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JetBlue recruiting non-fliers

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JetBlue recruiting non-fliers

Old 2nd Dec 2015, 15:26
  #1 (permalink)  
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JetBlue recruiting non-fliers

This can't be good...
JetBlue to Recruit Two-Dozen Non-Fliers to be Pilots - NBC News
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Old 3rd Dec 2015, 05:02
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There was a previous thread on this:

US Carrier Announces Ab Initio Program
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Old 3rd Dec 2015, 23:08
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FYI...a bit more info on the JB program:

Forbes Welcome
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 19:54
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Lots of effort to avoid paying a proper wage all the qualified pilots who just don't want to work for regional peanuts.
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 20:05
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As you may know, JetBlue is not a regional but rather a career destination carrier. While they may have a way to go in terms of pay and benefits compared to the large legacies, having recently gotten ALPA representation, they are NOT a regional...nor do they pay like one.


Admittedly, under the circumstances, this makes the Gateway 7 program a bit puzzling.

Last edited by bafanguy; 4th Dec 2015 at 20:19.
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 21:13
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What the heck is a career destination carrier?

And how can you be a career destination when you have a long ways to go on pay and benefits?

Plus JetBlue is trying to play the ab initio / training bond game, also what good is ALPA if they let this even come up in discussion?

Sounds like a poor career destination, but hey seems like folks consider fast food a carrier destination nowadays too so
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 22:47
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"What the heck is a career destination carrier?"

You haven't heard that term before ? It's a common colloquial term here. OK, you may not be from the USA.

BA, LH, CX would be some int'l examples.

I spent 31 years at one so I can speak with some authority. It's an airline where a person signs on expecting to stay with it, despite inevitable ups & downs, until retirement. These careers and airlines are not a sprint but a marathon. Compromise is part of the deal; there is no utopia.

It's not a guarantee of a smooth road but rather a place where one can reasonably expect to go the distance because, all things considered, the job offers more positives than negatives...a subjective call.

It can be a tough go at times but the reasonable expectation is that the company will be there long term, providing employment...over all long term. But, it beats the heck outta jumping from one abusive, flimsy contract job to another.

[Don't burn any electrons telling me about companies that go BK and disappear or ones where employees take a beating they hadn't expected. I'm intimately familiar with that.].

They may not offer a quick route to the LHS but the wait is worth it because it offers a life for the pilot and family...and as much of a reasonable expectation of stability as one can expect in this career.

Sorry if you don't have access to such an arrangement. You'd like it.

JetBlue's ab initio deal ? The expectation is it won't go the distance. I don't know...and neither does anyone else; it's a proposal so far...and unique for the USA which makes the concept newsworthy.

Financially, I'm not sure there is a difference with what JB proposes vs a person just going out and paying for all his ratings..and then hoping to get a job...someplace. Unless a person goes in the military, EVERYONE pays for for his civilian training just as JB proposes...and with attendant debt load.

IIUC, the theoretical JB ab initio will take the training and incur the debt...but can then beat feet if he chooses. There's no way that person can be forced to remain with JB. The debt would follow as it would under any other scenario.

ALPA ? They don't "...let this even come up in discussion." They can merely express their disapproval as they clearly have and they make a valid point. Unions in this country don't control who gets hired or under what circumstances. They wish they did.

Any ab initios completing this program would undoubtedly be paid existing seniority-based pay rates once they jumped the hurdles as if they'd walked in off the street and began accruing seniority-based pay.

"And how can you be a career destination when you have a long ways to go on pay and benefits?"

Well, because people are willing to ride the road to see where it goes in the reasonable expectation of a positive outcome. And in the case of JB, it's a reasonable choice by all indications so far and worlds better than a regional. Do you think AA, DL, SWA and UAL started off with premium pay and working conditions ? Uuuh, they didn't.

These JB ab initios will NOT be paid fast food, regional wages but rather the same seniority-based acft/seat pay rates of any JB pilot.

I hope I've explained this to your satisfaction.


Last edited by bafanguy; 5th Dec 2015 at 13:03.
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Old 5th Dec 2015, 14:02
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I'm from the US, I just never met anyone who was loyal to a company they didn't own, seems a foolish, and you want to talk union look at Boeing, they don't let the company screw the industry and the company has a healthy respect for the union.

I fly for a company who doesn't play the pay to fly, or ab training BS game, it's a insult to the industry, we also make more, are home half a year.

Don't worry I won't apply, heck I won't even fly them as a pax.
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Old 5th Dec 2015, 15:00
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"…I just never met anyone who was loyal to a company they didn't own…"

Not sure what you mean by "own". If you mean something in my comments, I have no loyalty to JB. I'm just an interested observer of the industry at this point but have been watching these things since the mid-1960s. We are now in very interesting times.

"I fly for a company who doesn't play the pay to fly, or ab training BS game, it's a insult to the industry…"

Most in the US don't…and won't. JB is an valid, established industry player so their thoughts and actions are worth understanding. Not too sure about Spirit, Frontier or Virgin America at this point.
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Old 6th Dec 2015, 11:06
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It is interesting to see the different perception of such a program in the US compared to Europe.

