 02:04
I'm sorry, but I just dont follow Smokie's contractual arguments.
The Company has effectively replaced 4 CRJs with D-8s. presumably Smokies original offer letter referred to the CRJ--it didnt say 'some kind of jet'. Therefore the hard ball position would be that the CRJ pilots could be made redundant. The company is not 'deciding' to retrain these pilots on the D-8, it is offering alternative employment in line with seniority. Just as the Contract does not refer to ring fencing, it also does not refer to pilots being paid other than the rate for the job; why should any D-8 pilot be paid more than any other ?.
It would be quite feasible for BALPA D-8 pilots to challenge the Company's offer of red ringing in the reverse direction to that taken by SMOKIE.
I believe the Company's offer is a generous compromise undertaken on the usual Flybe hope that the problem will go away given time---which could happen sooner rather than later snce the reduction in the jet fleet is probably only temporay.

19th May 2003, 02:15

My apologies if you're not who I think you are.

The info about BMI came pretty much from the horses mouth - a BMI airbus Captain in exactly that position - although he was very drunk when he told me.

Raw Data
19th May 2003, 03:13
Some interesting points.

Regarding salaries/ringfencing etc, maxprop is quite right. The company could easily have done what many others have done over the years, and make the CRJ guys redundant- and then offer them new jobs on the D8 with new T's and C's. Quite legal and commonly done.

Similarly, regarding sickness, I am 99% certain that smokie is wrong on that one as well, as a condition of employment is a valid medical. That is a different situation to a person who simply cannot attend work due long-term sickness. As soon as you lose your medical, you have broken your contract. In any case, the company has kept people for well in excess of six months on occasion- which simply reinforces the point. I'm no expert on contract law, but I would imagine that the company can do quite a lot, as long as it isn't specifically mentioned in the contract, and doesn't affect your statutory rights.

Regarding the pay negotiations, there is a lot of mis-information about regarding that. The negotiations are not just on-going, but close to a resolution from what I have heard. Expect to hear more in the near future. With all that is going on at the moment, I am not at all surprised that the MD wasn't (allegedly) well briefed. I say "allegedly" as I wasn't there, and nor were the rest of you.


the Q400 may have some faults what is wrong with it from a pilots viewpoint - modern glass cockpit, good FMS, Fadec...

Whatever floats your boat. Many of your colleagues that fly it don't seem so keen. Mind you, I expect some crews enjoy all the time off they get when it breaks!! ;)

I wonder if the CRJ boys would agree it's the same if you don't look at the engines. Nope, thought not! :rolleyes:


Unfortunately it doesn't help matters when we hear rumours that the latest BALPA pay claim was ignored by Jim right up to the last minute and then only looked for a total of 15mins during the pay negotiation meetings before basically being ignored again

Well... perhaps you shouldn't listen to rumours then! More to the point, try looking at it from JFs point of view. He would have gone to the meeting knowing exactly how much money was available for pay rises without endangering the financial future of the company. Any proposal for more than that figure, in isolation, would obviously be rejected out of hand irrespective of what the rest of the document said. Now that some negotiation has taken place, we will no doubt see a little movement our way- but I doubt it will be more than a tiny increase on the present offer. The proposal, whilst obviously the minimum we would like, is pretty ambitious for a company only just emerging from near-death.

surely it is the job of a manager to motivate his/her staff which involves communication for him/her to their staff, not the other way round.

I absolutely agree, and I think this is an area where the company consistently fails to meet even a minimum standard (I'm sure I'll get an angry phone call or two for saying that, but it remains the truth). All our managers should be sent on communication courses next week (or earlier if possible). It isn't the individual managers fault; they have never been properly equipped for their roles, as far as I can tell. I, for one, am fed up with emails that never get responded to, voicemails that never result in a response, hearing that my base is under threat from Servisair, and the sheer pointlessness of trying to get anybody in EXT to answer a telephone after 3pm on a friday! :*

And finally... my boy has one of those Fisher Price toy jets, it does look a lot like a 146...!!! ;)

19th May 2003, 03:13
Max prop,

As I have said earlier it is case of employment law.
If the company have written ill thought out contracts then that is their problem.
Other airlines have managed to address any forseeable problems by including such clauses in their contracts; whether it is in the pilots favour or not is irrelevant.

