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Qantas to reduce heavy maintenance labour by 60%

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Qantas to reduce heavy maintenance labour by 60%

Old 2nd Mar 2012, 13:24
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Qantas to reduce heavy maintenance labour by 60%

Qantas say they are not off shoring, howevever, as the old aircraft retire (747, 767) the new aircraft they buy are maintained overseas. This is off shoring by stealth, and Australian jobs will go as the plan for closure of 1 or maybe 2 heavy maintenance bases before the end of the decade comes to fruition. Hundreds of Aussies will be out of work.
The pride and excellence of Qantas engineering is compromised by the view that it is not cost effective to carry out wide body heavy maintenance in Australia.
What will be the cost for this short term gain? To Australia and to Qantas?
Will passengers be happy to know that the aircraft they fly internationally on are not maintained in house?
I wonder?
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 14:14
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Maintenance?!?


We don' need no steenking maintenance!!

Seriously, this is heading in a really bad direction. On another forum I frequent, a guy who works for a maintenance provider in Texas posted this. The issue that sparked his rant was that some super-duper imported "mechanics" working on a 757 hadn't chocked the aircraft and it rolled a couple hundred feet across the apron.

-Once again, not me. Someone who works in Texas;

I work at a large MRO. My employer sends teams out on recruiting trips to fun places like Panama, The Philippines, and Mexico. We have entire crews of mechs who cant speak any english. (In all honesty the Filipinos are kick ass mechs. The Panamanians are effing morons.) For that matter we have entire crews of uncertificated mechanics. Our FAA says it's all legal too (the bastards). Only the leads are required to have tickets and be able to read and write english...and most of them only have repairman's tickets. These guys work under the repair station's umbrella, not their A&P because they dont have one. They have nothing to loose. The whole situation stinks.

My employer BS'd the State Department and got these guys H1-B Visas (dont ask me how). It's all crap. They are mechanics not engineers or scientists. AA is about to dump a couple thousand more into the market but my employer doesn't pay shit so it's hard for an ex-union mech to stomach coming to a place like this to work for the peanuts they offer.

I'm in QC, I shouldn't complain about my wage. I have an old friend in QC with SWA up at Love Field. His base pay is more than I make on OT. And dont get me started on UPS mech wages. Sheesh!!!

If you think about it, it makes sense for an operator to farm out his C checks. Instead of maintaining a hangar full of prima-donna union mechanics, you send your c-checks to a third-party maintenance operation in Texas or Panama or Singapore or China. You only send a few reps to babysit the birds and scream about hours bid on non-routine cards. It's a win for the operator but a huge kick in the huevos for American workers.

And the f**king FAA could give a damn.
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 15:05
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Rumor out of the latest meeting between Qantas and it's employee unions is that they ( Qantas) have no regard for the consultation processes laid out in the QEPM or in any signed EBA.


Their attitude is now one of bulldozing their way through to making 500 LAME'S redundant over the next five years. That represents 30-40% of the current LAME's gone in that period Australia wide.



Hardly represents a good career path for any youngster starting out now. Let alone the uncertainty now present amongst the current work force.
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Old 2nd Mar 2012, 23:14
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What will be the cost for this short term gain? To Australia
We will be left with a small third party aircraft maintenance industry, but then we won't have an oil refining industry, a steel processing industry, a garment manufacturing industry... just mining... dig it up and ship it out

and to Qantas?
International might survive a little longer, but ultimately if we thought the Middle East airlines were tough to compete against, wait till the Chinese get really going - competing connections to both Europe and the US

Will passengers be happy to know that the aircraft they fly internationally on are not maintained in house?
The problem is 82% (per Joyce) and growing are quite happy to pay cheaper fares and fly on someone other than Qantas, someone who gets maintenance done outside Australia
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 05:09
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The problem is 82% (per Joyce) and growing are quite happy to pay cheaper fares and fly on someone other than Qantas, someone who gets maintenance done outside Australia.

If the 18% or so that fly with Qantas want to fly with other operators for a cheaper price they would have done so.
I know many who fly Qantas as they "feel safe" flying with them.
Perhaps its a lost cause but Id venture to say that people who fly with other operators would have no idea and are ignorant of the quality of the maintenance on the aircraft they are flying on. No, Qantas dos'nt have a monopoly on quality, but at least you can be sure Qantas planes are maintained by experienced,well qualified engineers who have a vested interest in the company they are proud to work for.

Last edited by Collando; 3rd Mar 2012 at 07:28.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 05:24
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I wouldn't worry too much about china or the middle east.

