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Gulf Air 320 Rostering!!!!

Middle East Many expats still flying in Knoteetingham. Regional issues can be discussed here.

Gulf Air 320 Rostering!!!!

Old 30th Nov 2005, 14:02
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: next to the stars
Posts: 120
Thumbs down

chrispatrickGA is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2005, 11:32
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Beyond the PNR
Posts: 66
It certainly is a shame.
Bahrain is a nice place to live.
95% of the guys we work with are great.
Gulf Air is a good airline and has provided a great career for so many people.
It does seem however that lately whoever you bump into around the place has been affected to some extent by the sudden increase in disdain and ineffeciency occuring.
As an example - and I am sure there are many similar to this; a colleague of mine had a four sector day recently; two of which was his line check, after the four sectors he had a two hour wait in BAH airport, which was extended to three and a half hours due to a late departure, he then deadheaded to AUH, upon arrival in the hotel, no rooms available for any crew for 2 hours. His total duty time, from check in that morning until check in to his hotel room was 16 hours and 45 minutes....
I have witnessed twice in the past week, 15-20 crew members sprawled out sleeping on couches in the reception of the Armed Forces Hotel, after doing long long days unable to stay awake and even try to look professional whilst waiting for rooms to become available.
At the very, very least, if we are to work under such disturbing conditions, is it too much to ask for a bed and a pillow to be available at the end of it all???

Something needs to happen, and it needs to happen quickly.
mali is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2005, 14:53
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sandpit
Posts: 4

There there now my boy, a bit touchy aren't we? Did you have a good cry over me suggesting you're new on the A340, wow two whole years is it? I'm pretty impressed, so I guess that makes you real senior then and obviously well versed in the GF operation right?

If you've been in GF two years starting with the A320 as an FO (as your profile suggests) that means you transferred to the A340 5 minutes ago. We don't have a single FO on A340 who spent less than 2 years on A320 before transfer.

It seems you're so smitten by the fact that your behind is occupying the right seat of an A340 you forgot to change your profile. Who's a clever boy then? (I bet I know what you'll do straight after reading this...edit profile)

Listen when the ink dries on your license mate we can chat again, for now just enjoy your flying. (if I give you a sector that is)

Last edited by Smell the Bacon; 1st Dec 2005 at 15:30.
Smell the Bacon is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2005, 20:41
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: next to the stars
Posts: 120

My poor smell a bacon,

We don't have a first officer on A340 with less than two years old in the Company:wrong my friend!!!!!!!
One of the qualities of a pilot is to keep quite before announcing something false...
As you said , just enter into the GF 5 minutes ago , but me I try to verify my sources before being ridiculous.
Have safe flights and check the things before ...

chrispatrickGA is offline  
Old 3rd Dec 2005, 09:17
  #25 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: around
Posts: 10
Chipspatrick and Mr Bacon
Please, please, please refrain from entering into a slanging match now.
I started this thread with regard to the topics that concern us.
Please don't do what just about every other thread on this forum does and descend into small time bickering.
You both may have misunderstood the other... I really dont care, just bite your tongues on this thread or start your own Topic please.

Now, thanks to everyone, including you guys (for previous posts) for the constructive input. Let's keep it moving in the right direction.

Perhaps someone who is in a position to alter things for us all even a little bit, may see this thread and may even do something based on the concerns here. Lets keep it moving in the spirit intended and let everyone have thir say in the subject at hand.

Thanks all!

Trag is offline  
Old 3rd Dec 2005, 15:33
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: next to the stars
Posts: 120

i HAVE TO SAY THANK TO you dear TRAG.Lets go back to the point.
I honestly think that the long haul schedule is less tiring than the A320's one.

Talking about that topic recently with one of the new guys on A340 , and some new A320 Captains , who stayed 3 to 5 years on the big body, they did agree with me as long as you can face with the jet-lag.
Another thing to notice is that the schedule on A340 is rarely modified...what about the A320 one....:
chrispatrickGA is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2005, 05:22
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Middle East
Posts: 108
Hey Trag!

How is boating doing ?

No seriously, I am also concerned about these wild roster changes. Becasuse it has a deep impact on our life styles and our family lives. I now lots of guys who are flying for christmas + new years eve even nightstopping. And most of them are not happy.

Flying for Christmas OR New Years Eve is ok but flying for Christmas AND New Years Eve is NOT ok. Get my point? Years ago I used to fly in a small operation, 5 aircrafts, 20+ pilots, in three years there I had never this kind of problem.

And now lets be fair, Gulf Air is a nice airline, I like it. People are good and nice, management is good, but rostering ruins everything.

