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REX Resignations

Old 6th Oct 2011, 00:02
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REX Resignations

Well, the chaos of 4 years ago is about to be revisited. During the last expansion of the major airlines REX lost 60% of their experienced pilots in a 12 month period alone. This time around it will be interesting to see the net effect. One thing is certain however, the management response,.... NOTHING!

Back then not all the losses were Captains. In fact a large proportion were First Officers with well above the minimum requirements for command. REX's response was purely reactive. They began a frenzied search for new recruits, and an accelerated upgrade program for the existing F/O's. The problem was (and still is) REX's inability, or unwillingness, to engage in a stategic solution to it's crewing issues. Instead, having failed to acknowledge the true nature of the problem, they frantically continued to engage in practices which were akin to making beds in a burning house!

As quickly as they could promote 'em, they left. Almost as quickly as they could recruit 'em, they left. REX went on a nationwide roadshow that resulted in Zip! A senior REX Check Captain remarked to me at the time, "Krusty, the G/A cupboard is empty". Tell me something I didn't know. REX then went abroad to places as diverse as Eastern Europe and South Africa. This resulted in 6 recruits from SA. As for the rest NADA! In desperation REX then lowered the minimum experience requirements. This was partially succesful, but only in replacing F/O's, the critical shortage of Captains was never adressed.

Finally, all the upgrades and all the recruitment were being overwelmed by the major airline's expansions. REX then began the wholesale slashing of services. First to go were the less profitable routes. REX had long since dispensed with marginal services, so it should be noted that the routes getting the chop were both profitable and growing. Oh well! Next, REX started cancelling services on the prime routes, those with competitors being saved till last. The end result was an absolute nightmare for the travelling public and REX's frontline staff.

As the seriousness of the situation became apparent, it was suggested to mangement that efforts should be made to retain experienced pilots. LKH's famous (or infamous) response, "I would rather cut off my arm than give my pilots a pay rise". When the serious drain of experience was pointed out, the then Chief pilot commented, "Experience is overated". WTF!

Finally at the eleventh hour, with a terminal amount of pilots about to leave, along came a white knight to save REX's day. The GFC! Virtually overnight major airline recruitment ceased. REX then began the long slow process of rebuilding the business.

So here we are today. What's changed. Well, apart from REX spending in excess of $12 million on a cadet program, not much. The latest round of resignation are interesting to say the least. It seems that after more than a year of shenighans, Jetstar have finally realised that to meet their expansion plans, they will have to offer more than the B.S of the past 12-18 months. This has now resulted in a large number of REX Captains accepting positions that they had previously declined.

Of even greater interest are the number of senior REX Captains departing to Virgin/Skywest for the ATR gig. To Date resignations to leave for this carrier alone, have not only included Line Captains, but Check and Trainers, and Management pilots!!!

So why would established REX Captains, and more disturbingly, those in the "management club", move to another carrier and start at the bottom of the seniority list, for what some may see as a sideways step. Why? Because Skywest understand the value of experience, and REX do not! A ten year REX Captain's wage is less than a 1st year Skywest Captains wage! Rostering practices, overtime allowances, employee engagement, are all features of the Skywest culture that are glaringly absent at REX. REX management had the opportunity to adresss these core issues 4 years ago. They decided not to, and based on past form, are unlikely to consider them this time around as well.

So what's going to happen? This time there is no fat in the system. I mentioned that all the departing pilots are Captains, that's because virtually all the current REX F/O's are unable to hold an ATPL. These pilots are also unable to hold a command at REX. Forget PICUS, that won't produce results for years. What we'll see now is the inexorable decline in REX services. REX have just announced a new Williamtown Ballina Service. Great work guys! Back in '07 REX proudly announced a Brisbane base as a springboard into QLD. That lasted 6 weeks! Dejavu anyone? A senior CSO remarked to me the other day that if we see a repeat of the chaos of '07-08, she'll probably kill herself. Anacdotally I'm sure (hope), but such is the devastation resulting in REX's continual failure to address it's core crewing issues.

Last edited by KRUSTY 34; 6th Oct 2011 at 04:29.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 00:17
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You can substitute the word "REX" in Krusty's post for "Jetstar" sometime in the future, provided GFC 2 doesn't intervene. At some stage after that you can insert the word "Qantas".

Quality airlines that look after their staff will always prosper.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 01:24
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+1 KRUSTY!!!!!!!

These "Managers" are not managers. Real managers respect their workers and offer conditions to keep valued and critical staff!

They will not know what hits them as there, as you know, alot more people on hold files, and alot more people actively looking to go. It will be a white wash let me tell you.

Sad to see such an event, BUT SENIOR MANAGMENT IN BAXTER RD. YOU MADE YOUR OWN BED. Narcissism doesnt produce results long term..... but hey you guys are managers you knew that.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 01:59
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And I will 3rd the motion. I have said consistantly that pilots are required to achieve certain standards to maintain employment, yet managers (all companies) have none. REX has a clusterf$%k of clowns at the top who have no leadership, man management skills as would be expected of the various positions. Ably supported by some C&T Assclowns who have in some cases flown nothing else, know no other way of lookiing at Check and Training and so are on a railway line to thier own self importance. Too much Checking in C&T, because Training = $ and we cant just go throwing money around willy nilly now, can we! Best and easiest option is just train more pilots.......what's that you say, no pilots currently available.

Now, where did you say that light switch was?

Lets just say I like it up here at 35000ft laughing my tits off
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 02:11
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It's not just Rex who are suffering. Airnorth has been pillaged along with Skippers, Network and co. I believe many more in all these regionals are poised to go. It's certainly good news for GA piston drivers.

