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The latest AT drivel (half year loss edition)

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 latest AT drivel (half year loss edition)

Old 16th Mar 2018, 17:13
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The latest AT drivel (half year loss edition)

Well, well, well, another week of frantic dissembling by the management. With the now expected and predictable ‘catastrophic’ losses being announced, management goes into full ‘excuse’ mode (and of course, attack mode towards their employees). Interestingly, the DFO mentions the “highly competitive region with considerable overcapacity”. Coincidentally, the SCMP just this week commented on how CX missed the ‘low cost carrier’ moment and allowed competitors to take that piece of the pie. Would that egregious mistake have led to the “highly competitive region” you now speak of Anna? (let’s blame the pilots for that, make them pay). As for “considerable overcapacity”, doesn’t seem to be the case from evidence of all the full aircraft to nearly every destination. If you are referring to the number of seats in the market place, then you can blame yourselves again for not expanding the airline and squeezing out the competition, thereby having the ability to better control capacity and manage the market. Regrettably, attacking your aircrew became your main management focus, instead of focusing on building a strong and healthy airline. All too late now AT.

Fuel Hedging: Lets simply look at the numbers. Another $6.4 BILLION dollar loss. The total hedging losses are now totaling almost 2.5 BILLION USD (let that sink in…), almost accounting for all the profit this century. Think about that. While other airlines are pulling down record profits, nearly all of them operating in higher cost environments than CX (who are also raising pay and benefits as we speak), we manage to throw away (literally) almost two decades of profit. A single group of managers, who haven’t been fired or identified, have destroyed the airline from the inside out. The sheer amount of losses has crippled this company, and now they expect the employees to pay for their incompetence. Yet no acknowledgement from management that an error was even made.

Return on Capital: More deception to suggest that even without the fuel hedging loss the ‘ROC’ would be only half what is “expected”. Really AT? You are suggesting that a profit of $5.14B (without hedging) would not have been acceptable? (Never mind the lost profit the other past 3 years that hedging also destroyed). And if it's not acceptable, why are you still paying a dividend to shareholders? (and don't even think of attacking your hard working staff while still paying a dividend to anyone, or paying 13th month, or giving pay increased to other staff!). I guess when you can throw away almost a Billion USD every year (rather like buying three new 777’s a year and then taking them to a corner of the airfield and burning them) anything like a potential $5+ B profit really doesn’t seem like much anymore does it? Pathetic.

The Transformation Program: A complete load of blah blah rubbish. Saying much to actually say almost nothing. Nowhere in the talk of ‘transformation’ is there any mention of one thing that would result in a very large increase in savings. That is BASINGS. Until you offer a comprehensive opening of basings, any talk of ‘transformation’ is a joke. Further, you mention CMP, without any mention of the fact that it is being corrupted and rendered useless by the same people who stand to lose their jobs if it should succeed. A properly structured CMP would provide massive improvements to not only productivity but also crew satisfaction. It is being killed at birth, and in fact is making the lives of the Freighter pilots even worse than before (if that was even possible).

Once again, you are all words, and no positive action. You have been here now for almost 3 years and have accomplished NOTHING that is positive for the aircrew, other than convinced hundreds of us to salvage our careers and protect our families by seeking better opportunity elsewhere. That is the only ‘transformative’ aspect of your reign as DFO. A further question; what is the ongoing and increasing cost of replacing the pilots who are resigning day by day? A number that would also be jaw-dropping no doubt, and something that is being kept very quiet…

SLIDO: This is becoming the DFO’s favourite outreach of propaganda, no better evidenced by her comments on resignations. As is usually the case with anything said by management, you have to read between the lines to see what “isn’t being said” as opposed to what is being said. Case in point, the resignation rate. She mentions that in six months ‘only’ 43 pilots resigned. First of, it is not specified if that is pilots who have left, or have handed in their notice. Funny how her number doesn’t correlate with the fact that on average since the beginning of the year, the rate has reached more than one a day handing in their notice, and that rate is accelerating. When nearly every flight confirms that one or more crew are actively pursuing other employers, I can safely predict that the numbers will be reaching triple digits every quarter, and significantly so. I know personally of several crew that have left in just the past few weeks…funny how they haven’t been mentioned in the weekly ‘goodbye’ comments at the bottom of the newsletter.

