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Air NZ regionals hemorrhaging

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Old 28th Jun 2017, 08:42
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Originally Posted by InZed View Post
I don't think it's just Air NZ regional having issues. All the airlines are unaware of the market at the moment and don't realise that the 'potential' of a jet job in a few years time isn't enough anymore to keep guys from leaving! When Qantas mainline are looking for 1000+ SO's in the next few years; Virgin are looking for 200+ guys as well; Jetstar jets are desperate both in NZ and AU... Regional carriers need to look at what they're offering ASAP to prevent the exodus that's happening.

I have heard from a mate that just started at Jetstar regional that there are apparently only 30 pilots on the books there.

IIRC, the amount of guys leaving they said were like: four to Jetstar NZ or AU and are set to leave by the end of the year; there are another three about to leave for Virgin NZ or AU in the next two months; three are into Qantas mainline with on leaving in the next couple of weeks; one is going to Airwork on the 737 next month; and two are off to JetConnect.

They are in a dire situation, and have reduced the schedule from July. I have also heard through another mate, that their cancellation rate is running at around 15%, so about 1 in 8 flights are cancelled. I have heard that they have lost 10 guys already since the operation began 18 months ago! And they were having crisis meetings about whether to pull the pin. Apparently a few QL pilots put their hands up to come help out. But it seems like the company hasn't resolved their issues, and are set to lose another 13 by the end of the year. I can't see how they can continue to keep operating like this personally.

All the Qantaslink pilots that have been coming over, are sick of the working conditions apparently, crap or no food provided, and being away from home for entire rosters. I was told that Qantaslink put out information about NZ tours when the operation kicked off to all the QL captains, and only a few put their hands up. Almost all of the guys doing it have left and are refusing the come back. So they don't seem to be able to rely on the QL guys to come over and top up the roster anymore and schedule to prevent cancellation of flights.

I have heard that their duties are horrible. Five sectors followed by nine hours rest (that includes driving to and from the airport, so guys have been regularly getting 5 hours sleep apparently) - followed by a 6am start and another five sectors! I heard that the ATSB has been involved with their roster pairings and while they aren't breaking any laws, the company has been slowly trying to reduce these shifts as apparently too many guys are going fatigued in the morning and causing cancellations. Some have also apparently been getting three day trips (double overnights) now! I have heard that their crew are regularly running around 90 hours a month and some have been having weeks off as they're hitting their annual limits.

Apparently the guys have had no pay rises since the operation began, they are getting dicked around with allowances and the crew are constantly having to track their own allowances and request the ones not being paid. The FOs are apparently all pissed off and leaving as the company are not upgrading them, in preference for external (visa holding) captains joining the company (see the Rishworth ad above). And apparently all the guys working on their EBA have left now as the company wasn't prepared to negotiate reasonable terms with them! It seems to me that they don't realise how many guys are leaving and are about to leave!

My mate that just started has an interview with Virgin next month and plans to pay out the bond to get off the sinking ship. I've heard that two of the new FOs in line training currently are awaiting VA interview dates as well.
Sounds like drama you coughed up to me. I believe they are lacking captains, not F/Os. The new guys are now on a more competitive contract closer to Airnelsons and annual increases. Duty might be slightly higher but they are doing 6-8 overnights a month and usually back home, unlike the ANZ link guys who are now going away for days at a time.

Highely doubt they are 'about to pull the pin' from the NZ operation. There has been strong movement in the industry and like always eventually all the positions will be filled up and the recruitment drives slowed down.
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Old 28th Jun 2017, 08:58
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I think brownie is probably right but I have to admit I haven't seen such a wide spread demand for pilots in the last twenty five years ( wasn't paying attention before that).
A big Middle East carrier is reducing flights due to pilot numbers. Some Australasian jet operators have been cancelling flights due to pilot numbers, I'm not sure if the same is happening in the USA but I know they are recruiting heavily. China is offering bigger and bigger salaries to attract jet Captains. I see either Ryan or Easy advertising on a regular basis over in Europe...... I think that unless there is a major event like the GFC in the near future that the Airlines will be scrapping pretty hard over pilots with more than 3 or 4 thousand hours. It certainly will be interesting to watch it play out.
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Old 28th Jun 2017, 09:08
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Originally Posted by framer View Post
I think brownie is probably right but I have to admit I haven't seen such a wide spread demand for pilots in the last twenty five years ( wasn't paying attention before that).
A big Middle East carrier is reducing flights due to pilot numbers. Some Australasian jet operators have been cancelling flights due to pilot numbers, I'm not sure if the same is happening in the USA but I know they are recruiting heavily. China is offering bigger and bigger salaries to attract jet Captains. I see either Ryan or Easy advertising on a regular basis over in Europe...... I think that unless there is a major event like the GFC in the near future that the Airlines will be scrapping pretty hard over pilots with more than 3 or 4 thousand hours. It certainly will be interesting to watch it play out.
Agree with you Framer the drive seems to be bigger this time round and yes have been keeping an eye on those chinese salaries, that latest one on AFAP offering 275K USD plus the 2 week on/off from aus/nz. Phew! Hopefully this means more competitive rates for us blokes down under. More and more airlines looking at cadetships now to save $$$ and crew their planes as the old school GA route isnt providing enough it seems.

