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EK to Decommission 50%+ of Airbus A380, Axe 1/2 of Pilots & Cabin Crew

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EK to Decommission 50%+ of Airbus A380, Axe 1/2 of Pilots & Cabin Crew

Old 27th Nov 2020, 02:18
  #1181 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Perth
Posts: 10

Not quite true. When I worked for EK in IT, we had access to all sorts of info (this included). For the A380 is was based on 82% capacity to break even.

The average capacity during my time was only around 77% during peak periods, and as low as 60% during off-peak.
skeggman is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 04:55
  #1182 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: overthere
Posts: 2,995
We were told those same numbers many years ago by commercial. However we were told they relation to the upper deck, on a full fare basis. Now fuel was much more expensive back then, so would have no clue what more modern numbers would be.
donpizmeov is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 05:59
  #1183 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: S E Asia
Posts: 184
"Break Even Load" is incredibly difficult to define, and needs careful use. I very much doubt that the EK Accountants or even the really senior guys would be able to give a meaningful definitive single number. Does the 82% bandied about here mean Passengers, or Total Load Carried defined in tonnes?
Here's just a few of the issues. Do you mean Break Even as in an individual flight covers its Variable Costs (Fuel, Catering, Nav and Overflight Charges, Handling and Parking Charges, Crew Hotac, and Crew Salaries which have been allocated to the flight etc etc) ? Or do you mean an individual flight covers all those Variable Costs and makes a defined required Contribution to Fixed Costs? Or that a flight covers all its Variable Costs and all its Fixed Costs? Over what period of time? And are you talking about revenue from all sources - Pax, Freight, Mail etc - or just Pax Rev? Just to complicate it even further, if you have two types on a route group, how do you allocate that routes' Fixed Costs to those two types - perhaps by ASK's or some other parameter? How do you allocate the company overheads and fixed costs to an individual flight, or route group (eg EU/North America/SE Asia/UK etc) ? Or do you simply at the end of the Financial Year add up all the company expenses - everything - and somehow decide on an 'average' break even Load Factor across the entire network? This latter approach would be less than useless in assessing the economic viability of a single route or type.
PhD's have been written on this topic, and I'm sure there are Accounting Conventions and practices with very clear definitions, but in talking about Break Even loads, you need to be very specific about what you actually mean.
Just a few things to be aware of - I'm not trying to teach anyone's Granny to suck eggs here.
777boyo is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 07:10
  #1184 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Dubai - sand land.
Age: 52
Posts: 2,811
Originally Posted by 777boyo
I'm not trying to teach anyone's Granny to suck eggs here.
Agreed and a good post above
White Knight is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 08:53
  #1185 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: sYDNEY
Posts: 70
Just sticking my nose in here to ask a question. I read an article today where Tim Clark stated, admittedly optimistically that he believes that all 120+ A380s will be back in service by the end of next year or early 2022. Is it correct that EK has fired the bulk of A380 pilots, and a good lot off other fleets? Just in discussion with colleagues about this very scenario whereby a vaccine or two or three are found with great effectiveness and the world is able to resume its wanted/needed flying. Obviously not an overnight miracle but if an airline has to employ a large fleet size crew body it wouldn't be an overnight miracle either. Even if they were previous crew, they have all gone "home" and some might not want to come back. Could airlines that have fired most/all their pilots, painted themselves into a corner?
just a thought.
Dashtrash is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 09:11
  #1186 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Fatigue Recovery Clinic
Posts: 73
They will all come back, they are just a phone call away!
Murrenfan is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 09:26
  #1187 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Brisvegas
Posts: 3,142
No doubt that some are but what about the guy with a wife and two children in school who has now settled them into a new school in their home country and his wife has gone back to work to support the family. Is that guy just waiting for a call to move the family back to the ME?
Icarus2001 is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 10:14
  #1188 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: earth
Posts: 1,094
don, where to start ……

First it is simply unfair (and I am trying to stay polite here ….) to insinuate that by pointing at the economical difficulty to sustain the 380, I am insensitive to the fate of our fellow pilots. That’s cheap populism at its finest, you might as well call someone insensitive when he does not agree to sustain the coal shuffler on electrical trains. When technology is outdated everyone has to move on, that has nothing to do with insensitivity.

I know the Dubai model is based on the Singapore or Hong Kong one, but frankly, CX never had any 380s and SQ is transforming them to restaurants …….

The Dubai model with the 380 evolves more and more to a special one and even another special one had to cede his spotlight to a normal one.

Common sense vs singularities has always been an uneven battle.
glofish is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 10:41
  #1189 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Dubai, UAE
Posts: 104

I reckon there’ll be some that won’t come back if or when called (early retirements, already found other jobs back home etc.) but, in general, most will entertain the possibility of returning. At the end of the day, it wasn’t their choice to leave.

However, EK very clearly made sure that there was no promise of recall whatsoever. Because it all depends on the speed of the “recovery”.

