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Old 9th Oct 2020, 18:33
  #1521 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 679
As it stands now, it's curtains until spring 2021 at the very earliest. I would even say summer 2021 to keep it more realistic. Only 50% of the capacity to be deployed over the winter, with some aircraft likely going into long-term storage. Lots of people taking periods of part-time or unpaid leave to avoid further job losses over the next 6 months.

Which brings up a question - what's going to happen with the minimum requirements? Given that any shape or form of recruitment is extremely improbable for at least another 6 months, none of those who have applied will be within the currency and recency requirements set forward in the advert. At least not those who are not currently flying somewhere.
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Old 9th Oct 2020, 18:38
  #1522 (permalink)  
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The first batches of cadets, currently working in the company as cabin crew, with 0 hours of flight, have just been recently selected, and have been told to expect the start of training in spring of 2021. But it will take them at least 18/24 months to be ready. Training fully funded by the company, with a heavy 7 years bond.
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Old 9th Oct 2020, 19:02
  #1523 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: gz
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Could you please give more info? Which program are you exactly referring to?
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Old 9th Oct 2020, 21:59
  #1524 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2018
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How many girls did they take?
Because I guess it's going to be only girls. The male flight attendants are not good enough.
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Old 9th Oct 2020, 23:12
  #1525 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 679

"Cabin crew to Captain" is the official name of the programme. Think something somewhat similar to the Jet2 Pilot Apprentice scheme, only that it's for zero experience candidates as opposed to CPL holders and includes an entire zero to hero fATPL course, not only a type rating. While waiting for your turn to fly, you're working as cabin crew. IMHO, a decent deal for those from the respective countries. And 7 years for an entire fATPL with an A320 TR and all other bells and whistles is not too bad as in many other establishments in that part of Europe you will be made to sign some totally ridiculous 5-year bond just for a type rating to fly some shattered 30-year-old non-EFIS aircraft. As for any form of cadetship, it's totally unthinkable even in the best of times, let alone now. So, the entire thing is really well suited to the prevailing reality east of the Berlin wall - and understandably desirable and competitive for the locals.
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Old 10th Oct 2020, 00:16
  #1526 (permalink)  
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That’s the program. It will actually take more than a couple of years, my bad, since you will work one month as a cabin crew, and the following month training, and so on, till the end of the whole training.
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Old 10th Oct 2020, 05:18
  #1527 (permalink)  
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Old 10th Oct 2020, 06:37
  #1528 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Europe
Posts: 269
Nordic societies did a lot to reach this level of job security, pensions, etc. Us, in Eastern Europe didn't do jack to prevent what we ended up with. Period.
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Old 10th Oct 2020, 08:26
  #1529 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Frankfurt
Posts: 2
Wizz always have treated their employees well as long as they could benefited as well. My Ex gf was an FA and was promised a job if she made the frozen ATPL. Just when she finished this year in May after 15 months, they kept their promise. Started her type rating last week of June and will start LIFUS flying in September.
Maybe not the best conditions but still better than what she got as a FA.
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Old 10th Oct 2020, 09:51
  #1530 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 679

So, the first intake is unlikely to graduate before 2025.
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Old 10th Oct 2020, 11:29
  #1531 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Hard to make predictions, but yes, it sounds like a reasonable estimate.

We are not talking about big numbers though, I still consider this program more like a PR stunt, not as a long term way to recruit for the company future growth. In the recent assessment there were something like 20 applicants, as far as I know, and I don't know how many passed the whole process.
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Old 12th Oct 2020, 10:58
  #1532 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Belgium
Age: 40
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by 747AC View Post
Hi guys, Has anyone heard anything from pilot recruitment or status of application changes?
we are currently reviewing all applications is my state since august....
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Old 12th Oct 2020, 19:25
  #1533 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Wizz Air grim-looking war with employees Wizz Air, a low-cost carrier from Hungary, can definitely boast about the way their company has handled the crisis so far. Its base portfolio has expanded massively by 11 bases throughout Europe, expanding from its Central and Eastern European shell into a trans-European low-cost carrier. A new subsidiary in Abu Dhabi, despite being delayed, will go ahead. In a gloomy sky, Wizz Air became a shining star of the industry – yet not everyone is bright about the airline’s adventures throughout the pandemic.

