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Improving the industry

Old 19th Dec 2010, 15:39
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Improving the industry

Hi there,

The more I learn about the aviation industry the less attractive it becomes. I am angry at the way some airlines treat their staff, its not right and we shouldn't have to put up with it! I have spoken to numerous pilots both online and offline who are fed up with the current state of things. They're fed up of being treated like sh*t!

How do we remedy the situation? How can we make airlines treat their staff, especially their pilots better?

I have come up with one idea. I know it has many flaws and is potentially unworkable. What about if pilots who are serious about improving terms and conditions within the aviation industry set aside a percentage of their salary each year for a good few years and then put all money together to start their own airline which will hopefully be better than what we have at the moment?
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 16:35
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Can I have first refusal on the FO seat?

How many aircraft are you thinking of operating?
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 16:40
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Any business will seek to reduce its staffing costs. There are so many people that are/ used to be/ want to be pilots that to get a job, ANY job, they become willing to accept poor conditions/ pay to fly schemes/ lower wages. This is simply supply and demand.

Arguably you could say it is these people that have caused the situation we have now but ultimately it is the number of people that want to fly that makes it possible for aviation employers to set-out conditions as they have done.

As conditions worsen less people should want to or be able to fly as a job, and employers will then need to compete with each other for the best candidates resulting in better conditions etc. This probably won't happen becasuse no matter how bad it gets there are people that still want to fly.

If you ran a business and someone came to you saying they would work for nothing and would pay to train themselves, how much respect would you have for them? If there was a queue of such people what would you do then?

In other industry's an employer would have to train its own staff to do the job they required be done. If all aviation employers had to train their own staff they would then be more likely to regard their employee's as an asset and might treat them better in the hope they would stay with them. Making it impossible or impractical to fund your own commercial training might be a way to force employers to do this. I really don't see any other reason for why it would be in their interest to do so.

Your pilots airline paid for by pilots is really a non-starter, but how about a pilots union, where pilots could work together to seek better overall conditions?
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 16:45
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Like BALPA?
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 17:11
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Like BALPA?
No, perhaps union was the wrong word, maybe more like a representative body that all pilots would be connected to upon being issued a professional license.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 18:29
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The500man is absolutely right - it is ALL about supply and demand. The only way to guarantee healthy T&C's for the future? Make pilots a rare (and expensive!) commodity.

How do we achieve this?

There would have to be regulation of the number of CPLs issued per year, regulations on the number of people who can even enter training and limits on the hours required to sit in the seats of large jets. That would be a start.

This would lead to a bidding war to get pilots into seats - and it would put a stop to contract workers, pay to fly, paid for TR's and all the s**t that has seeped into the system over the years.

Will any of this happen? Sadly, I don't think so. The reduction in numbers going through training over the last few years may help, but balancing this out is the fact that Europe is a mature market with very little expansion, and therefore very little need for the large numbers of new pilots that have been lining up to train. I suspect that these numbers will continue as people stumble blindly into training and ignoring advice from people who are inside the industry and can be brutal and honest - because, sadly, 'the dream' makes them willing to be somewhat foolish.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 18:44
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I don't see there's anything wrong with the industry. Thousands upon thousands of people still throw themselves at it year after year. They're happy to degrade their future earning potential and subsidize every one else's vacations with their SSTR & P2F.

If they want to do this then I'm only too happy to reap the benefit of it in the form of lower fares. If they don't, then they're free to quit and go work in another field.

But what about safety you say? Wouldn't I like a well-paid professional sitting up front when an engine fails? Well it's still a million times safer than going by car. The traveling public will accept a lot more hull-loss accidents per year before they start thinking about how much the pilots are being paid.

Remember there are plenty of people out there who fly for fun with PPL's or CPL/IR's but you'll never see them working fill-time in aviation, they're too smart for that.

If you don't like it - go and do something else.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 18:48
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Originally Posted by 170to5
There would have to be regulation of the number of CPLs issued per year, regulations on the number of people who can even enter training and limits on the hours required to sit in the seats of large jets.
But what about the people who want to learn to fly for fun? They're an important part of the GA end of the industry.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 18:48
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It's actually SO VERY EASY!!! A lot easier than that.

