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

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

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

Old 26th Dec 2020, 15:08
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American Airlines starts recall of 17,500 furloughed staff.

https://www.newsbreak.com/texas/fort...-17500-workers


Perverse to spread doomsday fake news - but to fact check the earlier reply - EK is 70% transit, not 90% - and Phuket, with it's surrounding islands having some of the most astounding natural beauty on the planet, will of course bounce back; it has inherent value.

Where some sectors have shrunk, others have grown. Even within industries - e.g Debenhams closing, whilst online clothing stores are booming.

Simply look at peoples behaviour to predict the future; you could have made a fortune buying Amazon, Zoom, Docusign or Bitcoin this year.

So now look at todays behavioural signals:
  • The public are so desperate to get back to normality that they are actively ignoring restrictions = travel demand will also bounce back.
  • Whenever a travel corridor opens, Airlines are inundated with bookings. EK now at 5 daily LHR A380s. What will happen when UAE is fully vaccinated and negotiates similar travel corridors?
  • Businesses, after enjoying a change to home working are now sick to death of zoom calls and quickly losing productivity. Zoom stock is down 30% and still falling ever since an effective vaccine was announced.
Delta cut too deep and has had crew shortages over holidays. Surprised by demand.
BA cut too deep and has had crew shortages over holidays. Surprised by demand.
EK starting to call back UPL guys after just 2 months. Betting on a bigger summer.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-55314709
300 million Indians, (Big market for EK) will be vaccinated by August.

Brexit did get a deal. Europe is the largest share of EK's revenue. (30%)

EK's competitors down the road and elsewhere in the area, won't be pursing an ambitious recovery plan - more market share.

There are 44 (forty four) vaccines in stage 3 trials and beyond. The first 3 of those already producing 10 billion doses next year. IATA has a travel ePassport rolling out with your vaccination status attached to help borders reopen and quarantines be lifted asap.

The world is uniting to bring the pandemic to an end, and will continue to unite to get the economy back on track. An example is talk of wiping off recent 3rd-world debt to allow them to buy vaccinations and recover.

That's the big picture. You can look ahead or you can ignore it. Probably like you stayed in USD this year.

Last edited by Xulu; 26th Dec 2020 at 15:40.
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Old 26th Dec 2020, 16:29
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Xulu, I agree with most of what you say, but I believe the recalling of staff in the US is related to the stimulus package that has recently been agreed. Happy to be corrected but I think the support for the airlines was contingent on them recalling the staff.

Lets hope these new virus strains are more easily transmissible but less potent, and that the developed vaccines are effective against them. By all accounts they are, but you never know.

Here’s hoping to a better 2021 for all.
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Old 26th Dec 2020, 17:34
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Originally Posted by Emma Royds
Price at the moment really is king.
Which is why the five 380s a day LHR-DXB are full??? And now 2 a day to MAN... And CDG...
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Old 26th Dec 2020, 20:10
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It's boxing day though to LHR as it enters Tier 4 lockdown. There's a reason they upped this from 4 to 5 daily last week.

Another driving factor has to be Expo 2020 - now running October 21 until March 22.

They have invested $33 Bn into this event. They are also spending the cash to buy up vaccinations, likely with the overarching aim of being deemed safe by the travelling public. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if their goal is to announce themselves as the first country to be fully immunised in time for the Expo.

That really puts the EK $2 Bn state aid in perspective. Would they be quietly encouraged to get flights running 6 months earlier than otherwise needed?

Would they let the $33 Bn already spent be a failure because of limited flight options to Dubai? They were expecting a minimum of 25million additional visitors to Dubai, and up to 100 million. This will of course be lower due to COVID - but still significant compared with current flight ops in/out of Dubai. (On a good year EK moves 60 million pax.)

With the country immunised, travel restrictions open, and the Expo starting - actually there might be some real demand to meet. Even if temporary.

Now ask yourself - are they the type of people to bet big, and envisage Expo 2020 being the kickoff to a global recovery, capturing headlines as others are still in lockdown - A time to shine in front of the World, increase market share and get people travelling on EK for the first time? OR - are they the type to admit defeat and watch it fail.

Maybe this is the reason for the positive rumours flying around. Maybe this explains the rush.

Last edited by Xulu; 26th Dec 2020 at 20:50.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 03:10
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Good for you Zulu ! That's all I can say .
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 03:27
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Xulu

While most of us sympathize with your optimism and we all wish our colleagues back into their seats, let me quote you:

"With the country immunised, travel restrictions open, and the Expo starting - actually there might be some real demand to meet. Even if temporary."