Once the aircraft are developed that can fly direct services point to point economically, 5th freedom rights will expire naturally.

European airlines, American or Aussie airlines will fly point to point and the punters will fly direct to their destinations with incumbents, rather than hubbing through a third world world port like the current system.

Airlines like emirates etc are making their money flying westerners between their usual ports with their geographical fifth freedom rights.

Point to point will bypass that

Whether the airframe makers will build them considering the unprecedented business they are experiencing from these regions with current technology that favors them is another thing.

On a side note, and I feel for lames I really do, but do you think it's economically viable keeping a heavy maitenance workforce on the books when aircraft like the 787 don't need heavy checks for 12 years?

Once the current fleets are replaced, this is the new reality. It's sad, but it's the reality.

Of course any unscheduled maintenance (like A380s wings) are covered by the manufacturer.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 07:11
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Qantas cuts revealed | Geelong, VIC, Australia
Seems that the ALAEA has chosen to put out any news on Avalon via the Geelong Advertiser there own website has had nothing for 2 weeks.

Last edited by Jethro Gibbs; 3rd Mar 2012 at 08:54.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 07:52
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On a side note, and I feel for lames I really do, but do you think it's economically viable keeping a heavy maitenance workforce on the books when aircraft like the 787 don't need heavy checks for 12 years?
Time will tell if the 787 lives up to the manufacturers expectations.
I'm not sure I would want to fly on a new type of aircraft that hadn't had a major check for 10 -12 yrs. Point in case, I'm sure Airbus were not planning to have to reinspect wings on the A380 so soon into service.
History tells us that rarely has a manufacturer lived up to the promises given to buyers.Much has been paid out to airlines in compensation over the years,including Qantas, Hell, Boeing are already recalling 787s that haven't entered service yet, due to manufacturing flaws.
I guess though it will all fall under the warranty and maintenance will be driven by the manufacturer,who will pay for promises that cannot be met!

Last edited by Collando; 3rd Mar 2012 at 09:19.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 08:33
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On a side note, and I feel for lames I really do, but do you think it's
economically viable keeping a heavy maitenance workforce on the books when
aircraft like the 787 don't need heavy checks for 12 years?
Yep, be interested to see if that pans out considering its very chequered history to this point.

Note: never buy the first model of anything
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 15:33
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it's interesting that the flaws in the A380 and the 787 are because of outsourcing. I have seen the Boeing chief say it on camera. They had to buy a plant that was making part of the 787 just so the project didn't collapse!

The same is said for the A380. I think you'll find only the final assembly is done in house! Pretty scary hey.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 23:02
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The same is said for the A380. I think you'll find only the final assembly is done in house! Pretty scary hey.
Depends what you mean by in house. If you mean at the final factory that puts it all together, then you are pretty much right. But the wings for example are made by an Airbus owned company in the UK as are many other components. Although they too use parts made off site by both Airbus owned companies and private contractors.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 01:07
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"I wouldn't worry too much about china or the middle east.
Once the aircraft are developed that can fly direct services point to point economically, 5th freedom rights will expire naturally."

Such old thinking.

Direct services to Europe will become less and less important.

Its the BRIC, particularly China, that will be valuable destinations.

You guys should start thinking forward instead of backward.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 10:52
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60% means offshore,end of maintenance in Australia,good luck to qantas who says safety come first,no such thing as safety its all about shareholders and board of directors, money come first than safety,all airlines that are buying aircraft are hiring more engineers but qantas are reducing engineers because Joyce are comparing aircraft to cars.Joyce talk to ur engineers
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 21:42
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Qantas to cut maintenance workers
BY: STEVE CREEDY, AVIATION WRITER From: The Australian March 06, 2012 12:00AM
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The Qantas Melbourne maintenance facility in Tullamarine is one of three plants at risk of being closed. Picture: Stuart McEvoy. Source: The Australian
QANTAS expects labour demand at its heavy maintenance facilities to drop by 60 per cent over the next five years, the equivalent of more than 870 jobs, as it retires aircraft and brings in new maintenance systems and planes that require less work.

The airline last month announced plans to consolidate heavy maintenance facilities in Brisbane, Melbourne and Avalon, near Geelong, which collectively employ 1460 workers.

It is consulting with unions about its options, but this is the first time it has indicated how far it may need to shrink its heavy maintenance operations.

Details that emerged last week indicate Qantas has now narrowed down the possibilities to three options, the most dramatic of which is to close down two of the bases and consolidate the work at either Melbourne, Brisbane or Avalon.

