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Old 17th Sep 2018, 10:14
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^^^ why? That is how a lot of big airlines around the world are or have been structured, why is Air NZ so special that Jets and Turboprops shouldnít be mixed?

And what makes an SO seat so special that it gets paid enough money to ensure a good chunk of pilots would rather sit there than move to an A320 FO spot?

These are genuine questions, as apart from Ďlosing the higher SO payí for new joiners and or Ďa bigger list so longer wait timesí there doesnít seem to be a very good reason to be so scared of this change.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 10:22
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^^^ might be more reflective of that particular A320 FO spot these days rather than the grandeur of the the SO job.
I remember a time an Air NZ 320 gig was sought after, as was a job at Cook.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 10:26
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
^^^ why? That is how a lot of big airlines around the world are or have been structured, why is Air NZ so special that Jets and Turboprops shouldn’t be mixed?

And what makes an SO seat so special that it gets paid enough money to ensure a good chunk of pilots would rather sit there than move to an A320 FO spot?

I'm struggling to think of any Airlines who combine Jets + Props, but I don't claim to know every Airline in the world. That being said, what benefit does a Cadet get going from a 787 SO to ATR FO? What are they going to learn on the Widebody that's relevant to the Link operation? It's purely a means to slash the SO salary and we all know it. Further more, it would move ~200 jobs to the bottom of the Seniority list meaning anyone who wants to fly Longhual would need to wait for an FO position, which would be ~1000 places up the list if we combine them.

Lastly, do the SO's really have it that good? Or has the Airbus simply become undesirable due to poor rostering? If you honestly believe that SO's are avoiding the Bus because they have it too good on the Widebody, then why are A320 Commands forecast to drop as low as 3 years as Captains flee the Fleet for Widebody FO positions?

Last edited by ElZilcho; 17th Sep 2018 at 21:20.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 11:42
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Originally Posted by RubberDogPoop View Post
It ("external") never used to be Aerocat, but then nobody currently flying in NZ ever needed jet time either! How exactly would they get that, in New Zealand? Given AirNZ are the major jet operator in the country, you could hardly be reasonably expected to rock up with jet time could you? Never had to, countless Eagle, Air Nelson, Mt Cook, Origin, Air National, Rex, etc pilots will attest to that. I am trying to clear up the distinction between "external", non-group but still NZ resident pilots vs "external", to New Zealand, pilots.
In the past perhaps. Now there is Jet Connect, Virgin Blue, and maybe Jetstar (do they have an Auckland A320 base?) As far as I know there is absolutely no distinction between NZ resident pilots working for non-group airlines and pilots external to New Zealand itself. They are all considered externals and all require jet time to be hired direct to Air New Zealand.

Originally Posted by ElZilcho
I'm struggling to think of any Airlines who combine Jets + Props, but I don't claim to know every Airline in the world. That being said, what benefit does a Cadet get going from a 787 SO to ATR FO? What are they going to learn on the Widebody that's relevant to the Link operation? It's purely a means to slash the SO salary and we all know it. Further more, it would move ~200 jobs to the bottom of the Seniority list meaning anyone who wants to fly Longhual would need to wait for an FO position, which would be ~1000 places up the list if we combine them.
Qantas have an almost identical situation you guys. SOs living the high life and not wanting to move to short haul, two wholly owned turbo-prop subsidiaries with pilots who want to be able to move straight to the jets with a minimum of fuss, and a thread on PPRuNe discussing the various merits of hiring externally to the group vs promoting from within the group (Qantas Recruitment.)
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 11:47
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
^^^ why? That is how a lot of big airlines around the world are or have been structured, why is Air NZ so special that Jets and Turboprops shouldnít be mixed?

And what makes an SO seat so special that it gets paid enough money to ensure a good chunk of pilots would rather sit there than move to an A320 FO spot?

These are genuine questions, as apart from Ďlosing the higher SO payí for new joiners and or Ďa bigger list so longer wait timesí there doesnít seem to be a very good reason to be so scared of this change.
Have a read of Keg's post in the latter pages of the Qantas Recruitment thread. He spells out why only promoting internally is not necessarily a good thing.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 21:18
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Originally Posted by AerocatS2A View Post
Qantas have an almost identical situation you guys. SOs living the high life and not wanting to move to short haul, two wholly owned turbo-prop subsidiaries with pilots who want to be able to move straight to the jets with a minimum of fuss, and a thread on PPRuNe discussing the various merits of hiring externally to the group vs promoting from within the group (Qantas Recruitment.)
The high life? That's a bit of a stretch.

