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QANTAS Exodus

Old 6th Nov 2011, 01:30
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QANTAS Exodus (?)

For those of you who don't have access to it, there is a thread running on the internal QF pilots' bulletin board which makes for depressing reading.

It looks like the exodus has well and truly started. It's not depressing for those who are leaving. I know several of them and wish them all well in their future endeavours. They all deserve a successful and rewarding career.

It does however provide an interesting insight in to the mindset of many in the QANTAS ranks at the moment.

While the numbers and my take on it are not scientific by any means, it looks like about 20 guys have just left, or are just about to leave, to move on to Emirates or other carriers. I'm not going to argue here about whether things are better in the sandpit or not. For our purposes, it is sufficient to say that it appears to an increasing number of QANTAS pilots that they are.

What is interesting is that all of these guys are relatively young and experienced F/Os between the ages of 30 and about 45. "So what?" I hear you ask. What I believe we are seeing is the start of an exodus of those with the experience to go elsewhere who are are young enough to reap the benefits of a reasonable length of time left to forge their career with a new carrier. In short, they are the experienced F/Os who would have formed the backbone of the QANTAS Captain ranks in years to come.

We are not seeing older Captains leave. They have no reason to. We are not seeing younger S/Os leave as many of them simply don't have the right hand seat time. This is not to belittle them or their skills in any way but they just don't have the experience required to move directly in to a spot with Emirates or similar carriers.

While it is clear that there will be a reduced numbers of pilots required for QANTAS mainline operations, the QANTAS group is another matter entirely. With the number of aircraft on order the QANTAS group will require more pilots. That is the plain and simple truth. While it appears the board and management may be keen to thin the pilot ranks, I'm starting to wonder whether they have just kicked a massive own goal.

No-one could accuse the QANTAS exco of having been spectacular strategic thinkers over the last 10 years vis a vis the failure to invest in a large, long-range twin, failure to recruit pilots to take advantage of the peaks, continuing to recruit when it was clear the global economy was taking a turn for the worse in 2008, the failures in Vietnam. QANTAS has always seemed to be 18 months or so behind the curve for the last 10 years or so. These examples, and many others, reek of tactical rather than strategic thinking - short term gain, longer term pain kind of thinking. Billion dollar profits a few years ago were driven by a lack of capital investment which is seriously coming home to roost now. Short term gain, long term pain.

So back to my original proposition. QANTAS management appears to be so driven on breaking the unions to achieve a short term tactical victory that it appears they may have made a strategic FUBAR by driving off those who can leave and take advantage of what they believe to be better opportunities. This is the cadre of experienced pilots they are going to need when the crop of 250 odd pilots over 60 inevitably start to retire in the next few years - for the 'Group' if not for Mainline.

We have seen a trickle of pilots leave when things have taken a turn for the worse before but this may just be the start of the flood that management have been denying would ever happen. If that flood should truly eventuate, the outcome could be far more damaging for the QANTAS group than what has transpired over the last six months.

Again, to those who are leaving, I wish you and your families well in your future endeavours.

Last edited by DirectAnywhere; 9th Nov 2011 at 20:37. Reason: To add a question mark to the title. More appropriate.
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 01:36
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I heard 6 S/O have gone to VA and I know of several QLink 400 Captains that have been accepted.
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 01:38
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And the ExCo are getting exactly what they want. For each who leaves, the eventual redundancy payout gets smaller and smaller.

But you can't blame guys for pre-empting the inevitable, no one wants to be looking for a job along with 400 similar qualified individuals at the same time.

The Management Rowing Race


  1. Once upon a time there was a Red rowing team.
  2. This Red team agreed to hold an annual rowing race with a Green team. Each team would contain 8 men.
  3. Both teams worked really hard to get in the best shape. On the day of the first race, both teams were ready to win.
  4. FINISH The Green team won by 1 mile!
  5. The Red team was crushed in their defeat, but they were determined to win the race next year. So they established a panel of auditors to observe the situation and ascertain if there were any differences between the teams.
  6. After several weeks of detailed intelligence gathering, the auditors could find only one difference; the Green team had 7 rowers and 1 captain...
  7. … and the Red team had 7 captains and 1 rower!
  8. Un-perplexed by the raw data, upper management showed unexpected wisdom: they hired a consulting company to analyze the data and suggest a solution that would enable the Red team to win next year.
  9. After several months the consultants came to the conclusion that the ratio of captains to rowers was the problem in the Red team. Based on this analysis a solution was proposed: the structure of the Red team has to be changed!
  10. Like sharks getting the scent of reorganization blood, upper management wasted no time in restructuring the Red team into 4 Captains, led by 2 Managers, reporting to 1 Senior Director with a dotted line to the rower. Besides that, in a blaze of unrestricted inspiration, they suggested they might be inclined to improve the rower’s working environment by a non-monetary reward and recognition scheme if there was improved performance by the rower.
  11. FINISH The next year, the Green team won by 2 miles.......
  12. The Red team upper management immediately fired the rower based on his unsatisfactory performance.
  13. A bonus was paid to the Captains, Directors, and Managers for the strong leadership and motivation they showed during the preparation phase and as an incentive for them to find a better rower for the next race.
  14. The consulting company prepared a new analysis of the restructuring activity, which showed that the strategy was good, the motivation was great, the restructuring was executed correctly, but the tool used (which was not included in the original data) was sub-standard and had to be improved.
  15. Currently the Red team management is having a new boat designed; and to demostrate fiscal and HR dexterity for stockholders they also outsourced the rowing to India.
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 01:53
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Yesterday's Toast

