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easyJet MPL - continue or stop

Old 11th Jul 2020, 00:23
  #1 (permalink)  
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easyJet MPL - continue or stop

I've nearly completed ground school at CAE and I'm currently on the MPL programme there. Looking for some genuine advice given the state of the recruitment market at the moment.

I feel like I need to continue and finish my EASA exams as a minimum. The big decision is what to do next:

i) continue with the MPL, we'd finish with an A320 type rating and then likely be placed in a hold pool. The prospects of gaining meaningful employment any time soon look bleak given the redunandancies announced, and the fact that there are going to be c 200 MPL cadets in the hold pool. I'd also imagine that an easyJet pilots made redundant would have preferential terms to be recruited prior to cadets, though any insight on this would be useful!

CAE have said that other airlines might take us on (operators of A320s and we'd have to do an operational conversion course). Can anyone advise if many airlines offer such courses to new pilots or whether this is unusual? And, indeed, is an MPL (trained using another airline's SOPs) more or less attractive than a whitetail ATPL student?

The risk of the MPL licence not being issued is reduced by the fact that another airline will carry out base training, not easyJet (which is interesting). There is a risk though as we'd need to keep current and this could be costly (CAE haven't advised a cost yet).

ii) switch to whitetail ATPL with CAE

iii) cut my losses and stop training, go and find some work for a year or two and then pick things up via the modular route (I've been to uni and had a pretty decent professional job which I could likely fall back on).

I've financed the training through my own savings so I'm very fortunate that I don't have to worry about debt repayments etc. I understand that I would receive most of my fees from CAE, bar the cost of ground school (but tbc).

Please, no need for condescending posts about this being a stupid question on what to do.

It seems as if the MPL is dead in the water, the ATPL at CAE is very expensive and I'd struggle to see how the market would look much better for ATPL cadets in a year. It seems to me that (iii) is the most realistic option given the mass redundancies announced by almost every airline. My heart says just continue with the training and hope for the best, but I just struggle so see this approach as the best course of action.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
ezymplcae is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2020, 09:26
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de minimus non curat lex
 
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WITHOUT PREJUDICE

You seem to appreciate the reality of the impact of the tsunami.

One step at a time ~ complete the EASA exams. You will then have 36 months to complete the flying.

The chances of another operator taking you on for MPL will be remote to say the least.
I have made comments elsewhere about smooooth talking snake oil salesmen.

At this moment your option iii) would seem the most sensible, although you will need to review this course of action next year.

No question is ‘stupid’ if it improves your understanding.
Junior birdmen will be suffering from ‘shell shock’ to some extent, and vulnerable to quick fix solutions.
You are quite right to ask, as others will be in the same boat and also in need clear, unambiguous, independent advice.

No doubt others will chip in with their thoughts 😎
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 14:24
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It's tough and I feel bad for anybody who's in the middle of their (MPL) training right now and doesn't know what to do.

Option ii) or iii) seems like the right choice, although, if you say that the ATPL program with the CAE is expensive, I simply wouldn't do it there if there is no benefit except for comfort.

I'd focus on the exams right now because once you've finished those, I think you have a solid base of something, without having wasted too much money. And considering you have a lot of time to do your flight training, you can then still look at the marked and decide what to do. I simply think that doing anything MPL related is the worst possible thing to do right now.

And ATPL-wise it really depends.
I've talked to a couple of people who are pilots or have friends who are pilots, and they all said that finding a job as a ready entry is close to impossible right now. They've seen Emirates A380 captains getting rejected and requirements for assessments are insane as the companies have a massive pool of ready entries to choose from. So unless you have money to "waste" or some sort of job guarantee (which I doubt), I wouldn't just blindly start flight training right now.

I'd probably just finish the exams, then wait for a year to then decide what to do, at least in your situation. Falling back on your job seems like the best option. Not only will you earn a bunch of money that gives you some more security, but you'll also be able to look at the market and have more than enough time (2 years) to complete your flight training. Plus you'll refresh your skills in your old job, which means that if aviation crashes again, companies are more likely to take you back in, compared to others who haven't worked in this field for 10+ years and essentially only have experience in the cockpit.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 16:37
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Complete the exams and switch to modular and manage your timing accordingly.
Don't listen to MPL salesmen.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 17:15
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Thumbs up

ezymplcae,

Firstly I sympathise with your predicament and the situation you find yourself in.

This is a tricky one. Personally, and I could get shot down for saying this, NO ONE what ever they might think, knows what is going to happen in the future. Yes at this time, it looks bleak, potentially a number of very experienced pilots will be unemployed and looking for work etc etc. Throughout my training/career I saw 2 gulf wars, 9/11, the financial crisis and now COVID, but it also bounced back. I guess the question is, how long will that take?