There is also the rather lame throw-away line at the end, stating that CX is a ‘career airline and will remain so’. Comical actually. AT seems to believe stating it will make it so. Then she goes onto justify that by suggesting that it’s because of the ‘training’. No AT, a career airline is such due to aspects like Respect of Seniority, Fleet Transfer, Proper Pay and Benefits, Proper Level of Housing Allowance (read: ARAPA), a 'Livable' Home Environment, Proper and Affordable Staff Travel, Adequate Retirement, Proper Medical, Affordable Schooling…..you get the idea. Every item I just mentioned is woefully lacking at CX. So no, it isn’t a career airline, and it never will be while managers like you have anything to do with things.

Another Slido question was regarding how the management will demonstrate that aircrew are ‘valued’. Ok, this one makes me see red. The usual rubbish about “our pilots receive an annual increment”. Really Anna? Not only is that NOT true (when has the truth ever gotten in the way of a management statement?) but in my case specifically, I have NOT received an increment for several years now. Of course, as underlined above, AT states “our” pilots receive increments, so I suppose that those of us senior enough to have topped out the scales are not considered part of AT’s pilot force. Freudian. Regardless, stop lying to the other employee groups (it’s obviously designed for that purpose, as the pilots know full well the statement is a lie). You offend me and only strengthen the resolve of all the senior crew in particular who find your statements and their dishonesty appalling.

Regarding the comments about communications, see above. Nearly everything this management says is distorted, inflammatory, outright false or delusional. It serves nothing more than confirming managements own biases and desired outcomes. We have years of miserable experience demonstrating that they don’t listen (how many employee surveys do you need AT?), ignore what they are told, and then take actions that are now resulting in the accelerating exodus of highly trained crew. Combine that with a crippled business model, relentless competition and no positive or redeeming leadership and you have a recipe for eventual collapse. Regardless of anything AT says, the TRUTH is that the only future they foresee is one that secures THEIR bonuses and careers. The careers of the pilots and their families are to be exploited to the maximum benefit of the MANAGEMENT, and the benefit of the MANAGEMENT only. Once you have figured that out, the decision to leave for better opportunity is obvious. As most of the middle rank of pilots have now concluded.

Oh, and I’m very disappointed as I was awaiting this weeks “words of wisdom” from one of history’s noted mass-murderers. Surely an oversight…

Last edited by Trafalgar; 17th Mar 2018 at 04:01.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 21:09
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Par usual, Traf is 100% correct!!!

Yet, you won’t get any of the management sychophants on here to refute what he writes. Nope, they’ll just guise themselves anonymously as pilots and try to pit one group against the other... Expat vs HKPA, Based vs Hong Kong, KA vs CX vs AHK, ground staff vs flight crew, etc.

They know nothing else. All they do is spin the same tired loom over and over. Divide and conquer, deceive with misleading statements, crank down on employees, costs too high, etc. There is not an ounce of original thought or creativity on the whole of the 9th floor or on the board. They simply don’t know what to do, so they just stand there like deer in the headlights. They have no survival instincts. They just read about what was done in the past in the “playbook” rinse and repeat. Then, the hope is that they can escape with their big bonuses before the chickens come home to roost. It worked for the last guys, why shouldn’t it work for them?

But somehow, it’s different this time for employees. Now, we are serious. Sorry, we all know you have cried “wolf” one too many times. We’ve all seen this before, and nobody is buying it, except maybe that dancing idiot on the float and other 3rd floor wannabes.

It’s just tiring, the whole thing! How about this? You leave us alone and we’ll do the same in return. Give us the same pay raises you give the ground staff each year, and you take whatever bonuses you can justify. Let the AOAs handle the rostering since it’s obvious ICM has no idea how to run the CMP, and let us know when you want to talk about opening bases and switching to hourly pay. Until then, there is nothing to talk about. Oh, you might want to up the HKPA a bit so your cheapest pilots stop leaving in droves, but we’ll leave that for you to figure out. Any questions?
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 01:24
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Perhaps we could just clone Traf and CR and add those to the seniority list, and then maybe this pilot group would have a fighting chance. Unfortunately, our youngsters are too naive to listen and we have too many old guys just looking to escape with minimal battle wounds (no fight left in them). Those in the middle are bailing for real airlines and can’t be bothered, and I don't blame them.

This place has become like a festering, scabby wound that Management cannot help but pick at. Since we won’t strike to fix things, I guess the airline will just have to contract as pilot attrition takes over. Market share will be further compromised and yield will drop due to a weakened network.