As someone said, the A320 used to be a highly sought after position. When the 737 was the Domestic workhorse, it had rostering rules and CEA clauses (lower incentive threshold) to account for the higher workload of multi-sector days... remember, NZ isn't Aus. Our longest Domestic sector is under 2hrs and the main trunk, AKL-WLG takes about 30 minutes so you can do very high sectors on a Domestic roster. Even then however, 737 FO & Capt positions were a fair way down the list due to lifestyle considerations.

Anyway, when the 737 was retired all of the rostering rules went with it and we've been fighting with the company ever since. Some very minor changes were made through a working group which had virtually no impact. This is the biggest cause of grievance on the A320 and many SO's are simply staying put. Plenty would move across (the non commuters anyway) if the Company would just resolve the lifestyle concerns. As it stands however, Pilots are utilizing their right to choose and simply avoiding the fleet.

This all leads into why the Company is pushing the Cadetship. Not only will they save a fortune slashing the SO pay, but it will also mean the first Widebody Jobs will sit ~400-500 positions above the most Junior A320 FO. Pilots will have no choice but to sit on the A320 for 15+ years (500 seats / 30 retirement a year) as they cant bid anywhere else. Overnight, the company will solve their crewing issues on the A320 without having address any of the lifestyle concerns.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 22:22
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
^^^ why? That is how a lot of big airlines around the world are or have been structured, why is Air NZ so special that Jets and Turboprops shouldn’t be mixed?

And what makes an SO seat so special that it gets paid enough money to ensure a good chunk of pilots would rather sit there than move to an A320 FO spot?

These are genuine questions, as apart from ‘losing the higher SO pay’ for new joiners and or ‘a bigger list so longer wait times’ there doesn’t seem to be a very good reason to be so scared of this change.
Ten thousand hours plus is the answer to the SO seat question. That's why it gets paid so much money. QANTAS aside, there is no other airline like it. History will tell you that prior to the bust up in 1990-91, Air NZ operated 1 Capt. and 2 F/Os. Guess what the most junior F/O got to do? Sit in the back and rarely do a take-off and landing - sound familiar? S/O is a B-scale F/O, the person AirNZ hired for those S/O spots were the same guys they had been hiring the week before as F/Os. Thats why it's so special. It was a money saving back then, now they want a C-scale and to justify the massive pay cut, they want to hire genuine cadets. On that basis, you're quite right, they should never be paid the same as the current multi-decade Regional captain. None of that should distract you from the fact that they don't need cadets in widebodies - the shortage isn't there, as you quite rightly suggest - its in the turboprops. Occam's razor would suggest fixing that particular shortage at source doesn't it?

As ElZilch has said, this proposal fixes the massive own goal over the S/O pay disparity (not just the recovery of monies paid, but also the closure of the gap between S/O and A320 F/O), and the A320 retention problem in one foul swoop (freudian slip???).....

Ollie,
why is Air NZ so special that Jets and Turboprops shouldn’t be mixed?
I'll throw this one back at you without prejudice - Why are Links pilots so special they're the only ones who don't need jet time to get a job?
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 23:23
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
^^^ why? That is how a lot of big airlines around the world are or have been structured, why is Air NZ so special that Jets and Turboprops shouldn’t be mixed?

And what makes an SO seat so special that it gets paid enough money to ensure a good chunk of pilots would rather sit there than move to an A320 FO spot?

These are genuine questions, as apart from ‘losing the higher SO pay’ for new joiners and or ‘a bigger list so longer wait times’ there doesn’t seem to be a very good reason to be so scared of this change.
SOs went through a couple of years trying to gain pay parity when a dodgey management deal was done with the Feds to gain a 13% increase in SO pay! The reason why F320 jobs are less desirable is not a pay issue but rather lifestyle/work load issues.

i also like having SOs on the flight deck who have experienced more than a VFR flight from Ardmore to Hamilton and back. We have some of the most experienced group of guys and gals in the middle seat on the planet! Are they utilising their experience? Probably not. But they have a CHOICE. S/O on long haul or F320. Links Pilots won’t have that choice if we vote for this change.

There are no other airlines that I know of which train cadets to then sit as a SO for two years in a wide body then move to an ATR/dash. The problem is not in the jet fleet. It’s a Link problem! Train for the Links. Don’t reduce the conditions of our hard fought for terms and conditions.