In particular, its unions. The company was not previously known for overly friendly ties with its employees’ representatives, but the way it has handled the relationship with the backdrop of the continuing expansion has resulted in a relationship with a strain that is as big as the San Andreas Fault.Lay-offs and pay cutsIn April 2020, the airline waved goodbye to around 1,000 employees, as Wizz Air operated only 3% of its total capacity throughout March 2020. The company foresaw that, much like everyone else, it would have to cut costs, despite its robust liquidity situation. Prior to the breakout, it had a substantial amount of liquidity. So much so, that in March 2020, the company’s own chief executive József Váradi boasted to Hungarian media about the fact that Wizz Air could be grounded for three years before it ran out of cash.

Váradi was very critical of state-aid as well, commenting that most Europe-based airlines were badly managed. Instead, governments “should only be stepping in areas of employment and reducing charges such as air navigation costs,” he told Bloomberg in April 2020. Nevertheless, Wizz Air was eligible and applied for the United Kingdom’s COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) to bolster its financial position.

The 1,000 layoffs were the equivalent of 19% of the airline’s total workforce. Wizz Air was also under fire for its fire and rehire practice, especially as it announced a hiring campaign for its Abu Dhabi subsidiary in July 2020. Former employees, including pilots, had to follow “the same application process as a new joiner to comply with GDPR restrictions and also to meet the EASA mandate to be psychologically tested prior to employment.”

As a cherry on top, deep pay cuts were introduced by the airline in August 2020. Anti-union stance “We are not immune to the crisis either,” stated Váradi in an interview with the aeroTELEGRAPH in June 2020. “So we have to lay off employees as short-term measures,” he added. Despite the fact, Wizz Air still plans to grow in 2021, and “will need to hire pilots and cabin crews again.” The executive disclosed the airline’s firm stance against unions, which “are killing the business.”

“If the unions try to catch us and to kill us, we simply close the base and move on. That’s the beauty of being an airline with the diversity and flexibility we have in our network: We can simply move our aircraft to another place.”

His words came in the light of Wizz Air opening its seventh base in 2020 - in Dortmund Airport (DTM), Germany.

The anti-union stance has not changed, however. Its newest expansion to Norway, where the low-cost carrier plans to establish a base at Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL), placing one Airbus A321 aircraft and adding an additional one in December 2020 has not shifted that point of view. When asked whether the airline planned to enter into labor agreements with Norway-based unions, Váradi told local media that was not the plan.

“We are an airline without unions.”

Parat, a Norwegian trade union for various employees, already raised its concerns on October 6, 2020. It was the same day when Wizz Air announced its Scandinavian ambitions.

“We have a well-functioning party collaboration between employers and employees, something we expect to be maintained,” stated Anneli Nyberg, the deputy of Parat.

Eoin Coates, the head of aviation at the European Transport Workers‘ Federation (ETF) was more straightforward in his assessment of Wizz Air.“They use every way they can to ensure free movement, and use all the dirty tricks in the book. They abuse employees all over Europe. Our biggest concern is that the company has both the money and the time to pick up all domestic routes that are now open in Europe,” running its competitors into the ground, stated Coates. Firing back with lawsuits The situation shifted quickly, according to a now-former Wizz Air pilot, who spoke with AeroTime News on the condition of anonymity.

“When everything started in March 2020, our managers always told us during meetings that we should not worry, as the company has a lot of cash. Your job is safe. At the beginning of April, however, they asked us to sign a new addendum to our contracts, slashing our base salary by 25%.”

The pilots accepted the deal, as they wanted to keep their jobs, despite the fact that their base salary was already quite low, added the pilot. The list of pilots who were to be fired was allegedly already there, even before flight crews agreed to lower their salaries. The letters were hand-signed by managers in Budapest, Hungary, where the airline’s base of operations is located, noted the Airbus A320 family captain.