The bottom line is a contract is a contract and any breach is unlawfull.
For once it appears that this ommission is actually in our favour for a change.
The company are not above the law, although they seem to think so at times.

If there is any doubt in anyones mind please feel free to ask your local solicitor or
Reg Allan at BALPA, who is the legal eagle.
He will also share his expertise with you.

Please dont just take my word for it, find out for yourselves, it will make you all feel a whole lot better.

19th May 2003, 04:32
RD, I think the Q400 is great, far better than the 'Classic'.

And I am beginning to believe the Q400's improved reliability. I haven't had a prob in quite a while now. Like the powder puff, once you get to know it, you can start to play many a different tune on it, and they getter better with practice. Unlike the landings!

19th May 2003, 05:24
RD ,

It is unfair to knock the aircraft when most of the perceived faults cannot be laid at it's door. There has been at least one day this month when 3 Bae146 aircraft were tech at the same time, the difference is that if a 146 breaks the sectors are normally picked up by another 146 crew and other fleets aren't involved. If a Q400 goes tech then as that is 25% of the fleet it almost always involves someone else so more people know about it and are able to make derisive comments.

Regarding what the CRJ crews think - that remains to be seen once they fly it. However, it depends if they enter it with an open mind, and I think that is unlikely, too many people in the company are looking for reasons not to like the aircraft. There are issues such as crew food, baggage space and instrument presentation, but those can be laid at the door of the company - when they purchased the CRJ they spent as much money as possible getting every extra there was (how many times have the HGS been needed in anger, for example). When purchasing the Q400 they have gone for the cheapest possible cabin and flight deck options, and expect it to do the same job as the CRJ.

At the end of the day, unless you are trying to build hours to work somewhere else (which due to geography I am not) does it matter if you fly a jet or a turboprop - ignoring for a moment the salaries issue which is what this thread is about ( I think). I've flown both, through force of circumstance at the moment I fly the Q400, and I still think it is potentially an excellent aircraft.

Capt. Airprox : Whilst I agree with most of your post I'm afraid the in with the new bit is absolute tosh. The company has to keep it's experienced captains, who are primarily on the 146, as they provide a wealth of experience upon which we can all draw - even if it's just asking a question in the crew room before you set off to a new destination.

Raw Data
19th May 2003, 08:21
I don't think the Q400 is a bad aircraft, in fact I'm sure it is a very good one, especially now we are getting on top of reliability. It will probably earn us oodles of cash, and turn out to be a good investment. As long as we use it as intended, I'm sure it will do exactly what it says on the tin.

However I don't particularly want to fly it. Thanks all the same. :cool:

Regarding the CRJ guys, the aircraft they flew was in an altogether different class to the Q400 (from a pilots point of view). Not better ot worse (depending on your viewpoint), just different. Probably why so many jumped at the chance to keep flying it, preferring a three-month contract to moving to the Q400 for as long as they wanted to stay.

No, I think the Q400 will be good for us. I am particularly looking forward to seeing us operating for lower sector costs than Easyjet can. We stand to do very well indeed.

19th May 2003, 16:44

I should be more specific without offending anyone, but I feel that the ones that are constantly moaning should go. I am fed up of entering the crew room to start a day of what I love doing (flying) and hearing negative, negative, negative.

At least with new crew they are all bright eyed and bushy tailed.

I do agree it is not a great thing to see good and experienced guys go for the reasons you state.

19th May 2003, 17:51
A question for the FlyBe people, and these are for my own benefit to get a better handle on what happened with the CRJs.

Did anyone leaving the CRJ for other fleets have to take a pay cut or otherwise lose out on Terms and Conditions?

Did anyone who relocated get financial assistance from the company to do so?

Has anyone lost seniority from this and will ex-CRJ pilots be at the front of the queue when new jet slots come up (A320/737/ERJ)?

What I guess I am asking is: Is the dissatisfaction displayed here down to a loss of earnings or down to a perceived (or genuine) loss of prestige due to the loss of a jet job?