The Question is where are they all going?

Looks like the companies are going to have to cough up.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 03:18
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Yep, I imaging alot of turboprop operators will be effected by this expansion plans of the majors. However it must be realised that staff are valuable, yes there will always be those "jet job" mentality guys, but in reality, if you are happy where you are you dont actively look. simple.

Rex has alot of problems and most have been born from inability to address problems such as conditions early. It has taken the concept of flying as a "fun job" and any moron will sign up for it for granted for too long.

Yes, people from GA need to go to regionals I think; its a great experience and a great opportunity as well now.



Management have believed their own logic and now are caught out by it. lack of staff and training resources diminishing with the recruitment have all added up and surprisingly quick this time.

I bet they are hoping for multiple bank failures in Europe so the world economy slows again to buy them some more time, but its just tightening the noose if they dont pro-actively address conditions fast.

I dont expect a red carpet, but I do demand respect as a professional and appropriate reward for being loyal and competent.Problem is, the "managers" who have not really been trained as managers will not change, and thus, complaining is futile, thats why people are just leaving and not even consulting you! Get it yet management???



Drop your ego's and start being human. I bet if it were a member of your family being sujected to the attitudes that have been dished out to many, you would have a completely different viewpoint.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 04:46
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Krusty,

Is it true that pilots were getting "SOC'd" on their last route checks/sim checks because Jeppesen didn't send out the amendments in time?

Just a rumour I had heard.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 04:58
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Is it true that pilots were getting "SOC'd" on their last route checks/sim checks because Jeppesen didn't send out the amendments in time?
rumour
This will be interesting...

Indeed interesting times ahead once again.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 06:33
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Great post Krusty. And of course pretty soon management will be screaming and complaining to the media because all those pesky other airlines are "poaching" their pilots, when in fact other airlines never poach pilots, but they will happily accept all applications from disgruntled employees of other companies.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 07:17
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So what is the solution for REX? Do you really believe that if REX paid jet salaries that noone would leave? Or do they try and offer lifestyle advantages over the extra pay?
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 07:25
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Why not? Air Nelson have a reasonable contract with some good clauses, reasonable coin and quite a few long term pilots happy to live in regional nz with no further serious aspirations. Mt Cook too I'd say.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 07:28
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Ba humbug. You could offer $140K and most would not go back. It's all about how you treat people and most recognise money doesn't make you happy if your being treated like dirt. End of story.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 07:29
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Gidday apache,

Had a line check recently myself. The Checkie hadn't recieved the amendment either. Bit rude to SOC me, so it became a non event. Probably material for a thread of it's own.

Haven't heard of SOC's in this regard, but having said that I'm not quite across everything?
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 07:39
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Great Article this

KRUSTRY 34:

Top article: Best of this 1/2 of the yr so far for mine.

Lotz of facts & very well written.

As your ideas suggest: Not a lot of options avail for " One Wing Low " now

Good Job Cobber...
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 10:16
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Great post Krusty!! And the answer..... Well a previous Cathay Pacific CEO said pilot's salaries are the result of Market Forces. This certainly seems to be the case at Cathay at the moment as they are recruiting.... wait for it... Nobody!! And why... Their 'Market Forces' salary/package is not in touch with reality and all applicants are saying "Thanks but no thanks". It seems that REX Management are also on this same wavelength.
Market Forces will continue to play out until REX lift/increase their package until it is competitive with the like of Virgin/Skywest and others... til then... well you know the rest.
b.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 10:22
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Krusty- Great Post, Thanks for the info re Rex then and now.

Mach082,
I was curious as to your comments re Skippers, Network etc losing lots of drivers??
Where are u getting this info that they are all losing lots of guys??
I've been constantly looking for flying work here in Perth for 3 yrs since the GFC hit and I rarely ever see any local operators advertise for anyone. Been maybe 2 Skippers ads and 2 Network adverts in past 12mo or more.

Only 1-3 people required each time apparently.

Last 2 times Network advertised they wanted Braz type endorsed pilots ONLY again for both seats so they cannot be hurting for pilots too badly. They used to train and endorse people. Maybe not anymore, they lost a few senior C &T Captains this year apparently.


Ive got good quality flight experience and good refs and Ive been called to 1 interview in past 3 yrs.
So there is certainly no shortage of “suitable”pilot applicants for any of these regional operators be they t/prop or jet..
The GA well is certainly NOT DRY.
I guess in many cases age, maturity, excellent customer service skills etc and enough flight experience to be a Captain are not what is desired anymore by regional operators.

Many over 30 and 40 something pilots with more experience than me have posted in past 4 yrs they are dying to get interviews to get back into aviation or move up and get nothing at all.
Then we have to sit and read how these companies like Rex etc cannot find any "suitable" pilots or those with enough experience to be upgraded relatively quickly to Captains.
Another GFC, Mk2 if it comes will kill all hiring and expansion again anyway.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 10:46
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Many operators have minimum contractual requirements such as 250 on type for an FO or 500 on type for a Captain with ex amount of command. These are usually set by the big mining companies as most of the regional work supports it (Skippers, Network, Alliance, Airnorth, Skywest, Cobham etc).

Unless the operator has RPT routes to build you up, then they need to look elsewhere.

In the past two weeks I have had 5 operators offer me interviews. Some I sent resumes last year and never updated.

I know for a fact that most of the regional operators are ringing around desperately trying to get candidates to interviews and sim assessments.

Give HR a call and see what would make you attractive for an interview.
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 12:13
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What is soc'd?
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 13:05
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Subject (to) Operational Clearance
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Old 6th Oct 2011, 13:19
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So what does that mean/imply exactly???
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