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The GMA "Pilot Briefing"

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.

The GMA "Pilot Briefing"

Old 22nd Dec 2017, 00:18
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The GMA "Pilot Briefing"

Where does one begin? It’s difficult to sort through excrement, as it shifts around your feet as you wade through it. However, i’ll make an attempt.

1) Regarding the Mercer Group recommending remuneration figures for the Executive Committee, and the comment that “remuneration was equivalent to that paid to other peer group companies”. Let me guess; they looked at ONLY the top paying airline groups for comparison. Unlike the Pilot pay comparison, where they looked at every LCC in the industry as their benchmark. Ok Dominic, we’ll just ignore that salient fact. Let the 'fiction' continue...

2) The paying of bonuses to the Executive: That is undoubtedly referring to their “CX” bonus. No mention of their “Swire” bonus. Of course you would neglect to mention that…

3) Regarding Flight Crew remuneration: as a long gone (but highly respected) Fleet Manager once said at a 'commitment day' to Tony “The Liar” Tyler (another not missed appalling manager): “at Wimbledon, the Players generally do make a bit more than the ball boys”…. You are distorting the facts regarding what we get paid (using overtime as an example, which is solely due to your pathetic rostering). Lies/ statistics…we know the difference. Apparently you do not.

4) Regarding the AOA mentioning a “return to profitability” and your comment that “you don’t understand why we would do so at this time”. Well, perhaps you might take exception to most of the main investment banks in HK who have ALL stated publicly that they feel CX is “returning to profitability”. That might be WHY the AOA has mentioned it NOW. You need to get out a bit Dominic.

5) You mention “increasing productivity and reducing cost base”. Well, as one example (me), I flew 900 hours last year, and my cost to you in ‘real’ terms (inflation adjusted) is about half what it was 20 years ago. For reference: the total cost of pilots to the company, expressed as an average, is about 50% per pilot what it was 20 yrs ago. What more exactly do you want from us? Come after any more of my value and yes, I will take it personally.

6) Your comments regarding medical: seriously, you make me ‘ill’ (pun intended). You have cut Dr’s from the panel like the plague cut through the world’s population during the 1300’s. Further, you implemented a ‘sickness management program’ designed to intimidate pilots from calling in sick (even when they are). You have no integrity on this issue, so best keep quiet. FYI, enjoy the sickness rates over the next few months.

7) Resignation rates: Seriously Dominic? You are seriously trying to convince us that all is well? When I joined, NO ONE resigned. Not one person. Now, I don’t fly without someone telling me they are interviewing, already given notice, or even better, not giving you ANY notice and just leaving without telling you. Your panic is showing with such a pathetic and laughable response on the subject. FYI, the rate of resignations is only just getting started. Enjoy.

8) 2 SO LRO: you throw a ream of double-speak at us, the very people who actually have to deal with the real consequences of your foolish policy(ies). The other airlines that do this also have far more robust scheduling and rest rules underpinning their 2 SO schedules. Of course, CX (and you as a willing accomplice) choose to ignore those facts, and pretend that you are only copying our competitors. I would safely bet our competitors aren’t looking at dozens of resignations per month. Oh, and btw, I’m sure the SO’s in the company really appreciated the sudden increase in their time to upgrade. Nice own goal. They and the entire middle ranks of pilots in this airline are the ones who are looking for other employment. You have only helped them make their decision to leave that much easier.

9) HKPA and RP: stop with the rubbish, please. You insult us and demean yourself. If you are so concerned about HKPA, then arbitrarily raise it to account for almost TEN YEARS of inflation (never mind the exponential rise in housing costs over that time period, greatly outstripping the overall inflation rate). As for RP’s: AT stripped those out for 3 man LRO, and for what?, a failed policy and now going on almost three years of industrial warfare. Most of the pilots in this airline have come to realise they have NO hope of providing for them or their families in the future. They are leaving. Congratulations, you will have soon achieved what you and your management colleagues obviously want, an airline with no pilots.

You and your management are failures at every level. The entire industry is making record profits, AND paying their employees higher salaries and better benefits (and demonstrating that they respect and value their pilots). You are a disgrace to the word ‘management’, and certainly you have NO resemblance to the word ‘leader’. You are an embarrassment and your pathetic diatribes masquerading as ‘Pilot Briefings’ fool not a SINGLE pilot in this company.

A ‘friendly’ suggestion: take a few days to earnestly review the comments from over 700 (SEVEN HUNDRED) pilots on Yammer. That should indicate to you just how much you and your colleagues have failed. Alternatively, find a job in London at some nondescript admin company. Your talents are wasted here.

Last edited by Trafalgar; 22nd Dec 2017 at 00:32.
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Old 22nd Dec 2017, 01:22
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You put into words the thoughts of every pilot as he/she struggles through the GMA’s repeated “talking points”. It’s so frustrating. Every pilot who has been here for more than a year knows the truth; yet he/she must endure condescending comms stating that white is really black, and that up is really down.
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Old 22nd Dec 2017, 02:22
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Dom... sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool...


