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How times have changed.

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.

How times have changed.

Old 13th Sep 2021, 03:09
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 647
Vforvendetta (and three thirty)
sorry, one of my friends in BA has been laid off - I thought he said it was less than 50. I stand corrected.
I am well aware what happened in Qantas - my point is - they didn't let them go. As I said, they lowered their salary bills in other ways. EK let pilots go - and may struggle to get them all back.

The point i am trying to make is - CX is going to need as many pilots as it can keep - and I believe they know that.

No I haven't flown the 744 for many years - Ironically I was always hitting CAD hour limits on it back then.
I dont have current fleet average figures- but yeah I guess all those I am speaking to that are doing 60-90 hours might just be in a minority. But given the so-called over manning of the fleet, you would expect the average hours to be 20-30% LESS than they were precovid. Using some old data I have from precovid I get average block hours being 50 in some years and as high as 67 in others. So if the fleet is overmanned by 20-30% I would expect the average hours to be as low as 35 and as high as 54.

I dont understand why you think pilots on the 747 doing minimum hours NOW in this pre xmas peak is a good thing? surely this is the time all the 747 pilots should be working the hardest then having them back to lower block hours when freight demand is lower?

Numbers (mostly) don't lie - and numbers can convince. (caveat to the famous "lies, damned lies and statistics")

First thing - the more hours we do the cheaper we get. There are fixed costs - the more we work the lower the average fixed cost per hour becomes. So it is in the airlines interest for us all to be working towards 900hours - not the minimum (35 -747 etc).

Second thing - it was numbers that got rid of 3 man flying to Europe - numbers showed that it was MORE expensive than 4 man when using COS08 rules. I haven't redone the numbers for COS18 but I suspect it will be close to a wash. Using COS08 costings, the only flight that made financial sense to be 3 man was EUR based crew flights to/from HK. AFAIK that was the only one operating precovid (LHR-HKG-LHR 3man)

Third thing - yes ego gets in the way of some managers/directors making decisions - but ultimately it will be numbers that drive the majority of board decisions. They dont care about morale - they care what their training bill will be -and that depends on how many leave. The 49ers can be viewed as their way of saying "we are the boss, you will take what we offer you". Likewise, ASL was seen as a cost reduction. Yes in 2007 negs we managed to show/convince them that, financially speaking, it was costing them more. Funny thing - they reintegrated ASL after that - just a coincidence I guess if they are NOT driven by numbers.

Fourth thing - did you ever wonder why they were prepared to offer more in pay/hkpa in 2016 than in 2018? I mean - by the end of 2015, before negotiations even started in 2016, they knew they were sitting on over 30B worth of impending losses from their fuel speculation episode. And yet they offered payrises/HKPA increases?
Again - numbers - because in 2015-16 our margins were better - in 2018 they had deteriorated so less was offered. I am not talking about Fuel - those losses were already known - looking forward they believed we had lower margins so they offered less.

I could go on - my point is - they are driven by $$$ - not emotion (most of the time - one of many exceptions was HOW they treated the 49ers after they were terminated - it got personal!)

Prove to them that 2 SO ops to Europe are causing higher costs and they will stop it. I can't - I KNOW I am more tired - but tired is not an item on a balance sheet or P&L.

Progress Wanchai
From 'their' point of view - do you think they really set up a PAR base KNOWING it was illegal? More like- they were understaffed in basings office and did not do due diligence and only found out over time.
49ers- small cost to break the will of the pilots - PRE 49ers - over 95% membership and over 90% voting for LIA(limited industrial action) vs POST 49ers - no payrises from 2002-2007 (thanks to 49ers/ 9-11) and AOA membership falling to 50%. I suspect the company thinks the 49er episode was a bargain in terms of the control they achieved/savings on static pay.

ASL - saved them money as far as they were concerned.

The training ban had NO effect - I did the numbers on our training during TA18 negotiations - 2015 was the last year we were at full training capacity. After the TB was introduced they shifted a few 330s over to KA and due to airline planning reductions in growth forecasts, the trainers were running under 90% in 2016 then down to I think it was 50% in 2019. And I mean what percentage of the trainers total flying was training - so the lesser number of trainers we had in 2019 were, on average, doing half training half line flying. So what did it achieve? Well the chairman that introduced it, who BTW was KNOCKED back from training before he became chairman, got to look very industrial - he did enjoy his trump like grandstanding.

It is NOT personal unless you make it so.

