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Is the impasse impassable?

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.

Is the impasse impassable?

Old 19th Aug 2018, 22:44
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: S.E. Asia
Posts: 12

Further to my Post yesterday. I know it is a difficult decision to make, whether you stay in Cathay, or you go elsewhere. You are all praying silently and hoping they will finally see the light and make it all better. Do you REALLY think that is going to happen, with the Management team they have in place in Cathay and Swires? They have let you down to many times to believe in them and trust them anymore.

There are comments about a possible economic downturn coming, maybe a big one, but that is all above my pay grade and you just have to deal with the cards you have.

When you look at all the items that go into making your life in Cathay and Hong Kong satisfactory; Housing, Pay, Education, Medical Insurance, Staff Travel, Rostering, Bases, Fleet Options and whatever else you can think of, Cathay is not cutting it anymore. I know it is not great in some other airlines either and there is a definite and concerted strategy going on by some airlines in particular, to denigrate the position of an Airline Pilot, even though the world is facing a massive Pilot shortfall in the years ahead, even if there is an economic drama. It is becoming too expensive now for many young, aspiring Pilots to do the training they need to do and when they do qualify, the starting wages are so low, that it is becoming a serious obstacle.

Since I have been Retired, it has opened my eyes to many other careers, that I am positive I would have enjoyed just as much as I did with Aviation, especially my Airforce days and early days in Cathay. There are many other fields like Medicine, Architecture, Engineering, both Civil and Mechanical, Finance and many others, where you are home most nights, not permanently jet lagged and well reimbursed, that if I was starting again in life, I would seriously reassess my options. I know that once the ‘flying bug’ hits you, it is hard to shake off, but what we do in the Airlines now, is not what I call ‘pure flying’ anymore. It is aviating and it is not good on your health. I am now having issues with Sleep Apnea and a degree of Tinnitus, which I am certain has resulted from the years of living in a constant state of disruption to your Circadian Rhythms and also the last few years flying the very noisy Boeing 747-8F. The Boeing Company should be held to account, for producing an aircraft that is so badly designed, with regard to the health and well-being of the Pilots who have to fly them. Whilst it is a nice Piloting experience to operate something like the B747, unfortunately they have given very little thought and consideration to the cockpit noise levels and over a long career, it comes back and bites you. Be warned folks and I would also make a comment about personal weight. If you are carrying excess kilos, then you really need to do something about it, now, otherwise it will hurt you later in life. Trust me on that one. It is not an easy fix, with the lifestyle you lead, but you need to get onto it ASAP.

One of the many things I have really enjoyed in Retirement, is simple things like hopping into my nice vehicle, drive down to a big retail outlet, park out front, go inside and choose whatever I need from huge selections, then get back in my car and drive home. Don’t have to worry about getting in a badly driven taxi or bus, overcrowded MTR and carrying plastic bags everywhere, dodging people who can’t get off their damn mobile phones. I have joined a nice Golf Club for very reasonable Membership Fees and had the choice of about 20 others nearby, unlike in Hong Kong. I have recently taken up Mountain Biking and it is great fun. Harder than I thought, but fun!

No place on earth is perfect with Climate and compromise is the order of the day and I don’t find the NZ Winters to be that nice, but I never enjoyed the hot and humid Hong Kong Summers either. Each to their own and what suits their own requirements and needs. If Cathay are not going to do it properly and Base larger numbers of their Pilots somewhere, where they want to be, then why would you want to continue to live in Hong Kong, in most likely a pokey little, badly designed apartment. I know the Housing issue is a big problem for them, but if they are not going to do it properly, or give more Bases, then why do you want to endure living in Hong Kong, if your family is not really happy and there are other options out there.

If you can’t educate your kids in good Schooling, or have your family properly covered with Medical Insurance, then why stay?

I know it is a scary decision to make, but honestly folks, stop letting them get away with this awful treatment of you. They despise you with a passion that I cannot see changing, not unless there is a major change in the personnel and Management who are running Cathay at the moment. These people couldn’t run a hot bath, never mind a modern airline. Any Company that despises its staff and treats them as badly as this lot does, then I am afraid, the writing is on the wall for them. It is the people and staff that make a Company and certainly an Airline and treat them badly at your peril, as at some point, they will have had enough and I believe we are nearly there now in Cathay, if not already.