A quick bounce of pax numbers will force EK to recall since it is not quick or easy to train long haul pilots on such a niche type - takes years! And you can’t just use low hour folks. All 380 pilots are current and will require minimal training to return to the line.

A slower recovery will buy time for EK to develop locals and allow them to hire cheaper low experience pilots in the meantime and also offer a chance to let leases expire, retire A380s and substitute them for more efficient types. In this scenario, I believe EK might adopt a different approach and not recall but instead open recruitment as they have done in the past.

Having been an expat pilot for many, many years I believe the EK bunch are particularly good at their job and is heartbreaking to see how much talent has been made redundant this year. Other airlines - like Wizzair for obvious reasons (ex EK management) - are well aware of this and will surely try to compete for these guys as they know they have operated and trained to some of the highest standards in the industry.
aussiefarmer is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 11:23
  #1190 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Asia
Posts: 1,337
The A380s may return but it would be because airframes are needed quickly, rather than because that particular type is needed. Having a large fleet already parked, with the infrastructure in place makes a return to the skies fairly simple. Even if they all fly again, it may not be for a prolonged period. A certain number will remain depending on the business case, ie how many can be operated profitably. The B787s on order come in nicely below the B777 which gives a reasonably versatile fleet, possibly narrow bodies could be considered as well.

This pandemic showed up EKs over reliance on premium long haul transit traffic, the sector which will be the last to recover. A more diverse fleet would enable a wider market to be covered which is what is needed going forward. Relying on full first and business class cabins in large aircraft won't be possible for a number of years.
krismiler is online now  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 12:10
  #1191 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: London
Posts: 67
Originally Posted by aussiefarmer View Post
they know they have operated and trained to some of the highest standards in the industry.

You are just embarrassing yourself with that claim.
Adam Barfy is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 15:23
  #1192 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: British
Posts: 305
Another way to think about the A380 and EK is the hub , DXB.
DXB was running just about at capacity before Covid came along. When the recovery happens ( and it will imho) the airport will once again burst at its seams . With no appetite to build and develop DWC the 380 becomes Ďusefulí again. Far cheaper to fund the 380 than a new mega airport.
So, I think the 380 will be around for a while ( although Iím really not sure how they can ramp up sufficient pilot numbers in an expedient fashion).

Last edited by Tight Seat; 27th Nov 2020 at 16:08.
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 19:08
  #1193 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Stuttgart
Posts: 249
Originally Posted by Adam Barfy View Post
You are just embarrassing yourself with that claim.
For everybody who says that EK trains people, sorry to say you havenít work for a company with training for a long time - EK does not train , has definitiv the shortest sim time in the Industrie, and a lot of trainers ( except a few very fine people) are looking more into the humiliation of the individual than anything else.
EK has the worst pass rate on sim checks and upgrades compared to the hours of experience on the flight deck. Many companies on that scale are training to success and not checking to fail. EK is also a company where a trainee has literally no support from management even its obvious that a trainer is wrong.
WB1900 is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 19:21
  #1194 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Stuttgart
Posts: 249
Originally Posted by aussiefarmer View Post

A quick bounce of pax numbers will force EK to recall since it is not quick or easy to train long haul pilots on such a niche type - takes years! And you canít just use low hour folks.
Ek has proven quite the opposite
while most pilots entered with 4000 plus jet hours and tons of other type hours, the recent years 1500 TP was enough ( nothing against TP - as I know they are very valuable pilots) - just talking about hours here- and quite a good number of those low hour guy left, where experience had been showed the door.
If the humor is right and all of that - I personally think thatís one of the strategies behind - to make room for all those loca cadet who would not have a job in the next few years - they are all nearly no hours guys and get command a minimum time before any of the returned sees a left seat at all even the individual returns with 10000 plus hours, he will only be hired to be the watch dog of the 0 hour guy to become a commander
and with the words of Abdel - experience is total overrated
WB1900 is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 22:56
  #1195 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: New York
Posts: 59

Quite right, anyone who calls that a training department does not know what a real training department looks like. There were many excellent TREs when I was there, TRIs less so, but regardless they were not permitted to really train, in true EK fashion they were micromanaged to the point their past enthusiasm for teaching and experience was relegated to irrelevance. In the United States if a major airline had the failure rates EK possessed the FAA would come and investigate the training department and/or recruiting department. At my current carrier I actually look forward to recurrent training because I get to brush up on my skills, see what’s being highlighted lately, ask some questions (without the resultant change at EK from a 4 to a 3 in the “knowledge” PAM) and when they ask “ya wanna do something extra” the answer is YES! That is a REAL training department, the same cannot be honestly said going into an EK recurrent! Don’t get me wrong.... EK pilots are held to a very high standard however they are not supported by management, nor the safety department, nor the training dept (as a whole with a few exceptions), nor the rostering department, nor the VAST IT dept... not even the accommodation dept!!!! In all instances the EK pilot is expected to revolve around complying and not upsetting the inner working of these fiefdom departments. At a career carrier these departments revolve around the frontline worker, the pilot, the cabin crew, the gate agent to make THEIR jobs and lives smoother. What a concept!
VThokie2 is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2020, 23:02
  #1196 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Blandings
Posts: 727
All depends where you're sitting I guess.