DON'T PAY TO FLY! Soon enough they won't have any new pilots, conditions improve. Oh wait... most people are so hard-focused on getting onto a 737 / 320 that they'll just keep throwing the cash at them.

Shiny jet syndrome......
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:02
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Very true INNflight...I think every wannabe would do well to spend a month trailing a crew - would give them a bloody good idea of exactly what they were getting themselves into!

And v6g, you could allow unlimited PPL issue, but perhaps only allow a certain number of pilots to then go and get a CPL qualification? as many sub-paraghraphs could be written as you want to get the result you want!

As for your longer post - I assume then that you aren't a pilot (if you are I think I've flown with you!)- I hope that your industry isn't affected by the 'we'll find someone cheaper' nightmare that flying has sustained - at least not to the level we have.

While I do agree with you when you say 'if you don't like it, do something else' - but it is worth it for the T&C's of a few years ago - which is why I got into flying. People since the recession have found that the offer isn't quite as tempting, but still, it pays an average of over 60 grand a year and this will always attract new joiners. It is our job to ensure that this slip in T&C's is not sustained.

I would disagree that people have to be 'too smart' to go into flying - it has come down a long way from the heyday, as it needed to, but salaries are still relatively good (for the UK at least), even taking into account the outlay for training, and it is an enjoyable and challenging job.

Put it this way: John Travolta and Bruce Dickinson didn't get rich and decide to live out their childhood fantasy of being insurace brokers or advertising execs.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:18
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Is the 'like BALPA' cohort onto something here? If a militant union of pilots did complain and did strike, then the Bob Crowe effect would happen - like it or not professional pilots' voices would be heard!

Brothers, what could really go wrong? (with apologies to the sisters out there...)
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:23
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I agree that you should not pay to fly. But i must say that i find it really irritating when people on here just bluntly say "Do not pay for it!"
It is easy to have the job and criticize others. How about all of you that have had a job for about 20 years now step down for the new generation...

If you have a job it is difficult to put yourself in unemployed shoes.
Now i do not claim to know what to do, and i was being ironic by saying that you should resign. And i myself would not pay EJ or anyone else.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:30
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But i must say that i find it really irritating when people on here just bluntly say "Do not pay for it!"
That is simply not true.

I am currently unemployed, and still do not just throw my money at the first operator coming around.

You can live off another bloody year or even longer if you have no expenses like feeding a family, etc. off the money you'd otherwise throw at a jet rating.

30 - 40 GRAND! That'll help you to go a long way and stay current. Think about it.
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 20:34
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And i agree with that, there are still many people on this board that give people crap for just talking about this P2F schemes and some of them are employed and have been for many many years...
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Old 19th Dec 2010, 21:02
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1500 hours for RHS.

Get rid of the 3 year limit on exam passes
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Old 20th Dec 2010, 01:45
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even captains are losing their job, after 3 months of no flying, they are out.
it doesn't matter if you have experience or not, one day they will show you the door.
it' s called competition, and competition means P2F.

the LCCs will bring everybody down.Not only in aviation, it' s everywhere. everyday hundred of companies(any companies, included non aviation business) are closing their doors, bankrupt or moving to China.

the best way would be to open your own P2F business.
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Old 20th Dec 2010, 09:30
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It's not an industry..it's a profession!

So Afraz, why don't you tell us about your achievements in this profession? Maybe list those employers who have treated you so badly? Dear God, another yoof sitting on the sidelines trying to change the world!
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Old 20th Dec 2010, 09:34
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Originally Posted by The500man View Post
Any business will seek to reduce its staffing costs. There are so many people that are/ used to be/ want to be pilots that to get a job, ANY job, they become willing to accept poor conditions/ pay to fly schemes/ lower wages. This is simply supply and demand.
It's really not true that this is discrete to pilots in the airline industry.

The Universities are turning out many graduate engineers and scientists with huge training debts - in the UK typically 30-40k, not far behind a baby pilot's training debt, and many go years hunting for that job.

Baby pilots have slightly larger debts (gained a bit more quickly) and are employable in less places - but otherwise the picture is pretty similar.


Arguably you could say it is these people that have caused the situation we have now but ultimately it is the number of people that want to fly that makes it possible for aviation employers to set-out conditions as they have done.
Again, or many other professions. Advertise for a scientist (which I do fairly regularly) and you get 60+ applications for each job as well.