In Europe, the good jobs are usually via cadetships, and selfimprovers only come into the game if not enough cadets are available. Of course this is somehow shifting, but not totally.

The developent is more that the traditional cadetships have been redesigned to put more financial risk on the candidate, while at the same time other carriers actually have just introduced such programs.

At the end I guess it comes down to historics. European airlines never had the big supply of pilots from military, general and business aviation, therefore early on had to find alternative ways of assuring talent and quality. And there is absolutely no doubt, in my shop we are still convinced that a well selected and thoroughly trained cadet overall is a great way to form highly skilled pilots. But of course it also needs a training environment during the whole career, not just a checking environment.

It is hard to judge from the other side of the pond if the US really has a shortage (then such programs could help) or if it still is really a shortage of pilots prepared to fly for bad wages.

But sure it is interesting to see how such a new concept will develop in a system which over decades has produced the most safe aviation system (by statistics) with a total different concept.
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Old 7th Mar 2016, 16:15
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Some new info:

JetBlue Launches Gateway Select Pilot Training Program - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports
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Old 10th Mar 2016, 10:47
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leveraging CAE’s experience in delivering competency-based training programs to airlines throughout the world.
There is no doubt that CAE has an excellent worldwide reputation as an FTD manufacturer and training provider in the TRTO world but I understand that their approach to ab-initio training is somewhat different. If what they have done to erode the once very good ATO's that they purchased a few years ago is anything to go by at least. Some of the European based schools they enveloped were training the same cadet pilots mentioned earlier for large EU airlines, and for many years, however it appears that little of the legacy that built trusted and reliable reputations has made the transition. I'm told that it's all about production and little else; continuity of training is so important - that said, it'll be good for the CFI's to teach U.S. citizens for a change though rather than the masses of Chinese and Vietnamese students they normally handle on the FAA programs. Appreciation of the value of proper and thorough teaching of fundamentals, irrespective of the financial return, is so important...quality carries a price tag and I really hope this has been recognized by JB.

Last edited by Reverserbucket; 10th Mar 2016 at 11:40.
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 19:35
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Mid 2011, Delta made this statement related to airline-created pilot training programs as a supply solution. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the concept but what he describes is more or less what JetBlue is proposing. Nothing has happened since to alter Delta's stance:

"Delta Air Lines is considering a "blue sky" theory for how to meet future pilot demands. Called "CAPT," for Civil Airline Pilot Training programme, the carrier stresses the idea is conceptual in nature and that it is not committed to the implementation, nor is it engaged in discussions with potential sponsors."

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Old 12th Mar 2016, 20:27
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Next, trainees will return to CAE in Phoenix for 12 weeks of additional FAA licensing requirements. Trainees will then attend an instructor course to achieve their CFI (certified flight instructor) qualifications and ratings. Upon completion, trainees will then begin working as entry-level salaried instructors for CAE’s flight academy while accumulating flight hours to achieve the FAA’s 1,500 flight-hour requirement.
Sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me. How many new recruits need to be trained for a single recruit to reach 1500 hours and be selected?
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Old 12th Mar 2016, 21:04
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JB certainly doesn't need any defense and surely not from the likes of ME…but, in the interest of accuracy, they don't require a Ponzi scheme to attract pilots. JB is an established industry player and people are rightly storming the front gate to get a job there. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but it sure is for enough people.

Why they feel the need to formally establish & define 7 different paths to a pilot job is a management decision I don't quite understand.

Gateway 1 - Normal pilot recruiting process
Gateway 2 - Current employees depart the company to go to another airline for XX amount of hours, and come back after gaining experience
Gateway 3 - Current employees transfer from an internal position to a full-time pilot position (leaving the original position)
Gateway 4 - Current employees gain a seniority number, and retain their original position (Sim instructors typically, but also others from time to time)
Gateway 5 - Airline gateway program (Airlines who partner with JetBlue, such as Cape Air)
Gateway 6 - University gateway program
Gateway 7 - The program at question here

As for how many need to be trained to be "selected", it appears that those are the same numbers. Those recruits who wind up in a JB cockpit seat via this program would be selected at the moment they were, well, "selected". IIUC, all they need to do is complete the program to the standards as prescribed and defined and they're good to go. Same as any other training program with a defined end goal. Will there be dropouts ? Perhaps, but aren't there always ?
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Old 5th Apr 2016, 19:00
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Recent statement from ALPA re JB's ab initio program:

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Old 20th Apr 2016, 11:37
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Read a post on another site by someone I'm pretty sure is a JB pilot. He said 1,400 people applied for their ab initio program...which I think is offering 6 (?) spots.

If that's the case, can't say I'm surprised.
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Old 6th May 2016, 18:26
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Anyone know if this still applies, almost a decade later?
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Old 7th May 2016, 01:12
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A decade later?
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Old 7th May 2016, 06:49
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Where does the time go? Can't believe it's been almost a decade. Seems like just last December this news came out. Unbelievable.
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