I think one of the advantages you have is, from what you have said, you have no financial pressure. If you had a huge loan to pay off once you had completed your training, then I think it would probably be a no brainier. However, if you have funded it through savings etc, I am tempted to say continue, finish and get your licence issued (consider switching the modular/integrated course). I am not sure I see any value in stopping and 'waiting' for things to get better. As long as you keep current, you will be in a good position and ready to go when the doors opens again for inexperienced pilots. From the time I finished my CPL/IR, it was 2.5 years before I got an airline job. I spent those years as a flight instructor. Looking back now, it was one of the best things I ever did, and now I am using some of those skills as a freelance consultant instructor for various airlines doing MPL/MCC and JOC training work both in the SIM and ground school.

Obviously the decision is yours, but personally I wouldn't throw the towel in just yet.

All the best with what you decide.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 18:29
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Itís a terrible situation for everybody. Both for employed crew and those currently training. Nobody could foresee this coming.

You seem to have your head pretty screwed on which is good to see. If I was in your shoes option (iii) would be the best option to go for.

Modular training would be half the cost. Give you the opportunity to really fly and have licences to fall back on so you can continue to fly GA, instructing etc. I might be biased on the modular route as that is the route I took to the flight deck and got a job with easyJet. (Currently furloughed!)
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 09:44
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Taking into account the fact you have already started your exams or are some way into studying for them, my best advice is to finish them. You will gain nothing by walking away at this point and also have nothing to show for the time you have spent in the books, Get your exams done and have ground school ticked off.

(Is it too late to switch to BGS? Try to get out of CAE asap would be my advice. You are not getting value for money at these types of places and I learned that very early on.)

Then I personally would advise you to finish your training, get VFR done which is a heavy bulk of it (spread it out over a while, there's no rush). Then either do the CPL/IR when you finish VFR or put it on hold, go back to work and when you detect the market is picking up you only need about 6 weeks lead time to get it all done and be ready to hand your CV to airlines.

Ultimately I don't believe anybody knows where we're going after all this. However, considering the airlines use competency based interview questions for selection, using the logic that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior - then we will have a full recovery. 9/11, gulf wars, OPEC crisis, 2008 GFC etc etc ... every single damn one of them was followed by aggressive growth. Regarding COVID, it looks as though we have gotten past the worst (2nd wave dependent), the skies are slowly but surely filling up and the public are booking. Looking further into the future, flight sales for 2021 are very strong. This industry is going nowhere so nor should those who want to be pilots.
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 09:46
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As said by others, nobody knows how soon & by how much the aviation industry will recover, so on that basis, option (iii) would be the most sensible in your position.
I know of someone in the same situation as you and I am appalled by the lack of clarity in the communication from CAE. I’m sure that the majority, if not all of the Generation EasyJet MPL cadets only embarked on the course because of the certainty of a job at the end of their training. Nobody could’ve predicted the pandemic. The ideal scenario would be a fourth option- complete ground school and then suspend training until such time as EasyJet are ready to start the process again and then carry on with the course where you left off. It’s seems that CAE are unable or unwilling to negotiate this so maybe you should try to deal direct with EasyJet.

Whatever happens, don’t give up on your dream and good luck.

Last edited by WarrenFlight; 12th Jul 2020 at 10:34.
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 10:55
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de minimus non curat lex
 
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The marketing dept or others are being disingenuous, if indeed they did say, another operator might take us (you) on. Can they name any?
There is a greater chance of Elvis being alive and well on the moon.

It is despicable that this false hope (if true) was ever offered, in a clear and deliberate bid to persuade you to stay with their training established.
So as for their credibility now........

Complete the EASA exams & pause....36 months to complete the flying......

Last edited by parkfell; 13th Jul 2020 at 06:22.
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Old 12th Jul 2020, 14:24
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I would say complete the exams with CAE then swap to modular aiming for a CPL with an SE IR. This will preserve your atpl passes and licence in the most cost effective way. If/when the market picks up you need to do a ME IR and APS MCC to bring your licence up to the point where you can apply for a job. That exercise will also mean you are current when you apply. The fact that you passed selection for an Easy MPL cannot be taken away from you and will help your CV
Alex Whittingham is online now  
Old 12th Jul 2020, 22:48
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On the modular route you have 36 months to get your CPL and IR after completing the ATPL exams. There's no need to rush into things if you want to take a bit of break and see how the market develops after completing the exams.
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Old 13th Jul 2020, 09:25
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Yep, would also go for modular. Get a job, do the flying in the 36 months following your ATPL exams and I personally think that in 3 years, the world will look different again - at least you have the advantage of knowing how the industry changed during that time, something nobody knows at the moment.
And as mentioned before: It's never a dumb or stupid question if your future depends on it.
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Old 14th Jul 2020, 16:25
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As a matter of interest, have any of the cadets spoken directly to EasyJet to hear from the horseís mouth about their future involvement in the Generation EasyJet scheme? At some point in the future (and none of us can predict when) they will be needing to start recruiting new entrants and in an ideal world, they should acknowledge both the financial & time commitment that anyone currently in the process has already invested and honour the original deal that you signed up for.