I am so glad you raised this. I appreciate the GC has to be careful about getting into a public slanging match with management, so it is probably best if they leave the GMA hanging on his last words, because his words leave him dangling in the breeze.

Whilst the GC might not want to take on the GMA publicly, that need not stop us in ppruneland, so here goes.

The HKAOA update is a document where the GC is addressing its fee-paying members. It’s private. If the GMA was in a bar and overheard a conversation between two people, would he consider it appropriate to dive in and give his (skewed) opinions. Would he be offended, if upon interrupting a private conversation he was invited to “F-Off”…. Well, guess what Dom??

Senior Management Remuneration

As Trafalgar say, what about the bonuses from Swire? We shall never know. No doubt the GMA will hide behind the fact they need not be declared, however if they had nothing to hide, the Swires would voluntarily declare the bonuses…. Well, guess what we all conclude Dom?

The very senior managers are appointed by, and work for, the shareholders. That’s pretty much Swires and Air China. The shareholders set director remuneration and unremarkably they sometimes take advice from external advisers. Apparently, those advisers said the directors' pay was equivalent to executives in peer group companies. I wonder how many of those executives in the peer group companies have plundered their company's share price such that it is nearly half its peak of 2 years ago, when the Hang Seng is up 3% over the same period? How many of those peer group companies have been expelled from the prestigious Hang Seng Index? Well, guess what we all conclude Dom?

The Company’s financial position

The GC has financial advisors as well. They can see the fuel hedge unwinds in Q4 2018. On a daily basis we see the load factors. We can all see and read that freight is doing well. We can all see that the world economy is ticking along nicely and fuel prices and interest rates remain business friendly. Was it really irresponsible for the GC to look at the macro-picture and back TTW by saying profitability will return? Surely spreading doom and gloom would be irresponsible? Well, guess what your near hysterical response makes us conclude?


GMA says, “..we are not able to increase HKPA without finding productivity gains and cost savings else where”. The GMA speaks of a very juicy $5K per month, but has forgotten his boss (the DFO) has written to us all saying she wants a 10% saving. That means anyone earning more than $50k gets a pay cut. However, before the SOs go reaching for the Prosecco, I am sure they have figured out that what they gain over the next 5 years, they pay for many times over in the next 30 years. We are not stupid, but guess what we all conclude Dom?

Resignation Rates

The Company is always (rightly) keen to publicize promotions and new joiners, but many years ago they stopped publishing the names of those that have resigned. Why the silence? Well, guess what we all conclude?

Talks without pre-conditions – really?

Should the HKAOA engage again, clearly the talks will be about productivity gains and pay cuts. To offer talks without pre-conditions…. Guess what we all conclude Dom?
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Old 22nd Dec 2017, 06:20
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GMA - Productivity

GMA knows zero of CX history so anyone talking to him - it's easier and much less frustrating to just stand up in your dark hotel room and bang your head on the wall.
1990 HKG > LHR (B747)
2 legs with layover in DXB, 1 A scale Capt, 1 A scale RQFO, 1 A scale FO, 2 A scale FE's (for EACH sector !)
1993 HKG > LHR (B744)
1 leg, 1 A scale Capt, 1 A scale RQFO, 1 A scale FO, 1 A scale SO
2005 HKG > LHR
1 A scale Capt, 1 A/B scale RQFO, 1 A/B scale FO, 1 B scale SO
2016 HKG > LHR
1 B (maybe A) scale Capt, 1 B/C scale RQFO, 2 C scale SO (to be PC I won't mention the total flying hrs these gents may have)

Someone do the math on(inflation adjusted) productivity re the above and pls hand to GMA geek. No blood from rocks
Additionally, I have coffee regularly with AA crew, for their LRO ops - 2 Capt + 2 FO. all with a proper 1500 hrs ATPL MINIMUM

Last edited by Flex88; 22nd Dec 2017 at 15:09.
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Old 22nd Dec 2017, 06:57
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I don't know if it was my reading problem or what, with the parrot's paragraph about profitability, it almost read like management doesn't want the company to be back in profit....
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Old 22nd Dec 2017, 07:32
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I agree 100% mate but its deaf ears on here brother.
You know where that belongs...starts with Y and ends in er
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Old 22nd Dec 2017, 08:18
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Originally Posted by hyg View Post
I don't know if it was my reading problem or what, with the parrot's paragraph about profitability, it almost read like management doesn't want the company to be back in profit....
I read it the same and agree they problably donít want to be back in profit yet... until they get all the permanent cost cuts in.
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Old 22nd Dec 2017, 08:34
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I very much suspect this guy is on his final warning.

A deal not even close, IR at all time lows (even for Cathay!), resignations, training grinding to a halt and this guy trots out exactly the same script he started with 2 years ago. The well is dry it would seem.

