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From low cost airline to executive aviation

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From low cost airline to executive aviation

Old 12th Feb 2019, 18:32
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Paris
Age: 43
Posts: 34
From low cost airline to executive aviation

Hi everyone!

I am starting to explore the executive aviation industry with the purpose of changing careers but honestly I do not quite know where to start as this is a segment I have never been interested in.

Currently I am an SFO in an orange lo-co European airline and should start my command process next year but to be honest the prospect of flying the 320 back and forth always to the same destinations until I retire is not enticing at all.

I am completely unaware about the peculiarities of this job market other than is more volatile and unpredictable than the airlines so any help would be greatly appreciated: blogs, websites, PPRuNe threads or your own personal advice, everything I can sit and read thouroughly.

My age is 42 and I have total of 3700h of which 3500h on the 320.

Many thanks in advance!


a-ricky-town is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2019, 18:53
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Join Date: May 2009
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don’t even consider it without your command and some time in the left seat. Even then I would definitely not recommend it. It is impossible to convey quite how precarious the business jet job market is and you would be jumping from a solid career to endless uncertainty. If you want more exciting flying why don’t you move to a more exciting company?
GlenQuagmire is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2019, 18:58
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Join Date: Nov 2018
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Why dont you consider the cargo biz if you dont want to fly the same routes over and over again? Or perhaps an outfit like HiFly?
SaulGoodman is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2019, 19:04
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Thanks GQ. Looking for some excitement lead me to exec av but if the market is so precarious I am not willing to make the move then.

I was under the impression that with so many airlines/countries needing pilots that would also have a positive impact on the business aviation conditions.

Believe me, this segment is a totally new option to me.

Thanks again for the feedback!


EDIT:

Thanks SG, actually talking to people what keeps me going If you put me in a plane full of boxes I am not sure I am gonna enjoy it...

a-ricky-town is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2019, 19:30
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Up to you mate. But I can honoustly say definately no passenger flying for me anymore. Exec biz might be good, but personally I would only do it for the big companies that have there own fleet, like BP, Shell, VW, Daimler etc. Not for a company like netjets or vistajey. Way to insecure!
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 19:49
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And these companies who have their own fleet, how do they recruit? do they work with any contractor?
a-ricky-town is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2019, 20:30
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Originally Posted by SaulGoodman View Post
Not for a company like netjets or vistajey. Way to insecure!
Insecure in what way?

EatMyShorts! is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2019, 22:38
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Originally Posted by EatMyShorts! View Post
Insecure in what way?
Netjets Eu put a lot of crews off a few years back. Bombadia/Flexjet EU recruited crews for the start-up in Europe. 2 years later they pulled the plug and left the crews high and dry.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 02:08
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Originally Posted by SaulGoodman View Post
Up to you mate. But I can honoustly say definately no passenger flying for me anymore. Exec biz might be good, but personally I would only do it for the big companies that have there own fleet, like Daimler etc. Not for a company like netjets or vistajey. Way to insecure!
You might wanna do some research on that one. I know for sure that they thought they were having a secure job....
His dudeness is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2019, 07:35
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Originally Posted by a-ricky-town View Post
[...] the prospect of flying the 320 back and forth always to the same destinations until I retire is not enticing at all. [...]
Depending on what type of operation you end up in GA this could be exactly the same without the more secure background of a big airline.

If you fly for an owner exclusively it could be that he is going between a hand full places 90% of the time, f.ex. home in UK, yacht in Nice, summer house in Ibiza. Thats it.
The other 10%, which is not much considering you will be only flying about 300h TT per year, are other destinations like ski holiday once per year, race track visits, wedding anniversary for a weekend.

It will be more diverse in a charter only operation, but again, rich people tend to go where other rich people are - and you end up in the same places with some new places inbetween.
And all that for the cost of a more secure job at an airline.

I met several guys that cut their airline job to somewhat 50% and went freelance GA flying during the other 50%. Maybe thats an option for you as well.
Hodin is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2019, 08:05
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Thanks Hodin for your insight. I get the feeling this market is not as fulfilling as I thought it was going to be and way more precaurious than I originally foresaw. I will have to reassess my priorities and find an aviation model that suits my interests.

Cheers!
a-ricky-town is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2019, 08:53
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Aso
 
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Netjets Eu put a lot of crews off a few years back.
Ehh unless you were french or belgium thanks to your local laws yes you are right. All others were treated extremely well after 2008 including job shares etc... So agree that the local operator around the corner might be insecure but NJE is not on that list in my book!
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 11:06
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Don't do it before you got your CMD in the A320 and plenty of hours PIC. Even then, consider the move very carefully.