Push to talk
20th May 2003, 08:23

how can you compare the Q400 Dash with the 146? If the 146 goes tech it is most likely because it is just an older machine, where the Q400 is pretty much brand new. That's different.
I it unfair to compare the Dashes with the CRJ. As said by people before, it is a different type of airplane. The CRJ is probably more suitable for routes where flybe uses a Q400 on and vica versa.

flybe's management seems to be very confident with the Q400 operation, seen the order that has been placed by them. But is this the right machine to go into Europe with? If the Q400 setup backfires flybe might have a big problem on their hands, since they will be stuck with an airplane that is not greatly wanted and desired by anyone.
The economics of the Q400 must be great, I have no doubt about that, but unfortunately it does not stop there. Aviation goes further than 'just' economics.
Also flybe seems to know this, because on every flybe add there is a 146 jet displayed and not a Q400. ;)

And excrab, as far as I can remember, the BE CRJ's had only one fancy option and that was the HUD. Which must have been a Bombardier salesman's succes. But the rest of the machine was also the 'cheapo' version.

Capt. AirProx,

it has always appeared that BE preferred to hire low time pilots, since these are very easy to push around. Because if they like what is happening or not, they will be unable to leave, seen their bond (although this doesn't seem to stop people anymore) and little experience. Their future will be relatively useless type-ratings on orphan fleets.:ouch: Unless they leave when they can.

And if people who moan should leave the company. Then they can probably shut down the company in three months time due to lack of pilots.:uhoh:
Where is smoke, there is fire.;)

Or is the whole thing just a test how long it takes to wear out the loyalty of a workforce?:confused:


20th May 2003, 16:39

We seem to be getting away from the subject of the thread into a debate about aircraft types, but to answer your points as best I can.

I can compare reliability of the Q400 to other aircraft because the rest of the company does, and rightly to. There is no reason why an aircraft should go tech because it is "old", each component is lifed on an aircraft - many of the 146s will have engines, pumps, brake lines etc etc which will have run no more hours than equivelant items on the Q400s, so there is no more or less reason to have a hydraulic problem(for example) on either type. However, a lot of faults in avionics and systems are more likely to occur in new aircraft as build faults manifest themselves, and this is not peculiar to Bombardier.

Unfortunately aviation doesn't go much further than economics. The primary aim an airline is not to carry the most passengers, but to make money for it's shareholders. To achieve this ten high paying passengers are less trouble than fifty low paying, but unfortunately those high paying passengers are no longer out there. As a result the most important part of any airline now is not the flight ops department but the marketing department. Whether the Q400 is the right aircraft or not remains to be seen, but economically the option of more 146s or CRJs would not have worked for a low cost carrier. Had they instead gone for 737/A320 they would have lost the chance to operate from smaller regional airports serving thin routes, and come into direct competition with Easyjet/Ryan Air.

Finally regarding options - the HGS, INS, dual FMS and ovens are all options on the CRJ and (according to BRAD) on the Q400. However, Flybe have chosen not to fit them to the Q400 thus giving themselves less flexibility in flight operations and passenger service.

Push to talk
20th May 2003, 17:10

First of all I am not really interested in a big discussion and wasn't the whole topic already moving away from its name when people started to be quite personal, as it appears, with Keep It Lit?
BTW, this is not really mature behaviour of people, because why not have a normal discussion without getting personal? Even if this requires a bit more discipline from people.

Anyway, the BE CRJ's weren't fitted with flap 8 and logo lights (if I remember correctly), which are peanuts compared to the extra's you mention. But this is not a contest and you seem to know quite a bit more about options on the BE airplanes than I do anyway, so..;)

About the theory of old and new airplanes. What you say makes sense, but how come the 'known' reliability of the CRJ's was generally a lot better than the 146's. Is this just a matter of design, airplane quality or because the 146 is older?
Maybe Bombardier just went a bit too far with stretching their 8's.

Ain't it fun to have a little discussion in the morning?



20th May 2003, 18:25
Excrab et al,

I won't get into a major discussion here but merely wanted to highlight to Joe Public who read this thread that not ALL crew are hacked off with low morale. Maybe I am only speaking for myself and maybe I will be the only one left in the company soon!

However, I seriously do believe that there are many others that share my outlook but perhaps don't have the confidence to stand up in the crew room and be the opposition to those bleating on about how hard they have had it. I am sure flybe is not alone in this. Infact I am well aware this is the case as I have worked for 5 airlines now and the crew room chat is always the same. The crewroom can be likened to a factory shop floor. This does not imply that those moaning have not had a valid reason to be fed up. But if I take my blinkers off I see the "big picture" and realise that is aviation today, not the individual airlines fault.