By my lights the FAA should be more concernced about the pass rate within their own country. Atlas 3591 comes to mind. American 587. Many.

By observation the most vocal critics of EK training are those whose inadequacy and torpor were exposed by the EK system, and most of those were "trained" in the American system.

I've been fortunate enough to work for a number of airlines and manufacturers. The EK recruitment, training, and recurrent systems are universally considered top tier.
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 23:23
  #1197 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: New York
Posts: 59
Ha, sorry never came close to failing a training event at EK here.... the safety culture there was disgusting to say the least! And when u ask for something to be clarified during recurrent and you are told later “I’ll have to mark you down for that due to lack of knowledge”, when trainees are asked if they would like to practice some more EFATOs at RTOW crosswind limits and the answer is universally “NO”... that’s a problem with the department! I learned a lot from my time at EK in spite of the training department, I learned from the incredibly experienced line skippers, past TRIs and TREs with a passion for imparting knowledge that couldn’t be bothered by the smothering politics and ridiculousness of the training department and management at EK to climb the ladder there anymore.

Again no argument the EK training department is tough, facilities are top notch but they were not in the business to “impart knowledge” or to “facilitate understanding”, if any of those things occurred it was deemed as a negative outcome.... sorry Sir that’s not a “training department” it’s a “checking department”.

Last edited by VThokie2; 28th Nov 2020 at 00:10.
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Old 27th Nov 2020, 23:43
  #1198 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Sandcastle 2
Age: 37
Posts: 62
Originally Posted by VThokie2 View Post
when trainees are asked if they would like to practice some more EFATOs at RTOW beyond right at crosswind limits and the answer is universally ďNOĒ... thatís a problem with the department!
Iíd say thatís more a problem with the individual who is being asked the question. And their perception based on reading things like that on here.

In my 5 years here I have come across 1 trainer I had an issue with. During the previous 15 years at my previous company I had at least 6.

Lot of my colleagues had issues with guys in the sim, took it upstairs and subsequently got the recourse they deserved. That sort of thing just doesnít appear on forums like this, and hence the cycle continues.

If you canít believe a trainer when he asks you that sort of question, having said Ďthis is spare time and itís simply for your benefit, no come back at allí, then you need to need to grow up a bit. On the odd occasion that might have happened where someone was marked down for such an event, just get them to pull the tapes. If you think they only record when the trainer presses the button youíre sadly mistaken.

There will always be bad eggs in any industry, but to tar everyone because of that simply isnít fair.
Maz11 is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2020, 00:08
  #1199 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: New York
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by Maz11 View Post

There will always be bad eggs in any industry, but to tar everyone because of that simply isnít fair.
If you saw my previous post I made sure to say there were many excellent TREs and TRIs there in my time which were stifled by the organization ... it was the training organization as a whole I was speaking to, guess you didnít read that! And when the ORGANIZATION imbues that kind of widespread fear, thatís an organizational problem and itís training management Iíd directly fault (not any well meaning trainer) ... in point of fact I almost got yelled at by my sim partner for taking said extra EFATO! I have to say The chap that came over from Thomas Cook, MM did a whole lot of good trying to change it to a more modern system focused on the end user, the pilot... but he was fought every step of the way.

Last edited by VThokie2; 28th Nov 2020 at 01:17.
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Old 28th Nov 2020, 00:42
  #1200 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Asia
Posts: 1,337
It's encouraging to see that discussion has now moved onto the recovery and having sufficient numbers of pilots, rather than the doom and gloom of a few months ago. Next month will likely see the beginning of mass vaccination and a gradual resumption of air travel as restrictions are eased. Initially there will be a surge as pent up demand is released, after that it's the new normal whilst economies rebuild.

EK may have overshot the mark with A380 pilot redundancies, as unlike most other operators they don't have a smaller alternative once the B777 is fully committed. A detailed study of the required numbers needs to be undertaken and plans made in line with the anticipated pace and training capacity.

SQ are retaining the A380 and doing cabin refits, but will have a smaller fleet of them. Currently suites and first class have been pulled from the reservations system for the next year, this could change if demand returns but it shows an anticipated lack of demand for the super jumbo and most B777s.

CX recently cut pilot terms and conditions and are making minimum use of the B777 fleet, whilst postponing delivery of the X model.

EY are permanently downsizing and have told crews to move into cheaper accommodation.

QR looking at a further 30% cabin crew reduction, with flight crew likely to be similarly affected.

No one seems to be expecting an immediate bounce back, more of a gradual climb with the rate being anyone's guess at the moment. Ek management could take the opportunity for a CX style "take it or leave it" new contract offer. Talk up the A380 and all the pilots wanting to return as a way of making the B777 pilots agree, the unemployed A380 pilots wouldn't need persuading.

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