Melbourne, which concentrates on maintenance of Boeing 737s and employs about 400 workers, is seen as the least likely to survive.


The other options would see the consolidation of Boeing 737 work now done at Melbourne into the newer Brisbane facility, with 747 work continuing at Avalon or both 767 and 747 maintenance taking place at Avalon.

"The problem we are trying to solve is an anticipated 60 per cent reduction in labour demand over the next five years," Tony Lowery, the airline's head of heavy maintenance, told staff in a message.

"The criteria we are examining to help us make the best choice include: ongoing operating costs in the context of keeping existing heavy maintenance on shore, capital costs, and ability to support new systems of maintenance."

Any job losses from heavy maintenance consolidation would be in addition to the 500 jobs Qantas announced it was shedding last month. Another 600 catering jobs will go if its catering division is sold.

The maintenance review has sparked a lobbying war between Victoria and Queensland as the two states fight to keep their facilities open.

Victorian unions have urged the Baillieu government to try to keep the jobs in that state, and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has threatened legal action if the airline tries to close down its Brisbane facility before 2014.

The airline has already said it will not be doing heavy maintenance on the Airbus A380 in Australia, and expects it will be well into the next decade before it has to make a decision on its bigger fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners.


Change for an improvement in maintenance would be one thing. This is just an ideological race to the bottom for the cheapest/nastiest option possible. And a union busting exercise. Pure and simple.


The vast 737 experience that is about to be flushed away by the bean counters through, what would appear to be the imminent demise of QF Heavy Maint Tulla, is a disgrace. And the industry as a whole will be all the poorer for it.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 00:14
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ALAEA is extra quite on all this where are they ?
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 00:31
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ALAEA is extra quite on all this where are they ?

Bugger-all the ALAEA can probably do about it now. Qantas appear to have no regard for the consultation procedures laid down in either their own policy & procedures manual (A CASA approved document) or in any of the relevant EBA's that they have signed.


It appears as though the agenda is just smash their way through and let tomorrows management (and the current employees) deal with the consequences.


Where are CASA in all this you might ask? Well, if they were a little more focused in actually regulating Qantas rather than treating them like a customer, then perhaps this debacle could be avoided.


However, sadly the national regulator has dropped the ball. Anytime that problems are reported to them they just meekly ask Qantas (or Jetstar) to fix it. Susbquently washing their hands of the whole situation whilst telling anyone who will listen that they have done all they can do.


Jetstar were, apparently, recently given a show cause notice from CASA regarding the sad state of their maintenance watch department (among other things). Information not obtained through the regulators diligence but, rather from a whistleblower. The fact that Qantas managed to hush it all up is testament to the skill of the cronies in their PR department. The fact that CASA has down nothing further other than to ask the fox to guard the chicken coup it a testament to its inadequacy.


Unfortunately, the only thing that will derail the farcical relationship between Qantas and CASA is a smoking hole in the ground. At which point all those that now propagate the myth that new aircraft require less maintenance will be ducking for cover.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 02:19
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Originally Posted by chockchucker
Unfortunately, the only thing that will derail the farcical relationship between Qantas and CASA is a smoking hole in the ground. At which point all those that now propagate the myth that new aircraft require less maintenance will be ducking for cover.
Not quite.....To quote from another thread on this forum ................

Originally Posted by Managers Perspective
You do what the rest of the world does, you manage it.
While MP's response was to a different question in a different thread, you just know the answer is the same.

This is typical of QF Management.

Good management prepares their business for the unfortunate events that beset any business by planning, by building fire breaks, by immediately attending to any spot fires that break out on their watch.

Qantas management has a policy of taking no precautions, of ignoring the first signs of smoke, indeed of ignoring spot fires.

It is only when there is a raging bushfire, when irreparable damage has been done, that Qantas management then, and only then...........

Originally Posted by Managers Perspective
........you manage it.
ST
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 08:22
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Qantas to reduce heavy maintenance labour by 60%


I hope this thread gets saved for future reference.

It won't be until 5, 10 or 15 years time when a Qantas aircraft goes in, that decisions such as these will be identified as simply a removing of a f****** big piece of cheese.
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 09:23
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breaking news.. Qantas flight 487 bound for Melb forced to turn around..I saw sparks fly outside my window!
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Old 6th Mar 2012, 12:42
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Rabbit on the runway got gobbled up into the left engine during take-off roll. Air turn back. No biggy. Blades bent and acoustic lining damaged. Shit happens.
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