But to be honest with all of you, I think it is not going to improve in the coming weeks and months... Let face it: look to all the opportunities in Europe, in India / Far East, we will have more guys leaving and I am afraid that the current "abnormal" situation will become "normal" operations...

I really wish Gulf Air to be successful, because competition is coming after us. I hope also that we will get a new HOFO as good as our current one...

Again, the next months will be interesting, so seat back relax and enjoy the ride !

boeingdriverx is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2005, 14:41
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: FL 391
Posts: 106
Another fact: more than half of A320 F/Os are rostered for more than 80 hours for the month of december, some of them even going up to a 100 rostered hours !!!!! The rest: well, they are hardly rostered for more than 55 hours !!!!! Such an unbalanced rostering makes people unhappy on both sides not to speak about the difference of paychecks, rocketting sky high for some and getting slightly above the basic salary for others. Not that I am particularly fond of doing overtime on a regular basis, but this type of rostering is a shame, balancing it out will definitely bring some peace in the ranks and am pretty sure that the company will realize that they are not that short of F/Os. It's just poor rostering that gives this impression.
Soft Altitude is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2005, 09:05
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: South of the border
Posts: 400

I concur with your post and agree with your sentiments.

Myself - Dec roster changing daily, but as of today rostered around the 95 mark. Too much when there are some I know of rostered 60 or so. Hardly efficient use of your assets I would say.

I speak for myself only when I say my morale is rock bottom, and I'm ashamed and disappointed to admit that my loyalty to my employer is the lowest it has ever been in my 15 years in this game.

Thank you GF.
Dixons Cider is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2005, 13:19
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Middle East
Posts: 108
by the way, the other day i found something interesting on mygulfair:

on the first page go for OTHER menu CREW PLANNING COMS and then CREW PLANNING DOCS, you can find all rosters from every pilot in the company....

we should check these rosters more often, too make sure that everybody got a fair roster, if not i say only one word: revolution!
boeingdriverx is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2005, 18:20
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Sandpit
Posts: 19
Rostering for December is just going to be another blur for me. Working Xmas and New Year. 38 hours night of 76 rostered and they still have 3 trump cards in the way of standby they will almost certainly pull out.

Operations and rostering are quite technical jobs. If you see some of the solutions to the rostering problems that are thrust upon us then you realize that they are mainly manned by monkeys, and not those that they flew into space either. They need to invest in lateral thinkers and drag this company into the western world! I wonder how liable they are also for their mistakes. I see time and time again delays, cancelled flights, and 180 degree errors in flight planning and rostering. While most simple pilot flight errors including paperwork errors are treated with contempt by management. I have been given a no show twice on my schedule only to be told that they were sorry as they realized nobody had called me too inform me of change, or they found out that it was an illegal duty.

To read the list of grievances above is like pissing into the wind, I am afraid they fall on deaf ears until the inevitable happens and they are out of pilots, out of good management and out of money. The root of the problems in GFA go beyond rostering. If Hogan spent a week in operations and rostering to find an equitable and efficient solution to the problems. I am sure the place could be turned around within two months. The problem is that nobody looks for medium or long term solutions, as this requires monetary and managerial investment. As for HOFO the sun does not shine out of his a*** either. Heís a nice guy that doesnít want any confrontation, therefore does not really get much changed.
From a personal standpoint, I hardly ever feel fresh during my flying, even after 2 days off, you have spent at least one day trying to get your sleeping back to normality, just so you can spend your second day doing something you thought might take you an hour but turns out to be a whole day, and in a tired haze. During many of the duties I also feel that I am very unsafe in the cockpit as tiredness creeps in after being awake for 20 hours or more, as no regard has ever been paid to sleep cycles. Rhesus monkeys and lab rats get more regard towards there biological cycles and are allowed sleep at the correct times if only for the sake of unprejudiced experimentation. I wish rostering would stop seeing how far my limits are when operating an aircraft! Quality of life with Gulfair is going steeply down in my respect towards the company, not because of money or time off, only because of our roster and unpredictability of our schedule. They need to work on this, I donít care how much they bond me for or what they may threaten to do, they may lead me to an aircraft but they canít make me fly it!
inflames is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2005, 05:21
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: fantasy island
Posts: 212
Thumbs up

Read my lips - for the very LAST ! time. The rostering situation will only improve when we get more pilots. There is simply not enough standby coverage to cover break-downs, sickness and delays !

