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Bases no longer an option.

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

Bases no longer an option.

Old 1st Jul 2013, 04:03
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Bases no longer an option.

Well the AOA have finally said it, how many in CX will still live in the delusion of getting a base?
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 04:37
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Where from?
Ladies and gentlemen, the day has come.
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 05:21
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THAT .... IS .... UNTRUE ....
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 05:49
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Agreed in principle, (not 10-20 though). Different to the opening assertion which implied never.
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 06:14
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That's my point I don't think bases are required anymore, local terms are cheaper (less hassle) than bases, in the next few years expats in HK will be a minority and low time F/Os will have to stay until they get command, by which time leaving will not be an option due to the pay cut as a result of seniority.

In less than 10yrs expats conditions will be gone and therefore the savings from bases, they will wither on the vine.

Personally I'm not interested in a base but the amount of crew who talk freely about going on a base astounds me, especially considering some of their ages vs their position on the seniority list.

Last edited by SMOC; 1st Jul 2013 at 06:18.
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 06:29
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it's an interesting debate, which is largely useless as we do not "KNOW" To me it will be a bonus if it happens not something I am relying on. Purely for entertainment purppses, If you, (SMOC) agree to give 1000HKD to the Sunnyside Club IF bases open, then I will agree to give them 1000HKD if I leave CX from Hong Kong? Whadya say?
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 06:31
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Sounds fair.
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 08:29
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SMOC,

If local terms are so much less hassle why don't CX comply with local labour laws? SHP for example.
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 09:20
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Exactly it's so easy here you don't have to even comply with labour laws, plus workers rights in general here are 3rd world.

Edit: Spelling.

Last edited by SMOC; 1st Jul 2013 at 12:23.
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 09:23
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CX always goes for the grey option, that includes legal/tax advice.

I am sure the CX know the labour requirements in HKG and the costs involved in ignoring certain parts.

They employ a full time legal dept to fight their employees. Same team.
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 10:38
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There has been no SHP paid on my payslips since my base was 'on-shored'.

Yet the HKIRD has decreed that I am a Hong Kong employee, and therefore must pay HKG tax, so two claims are in, for pre- and post- on-shoring, so CX's lawyers can suck on that.

The airline will not officially state that there are no more new basing slots, in order to maintain the carrot on the stick to attract and retain the gullible.

Last edited by Captain Dart; 1st Jul 2013 at 10:54.
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 12:07
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The airline will not officially state that there are no more new basing slots, in order to maintain the carrot on the stick to attract and retain the gullible.

Capt dart,

You've hit the nail squarely on the head sir.


I can't believe so many of our flight crew still believe there will be bases.
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Old 1st Jul 2013, 13:10
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Cap'n Dart

Absolutely spot on. The bases will continued to be "reviewed" indefinitely because the company knows that if they came out and told the truth, retention and recruitment would suffer.

The truth is, as long as Australia has long service leave, there will never be another Australian base. Anyone who vaguely understands world politics, will understand why there will never be another Euroland base. Canadian bases, who knows.... Not looking good however with the socialistic employment laws, however the YVR-JFK route does suit the concept of bases.

The US and UK are perhaps the most promising. The UK has reasonably friendly labour laws, however those laws are becoming more European by the day and the UK government's near insolvency means the burden on employers will only increase.

Can we read anything into an American lawyer joining the 3rd floor? Probably not, maybe she has nice big round eyes However, our route expansion is focused on the Americas (North and South). This operationally favours bases if we are going to continue to hub through ANC/ YVR and in the future if we hub through the US into Southern America. American labour laws and costs remain comparatively friendly.

Whilst I am confident in my predictions for Australia and Euroland, there are three big variables.

1. A strengthening US$ changes the equation markedly.
2. Agressive poaching by the Middle Eastern Carriers. Whilst, they traditionally do not base or encourage commuting, the expat package is going to be mighty attractive to the the JFO icadet.
3. If the Chinese/ Korean/ Japanese Carriers ever sort their Shi'ite and put together a descent commuting package. This need not be money, more a recognition of our hedonistic, slovenly western lifestyles.
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Old 2nd Jul 2013, 01:22
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Liam

How do you figure Long Service Leave is what kills the Australian base? Even for the longest serving captain it equates to little more than 6 months housing in Hong Kong. Not even CX management is so short sighted as to view this as a deal breaker!

Loss of absolute control through other aspects of the bothersome Australian labour law is a different story however...
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Old 2nd Jul 2013, 01:57
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Bizarrely, maybe it's not about the money?
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Old 2nd Jul 2013, 12:04
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Tonto

Putting aside the likelihood that Housing probably won't exist in a few years, think about who will get Oz bases (should they ever occur again). Obviously, the senior guys get them, who are also closest to retirement.

In fact, anyone who is thinking of retiring who has the right to live in Oz would be crazy not to take an Oz base. They may need to convert to the Airbus, but once on base they can take Long Service leave, part way through their 20+ weeks of leave they announce they are taking early retirement. They probably won't even have to set foot in Oz and risk being eaten, bitten or stabbed by a stingray. They can sit in France and count the $$$$$.

Regrettably my grandfather never stole a loaf of bread, so I have no right to live in Oz, otherwise I would be into it like an SO into the sandwiches.
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Old 2nd Jul 2013, 14:56
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Referencing the Housing comment. If Cathay even breathes in the direction of those on expat housing, the dominoes will certainly fall. If they mess with the package in any way, I can say with a good deal of certainty that nearly all American's would be gone within 6 months. All US carriers hiring like gang busters, you'll be a narrow body skipper in 5 years. Absolutely NO motivation to stay in Hong Kong without the housing. None.

I would speculate also that while the opportunities are not as abundant, we would lose a good share of Ozzies, Canuks, Kiwi's, and Brits to boot.

No, it won't be some famed mass exodus, but it would be more than Cathay could cope with.

I believe the housing is safe, because it is the more senior crew who are on it, and you can't staff an airline with Cadets, JFO's, and Freighter Captains.

Proviso: The unwillingness to formalize the 25 year housing is most certainly concerning. What are they planning?

Methinks a Commuting Contract is about to be offered. Here is your 25 year housing, or sign it all away for life, and here is your commuting contract. That would be Vintage Cathay
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Old 2nd Jul 2013, 15:27
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Correct I think Mr Ash, however, I feel discussing our fears on this website will only give our dumb managers ideas how they can debase our contracts and increase our fears.

Perhaps we should be discussing a pay increase for the forthcoming B747/777 MFF or indeed the A330/350 both of which will mean increased workload.

It's time to unite not fragment.
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Old 2nd Jul 2013, 22:34
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Bizarrely, maybe it's not about the money?
SIA gave it away, Ops never wanted it, the bean counters did. It wasn't money but having to run separate rosters and the limitations of having to get crews back to base at the expense of the Singapore based crews and having to operate to other countries' labour laws. Different to CX in that the majority of pilots were Singapore based by choice.

Have to admit it is much easier to run one roster from one base so supply and demand enters the equation.

Last edited by parabellum; 2nd Jul 2013 at 22:35.
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Old 3rd Jul 2013, 09:25
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Slight thread drift

I see the Oz$ trading below 91c. How low does it need to go before people sell up and return to the great penal colony?
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