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Thomas Cook Fleet Reduction

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Thomas Cook Fleet Reduction

Old 10th Oct 2012, 16:34
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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What about the TCX pilots who are with flybe waiting for seats with TCX at the moment? I was on the understanding they were being paid for by TCX, are they safe?
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 07:10
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Once upon a time

Many years ago airlines, like Dan Air, provided the transport for the package holiday companies. Then came the in-house airlines offering uniform branding. These airlines expanded rapidly with usually excellent terms and conditions on par with anything except the legacy carriers. FTL agreements assured a good life for the pilots. (One A330 captain boasting of less than 300 hours and eleven one week stops in the Caribbean in a year during the late 1990's)

These in house airlines have mostly merged into what is left today due to the slow retraction of the package holiday market. However the pilots, especially those near the top of the seniority tree, continue to receive benefits applicable to the good old days. It is unsustainable and will eventually lead to the return of the independent charter airline, or purchase of low fare seats, and demise of the in-house airline.

This process could be slowed but the eventual outcome is indisputable. Let us hope that the very high professional pilot standards that were achieved and maintained by these in-house airlines will also be in evidence with whichever outfit flies us in future.
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 07:46
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I genuinely feel very saddened for the TC guys/gals. Inevitably, there will be much discussion about what is the way ahead in the current climate, and there will be winners and losers. The fundamental problem is that if your company is not making money then you have entered the high risk zone. TC have come within an inch of financial ruin, and even now their future is far from certain. Any CEO and Board, regardless of what performance bonus structure they are on, have to act quickly and decisively to stem losses. That will tragically mean redundancies and renegotiation of Ts & Cs - no one wants it but that is what will happen.
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 07:59
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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TC the TOUR OPERATOR has come to within an inch of being ruined, TC the AIRLINE has not contributed to this state of affairs. Having been leaned and with a substantial increase in the on-board sales figures TC THE AIRLINE made a substantial profit 2 years ago and a modest loss last year. We have been repeatedly told by our management that our seat mile costs are competitive, which turns to the opposite message when the Mr Hyde head is talking, so who to believe on that issue?
TC pilots are NOT overpaid, they are PROPERLY paid. You can probably make more money in Ryanair if you are on the right contract. Yes an airline can make a few more bob by raping the wannabees, but thats going to stop eventually as the European market matures.
Feel free to allow the future prospects for pilots to degenerate if you will, but don't blame the pilots for the failings of management.
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 09:13
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These in house airlines have mostly merged into what is left today due to the slow retraction of the package holiday market. However the pilots, especially those near the top of the seniority tree, continue to receive benefits applicable to the good old days. It is unsustainable and will eventually lead to the return of the independent charter airline, or purchase of low fare seats, and demise of the in-house airline.
Well Zoareth has shown an unusually oblique understanding of the charter holiday industry. The OPERATORS merged, that was the driving force that meant that their associated airlines merged. The OPERATORS failed to sell holidays at sufficient profit, hence the whole of the OPERATOR's company is in trouble, not just the airline. Ts & Cs of pilots as a cause of decline are a red herring (unless of course you are are managing a declining company, in which case they are a smokescreen.)
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 10:02
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Ah, the usual nonsence that pilots T's and C's are not to blame. The tour operators are concerned with overheads and the pilots are a significant cost. If the job can be out sourced more cheaply then it will be. A pilots worth is only what the market will stand and this will determine thier worth or 'proper' pay. As for airline profitability, the tour operator is selling the product and thus generating income not the airline, unless it sub contacts. The only way to reckon the airlines 'profitability' is to compare with what alternatives are available. Airlines no longer exist for the benefit of the pilots, even BA have to work for a living these days.
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 10:58
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It seems several European package charter airlines have gone bust this year, and the rest are cutting capacity. I take it has less to do how the airlines are run, but that package holidays are not just selling right now.
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 11:29
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macdo

Not trying to disagree with you:

TC the TOUR OPERATOR has come to within an inch of being ruined, TC the AIRLINE has not contributed to this state of affairs. Having been leaned and with a substantial increase in the on-board sales figures TC THE AIRLINE made a substantial profit 2 years ago and a modest loss last year. We have been repeatedly told by our management that our seat mile costs are competitive, which turns to the opposite message when the Mr Hyde head is talking, so who to believe on that issue?
Having worked in charter, I'm not sure how the ponytails in head office account for seat mile costs since they sell holiday packages not flights, so the price of the actual flight is not necessarily clear in terms of the total cost of the package. I'm sure they have some sort of formula but the costs can be apportioned how they like. I think the airline is just the pipeline to get the tourists out to the resorts where the real money is being made from driving down the room rates and maximising anciliaries eg; excursions and entertainment etc.

So how the suits can determine whether the airline is actually making a loss or a profit is mainly in the hands of the accountants and not necessarily down to passenger seat mile costs, onboard sales or baggage charges, I'm not really that clear on the details, but with the low costs now offering hotel rooms, car hire, insurance and credit cards etc, the detail seems to be getting very blurred.

Hopefully the industry has now reached a position in the cycle where there is enough demand over the next few years for IT and scheduled to live with each other without any more "consolidation".
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 23:17
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Courtney,

That is the biggest load of rubbish i've ever read. Do you know anything about TCX ? Of course TUI get paid peanuts compared to TCX pilots don't they ? Thomas Cook's problems are nothing to do with the pilots but mismanagement over a number of years. When the world was embracing the internet, Manny bought Coop high street shops. When TUI looked to the future ordering 787s, TCX looked to renew 757 leases. The TCX BALPA council offered the management the opportunity to adopt the same PSA as TUI if that was an issue and guess what ? The DFO refused. Go and do some homework before posting such garbage.

Hey, but when you can't spell words like 'nonsense,' 'contracts' or 'their' properly, why would anyone doubt your intelligence and business acumen ?

Last edited by LIMA OR ALPHA JUNK; 23rd Oct 2012 at 23:49.
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Old 24th Oct 2012, 07:58
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Courtney,
I feel so under-utilised and overpaid having logged 800+ hrs in the last 12 months, much if done in the middle of the night. Even the permanent long haul guys are on back to back bullets bumping off maximum hours every month. The days of a week on the beach in Barbados are, very sadly, almost totally gone.
So please, know something about us before you comment.

Last edited by macdo; 24th Oct 2012 at 08:01.
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Old 24th Oct 2012, 08:22
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So, Courtney, "A pilot's worth is only what the market will stand". I suppose that rather depends on whether you're an accountant sitting in a comfortable office or a passenger sitting in an aircraft - especially one with a problem or even just making an approach in the middle of the night into somewhere mountainous like Antalya surrounded by intense thunderstorms.
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Old 24th Oct 2012, 09:24
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I have just flown back from Anatalya ( just how many runways and approach charts do they need ? ! ) and the place was indeed surrounded by thunderstorms and very unpleasant. So I guess we did our job and earned our wages on that one.

Fact is that the charter airlines in the UK have legacy costs which are in all honesty unsustainable - great for the long term pilots who are taking their wages and pension at the same time not to mention their training pay; over sixty, no problem, 'its my right to carry on' etc.......

The IT world is rapidly changing due to the lo-co factor, exorbitant flight taxes for passengers and so on and so forth. We all seem to be flying more hours than ever before whilst terms and conditions are under continual attack from those inbedded in the bonus culture of short-term profit.

Sadly I see no reason why all the traditional airlines within the UK holiday and leisure sector will not further reduce capacity
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Old 24th Oct 2012, 15:18
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Well actually there is a couple of valid reasons for keeping an in-house airline going.
Firstly, it allows the Tour Operator to control quality. When you analyse Customer Feedback questionnaires, the response for 3rd party operators falls off a cliff, just look at the recent incident at BHX, nothing like going off the runway for a good bit of repeat business.