For instance I stood up recently when forced into trying to say the payrise was a shocker and when was I leaving. I was quite blunt back and said my views. All I got was sneers and contempt................... Whatever!

Raw Data has got some good points. I have chatted to many other flightdeck of other majors and minors. Most if not all seem to have a very insecure situation with redundances and forced base changes and pay cuts or demotions. We have on the whole been very lucky.......On the whole. But there have been a few loosers I agree.

I am just glad that flybe can realise the dreams of many wannabes that have been waiting in the wings for a while now shoveling pony doodoos whilst we have been flying around above them. We can all remeber back to those days!!!!

20th May 2003, 18:38
What is wrong with the Q400? Cockpit? Feels like a great working place to me. Performance? Hard to complain about that. Speed? Within 700miles we never found a problem staying within the jet schedules. Altitude? How often do you really meet a line of TS on route which you cannot circumnavigate. Reliablity? Sure she sometimes says -no go -when there is no reason for it - anoying. But besides these nuisance messages, are there any real design problems, something to be scared of? Never met one.

I donīt know if the PAX like it enough - marketing has to decide that . I understand that maintenance hates it some times - but I donīt work there. From a pilots standpoint, I donīt understand what should be wrong with that plane.

Well of course after two years of flying Q400 I still met nobody knowing the trick to consistently land her somehow smooth.

20th May 2003, 19:49

Great to hear your comments on the 400.
I don't fly it, but know several who do. You've got to be impressed by it's peformance ! What was it somebody was getting the other day, 360 kts cruise, 4000 roc with full load ! and a fuel burn of 30% of the 146. Maybe somebody could verify that !

When are people going to realize that it's not the Public that don't like turboprops, it's us pilots ! For reasons of pay and our own pride we don't want to fly them. Thats why we slagg off TP's, in the hope that our management don't buy them. Whilst one or two pax might mention the 'Lancaster Bomber' they're about to board, the vast majority of passengers when later asked what engines their aircraft had, would'nt have a clue !
The very few pax that are put off and would'nt book again because of a/c type are easily accounted for in lower operating costs. Anyhow in a recent survey I saw, ticket price, running to schedule and friendly service (in that order) now seem to be the most important factors when choosing an Airline.

Maybe FLYBE management have made a correct and courageous decision going for Q400's, lets hope so!. Time will tell.
I can think of plenty of Companies who went bust, shortly after getting jets (Jersey European very nearly after the 146's). But I can't think of one who went bust through NOT getting jets. :ok:

21st May 2003, 02:34
I know i'm barging in on an unrelated matter, but
I would be much obliged if any of the flybe chaps posting could furnish me with any information you can offer on the flybe pilot interview. E.g structure, how long it lasts type of questions put to candidate etc etc .....
Excuse me for being simplistic but whatever niggles you may have about the Q400 surely it beats flying a PA28 with a leaking door.

Cheers Chaps.

21st May 2003, 05:50
Yep and I'm sure there was a time when you wished you were flying a PA28 instead of the single engine A/C you were in.

Thats the trouble with most pilots, including myself. There's always something else your wishing you are in - and a different A/C too. :D

21st May 2003, 06:06
Hey up Capt Air Prox.
"I am just glad that flybe can realise the dreams of many wannabes that have been waiting in the wings for a while now shoveling pony doodoos whilst we have been flying around above them. We can all remeber back to those days!!!!"

Thats just the sort of talk yon directors luv. When will you types get it into yer heads that yer should get a fair days pay fer a fair days work. When t'wind is owling round t'cockpit window, its raining so ard you can't see t'end of the runway, and yer've got so much rudder in yer little knees are trembling, all that "dreams" rubbish goes out t'window. If you cock up you loose yer job and the airline loses a lot of dosh. So don't sell yerself so cheap. Yer worth more than that.

To that other fella who ses me beloved 146 is like a "fisherprice toy"... Sort yerself out lad. When yerve flown a few more types in yer long and distinguished career, you'll realise its a reet good bit of kit. Especially when you loose an engine. Its as safe as houses.

As fer t'rest of yer. I ope thing get better, and them fancy people with them fancy words start to realise yer true worth.

All t'best.

21st May 2003, 08:31
Aye Perseus, reet grand lad!
An dont let 'tem yung wippur snappers furget it lad....