I take my hat off to posters like Trafalgar, who have been carrying the torch for a while and others are joining in, but folks, you need to bring this to a head and either bring about major change in the way they treat you, or make the decision and get out and go elsewhere. This Company at the moment are not worthy and they don’t deserve you. Ever since Rod Eddington decided that we were overpaid for what we do, the writing has been on the wall and it has been downhill for the last 19+ years. How long are you going to put up with it, or do something about it? The Checkers and Trainers need to lead the way. I am sure they have financial commitments, as everybody tends to live up to their means, however there are a lot of younger folks who are suffering and have been for a while, with training and promotion blocks, so the sooner it is brought to a head and fixed, the better for everybody and in the long term. I think the thought of Cathay losing their AOC, due lack of Training and Checking people, may focus a few minds.

For those of you worried about Retiring, don’t be, it is great and as long as you have planned for things to do, you will be fine. It is easy to waste money, if you are into expensive cars, lots of ‘toys’ and doing lots of travelling around, but if you live sensibly, you will be fine and enjoy it. You can even do a part-time job, if you get bored, to get out of the house and keeping the brain etc going and meeting people. I mix now with good people, who whilst they know what I did career wise, we all have our own things to do and we hardly ever talk about anything to do with aviation and flying. I have ticked that box and now it is up on a shelf and I am onto other interests and challenges and looking forward to them all and spending time with my two lovely Granddaughters.

Sorry for the long Post, but I wanted to say a few things and let you know that life outside of Cathay and Hong Kong is actually very pleasant.

Best Regards,

Kotuku is offline  
Old 20th Aug 2018, 01:05
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: HK
Posts: 3

knowing what you now know, would you have stayed to 65 again, or retire earlier?
Freehills is offline  
Old 20th Aug 2018, 03:48
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Hong Kong, SAR.
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by Kotuku View Post
AQIS Boigu:

Thanks for the mention! It is coming up to the one year mark of my Retirement at RA 65 and I must comment that it has been wonderful. It is so refreshing to be clear of the awful people that run Cathay Pacific Airways and to have control of your own life again. I look at PPRuNe from time to time and I must say that I am totally amazed how many of you are still working for these people. You are all sitting and waiting for them to change their spots, but they won't. It is not in their DNA and when you have the Management team they have and people like Tony Tyler operating in the background, a complete failure to accept the fuel hedging fiasco and not see the sense in coming up with a modern, proper computer roster system, that is not subject to the whims and fancies of the Cathay Crew Controllers, then you are always going to be pushing it uphill with a sharp stick.

How there was not a bigger negative response to the Captains not receiving the 13th Month Bonus, a complete slap in the face and a clear indication of the lack of respect for you and what you do, is a complete mystery to me.

How any Checker and Trainer can look at themselves in the mirror each morning as well at the moment, is beyond me. It is way past the time that you should have given it away and brought this shambles to a stop, until sanity and common sense kicks in.

I have not missed aviation, flying through the night and certainly Cathay Pacific and living in Hong Kong, for one single nano second. Folks, there is a much better life out of there and if you need to work, then do it for somebody else, not this awful lot. Don't be scared, it is nice out here! I could say more obviously, but I know you like short posts!!

Best Regards,

I for one always like your long posts, I want my money's worth!
Oasis is offline  
Old 20th Aug 2018, 05:23
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: All over
Posts: 226
Thanks for that PH.

I’ve had to keep it in mind that I am living my golden years right now, so it is best to make the most of every day. Dedicating myself to a job which will not love me back isn’t a part of that.
Slasher1 is offline  
Old 20th Aug 2018, 07:14
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: By the sea
Posts: 125
Good on you Peter. Enjoy.
pill is offline  
Old 20th Aug 2018, 21:55
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: S.E. Asia
Posts: 12

To answer your question on RA65. Let’s not make it about me, let’s make it an industry thing.

Firstly, there is a big problem coming with a shortage of Pilots, which is a worldwide thing, as huge numbers of older Pilots are coming up to their ‘Use By’ dates and whilst there are still new people starting at the beginning, it is a very expensive thing to do now, to become a Qualified Pilot, attractive to an Airline. Some have their own Training Schools, or Bond Pilots for a period, if they pay for them.

The issue is complicated by Law and Discrimination. How can you justify discriminating against a person, in any field or career and say that they have to hang up their work hats, just because they reach a certain age? Are they fully competent the day before they are forced to Retire and incompetent the day after? If they prove their capabilities at regular intervals and are assessed medically fit and healthy, do you put them out to pasture, at a set date?