You last three words nicely contain my fears.

All the money spent by the government(s) is basically upholding the existing structure (of civil aviation). Many were warning for a long time that it was blown up beyond sustainable size, the EK 380 fleet being the very symbol of it. We have now seen how vulnerable EK (especially its airborne staff) was with any disturbing factor, although Covid19 was admittedly an unexpectedly sizable one.

Your arguments for a speedy recovery might uphold, but if they lead to reinstalling almost everything that has been grounded and sacked, it would simply lead to a second wave, not of Covid, but of sackings, if the recovery effectively was only temporary due to i.e. Expo or a short burst of tantrum travel.

Our desire to get back to normal should not divert from our responsibility as professionals to assess the situation reasonably. There is a chance here and now to regrow the industry in a more sustainable way and not to make the same mistakes of folie de grandeur.

My dislike of the 380 is well known, i exaggerated it voluptuously because it drew so much funny and stubborn reactions. However, as i mentioned before, the 380 symbolizes perfectly what should be avoided this time: Build up a shiny, spectacular structure that is only profitable below the line when at full speed and occupation.

Because we've witnessed it: WE are and will be paying the price for such extravagance.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 03:34
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Originally Posted by Emma Royds
The A380 I sent family on today to LHR was less than half full.
That's why I mentioned LHR-DXB and MAN-DXB and not the other way around! Who the heck wants to go to a dull, grey, miserable locked down UK at the moment? Flights down here have been choc a bloc. My lad got one of the last seats out of GLA the other day; it was touch and go for a bit!
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 09:42
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Glofish

Thanks for your sharing your sympathy, and fears. But this isn't an a380 bashing thread.

It is of course the wrong aircraft right now, but there simply isn't a choice. With the 777 maxed out, and committed to vaccination distribution through 2021 - what else is going to fly passengers? Why do you think the 380 UPL guys are being called back? Because that's all they have! A380s and a380 pilots.

Devising a plan for short-term profitability is off the table, not up for discussion; If it was the 777 would be grounded, and every person in the Group fired while they call it a day for a couple years. You have to look to the future here and thankfully EK has the financial backing and positive outlook to do so.

No-one is claiming that the load factors will have miraculously recovered by Summer. And no-one is suggesting every aircraft comes back at once. It'll be a slow ramp up of flying starting from Summer 21 onwards.

Due to all the factors mentioned previously - what is on the table is a return of decent pax capacity in Summer 2022 - and possibly the Winter season before that due to Expo. That's just 10 months away. EK is part of Dubai, and I wouldn't be surprised if the 'greatest show of our time' extends to EK.

It's about carrying the passengers and brand value over the next few years into future profits - not waiting for fleet change before acting. Hence the massive sunk costs on the acft sterilisation programmes, or the huge efforts to refund pax. Flying earlier to stimulate demand, in coordination with travel&hospitality partners is just part of the same efforts.

They'll just have to accept the a380 for now. And that will need crew back.

It's peoples choice to be bogged down in fear over the present, as it was their choice to be in USD this year because the market was crashing. I've been hearing Pilots claim the ATMs were about to freeze for years now to justify their doomsday positions. They have been soundly shaken out of the markets from fear, and lost big time.

You see, people also have a choice to not be afraid - to assess the indicators and look to the future. People could have predicted 4-5 years before the industry naturally recovers back in March - purely from uncertainty - but now, things have changed and it's time to bring those predictions forward.

A little positivity, I think, is warranted. Happy Holidays

Last edited by Xulu; 27th Dec 2020 at 12:53.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 17:52
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White Knight

A quick glance at TRIPS reveals plenty of seats available from the UK over the next few days. Did your lad fly via LHR with BA? (Tongue in cheek of course given there is no staff travel with BA anyway.)
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Old 28th Dec 2020, 14:49
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Me me me never one mention of the difficulties of letting go of thousands of staff across the board

https://www.airlineratings.com/news/...nt-a380-fleet/
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Old 30th Dec 2020, 17:34
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Emma Royds

More seats now maybe but not in the week before Christmas! Nah, the lad definitely flew EK GLA-DXB! No-one in their right mind would fly through the hell-hole that is Heathrow if they don't need to
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 11:20
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An unpleasant person

Friends who have flown Mr.C to and from the UK on a fair few occasions have described him as an impolite and arrogant individual who showed no appreciation for the efforts of both cabin crew and pilots. Sad to say, his cold personality is reflected clearly in the interview cited by Echokilla above.

