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Turboprops for Virgin Blue?????

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Turboprops for Virgin Blue?????

Old 14th Jan 2010, 08:46
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Let me see Wiz'. North to South, East to West.
  • Townsville
  • Lismore
  • Sydney
  • Orange
  • Dubbo
  • Wagga Wagga
  • Albury
  • Melbourne
  • Adelaide
Krusty.
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 09:19
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Smile

Gidday Vigi. Hope all's going well with you.

I understand they've spivved you all on the super guarantee? I've said all along they'd do anything to get out of paying any of the bonus to you guys, and it seems I was correct.

Never mind, recruiting in other airlines is stepping up this year apparently, so expect a lot of your colleagues from the Link and Rex to be called up for interviews.

Just remember, (as I wrote before) - the clause which was thrown in to the Sunnies EBA was a diversion to entice the guys (a sweetener, if you will) to sign off on what was otherwise a shitty EBA. The only reason it's in there is to be used as a lever against Cobham when the contract is next up for renewal. Purely to keep the Qantaslink Cobham jet contract lean, if you know what I mean. They have no intention of changing the preferred jet operator. That would require the expenditure of funds. Remember how tight they were about even spending the money to put the Q400 on the EAA AOC? Have they done that yet, or is it still on Sunnies AOC only?

Fat Bastard wins both ways with that EBA clause: He keeps Sunnies and Eastern pilots happy in the romantic notion that they'll get jets (and some guys will wait around in the foolish belief that this will eventuate), while he sneaks off to the negotiating table with Cobham in a couple of years, and says "our guys at Eastern and Sunnies can do it cheaper".

Of course, Cobham will sharpen their pencils as much as they can, and who knows - they'll probably pull it off. But I feel sorry for the Cobham crew that will be put under yet again more pressure financially.

My money's on Cobham for a leaner contract, and you guys are left to languish yet again in the deception that is the Institution at Number 42.

Keep this in mind, mate You guys deserve better.

JARSE!
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 10:06
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Hi Jarse

My bank account went up today

T&b
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 10:13
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Krusty and the like, why does DJ need REX? DJ have a AOC, have been operating in Australia for almost 10 years and during the last 18 months have added a few regional ports, so their is no advantage in buying REX. Plus don't forget Branson got burnt when he purchased the European operated he used to set up Virgin Express and said he would never buy another airline outright again (to much baggage).

And why do you say it would be a side ways move for the REX pilots if DJ got turboprops? I see it has a step up for those REX pilots who would join DJ, as they would be operating larger equipment (with better pay) with a career path to jets. It would be like the old days at Ansett and TAA, new guys join on the turboprop and work their way through the system.

Turboprops would fill in many dots for DJ such as Dubbo,Tamworth, Bundy, Gladstone, Devonport the list goes on and on. They could also replace/ supplement the E-jets into Coffs and Port ie they could start overnighting there, thus giving Qlink a run for their money. The E-jets could then be used on routes such as SYD - ASP, SYD -AYQ, BNE -ASP, BNE -AYQ, ADL -ASP -DRW and PER- ASP -CNS.

I just had a look at the ATR -600 on their web page, it looks like it will give the Q400 a run and the flight deck looks pretty flash (all glass now).

If Qlink are looking at jets again the 'C' series looks like a good machine.
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 12:04
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Gidday GAFA.

I never said DJ need REX. I said due to the high startup costs and the thin margins, it would probably be the most logical thing to do. In fact I'm not convinced it would be better for the crews if REX were to be taken over. Hense my statement in post #5.

I think DJ have enough to worry about with a mixed domestic fleet as it is. Not to mention an International carrier (setting new benchmarks in the lowering of pilot T&C's) that has yet to turn a profit, and will probably be sometime in doing so! And they now want to start a regional. I just don't buy it.

I would love to see DJ offer a real career path for pilots. Regional Turbo-prop to Domestic Jet to International widebody. Not only would that help to invigorate the profession, but in my mind would make perfect corporate sense. Give people long term goals within the corporate structure, and at the same time take the finite resource of experienced pilots from your competitors. Do you think it will happen like that? Not a snowball's mate! Just have a look at the track record.