Time to ride the wave boys n girls!
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Old 28th Jun 2017, 12:27
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The events of '08 were a once in a generation event (in OZ at least). A Flash in the pan as it turned out. 12 months of rampant recruitment and mayhem, followed by a decade of mediocrity. The regionals were cancelling flights on a daily basis, and GA was dealt a blow from which it has never recovered.

Airline managements, as is their way, have learnt absolutely nothing. In fact, one notorious regional operator in OZ regularly congratulates themselves for their "handling" of the last shortage.

I'm afraid this time it's very different, and we are unlikely to see a new GFC to pull them out of the shite. This is the long and inexorable decline in the wider participation in the profession. The poor deluded bastards who are incapable of grasping the new reality will wake up tomorrow and think, what the Hell just happened!
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Old 28th Jun 2017, 12:42
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Makes me wonder! What about those with several thousand hours on a 'bus or a Boeing. It would seems that they're so overqualified, to an airline in Oz, they're completely useless!
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 20:28
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Sounds like the original topic of this post is getting worse if anything. The amount of Kiwi's I've ran into doing interviews in Melbourne lately has been insane! All Captains or senior F.O's who have had enough. All with the same story of rubbish schedules and no career progression into the group. Apparently the new contract isn't looking good for either the ATR or DH8 pilots either. I can see why these guys are jumping ship, I started flying after the bulk of them, now have a better schedule and in many cases earning more. Considered a world class Airline, I'd have thought they would have sorted this kind of issue years ago? Now add the pilot shortage, this could be a wake-up call coming down the pipeline pretty soon...
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Old 17th May 2018, 09:51
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FO can pull $2200-2500 a fortnight without ATPL subjects, around $2600-2800 with the exams. That includes allowances.
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Old 17th May 2018, 14:10
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That actually sound ok for an ATR F/O.
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Old 17th May 2018, 16:35
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Originally Posted by framer View Post
That actually sound ok for an ATR F/O.
It is.
Iíll admit, there are some valid concerns about career progression for Link Pilots, and it appears both ALPA and Air NZ are looking to solutions. I would not be surprised to see Link Pilots on our seniority list sometime soon.
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Old 17th May 2018, 18:25
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Originally Posted by dctPub View Post
Cheers Kickin. Is that after tax?
Does one end up back at home base after every duty or are there a couple of overnights in the mix?
If you're looking for home every night then put your hand up for JQ Regional
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Old 17th May 2018, 20:49
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Originally Posted by ElZilcho View Post


It is.
Iíll admit, there are some valid concerns about career progression for Link Pilots, and it appears both ALPA and Air NZ are looking to solutions. I would not be surprised to see Link Pilots on our seniority list sometime soon.

Is that a solution? Will we see Second Officers or A320 FOs bidding for an ATR command? Will you ever get guys who have experience from either RNZAF or overseas Jet time coming back to join at the bottom of a seniority list that has 500 (total guess) turbo prop pilots ahead of them?
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Old 17th May 2018, 21:08
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Originally Posted by Slezy9 View Post



Is that a solution? Will we see Second Officers or A320 FOs bidding for an ATR command? Will you ever get guys who have experience from either RNZAF or overseas Jet time coming back to join at the bottom of a seniority list that has 500 (total guess) turbo prop pilots ahead of them?
If it were a simple case of combining seniority lists to solve the current issues, then I suspect it would of happened already.

The questions youíve raised, along with countless others are why itís not so simple.

Ive even heard we might eventually see ďCadetĒ S/Oís as a point of entry to the Airline who then join the Links after a few years. Once again, this is just gossip, so the takeaway message is, the issue is being looked at.

Air NZ needs to offer a career progression to Link Pilots while Simultaneously keeping experience in the LHS. Under the current system, thereís virtually no penalty for going to J* (etc) in the interim.

Group Seniority solves some of the current issues while creating others.
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Old 17th May 2018, 21:23
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If they donít bring a joint seniority list, possibly Air NZ link could become the last place youíd want to be over the next few years, if you are focused on a career with AirNZ jet? Similar situation with Qantaslink Pilots wanting Qantas mainline, or the Virgin ATR drivers.