I know Dr. John Fowler was saying to me towards the end, that they are still concerned about the Statistics and I think it was a 3% factor of risk of a medical event, which they had trouble getting past. I am not sure how many people and maybe Pilots in particular, fail their medicals, or suffer a medical event, before their Retirement age, as against those say from 65-67 or even 65-70? I don’t know the Stats on that one.

In my own situation, I would have been okay to fly a part-time roster until 67, however what did me in, in the end, is that I just got burned out with the Simulators and having to study for repetitive events and generally being mucked around, having to live in a small apartment in Hong Kong and not having any control of a proposed Part-Time roster. If I could have been on a Base, only did say three return trips a month, then it may have been okay, but as I said, I just got tuckered out by the Simulators and stuff and I just felt that I was just existing in Hong Kong and not living a proper life, with my family and many friends back in NZ.

I think there are very few Pilots who would want to continue past 65, for whatever their own reasons. A proposal could be that in order to continue past 65, you then become a Relief Commander, you can still retain your four bars, so your ego remains intact and you operate the in cruise duties, or even right seat for three man operations. Humans being human, there would always be a few people who would kick up and protest and say that if I can still do the job, why can’t I still stay in the left seat and be the master of all he or she surveys? The handful of people like this, would then go to the Law and Anti-Discrimination, to help them out. From my own experience, I think that at some point, you have to let go and recognize and accept that your best days are behind you and to let others coming along behind you, have their turn.

I am sure there are many senior Captains, of the very few who would want to go past 65 to say 67, who would not have a problem being a Relief Commander, presumably on the top RQ salary, for operating 2-3 return trips a month for a couple of years. This way it would give them the extra funds they maybe needed, it didn’t hold back junior guys and the Company saved money, whilst having experience in the cockpit. Any extendee Captain who forgot his place, so to speak, would quickly be reminded of his new position, however I am also sure that there are quite a few occasions, where that extra experience on the flight deck, to help out the Captain in the left seat, would be appreciated, with a quiet prompt, or hint as required.

In Air NZ, where they have no defined RA, as long as you pass what you are supposed to pass, other than the restrictions on International flying, then quite a few Captains are continuing past 65, however they have to revert back to the Airbus and unfortunately not all of them are managing that change from Boeing to Airbus. It isn’t something I would want to do at 65 really. Asking the question for others, is China and Hong Kong International flying? If a Pilot extends past 65 and just operates from HKG to China, is that legal or acceptable? Again, that is not something I would want to be doing past 65.

So to sum up your question Freehills, I was very happy to Retire at 65, because of the circumstances at the time. I would have been much happier indeed, if I could have had more say and input in how I flew my patterns and did my work and whilst that is the desirability of these modern Computer Roster Management Systems, unfortunately whilst we have the Dinosaurs running this Company, along with the Crew Controllers who just can’t let go, or stop interfering, it is not going to happen or work.

There are ways that going past 65 could work, as you have an issue with the Discrimination side of things. Do you get people to sign a Contract, a Codicil, or whatever the legal term is, where they accept that they will honour the rules of working past 65, along the lines of what I suggested above, or any other ideas that you came up with. As I said, it would only affect a few people and some would accept it more easily than others, so I will leave it to you good people to discuss it further and work out a solution.

My main worries nowadays, is whether to put pilchards or squid on my fishing hooks, or use my 7 or 8 iron!!

Best Regards,

Kotuku is offline  
Old 20th Aug 2018, 22:14
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: CLK
Posts: 315
Work past 65 as an RQFO on less pay for this mob?...........tell’im he’s dreamin.......

Thanks for the input PH, but it is definitely time to forget CX and sugestions of lower work conditions for your former colleagues.

still awaiting your COS16, 18, 20,..........
Farman Biplane is offline  
Old 21st Aug 2018, 21:26
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: S.E. Asia
Posts: 12
Farman Biplane

We have a saying in NZ, `There is none so blind than those who cannot see'.. Where did I say that I was proposing that extendees past 65 would be paid less money, for doing a Full Roster??? As I indicated, there are some people who want to continue a while longer past 65 and you only have to look at who is doing just that in NZ and OZ, in Air NZ and Qantas, to see that people do. I mentioned the situation with legality and anti-discrimination and if enough people want to do it and put in the effort to make it happen, there is a good chance it will, especially when it comes down to the economic argument and also the impending world Pilot shortage. The majority of people don't want to do it, but if enough do, then you have to work a solution out, or make sure it doesn't by Law.