Secondly, and more critically, you have leverage over the third party airlines with regard to contract cost.

Thirdly, if Thomson and TCX disappear who is going to do the flying? It would be about 4.5 million seats to replace from both fleets, even Easy ain't that big. And even if they were, could you imagine TUI or TCG being happy to be so beholden to one airline?

Nahh, the fat lady hasn't sung for us yet, but shes hovering about in the wings, for sure.
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Old 24th Oct 2012, 15:29
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Not forgetting that the vast bulk of these seats are in the summer season. Who's going to provide these for 6 months per year and then leave their aircraft sitting around all winter doing nothing?

The infamous summer/winter imbalance is the bain of the Charter Airline or more accurately the bain of the Tour Operator. Easy and others could at best provide some marginal lift in the summer, but the lift just isn't out there to replace TOMs 61 aircraft and TCs 31.
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 19:46
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Surely the loss of these jobs isn't so much to do with pilot terms and conditions as poor commercial decisions made by the holiday group; in which case why do we always start beating each other up about relative efficiency and costs?

Also if the holiday group falls over (taking the airline with it) - no extra lift will be immediately required from other airlines without a new tour operator stepping (or growing) into the gap. There'll certainly be a whole load of airplanes sitting around waiting to be leased and crew sitting around ready to accept any new (part-year) contract.
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 20:02
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Yup you're right Spanner. The pilots are nothing to do with the plight of Thomas Cook. Bad management is. And as usual the pilots, cabin crew and engineers are having their t & cs attacked as a consequence of incompetence.

I see Iceland Express have gone down the tube courtesy no doubt of White collar fraud. Anyone wanna blame their pilots too ?
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 20:47
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Plus also as well,

The new EU rules about compensation for pax delay means - let's say a BGI or CUN - a couple of hundred s x 350ish = 70,000 plus the hotac and, presumably the same the other direction.

Exactly what the industry does not need right now.

Buggah.
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 20:58
  #38 (permalink)  
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Seldom I agree with you LAJ but this time I do 100%. Courtney's problem possibly extends from the day he was told by his instructor he would never make a safe pilot, his kind of bile and bitterness usually has a root cause based on jealousy.
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Old 27th Oct 2012, 09:22
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Aaaaah, Courtney has probably cowered back into his box.As professional pilots , most of us know only too well, Courtney, that airlines have NEVER existed for the benefits of pilots. We do this for Hire & Reward & , mostly, are loyal to our Regulatory Authorities. We, occasionally, ride the surf of success that comes with visionary management & tumble with the really bad guys.

Stretching the memory cells but aviation is littered with the commercial failures of managers that led, directly, to abject misery suffered by all employees. Pilots often wound up on welfare or having to work, in dreadful places, on their own, in order to keep food on the table. Was it pilots who caused the demise of Eagle,Courtline, BUA, Caledonian, Air Europe ?

In fact, the latter, started as "in house" for owners, Intasun. Clever start-up philosophy was that it would not service 100% "in house" but just 50% so that, in the event of the owner running into commercial problems, it would not, necessarily drag down the airline. Well, the airline lasted 12 years & went bust for other reasons. Court Line was dragged down by Clarkson the SHIPPING Company (I think; getting a bit old now ).

Anyway, dear Courtney, talk to real pilots who have suffered under appalling mismanagement & you may wish to review your thoughts about the profession.

Heartfelt thoughts for the TC pilots and all other staff who face serious problems this winter.

Last edited by slowjet; 27th Oct 2012 at 09:25.
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Old 27th Oct 2012, 22:16
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Courtney, if it was the Pilots' Ts & Cs that caused the demise of the airline then the airline was going to fail anyway!

just look at the recent incident at BHX, nothing like going off the runway for a good bit of repeat business.
Slightly different as they were not being chartered for IT use but for subbing on a scheduled route, but I take your point.
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