Many twas day when wur flying 't Saabruuken or 't Koln, wit hower own persnal snow storm t'up threw chuffin flowere, int midle ut night.

Y' tell yung kidds t'day an they dont beleeve ye ! ;) ;)

RD, still that 1% element of doubt ? :uhoh:

Raw Data
21st May 2003, 12:02
...errr... nnno. Not that I am quite sure what you are talking about!:confused:

21st May 2003, 17:54

Losing your medical is not deemed a breach of contract.

Cabin crew don't hold a CAA medical .

22nd May 2003, 00:23

Where exactly does it say that the airline is profitable?

Sunny Jim was recently quoted as saying the airline was "cash neutral" - which means there is plenty of money in the bank for summer seats sold but not yet flown.

That's quite different from profitability. Beware the flyBE PR machine - being a limited company and not a plc they can be more than a little economical with the truth and get away with it.

Only a couple of months back, Jim himself admitted that the airline was still a year or two off profitablility.

22nd May 2003, 01:36
The annual result was announced at a meeting last week and will be available on the Intranet shortly. Basically, the Company is now better than cash neutral--an operating loss was offset by other random income and resulted in a small actual profit. It is quite correct to say that further progress is needed before an day to day operating profit is achieved.

22nd May 2003, 02:17

Your quite right but it still beats doing the same thing in a freezing, leaking, noisy cockpit of a Baron, Seneca or Navajo into Alderney with NDB only approach and 60kts of wind over the cliffs, at night and raining. The Dash is a piece of piddle compared to that. A Lucking Fuksherry. ;-)

22nd May 2003, 02:31

Does the random income include a large injection from the trust or any compensation for the RJX programme being cancelled?

Was it substantial or small? Jim suggested the trust injection was not insignificant.

22nd May 2003, 03:49
The aim this year was to be cash neutral i.e. no injection from the trust. This was bettered (slightly) in a small profit. Reading the figures which will be on the intranet I think the RJX compensation was in the previous financial year i.e. used to offset the previous large loss.

Aerial Anarchist
22nd May 2003, 15:56
The reclusive family in the Channel Islands will simply modulate the so called " neutral" situation to prevent an uprising by the staff for fair pay. The hidden element is that FlyBe lease it's aircraft from very expensive sources and pay way over industry norm for the privilige. Take a look how BE BAe 146 lease rates rocketed up over recent years when so many were laying around parked up and stored.

So who owns the lease company? - non other than the "offshore" Walker Family Trust who suck all of FlyBe's cash back into there pockets in Jersey.

You lot may as well give up!

22nd May 2003, 21:45
"So who owns the lease company? - non other than the "offshore" Walker Family Trust who suck all of FlyBe's cash back into there pockets in Jersey."

By eck lad yer've made me blood boil. When I was there, (for quite a while) in t'good old days, there was many a time when we was struggling a bit on t'profitability side, an it was Mr Walker what put is and in is pocket and bailed us out. If it weren't for that there wouldn't be an airline. We always got a Turkey at Christmas an a bonus too. I was never short of a crate o brown ale fer t'festivities. Don't know where you get yer ideas from, but yer way out lad!

Capt Air Prox.

I see yer point lad. Anyway anyone what can do one of them NDB things as got my respect, cos the're reet ard.

All t'best.

23rd May 2003, 17:25
Wonder you you guys in EXE will be getting next as the word on the Islands is that JF is moving on soon into retirement and some in the "family" will be very glad to see him go

23rd May 2003, 18:24
Classic post perseus!


23rd May 2003, 19:24
I heard some mutterings at EGTE the other day about the lack of additional BAE.146-300s available for lease. Flybe were alleged to be looking at adding 4 Fokker 100s to the fleet instead. Dunno if there is any truth in it - this is a rumours board after all!


Whispering Giant
25th May 2003, 20:20
12 o'clock high - you really do live in dreamland dont you !!!
I dont think somehow that J.F will be retireing especially as he has been awarded ' The Airline Executive of the Year' award. If you dont have anything intelligent to say i suggest that you dont say anything.

Aerial Anarchist
26th May 2003, 06:05
Worked here 5 years - never met the guy! - british style manager.

Award, him, I don't think he would accept something like that do you? - with his reputation?

27th May 2003, 05:14
Perseus, you really should be with us. Keep smiling cos it makes a change to see that around here!