This man has not expressed remorse for the tragedies that have befallen so many former EK employees. Along with brutal sackings, there were unthinkable incidents that remain shrouded in secrecy.

He fits in well in the dictatorship now known as Dubai.
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Old 31st Dec 2020, 12:28
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MC, I could not have said that better!
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 07:51
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After a few very optimistic posts to finish the dreadful year and also some official and unofficial statements from EK management, perhaps is time for a recap:

- EK management have made clear in the last few days they will invite "many" of those who "left the business" to rejoin "when demand returns". They have also confirmed that, at the moment, they have enough crew for the short and medium term.
- EK is utilizing the whole 777 fleet at the moment and about 5 A380s. A dozen or more 777s will be retired this year. Any expansion in 21-22 will have to be carried out with A380s. If we ignore airframe rotations, over 110 A380s remain effectively unused. About half (60) are leased and another half (60) are owned. They all have close to zero market value.

- Demand/traffic remains stuck at 50% - 60% of pre-pandemic levels.
- Vaccines are being approved and produced across the developed world with wide availability expected towards Q3/Q4 2021. Developing countries will only gain full access in 2022. This is consistent with scenario 2 of Eurocontrol forecast - return to 2019 passenger levels in 2026.
- Downside risks remain: vaccine production and distribution, further mutations that might make vaccines not effective, depressed world economic outlook.
- Summer for US domestic market might resemble pre-pandemic traffic but seems like Europe is lagging. Australia (one of EK's biggest market) might continue with its self-imposed isolation this year and is planning to begin vaccinations in the second half of 2021.

Is Summer 2022 a realistic recovery estimation?
By then, most of EK's redundant pilots will have been more than 2 years away from active flying duties.
Training effort to bring them back to speed would be colossal.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 08:32
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So a dozen or so Triples to go in the next 15 months, FOs are running close to max hours, CA's not too far behind. Will surely leave a surplus of crew which leads to a few questions: Will surplus crew be asked (or forced) to transition to the A380? Or will they be simply made redundant like our poor colleagues in early 2020. There will be a few of A380 crew that will come back, most probably won't. That leaves the pilot numbers still in a bit of a mess.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 11:09
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Originally Posted by aussiefarmer
about 5 A380s
11 in then air today; but still a little short of the total...
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 12:32
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Is Summer 2022 a realistic recovery estimation?
That depends on who you are talking about, domestic travel and typical low cost routes yes. People will trade down, and those not flying will be replaced by those who would normally go further afield. Long haul and premium will be the last to bounce back, with much of the world likely to be restricted for the immediate future.

The travel bubble concept has failed to materialise, except for possibly Australia/New Zealand, as many countries which appeared to be clear are now entering second and third waves of the virus. With the vaccine now available, expect rich first world countries to open up first to each other. UK/USA are currently vaccinating their populations, and might be able to relax many restrictions on travel between them later this year.

Much of EKs network will remain closed for the immediate future and preference will be for direct flights in economy class where possible,
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 16:41
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The recovery will be slower than STCs forecast . He will go out of his way to cover up his failure to produce for the Dubai government owners .

Things were starting to slip for EK well before covid . He was to retire a couple years ago but wanted to "fix" the airline and brag about it before he left. He broke it and would never admit it .

To those made redundant, good luck many side liners are story to see how you were dealt with. it's a harsh reality to the treatment and lack of respect from all ME carriers . The new wave of new hires won't say , take what ever they are given . An airline management dream .
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 18:00
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Originally Posted by aussiefarmer
- EK is utilizing the whole 777 fleet at the moment and about 5 A380s. A dozen or more 777s will be retired this year.
So they are flying high hours just like they always did and are flying the whole fleet, plus they fired hundreds of 777 pilots. So were they heavily over crewed on the 777 prior to Covid? No, I dont think so. Somewhere the math has slipped, just like the math on the purchasing of the A380.

Seems strange they prepare to ditch a dozen plus of the aircraft that are fuel efficient and make money whilst increasing the A380 fleet that is all but grounded and looses money. I am not sure of that math either.
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Old 2nd Jan 2021, 18:50
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So the remaining guys are on 80 hours a month, flying a full roster. How galling must this be to all those Airbus guys who were let go .

Who among those released will return once recruitment resumes? Will it be as junior fo level or on parity of the grade that a pilot was previously?
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