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SMH “Qantas sends out SOS for pilots.”

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SMH “Qantas sends out SOS for pilots.”

Old 12th Apr 2022, 22:53
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SMH “Qantas sends out SOS for pilots.”

Qantas has sent out an urgent plea to unrostered pilots to fly three international flights and a number of domestic flights scheduled for Wednesday due to “critically short uncrewed flying for tomorrow April 13″.

The communication, sent from Qantas Operations on Tuesday morning sighted by this masthead, said an unspecified flight to London, a Sydney to Johannesburg flight and a flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles were short of captains and first officers.

It is also looking for an unspecified number of crew to pilot A330 domestic flights on Wednesday – the start of the busy Easter holiday break.
Qantas is scrambling to find pilots to fly a number of flights on Wednesday. CREDIT:JAMES BRICKWOOD

Airlines have been in damage control over the past week as customers have taken to social media to complain about customer service phone wait times, culminating in Qantas issuing an email apology to its frequent flyers.

The snaking queues of passengers at Sydney and Melbourne airports over the past four days is further evidence that neither the airlines nor the airports have properly prepared for the return of passengers following COVID-19.

‘I’m not blaming them’: Qantas CEO walks back criticism of passengers for Sydney Airport delays

Qantas has promised to boost call centre operators to 750 and there have been calls to increase the number of ground staff as check in kiosks and baggage drop were a bottleneck point at airport terminals.

Ground security, which is the responsibility of the airport, has been an even bigger choke point for passengers that are now being warned to turn up a minimum of two hours before a domestic flight.

But the shortage of pilots suggests that the problems run deeper and add weight to the argument that the airline sliced too deep in its cost-cutting measures, including reducing its staff numbers.That said Qantas maintains it lost very few pilots – with most of those that left were the result of the retirement of the Boeing 747 aircraft from its fleet.)

The industry appears to be suffering from a more broad-based meltdown – and is a long way from match fit.

And the situation has been compounded by airline staff having to isolate due to being a close COVID contact. The ‘reserve line’ of pilots have been chewed through, leaving some flights unable to operate unless unrostered or on-leave pilots are prepared to step in.

A Qantas spokesman responded on Tuesday saying, “We have a lot of COVID-19 related absences at the moment, and we’re pulling out all the stops to make sure we can get people to their destinations. The industry is seeing the same challenges, but more severe, around the world, and we’re managing this the best we can.”

While it seems evident that the airlines have had trouble managing the surge in travelling, it is only two years since they were financially crippled by COVID. Virgin was placed into administration while Qantas boss Alan Joyce grounded the majority of its fleet, and undertook emergency measures to raise capital and increase its debt facilities.

Since then, it has needed to deal with the COVID yo-yo effect – huge swings in passenger demand as international and state borders changed.
Airlines and airports have been grappling with staff shortages during the busy Easter period.

But the COVID hangover is causing a degree of havoc that may not be evident to passengers.
A recent post on a pilot chat room, Qrewroom, noted that on 17 flights they piloted over the past week, there had been delays on all ‘first flights’ waiting for baggage handling and/or catering, that some flights had departed with no catering (and no passenger compensation) and that there had been a wait for pushback vehicles to arrive due to the limited number of operating tugs operating in Sydney.

On another chat site contained a post which said that a labour hire company Swissport had offered a $2000 sign on bonus in Melbourne for baggage handlers.

The fact that airlines around the world are suffering similarly debilitating issues will be of little comfort to Australian passengers trying to take their Easter holidays.
Some kind of media payback for blaming the passengers for recent delays. Tell me again who is responsible for staffing levels and ground handling? I’ll wait.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 00:52
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“unless unrostered or on-leave pilots are prepared to step in“

Anyone notice who’s fault it is now?

The pilots who became “unrostered” (stood down) during the regulated shit down of aviation…. Using their own “leave” to continue to pay bills and live….


Fast forward.
unrostered meaning have worked rostered duties in this “new world” and/or taking any actual leave left in the balance to do just that…. Have a break from the circus.