If your view of better pay and a career path becomes a reality, then REX, QFlink, and the like will bleed, and bleed badly. However when you consider that a QFlink line Captain earns more than a VOZ F/O, I feel a significant shift in thinking from the Ivory Tower brigade just might be in order.

Do you honestly think that's going to happen?
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 12:53
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Been in this game very long have we bagchucka?

And what sort of pilots are they?
Apart from the cadets, where do you think the majority of your F/O's come from? GA is full of pilots with plenty of hours and good experience. With the lack of significant hiring in the past 12-18 months that pool of experience has only grown larger.
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 22:20
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I see it has a step up for those REX pilots who would join DJ, as they would be operating larger equipment (with better pay) with a career path to jets.
Would there be progression from the turboprops to the jets (especially seniority based bidding)? Is this what happens at QLink or happened in Kendell/Hazelton during the Ansett days?

As far as being a step up we'd have to see what the conditions are, how much will they pay? If the pay is the same to fly an ATR on a fatigue based rostering system it would be a backwards step. To simply say a bigger aircraft is career progression is misguided.

I think VB management have admitted that they were very naive to buy into regional jets in the hope to break into the regional markets already serviced by well established turboprop operators. For BG to make the comments he has reflects this and now they have to come up with an alternate plan of attack involving turboprops to compete.
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 23:38
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My two bobs worth,

Turboprops for VB regional........maybe.....and that's a BIG maybe. As mentioned the EMB's haven't been the money spinner that the ivory tower thought they were going to be. I would think that the introduction of turboprops would also see the downscaling of the EMB ops, so there probably wouldn't be a huge net gain in pilot positions. As for progression, well thats anyones guess. The new turboprop company would probably be an independant company under the VB umbrella, just like VAus. Progression from VB into VAus has been about as exciting as a visit to your local proctologist. I hear there is dissent amongst the ranks in V due to no foreseeable upgrades right across the ranks. They are going to need to sort that one out. So I cant see the 'holy grail' of seemless progression from an FO on a turboprop to CMD on a 777 ever being an eventuality. I'm sure the the company will tell you that this will be an option in order to get you to sign up, but I would want it in black and white in an EBA before I believed it. Have you ever noticed when you get home from shopping and cook up those nice looking carrots, they're real bitter, and you throw them out.
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Old 14th Jan 2010, 23:50
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You're forgetting about the hireing by the majors 'Chucka.

When REX went looking to replenish their loses 2 years ago they were in for a rude shock. Insulated from the realities of the past decade, they found out the hard way the inexorable decline in people learning to fly had resulted in "Experienced" pilots becomeing a finite resource. They even used the unstable situation in South Africa to recruit from overseas!

G/A is like a recovering trauma patient. In fact crewing wise, so is REX! The resurgence in interest in learning to fly, no doubt fuelled by the feeding frenzy of the larger carriers, went some way to filling the vaccum, but has it been enough?

There may be an increased number of pilots with "...plenty of hours and good experience.", but will they go to QFlink, REX, or even DJ Regional! Will they settle for $44K P/A? Are there enough of them to satisfy the demand? What then happens to G/A? Lots of questions 'Chucka.

As for "...giving their left cajone for a gig...", the REX cadets probably thought that way. Many are now not so sure!

P.S

No Idea Either. Spot on IMHO!
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Old 15th Jan 2010, 00:31
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Read an interview with BG a few years back where he said that that VB looked at turboprops but the economics were horrendous. I doubt that much has changed in 2-3 years.
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Old 15th Jan 2010, 00:38
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An extract from an artical just over 2 years ago regarding QLinks aquistion of more Q400 aircraft:

But Virgin Blue believes that the Qantas operated turbo-props will be no match for its new generation E-jets, which offer much wider seats and more legroom than on all other domestically operated aircraft.

"We believe our E-jets will compete very well with their turbo-prop competitors, " said Heather Jeffery, Virgin's head of corporate affairs, in response to the Qantas Q400 deal.

Brett Godfrey, her boss and chief executive of Virgin Blue, was far more forthcoming in an interview last month with BusinessDaily.