CX is running a business - 99% of the time they dont give a [email protected]#t about any single one of us. They are not picking on you or me - they are just doing what they do!
Some people think there is some machiavellian plan that is being rolled out over years/decades. I dont think so. They have too much turnover on 3rd/9th floors for that. And I have seen too many changes and backflips - I mean, look at our rostering rules - there are so many similarities to the 1994 rules which ultimately failed. Reinventing the 4 sided wheel!

Anyway - if you think it is personal and that they are out to get you - then ok - enjoy the victimisation feeling.

They are just a company - and I am just an employee. One day I will leave - either resign/retire/be fired - in the meantime I refuse to feel like a victim - I am here of my own free will. No one is forcing me to come to work. And whilst the office is new and shiny, the crew I fly with are competent and good fun, I will keep flying.

PS whilst I can 'justify' in financial terms what is done - that doesn't mean I agree with it actually being carried out or how it is carried out. That is why I have spent close to two decades in GCs/negs etc fighting - trying to make things fairer. But to negotiate you need to understand what the other side is thinking.

Anyway thanks for the thought provoking posts guys/gals.
Numero Crunchero is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2021, 03:14
  #102 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 7
when is the last time management have acted as you’d have acted?

A serious question of a ban breaking training Captain? Priceless.

Hugo Peroni the IV is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2021, 04:39
  #103 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: HKSAR
Posts: 5

If this is to be the case, wouldn't it make more sense to recoup more of the A330 Pilots from KA to minimise CCQ costs for the A350? Rather than transfer an already small group of pilots across from the A321 when clearly the narrow body fleet is being marketed to lead the recovery.

Nearly all the A330 Pilots in KA transferred from the A320, having both ratings and sufficient hours on both.
Hotoffthepress is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2021, 06:37
  #104 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Shh..
Posts: 73
Always loved reading from you.
You said CX gonna need all the pilots it has now, how will they retain them moving forward?
carolknows is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2021, 07:00
  #105 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: HKG
Posts: 30
They are recruiting ex 330 and 320 guys from KA. They seem to be working their way through them quite quickly. Several have passed the interview last month.
S22 is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2021, 21:41
  #106 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Liquifaction Island
Age: 61
Posts: 149
NC you continue to respond by either misinterpreting what I write, or write something that I never wrote. I never said it was a good think crew doing less hours, they just are as more crew arrive on the fleet and your A350 and 777s fly more freight sectors. The crewing of the 747 pax fleet in no way resembles how the freight operation is crewed.
The 35-55 is more inline with what many crew are being rostered due ever increasing pxing at 0.25, even as we approach one of the freighter peaks.
The delays in loading in china and restrictions in India impact on the usability of the 747. It takes 3-5 hours to load in china, that just blows to many daily hours. Unable to do multi sector India patterns has cut into that part of the operation.
The flying hours were never balanced among based or hk crew. Moot point now, however rosters are widely different due to the slippery few who are constantly in contact with cc. On a small fleet its easily noticed in rosters where some are stacked, particularly in the current climate. Unfortunately the corruption and favouritism is endemic at cx and is unlikely to be ever removed, as cx use it as an advantage.
The jep system will never realise its true potential because they won’t utilise the other modules. The continual manual interface pairs back savings dramatically, plus those implementing it in reality loose there jobs if they do make it efficient as the users should be the crew controllers as we should just release and bid flights. A company shouldn’t care who crews it as ling as its crewed at reasonable cost.

Changes to A321 courses, my opinion, still no passengers, the target was back to 30% by xmas, thats 30,000 pax a day. Unlikely with gov announcing limit of 2000 per day from mainland for all modes of transport and carriers.
If you only got 20 pax on a plane, might as well try carry freight, A350 can drag. 50 ton in ULDs that don’t need to be repacked unlike a 321.
Making money is about efficiencies.
i am inclined to believe cx is still 50/50 chance of surviving as it existed before. Diverging away from its core business typical of companies scrambling for revenue. Currently cx operating as a charter freight company.
its 4am back to sleep.
turnandburn is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2021, 00:22
  #107 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: HKG
Posts: 301
Can anyone tell me the logic of forcing the guys off the closing bases to HKG, then not retraining them and at the same time pleading for more volunteers for Extended Duty Periods and Closed Loop Flying?

Just typical CX incompetence due silos and procedure following office staff?
controlledrest is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2021, 06:20
  #108 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Cesspit
Posts: 346
Oh NC, how I wish I’ve been the victim of a vindictive management for the past 30 years. I’d certainly sleep easier. But like you I don’t believe it for a second. I believe we’ve simply had ring side seats as witnesses to 30 years of incompetence. How did Bloomberg refer to this company just a few years ago? The world’s worst performing airline? You don’t get an international reputation like that because of spiteful, vindictive behaviour. It takes so much more.