What was someone saying about pilot remuneration on another thread? The risk seems to be carried by pilots more and more, the ability to experience any rewards are not afforded. Hands up who thinks it is actually a sensible and rewarding “career”?
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 01:43
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Things are only going to get worse domestically now that QF have started down a road of demands disguised as negotiations with the unions representing NJS and QF SH. I am aware of a number of services that have been affected by crew shortages. Curiously enough guys and girls are not available to go above and beyond to help! Morale and good-will have been drawn down to historical lows recently and all of a sudden, the account is empty.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 03:07
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What was someone saying about pilot remuneration on another thread? The risk seems to be carried by pilots more and more
Dunno about risk. Demand (and supply) certainly. That's what is the driver of pilot remuneration.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 03:22
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Originally Posted by Traffic_Is_Er_Was View Post
Dunno about risk. Demand (and supply) certainly. That's what is the driver of pilot remuneration.
supply and demand is market liquidity. The underlying risk reward of the vocation lost its link with reality predominately due to ego.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 03:43
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I used to chase over time, work days off, take leave then try work on leave days etc. What an absolute idiot I was. To earn that extra $$ (half of which was taken by the tax man) but sacrifice my time, sanity, mental state and all of that again from my family is perhaps one of the dumbest things I have ever done in my life. It's actually embarrassing thinking about it. I now use every tactic that I can think of; every sick day, every fatigue call, no to every duty extension and it's made such a difference to my life. I'll fly 60-70 hours a month and you can shove the rest of it in the same place you shoved my good will.
I shouldn't even be mad, was my own dumb fault.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 04:05
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Supply and demand only creates higher wages if the business can support the extra costs and the workforce has the bargaining power to exploit the situation. Other wise you get slightly more wage for a few years and then the company goes broke and wages fall substantially below what was before. What we have seen in Aviation is that as wages get higher, the smaller operators just disappear rather than pay better, with of course a few larger organisations hanging on due to better management. Companies try to offset the higher costs by employing fewer reserves and using callouts to patch gaps. The callouts still cost less than another full crew set even when its weeks worth, so make sure you are getting rewarded well for your casual work. Also casual work and overtime makes it seem like you are earning more, but you have gained no increase in base salary, which means when it all returns to normal the company has not increased its fixed costs.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 04:52
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“We wouldn’t have problems crewing these international flights if the government hadn’t opened the border. This is not my fault”

- Teflon Alan
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 06:01
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Alan, give the Royal Vic Aero Club ring you might get somebody that has just done their BFR in the Cherokee and nothing planned over Easter.

This is just unprecedented times in aviation, having all these plebs wanting to travel!
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 06:12
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That's what is the driver of pilot remuneration.
Not in Australia.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 07:39
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Originally Posted by tossbag View Post
Not in Australia.
Indeed. Pilot is still on the import list from the rest of the PLANET….
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 09:20
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‘Sorry I really wish I could help, but I’ve got a Zumba class, some meditation then I’m patting some pups.’
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 10:25
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Originally Posted by cLeArIcE View Post
I used to chase over time, work days off, take leave then try work on leave days etc. What an absolute idiot I was. To earn that extra $$ (half of which was taken by the tax man) but sacrifice my time, sanity, mental state and all of that again from my family is perhaps one of the dumbest things I have ever done in my life.
.
It's very liberating to say NO. Businesses shouldn't rely on their employees working copious amounts of overtime.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 10:39
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Originally Posted by cloudsurfng View Post
‘Sorry I really wish I could help, but I’ve got a Zumba class, some meditation then I’m patting some pups.’
Has anyone thought of finding people who can load bags? Too busy planning Zumba and puppies?
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 11:00
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Execs are just finding out that pilots and other staff are not just another machine that you can switch on or off when things are bad or good. A lot of businesses have found out the hard way that the big reshuffle has left them at the bottom of the desired workplace list and many have chosen other fields to work in. Others just decided to retire earlier, after all we are at the end of the big 'boomer' exodus from the workforce. Its funny to watch business owners that relied on cheap immigrant/backpacker labor squirm now that they have to pay a local proper wages to do it. It does however mean inflation will probably rear up, but meh.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 11:02
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Can we maybe request classes on how to effectively deal with Lycra chafing? That yoga kills my balls.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 11:11
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Originally Posted by 43Inches View Post
Execs are just finding out that pilots and other staff are not just another machine that you can switch on or off when things are bad or good. A lot of businesses have found out the hard way that the big reshuffle has left them at the bottom of the desired workplace list and many have chosen other fields to work in. Others just decided to retire earlier, after all we are at the end of the big 'boomer' exodus from the workforce. Its funny to watch business owners that relied on cheap immigrant/backpacker labor squirm now that they have to pay a local proper wages to do it. It does however mean inflation will probably rear up, but meh.
It is a reflection on certain industries in Australia how they have behaved through the COVID pandemic.
Crew suffered significant isolation rules to bring workers in to harvest crops.
Sadly, and possibly a reflection of the character of some of the players, some farmers have then exploited the workers (assisted by a Coalition Government).
And the Australian Government wonder why Pacific nations might be coerced by China. Maybe, just maybe, they pay more to exploit them.
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 11:28
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Lets not forget the sh1t show that is engineering right now. Redundancies were over subscribed so they let all who wanted it go. The EBA expired in 2019 and there has been no good faith negotiating from the airline. Sydney engineering are working a roster that is fatiguing the workforce beyond comprehension, this in turn has caused sick leave usage to sky rocket.

Engineering is run by idiots who can't or wouldn't see that they were going to be short staffed when flying ramped up. LAMEs mumbling about protected industrial action due to inaction by the company over the EBA.

Well done Alan. It's time to go
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 11:47
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It is time to go Alan
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Old 13th Apr 2022, 12:10
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The media seems to be picking up that the residents of “Bong Alley” (the harder you suck, the higher you get) are disconnected from reality but are really good at patting puppies and zumba.
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