Let’s see how long time to command is then... Ever wonder how we can simultaneously grow and do a dozen commands in 2018? Think we were that far ahead in previous years’ training or that maybe the airline is getting smaller? Not difficult maths!!!
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 01:33
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CR, you don’t believe that the slido questions are actual questions posed by the pilot group do you? They are crafted and engineered by the propaganda team to enforce their mantra and quell rumours.

CXorcist, apparently we are to grow at 4% p.a. This does not mean 4% more aircraft and crew per year, it is 4% capacity, which can be met through buying aeroplanes with more seats in them (A50/777-9) and retiring/returning the A330/777-2’s. This eliminates the need for more crew numbers and the associated cost/hassles.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 03:29
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Bla Bla Bla

Reading the weekly ANTOD (AT drivel) makes me laugh at just how misdirected we all can be.
I don't believe one letter, not due to the underlying facts whether they be true or not, but due to the source from which they come.
Now if this corporate business speak was coming from someone with at least a BA degree in business (BBA) and hopefully with an MBA attached I could possibly put some faith and credence in the weekly spew. But it does not !
It comes from a person with a degree in Philosophy and Politics who, if cloned like many of the previous princelings, is treated at some point with a three month stint at INSEAD to learn "Business Speak".
This, only so they can write weekly corporate gobble gook news letters with authority and bravado..
It's all a big big joke.

Last edited by Flex88; 17th Mar 2018 at 04:50.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 03:49
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Originally Posted by Frank W. Abagnale View Post
Damn Traf, Anna is winding you up again.

Well, she's doing a damn good job of it I will confess.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 04:22
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I hear she and Dom have been posted due to the ARAPA debacle and the huge resignation rate. And they have been unable to sell the usual armageddon propaganda cleverly crafted by the HR department. All trust has been spent. I actually feel a bit sorry for her, most of the damage had been done before she arrived.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 05:06
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Originally Posted by mr did View Post
I hear she and Dom have been posted due to the ARAPA debacle and the huge resignation rate. And they have been unable to sell the usual armageddon propaganda cleverly crafted by the HR department. All trust has been spent. I actually feel a bit sorry for her, most of the damage had been done before she arrived.
Time for the next, newest Mr. or Mrs. Fix-it DFO... And many will believe, for a time. Round and round the Ferris wheel goes... Idiots!

Until they assign somebody with actual flight ops experience and a good track record, I have nothing but disdain for any Swire inbreed. Appoint somebody with the know-how or die, that’s where we are. We don’t have time for another DFO/GMA learning curve.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 05:12
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You feel “sorry” for her ? Take some time off. You shouldn’t be near an airplane. Anyone that quotes Mao doesn’t deserve an ounce of sympathy for anything. Good riddance.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 05:16
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Sorry for her? An unethical human who would sack one of our best training captains cause she didnt like the letter he sent her? I have no sympthay for her and anyone cut from a lying immoral cloth as her.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 06:16
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Traf , since you have taken up the mantle of exposing the truth , I actually look forward to the AT Pravda communication because I know that within a day or two you will come out with a stinging rebuke which I throughly enjoy reading .
Your missives are erudite and extremely well researched and written . May I suggest that you would have a career as an investigative journalist should You so choose .
The biggest problem we as a group face is the gutless crew that refuse to stand up and be counted when the opportunity arises . This applies equally to Capt and FO’s who insist on helping out . They always have an excuse as to why they did it but it’s no longer acceptable. As for discretion all a FO has to do is stand tall and say I’m too fatigued to continue if the Capt is too weak to take the decision himself . It’s pathetic how after everything the company has done to us crews still insist on helping out , taking STC upgrades.
It’s time the AOA practiced some back of the barn persuasion
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 07:19
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Originally Posted by Trafalgar View Post
Well, well, well, another week of frantic dissembling by the management. With the now expected and predictable ‘catastrophic’ losses being announced, management goes into full ‘excuse’ mode (and of course, attack mode towards their employees). Interestingly, the DFO mentions the “highly competitive region with considerable overcapacity”. Coincidentally, the SCMP just this week commented on how CX missed the ‘low cost carrier’ moment and allowed competitors to take that piece of the pie. Would that egregious mistake have led to the “highly competitive region” you now speak of Anna? (let’s blame the pilots for that, make them pay). As for “considerable overcapacity”, doesn’t seem to be the case from evidence of all the full aircraft to nearly every destination. If you are referring to the number of seats in the market place, then you can blame yourselves again for not expanding the airline and squeezing out the competition, thereby having the ability to better control capacity and manage the market. Regrettably, attacking your aircrew became your main management focus, instead of focusing on building a strong and healthy airline. All too late now AT.
To be fair Trafs - if CX had gone the SQ/QF route and set up an LCC with lower T&C, you would have been the first to excoriate them for it.
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 10:59
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TeaTime, you said:
It’s time the AOA practiced some back of the barn persuasion
I'm sorry, but I strongly disagree with you.