SO cadets are off the table now anyways so it doesn’t really matter.

Last edited by fly real fast; 18th Sep 2018 at 00:26. Reason: spelling problems
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 00:10
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Originally Posted by ElZilcho View Post
The high life? That's a bit of a stretch.
An exaggeration sure, but there's obviously a reason that both Qantas and Air NZ SOs are declining to bid to the short haul fleets and lifestyle is surely a big part of it. Anyway, my point was just that there are other airlines facing the same issue as Air NZ.

As someone said, the A320 used to be a highly sought after position. When the 737 was the Domestic workhorse, it had rostering rules and CEA clauses (lower incentive threshold) to account for the higher workload of multi-sector days... remember, NZ isn't Aus. Our longest Domestic sector is under 2hrs and the main trunk, AKL-WLG takes about 30 minutes so you can do very high sectors on a Domestic roster. Even then however, 737 FO & Capt positions were a fair way down the list due to lifestyle considerations.

Anyway, when the 737 was retired all of the rostering rules went with it and we've been fighting with the company ever since. Some very minor changes were made through a working group which had virtually no impact. This is the biggest cause of grievance on the A320 and many SO's are simply staying put. Plenty would move across (the non commuters anyway) if the Company would just resolve the lifestyle concerns. As it stands however, Pilots are utilizing their right to choose and simply avoiding the fleet.
2 hours is about an hour too long in my book, but everyone's different. I understand where you are at. You have seen the conditions change within the company and are comparing what you have to what you had. For someone looking to move to the company though, they can only compare what they have now to what you have now. There are some clauses in your agreement that are just awesome compared to what's in my Australian agreement.
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 00:16
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Originally Posted by RubberDogPoop View Post
I'll throw this one back at you without prejudice - Why are Links pilots so special they're the only ones who don't need jet time to get a job?
Probably because they normally get hired to SO positions.
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 00:21
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Originally Posted by AerocatS2A View Post
Probably because they normally get hired to SO positions.
So why canít Air NZ hire SOs externally who donít have Jet time (within the 70:30 ratio) without Link pilots jumping up and down?
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 00:28
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Originally Posted by Brakerider View Post


So why canít Air NZ hire SOs externally who donít have Jet time (within the 70:30 ratio) without Link pilots jumping up and down?
I don't know bro! Politics. Maybe they could go 70:30, no jet time, to SO positions and hire A320 FOs direct with jet time outside of the 70:30. Maybe that would be too complicated. Whatever they did, somebody would be unhappy.
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 06:33
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Qantas and VA both train cadets to long haul SO positions so it's not so uncommon.

This entire thread is a great example of why pilots are our own worst enemies! Fighting over who has the hardest job with some unjustified/ uneducated arguments and opinions that will only result in a win to the company.

TP and Jets are two very different beasts, I've seen experienced TP guys fail going onto the jet and the same number of jet guys fail when coming back to TP's. Reality is they both require different skill sets and any half reasonable training department (of which Air NZ has very good ones) can train pilots to the required standard regardless of previous experience.

SOs are coming wether the pilot group likes it or not!
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 07:35
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Look I can see a couple of different themes here. One is a reluctance for this deal due to the perchieved reductions in Terms and Conditions with regard to the SO position. I totally understand that and would defend everyone’s right to protect those as they are hard won. Two, I don’t get trying to dress up the objections By saying things like ‘ex Cadets couldn’t fly an ATR into a small NZ strip, or without Jet experience you shouldn’t be sitting in a Jet’. BA, Cathay Pacific and Emirates all take direct entry FO’s who have no Jet experience, Qantas and Cathay both put SO’s onto large jets who only have 200 hours with very little multi time, using experience as a reason not to join the list is just not valid, maybe with the exception of Emirates the rest could pick and choose from a pool of relatively experienced candidates but the airlines want to get some cheaper people in at the bottom and keep them for longer, why does that surprise us?

One of my Air NZ mates said to me the other day ‘I think this is a bad idea as it would allow an ATR driver to move straight into an FO spot on the A320 and that is just dangerous!’ Why.......