The answer is simple.
BAE146 is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2005, 06:24
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: min rest
Posts: 424
Yes inflames thoes of us that managed 26years plus as pilots at GF understand your deep fatigue and lifestyle on min days off.
You just have to decide if you wish to "Adapt and handle it" or resign like hundreds before you. No pressure.
It took me in retirement two years plus to recover from 17000hrs of Gf Tristar and B767 through 3.00am jet lag in smoke filled filthy cockpits and from the stress caused by the Gf inefficient admin.
I retired at 60 in May 2000 and missed the A320 event thank God.
The good news is your zest for life and health to the extent of actually feeling fit and good again does slowly return after " a nonpensionable wasted life at Gf?"... that is if a cancer or sudden cardiac arrest does not get you first.
I have spent several hours at funerals of ex GF crew in my retirement and IMHO these rosters produce a lot of premature mortality.
You will slowly become interested in life again and look back in amazement at the crap you put up with when your life only woke up if you were on fire, or a red light, horn and bells blasted you awake. Oh the bliss of warning letters in your mail box on your return from a long extended and then re extended trip.
The notes under your door on min rest, the telephone calls pleading for you to fly on your six days off a month sometimes only four and the "rules" say eight.
The people not available who are "in meetings."
The lifetime spent waiting in staff travel........ it all comes flooding back......I wonder if they need anyone for tonights MNL?
Is it still true they allow you a day off if you die and this is followed by a warning letter not to do it again and advise a deduction will be made from your paycheque?
Think about it....it could be a lot worse...you could have a Gordon Brown in charge who sold half of your countries gold reserves at $250. That is a real problem......

Last edited by scanscanscan; 6th Dec 2005 at 06:36.
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Old 6th Dec 2005, 10:27
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Earth
Posts: 11
Scanner, what a bundle of joy you are! It only took you til age 60 to realise that you wasted your life in aviation. You need to try flying for a low cost carrier and do 30 sectors in 5 days to realise how easy you had it. Retire graciously and leave the bitterness behind.
HotelGym is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2005, 13:49
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Fantasy Island
Posts: 91
My dear HotelGym I beg to differ with your comments as good old scan there was merely stating that nothing has nor probably will ever change in GF. I recall he started his post by saying that you either put up or pack up, your choice. I see no bitterness on his behalf.

BAE146 probably is right, however he conveniently omitted to mention who is ultimately responsible for the never ending shortage.

While Mr Hogan is preoccupied with the overall growth and return to profitability of his airline the people to whom he's entrusted operations have their heads firmly stuck in the ground and are oblivious to what's going on. For those in hope of a possible solution by the impending replacement of HOFO (after his understandable resignation) I fear you will be faced with much dissapointment. The position is not one that commands the authority to make the required changes. One has to look higher up the ops ladder to find who is responsible.

Finally I think it highly unfair to put the blame on the people in rostering who at the end of the day are forced to solve all the problems caused from management's missmanagement with whatever manpower is available. They have neither the resources nor the motivation to do anything better.

Last edited by Capt Hair Y Balls; 6th Dec 2005 at 14:04.
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Old 7th Dec 2005, 00:56
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: fantasy island
Posts: 212
It matters not who is responsible Hair Balls . When you can identify the problem - fix it !

No rocket science here !
BAE146 is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2005, 08:30
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: 5th Floor
Posts: 29
Not meaning to add salt to the wounds....

Have heard very recently a number of B767 FO's who are junior to quite a few of the A320 FO's in terms of date of final line check will be superceding them and moving onto the 330/340 very shortly due to an excess on the 767.

I do hope this is nothing more than an awful rumour. Someone please set me straight.

If it does come to light this is in fact the truth then it smacks as typical GF policy, the type they are so famous for....

"lets see how hard we can work these poor suckers, see how much abuse and stuffing around they can take, promise them better things and then turn around at the last minute and snatch it out of reach of there hungry mouths! HA Ha Ha.... It's great playing God with peoples lives and careers in GF management Ha Ha Ha...""

Very cynical comment I know, but it does indeed appear to be the way things are handled around the place and reading Scans post earlier and talking to old timers on the block, appears to be a deeply ingrained part of life at GF. It will not change.
It appears to be reaching that stage of the game where you 'vote with your feet'.

I know for a fact that three guys recently employed are in the hold pool of various other major carriers and will be handing in their 'boots' very shortly. All three when joining this Company in the past 15 months were all looking at playing here long term and had no intention to come, take a Type Rating and leave.
A shame, a real shame to see things move in this direction.

Someone put me straight and tell me this latest is nothing more than a wild rumour.... PLEASE!