It is difficult to come up with reasons to stay employed at Qantas.
Adversarial,incompetent managment.Lack of career path.Shrinking network.Declining maintenance standards.Lack of job secuirty and complete distrust of management.Depending where you are at in your life and career Virgin may look pretty good.Thats if you want to stay in Terra Australis.While flying in itself is amazing and exciting every day working for Qantas is not
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 01:06
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DirectAnywhere said :
We are not seeing older Captains leave. They have no reason to.
I suspect this may change when they start to realise what is about to happen to their historical income derived super.
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 01:07
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Frankly, I doubt the Board or even those at senior executive level would give a toss that people are leaving. They would see it as an opportunity to boost the bottom line by cutting the wages bill and to recruit people with lesser experience on lower salaries, no doubt collecting fat bonuses in the process. The subsequent problems caused by reduced experience levels possibly wouldn't occur for a number of years, by which time most of those senior executives will be long gone.
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 01:13
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Another organisation has somewhere around 90 Qantas pilots on the books who have been, or will likely soon be, placed in offshore jobs. Some of these jobs (ironically in Asia) are offering more take home money than the apparently grossly overpaid equivalent Qantas pilot rank/aircraft type.

The Board are blind to this. They don't know because middle management don't know. And middle management don't know because many of them have been big enough a***holes that the pilots involved have no inclination whatsoever to even hint anything to them until the resignation letter gets handed in.

Last edited by DutchRoll; 6th Nov 2011 at 01:31. Reason: Because there's just no point........
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 01:59
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Living in the sandpit beats living in Oz! haha

It is good to see that those who don't like their current employer move on. Opens the place up ultimately for those that do or want to join. This is the free enterprise model at work...
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 03:27
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Smugness

Of course the great danger for Qantas will that no one of skill will want to replace those that are leaving
This is the free enterprise model at work...
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 03:51
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after 5 years in EK (and 2 years command 777) they will be perfect for the 'upcoming DEC contract gigs' at QF
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 04:11
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Qantas:The Future

Twenty three year old 2000 hour Captains on $80K~Joyce's dream.Somebody else's nightmare
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 04:21
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not a dream!

What do you mean dream? It's a reality at Qlink right now and has been for a few years now (and will be for some time).

They do a damn good job, some of them can even handle an inflight shutdown and manage it through to a safe landing like the professionals they are.
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 04:30
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They heydays of experienced pilots and engineers in Australia are dead. These guys can see the writing on the wall (and good on them). Maybe the heydays will return, but only after considerable pain is felt in these professional's absence.
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 04:46
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They do a damn good job
Bull$%^t Roger.

If one is to believe what the ATSB reports say, it would appear to me that stick shakers are a form of sport.

I hear the requirements for command have recently doubled and rumoured to increase again shortly.

Last edited by Shed Dog Tosser; 6th Nov 2011 at 05:30.
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 04:59
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90+ going?

90+ going! Any details on the organization, thinking bout dropping a line in and see what I can catch myself
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 05:03
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Tosser... Stick shaker was not a 2000hr 23yr old - quite the opposite.

I'm just saying that age/experience and ability/competence don't have to be mutually exclusive.
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 05:27
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Originally Posted by One Dot Low
Originally Posted by DirectAnywhere
We are not seeing older Captains leave. They have no reason to.
I suspect this may change when they start to realise what is about to happen to their historical income derived super.
can you please elaborate?
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 05:32
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I'm just saying that age/experience and ability/competence don't have to be mutually exclusive.
You don't know what you don't know.....
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 05:41
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so is that a 'known unknown' or an 'unknown unknown'?

take the measuring contest someplace else
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Old 6th Nov 2011, 06:26
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Shed Dog is right, you can't replace experience, I think that's all he's trying to say. It's got nothing to do with age, it's just that usually if you have lots of experience you tend to be older. And you can't replace experience with university degrees or enthusiasm as much as these things are good and will contribute to eventually making a fine pilot.

It's only when the proverbial hits the fan that a lack of experience usually becomes a player, hence managers et al think they can get away with reducing experience levels for short term financial gain.
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