“Wizz Air did not use any logical criteria, except whether you were liked by the base captain or not.” The company’s chief executive, in a letter explaining the layoffs, indicated three criteria. One of them was whether a person was a “cultural fit to Wizz Air.”

But the airline, despite cutting employment costs, kept opening up bases and taking deliveries of new Airbus A320neo family aircraft. In June 2020, the airline began recruiting pilots and cabin crews. “They promised to the people who were dismissed that they will be hired again. You will be the first ones to be recalled.”

“They were not hiring again. They were just promising you that you will be recalled. Instead, you were recalled for an assessment, despite having been laid off two months’ prior.” Many people were reluctant to take Wizz Air to court as they were hoping to get their positions back in the cockpit. Yet, apart from a few pilots, many were not even offered an assessment after being dismissed.

“Those who kept working at Wizz Air kept doing so in an atmosphere of genuine fear of discrimination and persecution, which leads to a reduction of safety,” read an open letter by FPU Romania, a pilot and cabin crew union based in Romania, sent to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in July 2020.

AeroTime News approached Wizz Air for comment.
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Old 12th Oct 2020, 20:33
  #1534 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
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I wonder what makes Wizz Air believe they're going to succeed in Norway without union collaboration when Ryanair didn't.
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Old 12th Oct 2020, 21:21
  #1535 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Switzerland ... oh wait: Swaziland
Posts: 636
What if they don't? They will simply take the aircraft (or the two aircraft by that time) elsewhere. Too much bases too far from each other, thousands of crew members never meeting each other in person, anyone suspected to form a union fired immediately (like in Romania or Ukraine), no chance to reach the critical mass. Even if the Norwegian flights will ever be done by local crew (instead of the Gdansk-based ones they plan to start with) and they get more benefits/money, the people at the rest of the bases will still get zilch. Huge difference in compensation even between people doing the same job at the same base. Work contract says you need to keep your salary a secret and you can't share it with any of your colleagues. The farce called People's Council is a joke, its members are appointed by the company, "yes men" without exception, remote controlled by the management. Masters of divide and conquer.
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Old 12th Oct 2020, 21:50
  #1536 (permalink)  
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In their italian base(s) the unions are already circling, approaching cabin crews and pilots.
“Special team” was flown in in a rush from BUD once they found out just a few weeks ago.
And that base has been open for 3 months.

It’s just a matter of time, but one day they will have to accept unions, and since they have to put those planes somewhere, the threat to close the bases is empty. You can’t have 350 planes in Iasi or Kutaisi.
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Old 13th Oct 2020, 22:08
  #1537 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 679

The quotes in this article take care of the scenario where unions start pushing their way in a given base. The base will simply be shut, likely resulting in job losses, and capacity will be moved elsewhere. Which may still allow for most routes apart from the domestic ones to be preserved.

Forget about making a LCC comply with unions, especially in today's climate. They all have far too great resources to get caught and killed by any union. While many give RYR as an example of the opposite, they often forget the unpalatable bit of the story - which is that they have got Buzz, Malta Air and Lauda Europe which were set up in a way making them immune to the union recognition arrangements in place with RYR. And a large part of all employees of the RYR group work for these companies, where they aren't any more protected than they would have been with WZZ.
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Old 14th Oct 2020, 10:09
  #1538 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Many "Malta Air" employees are indeed working under various Union-Ryanair agreements, in Germany and Italy for example.
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Old 14th Oct 2020, 12:32
  #1539 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
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True, all the pilots based in Italy got their CLA transferred to Malta Air, together with union representation. No changes from the time they were on the main Ryanair AOC.
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Old 14th Oct 2020, 18:27
  #1540 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 25
Norwegian prime minister encourage boycott of Wizzair

Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg encourages boycott of Wizzair unless Jozef Varadi respect workers right organize themselves. Go Erna!
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