Working past 65 is do-able, but whether people want to do it or not, is not my argument or fight any more. You can be an Ostrich if you like Farman and bury your head in the sand, whilst mature and sensible discussion takes place, or you can prepare your arguments and defend your position in due course, if it gets to that point. There are pluses and minuses for everything and it is not my life now, so I will leave it to you and your colleagues to sort it all out, one way or the other.

As to your comments on COS 16, 17 18 etc, it is surprising to me that one of them didn't happen at some point, but it just goes to prove how incompetent this Management Team is. I just hope when it does eventually come, it was worth the wait and you are happy with it. Sorry, I was being facetious there and thinking of a different Company. You good people will get the COS that you fight for, nothing more and probably less. It is up to you and if you don't get it sorted now, then you are all stuffed. To put it bluntly.

Best Regards,
Kotuku is offline  
Old 22nd Aug 2018, 03:39
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Asia
Posts: 517
The real problem is that a guy making north of 10 mill a year is telling some SO to feed, shelter and educate a family on less than 50k a month.

AQIS Boigu is offline  
Old 22nd Aug 2018, 05:07
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: hong kong
Posts: 233
From the 2017 CX Annual Report, here's what some of beloved leaders earned in year ended 2016, none it seems on HKPA or ARAPA. Sorry, table doesn't copy and paste well so have highlighted housing in red::

25. Directors’ and executive officers’ remuneration (a) Directors’ remuneration disclosed pursuant to section 383(1) of the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance and part 2 of the Companies (Disclosure of Information about Benefit of Directors) Regulation are: Cash Non-cash Basic salary/ Fees (note i) HK$’000 Bonus (note ii) HK$’000 Allowances & benefits HK$’000 Contributions to retirement schemes HK$’000 Bonus paid into retirement schemes HK$’000 Other benefits HK$’000 Housing benefits HK$’000 2017 Total HK$’000 2016 Total HK$’000 Executive Directors
Slosar, John 877 – 14 258 – – 714 1,863 845
Hogg, Rupert 3,185 – 573 937 – – 4,482 9,177 12,014
Hughes, Gregory (from June 2017) 1,435 – 499 422 – 100 1,743 4,199 –
Murray, Martin 2,618 – 680 771 – 100 3,197 7,366 10,732

Also, John Slosar's total package from Swire in the same year totaled over HK$22 million, including HK$8,467,000 housing benefit.

AnAmusedReader is offline  
Old 22nd Aug 2018, 05:32
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1998
Posts: 836
$8,467,000 housing benefit...���������� . And he has the nerve to suggest that 10k/mo is livable in HK. Hey John, ever seen one of the paintings in the Louvre depicting a fat Roman senator gorging on a piece of meat while the peasants starve in the background? Yes, that is you (and by association your senior management team). And btw, how is your new $120M home on the Peak coming along...?, you know, the one you got a sweetheart deal on from the Swires. #disgusted.

Last edited by mngmt mole; 22nd Aug 2018 at 05:58.
mngmt mole is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2018, 04:19
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: HKG
Posts: 184
Is the impasse impassable?

I don't really care. It is up to the company. If they want to keep on losing the more joiner pilots keep dreaming that the package is competitive. If the company cuts the conditions of the more senior guys the company with have to decide that they can accept the accelerating rate of resignations.

The key thing to me is that no agreement is even considered if one group of pilots is expected to pay for improvements for another group. Market forces are finally giving pilots of all level options we haven't seen before. If the company wants to change things it is up to them.
controlledrest is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2018, 16:08
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: uk
Posts: 0
Level 3 wouldn't know. They are too far down the food chain to be told of such matters but a common seniority list for CX/KA has been on the cards for 2 years and is the new DFO's first ambition.
unitedabx is offline  
Old 30th Aug 2018, 02:09
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 601
Originally Posted by Bingo24 View Post
Has anyone else heard the rumoured “leaks” from level 3?
A new package for new joiners for CXKA.
Less of everything, productivity based and a common seniority list?
We have now. I can't think of a single pilot who calls the third floor 'level 3' so not sure about your bona fides me old mate.

Steve the Pirate is offline  
Old 30th Aug 2018, 02:46
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 98
STP. I think that among the many differences there are linguistic differences too between KA/CX. Level 2 was the old KA terminology.
GMEDX is offline  
Old 30th Aug 2018, 03:20
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 601
Well there you go - learn something new every day. So I guess I’d better get used to calling it Level 3 then?

Steve the Pirate is offline  

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