"Where people have to make a choice they will prefer to fly on jets than on turbo-prop planes," he said.
Quite clear what they thought of turboprops and the e-jets impact on regional routes back then. Whilst the added competition has made an impact on load factors it seems most passengers will just opt for the lowest fare (or preferred operator) regardless of type.

Read an interview with BG a few years back where he said that that VB looked at turboprops but the economics were horrendous.
Maybe he got the regional jet and turboprop documents mixed up or mislabelled?

Last edited by 43Inches; 15th Jan 2010 at 00:57.
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Old 23rd Jan 2010, 23:50
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Would anyone atleast care look on CASA under the AOC section. If someone cared to look you will see NO ATR72's on the AOC, dirty rumour .

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Old 24th Jan 2010, 09:42
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Skystar320

Not sure if the AOC you found on the CASA website is the same as the one I found by searching under 'operators', but it seems to be dated 16 September 2009 and at least 5 of the current fleet (VUR,VUS,VUT,ZPN,ZPO) are also missing from the list.

bagchucka's rumour suggested the type additions occured 'last week' (as at the 14 January 2010), so I would assume an updated AOC would be necessary for the mythbusters to claim 'BUSTED'
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Old 24th Jan 2010, 09:53
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Just to clear things up, coz its getting messy here, are you saying that REX is going to get ATR72's or not. This rumour has been around for a few years that I know of so, what is the source of this rumour. I must admit, it would be realy good for REX employees if that was the case. What is the strength of your rumour??
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Old 24th Jan 2010, 11:21
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Would anyone atleast care look on CASA under the AOC section. If someone cared to look you will see NO ATR72's on the AOC, dirty rumour .
My AOC isn't on the CASA website either, but I've been operating under it since July 23 2009. It's Hanging on my wall in full colour, autographed by Peter Fereday.

If you look under the ATO section, at least 3 of the ATOs listed therein are dead and one of them for nearly 5 years.

If I ran my manual suite like CASA ran theirs....
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 05:18
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Thumbs up

I know some of the ex Macair ATR guys would be glad if VB started operating the type, if they got a gurnsey that is. A couple of them had 72 experience o/s and said they were very efficient, pax and accountants loved them.
FFS in NZ now as well.
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 22:11
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'pax..loved them' and pilots did too because the touchdown was smooth with the trailing link undercarriage. Not so sure about the accountants until the early engineering bugs had been got used to. Most of the time if you had a 'spike' in a system you pulled and reset a circuit breaker and it went away. Pretty advanced for its time back in the mid and late '80's. Air Queensland (Bushy's) operated two 42-300's themselves up and down the Qld coast and leased the other two to Air Pacific. When those came back from lease they got out of them. Air Pacific were happy with their two new ones delivered from late '88, running them to closer in regional ports from Fiji and were going to get more of them, until mid '92 when they did a u-turn on a new 5 year plan and went all jet with a 737-500 that could also go to Wellington. The airconditioning was good too, even without an APU on the ground, although it used to startle some pax with the copious amounts of fog sometimes in the tropical humid areas.

Last edited by frigatebird; 25th Jan 2010 at 22:39.
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Old 26th Jan 2010, 00:39
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It's a great machine until it flies into icing

Give me a Dash any day
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Old 26th Jan 2010, 21:51
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Any machine flies into icing above 15,000 feet in the tropics, and the supercooled raindrops are big too.. Sure, ATR's pick up ice, just like any aircraft, and with the best cruise levels around 21,000 - 22,000 (maximum 25,000, but not really a proposition in a heavy 300 because she struggles) you have to trade altitude to recover speed for safety. Only operated in the tropics, where the freezing level was high, so can't speak for the colder climes with the FL on the ground, but they went well up there with anti-ice and de-ice protection. The cousins in NZ with their later models and 72's would know more about the abilities in ice down low. If you havn't flown them, don't criticise them, as you are probably only repeating someone elses predjudices.

Last edited by frigatebird; 26th Jan 2010 at 22:31.
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Old 26th Jan 2010, 22:20
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The early ATR had a problem due to ice build up behind the wing boots, very well known accidents in the US. However the boots were redesigned and now the aircraft has no more problems with icing than any other turboprop, dash included.
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