Business Aviation can be the job of your dream on a fancy Global Express or Gulfstream and takes you to the most beautiful places, 5 star hotels and on top of that a great salary...

Reality for most Bizav pilots is the exact opposite. Most fly on smaller jets such as Citations, Embraer Phenom, King Air, etc and barely make a living from that. Lots of freelancers that compete for days and drive down the daily rates. Most smaller outfits are too small to participate with the bigger charter companies and it's a race to the bottom condition and even safetywise.

Plus - without any offense - many Airline pilots that flew Boeings or Airbusses before assume, that this experience will lead to immediate Gulfstream, Global Express or Falcon epmployment or even BBJ/ACJ jobs. The reality could be that these guys need to work their way up starting on a smaller jet, possibly with self paid training.

If you really consider it, I would try to go part time with your current job (if that's even possible), try some networking or even consider to buy a cheap typerating (King Air, Cessna Citation, XLS, etc) to get started. Knock on a few doors and get a foot into the world of Business Aviation.

Needless to say that you might have to book your own hotels, arrange transportation, arrange maintenance enroute (oil, oxygen, tire svc), print (or even plan) your flightplans, pay handling fees, arrange fueling, arrange permits, arrange (or buy or even create) catering, buy magazines/newspapers/flowers/alcohol/toys,whatever... for VIP clients, download and install NAV updates on board, update and charge iPads, do online training while in the hotel - and that all is done before you even get to fly the thing... Imagine that with a fresh CPL graduate doing his first rotation with you, with a very demanding client on board, marginal weather into funny planes such as Samedan, Cannes, Sion or Chambery (where you have never been before)... and don't forget the broker who calls you every 15 minutes to ask you if the aircraft is ready And that you do on every day while on duty for 7-15 days in a row for less pay than you make with your current job.

cheers
Proline21 is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2019, 11:59
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I have been in business aviation for 6 years, and now in the same orange loco as you, also close to be upgraded.

Very simple: DO NOT DO IT, the grass in not always greener on the other side. Easyjet, especially if based in France, Italy or Germany, is one hell of an employer, and you would be mad to give up an upgrade there. Aside from KLM, Air France and LH you probably have one of the best gigs available in Europe, money and overall conditions wise.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 14:46
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Aso
 
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PS: this I agree with

Don't do it before you got your CMD in the A320 and plenty of hours PIC. Even then, consider the move very carefully.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 15:54
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Join Date: May 2008
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Why is everyone so negative ?

Surely an airline career is better in terms of job security and for the money but if he is not happy and willing for a new challenge then why not GA ?
From my small experience there are all kind of GA companies / owners / contracts... Hard do make a general statement on roster, job conditions, destinations..
But if you are lucky enough you can find the contract thats fits you, with a decent roster, homebase, salary and exciting operations...

Only hard thing will probably be to learn how to deal with changes all the time and to do everything by yourself as Proline21 said... But that's part of the charm of the job isnt it ?

Good luck anyways !
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 16:16
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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One thing is for sure:

nothing is sure. I started in business aviation 29 years ago and EVERYTHING was different then. Just as with the airlines. And the changes wont stop.

His dudeness is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2019, 16:35
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Join Date: May 2009
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We could jobshare. You can come and fly the global for a month and I will bus billies around. At least I would get home now and again!

I bet you would miss your table..
GlenQuagmire is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2019, 22:24
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Proline21, many thanks for your thorough and detailed answer, plenty of food for thought and frankly an "eye-opener"
dirk85, I have come to that conclusion as well, I'd rather stay where I am now and assess the situation later on. Thanks
Phalare, in theory I should agree with you but now I feel quite "scared" about the overview I am getting from almost everyone
GlenQuagmire, I wouldn't mind jobsharing but the table is something I would really hate to lose! Thanks, mate
a-ricky-town is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2019, 23:34
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Join Date: May 2018
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Private

Originally Posted by Hodin View Post
Depending on what type of operation you end up in GA this could be exactly the same without the more secure background of a big airline.

If you fly for an owner exclusively it could be that he is going between a hand full places 90% of the time, f.ex. home in UK, yacht in Nice, summer house in Ibiza. Thats it.
The other 10%, which is not much considering you will be only flying about 300h TT per year, are other destinations like ski holiday once per year, race track visits, wedding anniversary for a weekend.

It will be more diverse in a charter only operation, but again, rich people tend to go where other rich people are - and you end up in the same places with some new places inbetween.
And all that for the cost of a more secure job at an airline.

I met several guys that cut their airline job to somewhat 50% and went freelance GA flying during the other 50%. Maybe thats an option for you as well.
300 hours a year.....PERFECT!!!
Daddy Fantastic is offline  

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