As conditions worsen less people should want to or be able to fly as a job, and employers will then need to compete with each other for the best candidates resulting in better conditions etc. This probably won't happen becasuse no matter how bad it gets there are people that still want to fly.
And again, this is true of just about any profession. The reality is that newly minted fATPLs, graduate scientists, people with new business management degrees with no business experience, will always be with us. As will employers who aren't interested in employing people with no experience.

There will always be a few exceptions - you rarely meet an unemployed nurse or science teacher, but those are very rare - pilots are actually pretty representative of the whole job market.

If you ran a business and someone came to you saying they would work for nothing and would pay to train themselves, how much respect would you have for them? If there was a queue of such people what would you do then?
This is exactly the model on which business and political internships run in the US and increasingly the rest of the world. These hungry graduates, prepared to work for nothing, will be the future leaders of world industry - and you'll probably find them in the management side of most airlines these days anyhow.

So again, the airlines really are nothing special.

In other industry's an employer would have to train its own staff to do the job they required be done.
Cobblers. Most employers of educated professionals are taking graduates with 30+k debt, built up over 3-5 years at university, and only doing the final stages of on-the-job (line!) training.

It's only unskilled or semi-skilled jobs nowadays where employers provide the main part of the training. McDonalds, Timsons and the production line jobs in the local factory!


If all aviation employers had to train their own staff they would then be more likely to regard their employee's as an asset and might treat them better in the hope they would stay with them.
Like the armed forces do you mean? The organisations with the world's biggest training budgets have the biggest retention problems. Of course, being blown up or shot at tends to take the temper off the good training and cameraderie!

Making it impossible or impractical to fund your own commercial training might be a way to force employers to do this. I really don't see any other reason for why it would be in their interest to do so.

Your pilots airline paid for by pilots is really a non-starter, but how about a pilots union, where pilots could work together to seek better overall conditions?
Many airlines over the years have been started by pilots - Suckling Airways which became ScotAir is a good example - but don't for a moment believe that pilots alone have even a large percentage of the total skillset needed to run an airline.

G
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Old 20th Dec 2010, 10:40
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Genghis has made a couple of interesting points there. I work in the Oil & Gas industry and a friend of mine (who is a Geologist) has only recently found full time employment after a lengthy time on the job market. He in fact spent around 4 months working for free for a large well known energy company.
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Old 20th Dec 2010, 14:39
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Originally posted by Ghengis the Engineer
Advertise for a scientist (which I do fairly regularly) and you get 60+ applications for each job as well.
Overpopulation? Or maybe scientists all just want to work for you Ghengis? Pressumably the number of people looking for work will keep increasing from now on as the global population continues to rise.

Most employers of educated professionals are taking graduates with 30+k debt, built up over 3-5 years at university, and only doing the final stages of on-the-job (line!) training. It's only unskilled or semi-skilled jobs nowadays where employers provide the main part of the training. McDonalds, Timsons and the production line jobs in the local factory!
Well firstly most students have a student loans option which is not provided for professional pilot training. So there is one big difference there. You just cannot compare 30+k student loans company debt with personal loans or credit of a similar or greater value from a bank.

Train drivers/ operators, and bus drivers are trained by the operating companies. I'm not sure about how sailors are trained for passenger ferrying or cruise ships.

Like the armed forces do you mean?
Yes. Staff turn-over may be high when you have no freedom and are likely to be the first guy off the boat to get shot at, but since these are not concerns for pilots why not? If airlines ran their own selection and trained all their own pilots at their expense for fixed term contracts (like the armed services) then there would not be so many people who have paid their own training only to find out that no one wants to employ them after it.

I don't disagree with most of your points Ghengis, I was merely suggesting an alternative to what we currently have. No one can do very much about overpopulation but we can think about ways to prevent people spending 30+k for training as a professional pilot only to discover they can then fly for another 30+k with Ryr and maybe after 6 months be replaced by someone else with a credit line of his own.

If airlines recruit their own staff. They'd get what they wanted from the start. They'd know how the candidate was trained and they'd know more about them and their suitability. Competition would be fierce but those that failed would not have done so with a lifetimes worth of debt, and we would not have rich people flying RHS, when there are better pilots for the job.

That's my alternative although it is probably just as workable as a start-up pilot run airline!
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