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737 Type Freeze coming at Qantas: Crew shortage bites?

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737 Type Freeze coming at Qantas: Crew shortage bites?

Old 12th Apr 2018, 08:10
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737 Type Freeze coming at Qantas: Crew shortage bites?

From a reputable source, David Andrew has reportedly realised the scale of the shortage. All fleets at Qantas are short in most ranks, none more so than the 737. Crew shortages left uncovered lead to cancellations and this has shown an alarming increase.


Whilst union concessions will continue to be relied upon, Executive Management cannot escape the damning reality that lack of crew leads to loss of Operating Revenue. Crewing and training levels have now allegedly fallen below safe establishment levels.



Cancellations are now discussed at board meetings. There are the equivalent of 5 airframes sitting idle, as crew shortages are increasingly evident.
Operating revenue is being substantially impacted.


With no end to the structural shortage in sight, Andrew David is reported to be considering a fleet freeze for the 737. All pilots will be type frozen. Sources were reluctant to confirm a time frame.
Training resources were stretched to the limit generating around 300 pilots. Estimate north of 600 for the next period are being openly spoken about. Qantas cannot train its pilots rapidly enough.

Pilot progression was the only thing holding it all together. Qantas pilots we know endured a lost decade as JQ grew. Their careers stagnanted. They were insulted, grounded and locked out. If management actually do such a thing, it is not going to end well.


We welcome current pilots discussing such a proposal, would it work? Can it be done?

Last edited by Rated De; 12th Apr 2018 at 08:50.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 08:16
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What section of the LH or SH EBA would allow this?

I agree with you, I bet AD would love it but I donít see how you can just breach the EBA.
Iíve not had a good look at those sections though so perhaps you can show us what part will permit it.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 08:19
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Legislation..... 457, DEC, the whole 9 yards....
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 08:28
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Maybe they're testing the water to see how far the pilots will cave in.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 09:11
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Wild guess; it's a Qantas claim in the short haul EBA. Gee, surprising, not.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 09:14
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Smells like a distraction
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 09:27
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The mail Iím getting is that they are also going to go for 457 visas for direct entry 737 FOs. They just donít get it, fix the short haul contract and the training will drop. Iím also hearing 6 787s coming from October 2019 thru to April 2020 at which point all the 747s will go. All this will do of course will make the training problem worse. I believe Joyce met AIPA on Wednesday, what was discussed I do not know.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 09:27
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Throw in a 10-15% payrise and it could happen, but I doubt it.
Unfortunately after taking to AD a couple of times I have got the impression he is not the sharpest tool in the shed despite his salary.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 09:29
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Originally Posted by dragon man View Post
The mail Iím getting is that they are also going to go for 457 visas for direct entry 737 FOs. They just donít get it, fix the short haul contract and the training will drop. Iím also hearing 6 787s coming from October 2019 thru to April 2020 at which point all the 747s will go. All this will do of course will make the training problem worse. I believe Joyce met AIPA on Wednesday, what was discussed I do not know.
Replace nine 747s with six 787s.
Yeah, that will solve everything!
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 09:35
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What are the crewing ratios per aircraft to generate around the clock ROI?

EG: one 787 requires 5 of each Capt, FO & SO.

I ask as this informs the level of the shortage. I.e fleet numbers vs crew.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 09:41
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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...pilot-shortage

As we stated repeatedly to howls of protest, this shortage is global it is structural and it is demographic. Sorry detractors, but this time it is real.

Qantas management taking the traditional IR approach to this is not going to work.

The mail I’m getting is that they are also going to go for 457 visas for direct entry 737 FOs.
That is correct.

Sources stated that the Jetconnect and Network play was aimed at establishing the narrative for direct entry contract 457 737 pilots.
Qantas were lobbying in Canberra well before Christmas. This is why it was announced in the Christmas hiatus; it caught the unions napping, digesting their Christmas pudding. From what was communicated by Qantas pilots there has been no further mention of it


Am told that there is quiet concern that this may well get out of hand..
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 10:05
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Or perhaps, dare I say it, the current training demand has brought to light onerous provisions in the agreements which effectively magnify training requirements.

Is it reasonable to require up to 12 training movements just to replace 1 A380 Captain? All up this would easily equate to at least $600k in training cost at $50k per head (and I am being conservative).

5 B737ís laying idle represents significant wasted capital. That gets shareholder interest. The resulting reduction in capacity and consequentially full flights and yield increases means pissed off customers. Pissed off customers impact politicians as well as shareholders.

Yes the pilot shortage is a problem, unfortunately it is a also bringing to light how the agreements restrict Qantas from growing or replacing crew rapidly. You can apportion blame all you like, but managements job is to run the company, which includes resolving issues. Now that this issue has come to light, it will get scrutiny and management will seek solutions.

Either the pilots come on board with a solution, or be part of the problem. Bitching about lost decade etc. ainít going to solve the problem.