Gobble is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2005, 09:37
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Fantasy Island
Posts: 91
Dear BAE146 I am not eager to open a comfrontation with you but pray tell who from management has identified the problem and what measures have been taken to fix it as you so put it?

The only measures I am aware of is the constant recruitment both on the technical crew side as well as the cabin crew. However the true problem lies in the fact that no one joining these days is prepared to stay in this airline for any length of time.

Has anyone from management ever cared to identify why this is and what can be done about it?

I fear not my dear dear friend.
Capt Hair Y Balls is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2005, 10:55
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sandpit
Posts: 42

You speak from my heart.

You forgot to mention the 3 A320 guys who joined 6 months ago and who have already left GF in the last weeks.

Add me to the 3 guys you know who have major airline contracts on their table. I actually got 2 offers and I am waiting for the 3rd.

When I joined a while ago I came here with very good intentions and I had planned to stay for a long time. I played the game until today.

But IF it is true that GF is transfering B767 guys out of seniority onto A330 I WILL PACK without delay! In actual fact it would make my decision much easier.

We already watched 18 direct F/O with minimal regional jet experience joining the A330 fleet this summer. Enough is enough!

My dear GF Senior Management have you guys ever asked yourself why you can not attract and recruit suitably experienced candidates anymore? Have you asked yourself why GF is so short of pilots that is not even funny anymore? Have you asked yourself why Senior Training Captains and newly upgraded Captains from all fleets are leaving GF in droves to join ETIHAD and other carriers? Have you asked yourself why your middle/ upper management i.e. HOFO is leaving? Have you asked yourself why GF pilots seldomly smile but look tired and disgusted nowadays?

Lets start with the current market conditions. Right now it is the "employee market". Everyday 20 new ads appear on the Flight International Website looking for Boeing and Airbus pilots.

For those interested:

The world is short of Airbus and Boeing pilots like never before and 2006 will be much worse (better for us though!). BA for example is going to hire another 280 pilots until end of March
2006! India requires for the next 2 years approxiamtely 2000- 3000 pilots! The Middle Eastern carriers like EK, EY and QR "try" to hire 20 pilots a month each! This is without Air Arabia, GF , Jazeera etc... So just the GCC requires more than 100 pilots a month! Far East, Europe etc. etc.... are hiring in the hundreds.
Since 9/11 the flight schools were barely training anyone. World aviation has hit a pilot shortage already a few months ago,
only the so called "airline managers" fail to notice.

If you want to hire and RETAIN professional AIRLINE pilots you have to treat them as "professionals".

Its very simple! Listen carefully PCE, VPO and VPHRS! Here comes the lesson in Flight Ops Management for dummies.

In order of importance:

Genuine respect for your pilots and workforce
Respect can not be commanded but it goes around and comes around.

Stability, effective bid system, "reasonable" duty regs. 11-12 days OFF a month to recuperate from one of the most demanding
jobs in the world, physically and mentaly. Hold the rostering department including crew control accountable! If you are short of manpower (pilots etc.) hire them, it is cheaper than losing 80 -120 pilots a year.

Only one way to enter GF! As A320 and B767 F/O only. Progression by seniority, experience and merit only! As promised at the GF interview!! The only thing required is planning. If you do not know what planning is google it up and read a few books
or step down from your positions.

You know what that means.... especially housing and school

You follow these 4 points and GF will be the big winner in the Middle East because you would be one of the few GCC airlines
besides ETIHAD who has some pilots left by next year. If not you will ground aircraft soon and probably run out of business unless the government steps in again.

Probably without me though

Last edited by Frozen Turtle; 7th Dec 2005 at 12:07.
Frozen Turtle is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2005, 12:38
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: You Name It.
Posts: 355
Frozen Turtle, your post shows that you think that GF will be in some way bothered by threats to leave, wrong! Pack now and go, see who gives a monkeys, the loser will be you. If you are under the illusion that there is an airline out there that will fly you 50hrs a month and never disrupt your roster then you are extremely green. The biggest and best are stretched to make ends meet and keep people like you in a job. If you feel it's too much then get out before you turn bitter (maybe it's too late).
Senior Management have you guys ever asked yourself why you can not attract and recruit suitably experienced candidates anymore?
The fact is that there is NO shortage of candidates. Just look at the interviews that took place during November. 18 guys most with HEAVY jet time and eager to come to the Gulf. You are moving the facts around to justify your decision to moan.
cheaper than losing 80 -120 pilots a year.
Where did this number come from because it is not based on the real figures, just made up to make your arguement look credible. I suggest you just pack a suitcase and get a bank loan for your bond!
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