Virgin NZ/Jetconnect/Jetstar Nz ranks to be cleaned out again to fill places on the 320 in the coming months???
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Old 17th May 2018, 22:35
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Talking

Originally Posted by Slezy9 View Post



Is that a solution? Will we see Second Officers or A320 FOs bidding for an ATR command? Will you ever get guys who have experience from either RNZAF or overseas Jet time coming back to join at the bottom of a seniority list that has 500 (total guess) turbo prop pilots ahead of them?
I cannot believe some people cannot see how this list would work or how it could work!!! That is exactly how Virgin Australia run it with their group seniority list (with Tigerair is also set to join the bottom of the list shortly).

A 777 SO can bid for anything from an ATR72 FO spot, F100/737/A320 FO position right up to A330/777 spots (or for a cheeky Tiger FO/command slot now that the lists have combined). The list also allows a BNE 737 FO to bid to go to PER or AKL for example for a command.

But they control this by having a 30 month fleet freeze! And it seems to work extremely well. It benefits the company as they get the right people where they want to be, and it keeps the pilots happy!
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Old 18th May 2018, 00:03
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Originally Posted by dctPub View Post
Cheers Kickin. Is that after tax?
Does one end up back at home base after every duty or are there a couple of overnights in the mix?
That's after tax. Normally 2-3 overnights a fortnight is standard, sometimes 4 if ya get ya bids which is nice for the pay packet.

InZed is bang on. A group seniority list would stop a whole lot of link pilots from leaving if they knew they had a number in the jet list already. That way there's still a chance of getting a wide body command if ya join after you're 40 (I think it is around 20 years for a wide body command atm?) assuming that's what you're after. Also would stop pilots leaving for Jetstar/Virgin trying to get in the side door as an external.
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Old 18th May 2018, 00:05
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How will the senior link guys, who've been there forever, feel when they are suddenly at the bottom of the list and potentially not senior enough to retain that captaincy?
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Old 18th May 2018, 00:43
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Originally Posted by Slezy9 View Post
How will the senior link guys, who've been there forever, feel when they are suddenly at the bottom of the list and potentially not senior enough to retain that captaincy?
Yes, because all the senior Jet Pilots will be queuing up to halve/quarter their salaries for the luxury of a turbo-prop command most of us have already had.

As Iíve already said, itís merely a possibility but if joint seniority alone was the cure all weíd have already seen it.
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Old 18th May 2018, 00:49
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Originally Posted by Slezy9 View Post
How will the senior link guys, who've been there forever, feel when they are suddenly at the bottom of the list and potentially not senior enough to retain that captaincy?
I would imagine they would implement protections in against that i.e no regression to protect a pilot's current position. Soon enough all link pilots (Dash and ATR) will have one seniority list and the protections built in that stop pilots from the other fleet getting a command before you (assuming you have the hour requirements). They will never take away commands and I would be very surprised if a Jet pilot with a higher number would ever come back to the links to take a command (and that would only affect FO's, not captains).
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Old 18th May 2018, 00:55
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Originally Posted by Konyagi View Post
If they donít bring a joint seniority list, possibly Air NZ link could become the last place youíd want to be over the next few years, if you are focused on a career with AirNZ jet? Similar situation with Qantaslink Pilots wanting Qantas mainline, or the Virgin ATR drivers.


Virgin NZ/Jetconnect/Jetstar Nz ranks to be cleaned out again to fill places on the 320 in the coming months???
Roughly 100 new hires over the next 12 months yes. Mostly A320 I believe. Cutting ties with Virgin ramped up the manpower requirements (again).
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Old 22nd May 2018, 01:23
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Originally Posted by dctPub View Post
Guys and gals,

Can anyone please shed some light on the pay scales at Mt Cook? What sort of schedules are pilots flying in the 3 main bases?
I cannot find anything other than ballpark figures.

Cheers
Heres the exact figures................allowances are anywhere between $0-$500 a pay

FO will enter at level 1 unless they have their ATPLs, from that point they go to level 3 pay of the required category and stay there until years of service catch up. There is also no notional seniority at Mt Cook as they was negotiated away many many moons ago. Because of that when you get a command you will go to level 1 Captain pay and don't carry years of service across to the other seat.

It's a great airline to work for but make no mistake it's one of the lowest paying ATR gigs around. You'll also be based in Wellington or Auckland as Christchurch is highly sort after, so if you have a family you need to factor the expense of living in these cities.

FO(1) $63920.39 plus 4% super (note to the Ozzies looking, super is salary sacrificed in NZ so the 4% will come out of your pay)
Once you have your ATPLs $75903.00

CA(1) $111856.78

In real terms after tax per pay (yearly/fortnight) $51124.00 / 1966.30 minus your 4% super, your union fees (1.2%) and student loan repayment if you have one. After ATPLs = $59935.01 / $2305.19
Captain first year as above = $84023.52 / $3231.67
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