Do you know how many cadets are in a similar position on the L3 Generation EasyJet programme?
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Old 14th Jul 2020, 16:52
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With this level of uncertainty even in the short-to-medium term, long-term planning is at the very bottom of the waste bin - and that's where it will stay until we have a high level of certainty that we're not heading into another lockdown and that a considerable number of people are willing to travel in the coming months and can afford it. For a new intake into the programme to make any sense, there has to be a long-term projection of demand for the graduates, i.e. the airline has to be quite certain that in 18, 24 or 36 months, whenever the cadets are planned to graduate, they will be required to run the business and hence - hired. And how can this sort of strategic planning work given that at present it's not even known whether the existing jobs will be kept? Massive job losses are still on the cards at EZY - and it doesn't sound like those will be of a short-term nature. And the cadets who have already been trained and are in a holding pool now mostly aren't going anywhere either. So, forget about a new intake for some time. For how long - time will tell.
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Old 15th Jul 2020, 13:38
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If I remember correctly you have 24 months to complete all your ATPL exams, once completed you then have 36 months (from completion of the last exam) to complete your flight training so it might be worthwhile completing all but 1 ATPL exam, so, for example, leave VFR Comm's until then 23rd Month that should give you an extra year.

As for MPL, It restricts your options having to wait for an airline position whereas if you did the ATPL you would have the option of doing some instructing, etc to keep current.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 05:21
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The MPL concept was a failed idea to begin with, but here you are. Finish your exams, then rethink your options. A SE CPL/IR would be your best bet, flying is more then airlines. You shouldn't waste funds, unless you are guaranteed hours and payment upon completion. If you are sitting on a huge trust fund and the alternative is playing fortnite all day, then by all means continue. Even then, who knows which airlines will survive? There are 20000 hour captains in the "hold pool", this hold pool crap is not even funny. Consider reallocating your funds into different investments and different studies as well.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 08:12
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One thing to keep an eye on is the state of the industry in terms of passenger bookings, both globally and in the local market. Both scheduled and charter airlines are completely uncertain what their market will look like in a years time and are trimming back on airframes to mitigate the risk. If the fear factor sticks, and I am of the opinion that it will until a vaccine is developed, we could see airframe numbers and associated FD jobs, substantially reduced for a number of years. Those currently being laid off will initially be the most attractive to being re-hired, but that pool will become less of a hindrance to the OP as those in the pool lose recency. A year plus with no recency and you are pretty unemployable no matter what your hours are. So, it is possible that at the right time, you, with a freshly minted MPL, might be a more attractive (and cheaper) proposition to an airline. Timing is tricky and there is always an element of luck in getting a job, but I would be inclined to complete the exams, and then delay or drag out the next elements of the training so that you qualify in about 18-24 months time. I'm glad to see you have another line of work and since I know a fair few pilots driving Tesco delivery vans just now, I'd be inclined to cultivate that back up plan just in case. Best of luck.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 11:37
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Originally Posted by macdo View Post
........So, it is possible that at the right time, you, with a freshly minted MPL, might be a more attractive (and cheaper) proposition to an airline. Timing is tricky and there is always an element of luck in getting a job, but I would be inclined to complete the exams............
I doubt it very much that when recruiting starts again for junior birdmen it will be MPL licence holders leading from the front.
Those in the pipe line now will probably complete the exams, and take up to 36 months to complete the standard modular route with Regulatory approval.

Within EASA land an airline might well send their MPL students home
( for a year ?) in expectation of a recovery. Reassess next Spring?
The airline will need to agree to recommence training when the confidence is restored.

Just where you are positioned on a course will undoubtedly determine the course of action.
There are some natural break points, and some awful situations to find yourself eg. phase 4 completed apart from the base training, as you need the type rating paperwork completed for MPL issue.
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Old 19th Jul 2020, 12:29
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Thanks all for the really helpful responses. I think the plan of getting the exams passed and then going modular seems like the most attractive option.
ezymplcae is offline  
Old 19th Jul 2020, 13:29
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I largely agree with you. Unfortunately, the OP is committed to the MPL, unless he/she wants to jump in with a lot more speculative investment, which I would find i hard to recommend in present circumstances, especially as he is self funding and gives the impression of not being minted. With so many unknown unknowns kicking the can down the road a bit, with minimum outlay would seem a suitably conservative move. I'm on several private forums where folk who were let go nearly a year ago and have not flown since, are coming up against the lack of recency issue already. Its only going to get worse for these people as they are skint. So, knowing how airline management usually go down the least expensive route I reason that a well timed fresh MPL might just be lucky. Unfortunately, my crystal ball falls off its gimbals after that. ;-)
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