I am actually genuinely interested in this attitude as I have seen a lot of different pilots with different levels of experience successfully get trained into quite different roles all over the world, the most important thing is a good training path and I am intrigued if people actually believe in the experience argument. If I was actually voting on this deal then I would vote no as terms and conditions once given away will never be gained back.
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 08:05
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One of my Air NZ mates said to me the other day ‘I think this is a bad idea as it would allow an ATR driver to move straight into an FO spot on the A320 and that is just dangerous!’ Why.......
I don’t know what your mate was on about but there are plenty of ex ATR and Q300 pilots who have gone straight onto the A320. It is not dangerous, it’s a perfectly logical step.
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 19:26
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Originally Posted by Brakerider View Post


So why canít Air NZ hire SOs externally who donít have Jet time (within the 70:30 ratio) without Link pilots jumping up and down?
The jet time requirement has nothing to do with the Link pilots jumping up and down. I think if some at the jet operation had their way everyone would have jet time. I think the relaxation of the jet requirement was more to provide a pathway from the Links to mainline.
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 19:41
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
Look I can see a couple of different themes here. One is a reluctance for this deal due to the perchieved reductions in Terms and Conditions with regard to the SO position. I totally understand that and would defend everyoneís right to protect those as they are hard won. Two, I donít get trying to dress up the objections By saying things like Ďex Cadets couldnít fly an ATR into a small NZ strip, or without Jet experience you shouldnít be sitting in a Jetí. BA, Cathay Pacific and Emirates all take direct entry FOís who have no Jet experience, Qantas and Cathay both put SOís onto large jets who only have 200 hours with very little multi time, using experience as a reason not to join the list is just not valid, maybe with the exception of Emirates the rest could pick and choose from a pool of relatively experienced candidates but the airlines want to get some cheaper people in at the bottom and keep them for longer, why does that surprise us?

One of my Air NZ mates said to me the other day ĎI think this is a bad idea as it would allow an ATR driver to move straight into an FO spot on the A320 and that is just dangerous!í Why.......

I am actually genuinely interested in this attitude as I have seen a lot of different pilots with different levels of experience successfully get trained into quite different roles all over the world, the most important thing is a good training path and I am intrigued if people actually believe in the experience argument. If I was actually voting on this deal then I would vote no as terms and conditions once given away will never be gained back.
Then your mate is misguided and in all probability alone in that opinion. Whilst not many, Link Pilots have still been hired in recent years, plenty onto the A320 and the Tag & Release Pilots all hold notional F20 positions. I doubt any but a minority would be so arrogant as to think a Link Pilot could not be trained onto the A320.

What I have heard, however, are questions about a Link Captain going directly to an A320 Command when seniority permits i.e. not bidding F20 and simply waiting until C20. However, I'm sure the company will have systems in place for that much the same way they do for SO's taking A320 Commands.

In regards to Cadets Ollie, the biggest gripe is not so much the Company putting them into the Widebodies, but putting them in Widebodies under the guise of "Gaining experience before joining the Link Carriers". They've all but come out and said it! "Feedback from Link Training Captains is that low hour Pilots don't integrate well into Multi-Crew operations, so we'll make them SO's for 2 years before starting in the Links.... on severely reduced pay of course"

Many of the objections need to stop being viewed in isolation. The Company (and ALPA unfortunately) tried to sell us an entire package.

Originally Posted by Brakerider View Post
So why canít Air NZ hire SOs externally who donít have Jet time (within the 70:30 ratio) without Link pilots jumping up and down?
Soon we might have too as externals are pulling their applications due to the potential combined list.

But until now, it's been mostly Supply & Demand driven. Air NZ has been bombarded by CV's with 5k-10k+ hours and thousands of hours Jet so they had their pick of bunch... especially since, as I mentioned earlier, we ran shortened courses for A320 rated Pilots.
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Old 18th Sep 2018, 22:33
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Originally Posted by BO0M View Post
SOs are coming wether the pilot group likes it or not!
No kidding! They arrived almost 30 years ago....
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Old 19th Sep 2018, 00:08
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Originally Posted by RubberDogPoop View Post
No kidding! They arrived almost 30 years ago....
Ok ok, fair play! I missed out the Cadet part.
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Old 19th Sep 2018, 02:47
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Boom, no mate. They arenít. It requires a vote by the jet pilot group and Iíd say the chances of that vote succeeding is, well, remote to say the least. That ship has sailed. The only question that remains is whether they push for a GOP, which also requires a vote by jet pilots, and also is unlikely to succeed. If I was a link pilot Iíd be focusing my energy on firming up the recruitment process and improving conditions where you are.
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