I didn’t ask you to justify their past 3 decades of decisions. I asked you if they were the decisions you’d have made if you were in their shoes. If that answer is yes then your crystal ball is worthy of respect. Yet not 12 months ago I was arguing on these forums that COS18 was coming to a letter box near you yet your prediction was they would simply tinker with amendable company policies. Safe to say we aren’t reading the tea leaves the same way.

Have they learnt from their history of incompetence? Just have a look at the recent FOP management changes. The heavily advertised vacancies followed by the cutting of dead wood in preference to outside green shoots. (sarcasm alert for those that can’t interpret written text without emojis).

Last edited by Progress Wanchai; 14th Sep 2021 at 09:51.
Progress Wanchai is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2021, 14:07
  #109 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: hk
Posts: 16
Wrong. Did a Toronto a few weeks ago, about 100 transit from the mainland.
bored is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2021, 22:46
  #110 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Liquifaction Island
Age: 61
Posts: 149
And if you actually read some data or payed attention to who you actually carried they were about 90% mainland students who returned to north America, not the previous average traveller and it was a surge for a couple of weeks that was even said during teams meeting by GMLO.
it doesn’t sustain an airline.
turnandburn is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2021, 03:52
  #111 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: hk
Posts: 16
OK, makes sense.....you must be somewhat engaged. I don't pay attention anymore, you're right. No point when life beyond next year is elsewhere! #movebeyond
bored is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2021, 10:39
  #112 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Liquifaction Island
Age: 61
Posts: 149
Your on the money move beyond, staying here is major roll of the dice,
turnandburn is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2021, 02:27
  #113 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Asia
Posts: 142
I don't think that staying here is even an option, most of us are going backwards on POS 18. I came here because the remuneration was enough incentive to leave my home country. Since this is no longer the case, I am leaving. Everyone I fly with feels the same way and are actively making plans for an exit. You will say that this is all talk and not many will leave but this time I believe that you are wrong.
Maybe I am way off base, time will tell but I believe the resignations will accelerate greatly in the coming months, 100+ per month as a guess.
It's not just the company, it's seeing the rest of the world living with covid in a less draconian way than we are subjected to. Not being treated like a prisoner and lab specimen if you are unfortunate enough to contract this very contagious virus.
Dilbert68 is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2021, 14:58
  #114 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: HK
Posts: 6
So according to Dilbert we will lose 1/3 of the pilots in the next year due to resignations, yes people are leaving but 100+ per month is beyond a joke.
Firefly47 is offline  
Old 17th Sep 2021, 06:36
  #115 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: HKG
Posts: 301
A truck load of sim instructors are about to be shafted by CX so they plan to flip the bird. After the Olympics and the opening of borders CX will struggle to keep up. Bound to 'right size' the airline by ditching old Tripples and pretending manning levels are fine and pretending management did a good job and deserve their bonuses.
controlledrest is offline  
Old 17th Sep 2021, 10:36
  #116 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: uk
Posts: 358

you could well be correct but very recent “reaching out” to some SI’s to extend/expand current contracts would appear to be in conflict unless of course your longer term predictions may well be spot on.
Starbear is offline  
Old 18th Sep 2021, 02:52
  #117 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: reality
Posts: 31

so when are you leaving? Why have you not resigned yet? People like you have been saying they are leaving for years. The only time it actually happens is when you reach retirement age. Maybe you leave a year early. “That’ll show them”. POS18 is still above market rates elsewhere in the world so doubt your 100+ a month will ever eventuate.
noboloco is offline  
Old 18th Sep 2021, 05:06
  #118 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Smoky City
Posts: 33
Quote: “POS18 is still above market rates elsewhere in the world so doubt your 100+ a month will ever eventuate.”

However the cost of living in HK is still above market rates elsewhere in the world. So what’s your point?

Last edited by CXDOG; 18th Sep 2021 at 11:35.
CXDOG is offline  
Old 18th Sep 2021, 08:52
  #119 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Gate 69
Posts: 205
Another idiot who simply takes HKD and converts it to GBP, EUR, CAD, USD, AUD, etc. It's a completely useless comparison. Why? Because you don't live in those countries! You're only considering income, but you're forgetting the other part, expenses.
Near Miss is offline  
Old 18th Sep 2021, 09:20
  #120 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: one country, one system
Age: 53
Posts: 1
So you did resign, Near Miss?
Sam Ting Wong is offline  

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