1999 was the time to do that. (but I agree that it would still come in handy today..)
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Old 13th Apr 2018, 06:37
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Latest AT drivel 11 April

There was a rumour recently doing the rounds that resignations this calendar year are averaging "one a day". Recently, this was poo-poo'd when the company assured us that resignations/ retirements are well within anticipated levels.

We all know it's dangerous to poo-poo a poo-poo, however if the rumour about resignations is true, what we will see is one person leaving (on average) every day during the period 1 April - 30 June (assuming a 3 month resignation period). How interesting it was to see the DFO farewelling 7 people in this week's update.... Isn't that one per day on average? I am sure it's just a blip and all is well in FOP.

Speaking of the latest update, it was a bit of an overreach for the DFO to try and draw parallels between our (lack of) teamwork and the sport of rugby, but if she is going to try and draw parallels, it would be more convincing if she realised that the "umpire" in rugby is in fact called a "referee" and if she is going to preach the virtue of "not arguing with the umpire", why then does the company have a rich history of appealing every adverse court decision... NZ Age Discrimination, SO BPP, 49ers, FAU SHP.......
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Old 13th Apr 2018, 15:19
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I see Tim Clark of Emirates has warned that EK will have to trim their summer schedule as they are a "tad short in pilots". Clark estimated they are about 100-150 pilots short.

Lucky Cathay doesn't have this problem and I'm sure none of GMF's SAA pilots will consider Emirates as preferable to CX, even if there are more flights to SA, better Housing, similar Time Zone to SA etc,etc...
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Old 13th Apr 2018, 15:23
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The resignation rate is rising. I also suspect that the resignation/retirement names mentioned each week will be "managed" so as to not indicated too big a problem. Regardless of management games, the reality is that pilots are starting to leave enmasse, and there is nothing that is going to stop that now. People want out. The relief of leaving CX is not disputed by anyone who's done so.
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Old 13th Apr 2018, 18:59
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The current resignation rate, whether it’s 200 or 350+ per year, is not sustainable. Not only will the airline be unable to grow the fleet, it will also sacrifice safety as the training department becomes over-tasked. Evidence? How many new commands this year? A dozen or two. Yet, CX continues to lose captains to both retirements and resignations and simultaneously claims growth in the form of new A350s and eventually 777X. The truth is they will be parking A330s and 77Ws to cope. Frequencies will be cut. Marketshare will be lost. All the while, experience on the flight decks will plummet as capable pilots leave for greener pastures. Those remaining will have to cope as the job gets more demanding, both in terms of covering the flying task and compensating for inexperience in the right seat. The death spiral has truly begun. Drastic measures are now required, but CX seems unlikely to even acknowledge the problem, much less have any idea how to fix it.
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 02:09
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Originally Posted by Liam Gallagher View Post
I see Tim Clark of Emirates has warned that EK will have to trim their summer schedule as they are a "tad short in pilots". Clark estimated they are about 100-150 pilots short.

Lucky Cathay doesn't have this problem and I'm sure none of GMF's SAA pilots will consider Emirates as preferable to CX, even if there are more flights to SA, better Housing, similar Time Zone to SA etc,etc...
It is thought the real number of pilots EK is short is around seven to eight hundred!
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 03:28
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It is thought the real number of pilots EK is short is around seven to eight hundred!
You can't possibly be insinuating that an airline manager would be lying about the resignation/retirement rate!

Heaven forbid!!
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Old 14th Apr 2018, 07:45
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It's worth remembering one salient point. That is that most of CX (particularly Swire) senior management are and have been clinical sociopaths. They have no moral compass, no empathy, and seemingly no conscience. You are dealing with people who are not like you and I. They are capable of anything, and usually will stop at nothing. Trusting your career to such people will almost SURELY lead to personal misery and disaster. There are better places, and people, to work for.
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