Expect the howling to continue for a short while longer until he is put out of his misery (postings in March would be the smart money).
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Old 22nd Dec 2017, 09:23
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Can't see how a GM Aircrew who doesn't have the confidence of his entire pilot body can stay in the job much longer. Swire's don't accept failure well and he has surely failed this task. Bottling "coke" a much better option for this fella.
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Old 22nd Dec 2017, 18:15
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Agree with all above

Dealing with this Swire geek is a waste of "your" valuable time and energy.
Wherever he migrated from (Swire bakery, boats, Coke etc.), he has received the exact same instructions as all the others including ALL his predecessors and it fits "exactly" the standard Swire MO.

"See that number there in the bottom right hand corner of that cost spreadsheet", "yes I do Sir", "great, make it much smaller”

Sadly, we've even had Flight Crew members in this position do "exactly" the same with zero introspect whatsoever as to the affect this will have on the general flight crew population in future years (i.e. after he's banked his GM(Swire) bonus).
Same person is now a "Senior Sim Instructor" who "volunteered" to undercut line STC's and perform their STC duties for FO pay.

#TimeToLeave - 3/4's of the ship is now under water with Women & Swires having taken and filled all the lifeboats.

Last edited by Flex88; 22nd Dec 2017 at 21:31.
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Old 18th Jan 2018, 17:09
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An interesting situation for everyone to consider. A good friend of mine recently resigned. Because he stayed in HK his whole career, his three children each married a different nationality expat husband/wife. He now finds that they all live at different corners of the world. He rarely sees them, or his grandchildren. It is something he never considered and now finds it is blighting his life in a much bigger way than he or his wife ever expected. As he said to me yesterday on the phone, "if i'd stayed at British Airways, my entire family would most likely still have been living close". He now realises that his CX career has robbed him of what ultimately was of the most value. Sad, and a salient lesson to all of us. Head home, there is really nothing worth staying for in HK. Even more so when you consider that this person was one of the old A scalers, and even to him it now has proved ultimately hollow and destructive. Word to the wise...
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 00:27
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Lions Gate

How true, the attraction of higher salary but not really focusing on the practicality of the family unit in the future.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 00:44
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And yet he had no issue bringing up his kids thousands of miles away from his parents. Given how many expats are in London, the same could have happened there too - or even worse, one of them might have married a geordie and moved to Newcastle
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 04:42
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Bit of a selfish way of looking at it, rather than saying his children and grandchildren have had the fantastic opportunity of seeing the world and being open minded enough to see the world as their oyster rather than growing up with the small town mind that keeps people tied to a certain place.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 04:57
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Iím shocked.

A scale skipper.
From the U.K.
Probably favored the long sleeve fashion statement.
Could have taken a base with CX decades ago when his kids were school age but didnít.

Was happy to see the world and make a small fortune but now regrets opening his kidís eyes and minds so they can experience the same.
And heís unhappy you say?

Iím shocked.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 06:24
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Hang on a second. We can't have people on this forum expressing alternative views. Jeez, whatever next? Free will?
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 11:41
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Progress Wanch. You couldn't be more wrong. He is actually someone who nearly all who flew with him thought very highly of. Most of you miss the point. As in many things in life, the true nature of the situation only coalesces as time passes. Not always easy to see the clear facts at the time, but eventually they come into focus. That will be the experience with many of you who stay in HK. When you are in your early thirties, working for the 'best' airline in the business, and being treated well, you don't necessarily have the foresight to see this development that would have at that time been 30 years in the future. Of course, most of you geniuses will not have anything like this happen to you :/ The POINT of the post was that this is another reason to not stake your claim to a job in a foreign land. Most won't stay here, and who knows what your family situation will be like at that point in your life. Perhaps take a bit more time to consider the situation that i've described, and apply it to your own situations. The sarcasm isn't really needed fyi.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 13:10
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Agreed. Play the ball, not the man.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 13:31
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Granted, maybe my obvious joining of the dots was wrong. But what youíre describing has been happening since Adam was a boy. Everything we do in life has consequences (with the exception of visiting wanchai every Sunday).

Iíd suggest to your friend that his apples didnít fall far from the tree and they were born with the same sense of adventure their father had. So stop beating himself up, they probably would have strayed anyway.

Suggest in the future if you want to post a warning about major lifestyle decisions, donít post it under the title of ďThe GMA Pilot BriefingĒ.
Turning a friendís unfortunate circumstances into a political football weakens both the personal warning and the political consequences.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 20:24
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Well all I can say is CX is using seniority to screw it's pilots totally and unfortunately it takes a long invested career to realise this, and by then it's too late, for some the money bucket may have filled up but now and in the future the shit bucket will just continue to overflow.

CX would be screwed if seniority didn't exist, and pilots could move freely as their lifestyles changed over a career. Without bases I don't know how anyone expects to have a family and live in acceptable accommodation with the way housing cost keep rising in HK
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