Have a look at how they are solving the pipeline issue. The cadet program, headed by a lawyer under HR and supported by rostering department. Flight ops dealt out (despite many successful programs of the past).

The problem is real and now, get on board and you have a chance to influence the future.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 10:11
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Improve conditions in SH in line with LH, increase my pay (plus a bit as an incentive) and equivalent super to that of what my seniority could hold, and I'll keep my current lifestyle. Win Win.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 10:12
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Have a look at how they are solving the pipeline issue. The cadet program, headed by a lawyer under HR and supported by rostering department. Flight ops dealt out (despite many successful programs of the past).
Flight Operations dear fellow are irrelevant. The current incumbent neither directs nor assigns expenditure. There is always 'Corporate overreach'. Assigned budget is one thing, directing strategic spending quite another. They are known as figure heads for a reason: necessary but rather quiet. From memory it was Mr Strong who objected to the title of 'Director of Flight Operations'.

Of course they have a 'pipeline in mind', our sources confirm they are well aware a 'solution' if any remains years away. So naturally adversarial IR will ratchet up the rhetoric. Even Mr Joyce is not that stupid.


The board is well aware.

The key distinction to draw Arthur is they indeed have a problem. To whom that problem belongs is the distinction.
Management have the problem. Union concessions are continually granted. It is no longer of the pilot's making, nor is the pilot's concern to fix.

We do suspect you are right, idle threats are the go to tool for adversarial IR. When the screaming subsides, management will probably then appeal to the 'professionalism' of the pilots.

The possible threats inspired by Mr O'Leary's extreme union avoidance posture, which Mr Joyce aspires to, put Mr O'Leary in quite a pickle. We expect Qantas to run down the same line, as we have stated endlessly, they know no other way. For airlines have embraced globalisation, Qantas egged on by unlimited supply drove terms and conditions ever downward.


Operating Revenue declines may necessitate a call to the ASX under listing rule 3.1

Either way, the problem belongs at the feet of corporate, whom we hasten to add is a direct report to Mr Joyce. It is there that expenditure of capital has been declined repeatedly, presumably to be spent on share buy backs and other 'shareholder value generating activity'.

Last edited by Rated De; 12th Apr 2018 at 10:30.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 10:25
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The problem is Arthur, the pilots can't to fix the mess, and it will cost QF many dollars if they seek this type of solution. I guess its up to them to determine what they think its worth.
I believe think this kind of agreement could be in everyones interest, if the company are willing to work with the pilots.

Like others in the QF recruitment thread have explained, some of us are very happy in SH, and only seek to move to LH for the financial security it provides. Eliminate the discrepancy and many would stay in SH forever.

Last edited by Chad Gates; 12th Apr 2018 at 10:38.
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 10:33
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There is no freeze provision in the SH EA. Freeze me, Iíll see you in court, and while I may end up staying on the 737, youíll be paying me bypass... Iím outta here ASAP.

Of course....fix the SH EA, provide me with some protection rather than have me assume all the risk, give me proper sick leave, give me more balance throughout the rotation and a few other things, and Iím staying put. based on contribution to the bottom line, my pay and conditions should be at the very least, equal to a 330 FO. Donít even get me started on what SOís Ďearní. (BTW....thatís not their fault at all, nothing against them, just a glaring example of the inadequacies and inequalities of the SH EA....how about recognising the crew who assume all the risk!!!!)
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 10:37
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There is no freeze provision in the SH EA.
We are not experts in contracts, our sources communicated that the lobbying is taking place to somehow step around the contractual road block.

Respectfully we would suggest the nexus is the 'story' they told about Jetconnect and Network. The lack of progress recruiting 'suitable pilots' a cornerstone of their endeavour to expand the visa issue beyond what was initially stated.

As we stated at the time, it appeared they were playing checkers and the response of the union 'more akin to checkers'.

And I would like front row to witness AJ and his HR yes men explain to the shareholders why they have ignored glaring advice for years predicting this and have chosen to ignore it.
Don you may be closer the pin than you realise, the Operating Revenue losses are beginning to mount. There are material changes to trading conditions that must be reported. One may ask just how Mr Joyce 'DE-transforms' Qantas now?
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 10:39
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It's almost like they could have foreseen this training requirement, eh

If only
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 10:54
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I think it’s Andrew David.

There is an operator over the road that has 700 B737 pilots. The reality is that the SH conditions and the 787/330 entry package isn’t compelling enough for most.

Likewise working in China. Close but no cigar. No one wants to put up with that crap even at 30k a month!
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Old 12th Apr 2018, 10:57
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Quote:
The mail Iím getting is that they are also going to go for 457 visas for direct entry 737 FOs.
That is correct
That is not correct. The labour agreement that Qantas have applied to Home Affairs for does not cover mainline operations. ie. Does not apply to 737.
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