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Aer Lingus suspends pilots & ops (merged)

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Aer Lingus suspends pilots & ops (merged)

Old 2nd Jun 2002, 10:26
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Star Alliance growing...

While the other guys are out there growing their business and increasing revenue, the oneworld Alliance continues on a path of internal destruction attempting to bust the pilot unions of their airlines.

Star Alliance(TM) welcomes Asiana, LOT and Spanair to its roster of world class airlines; Carriers to join over the next 12 months

SHANGHAI, June 1 /CNW/ - The Chief Executive Board of Star Alliance, assembled in Shanghai in The People's Republic of China, today approved the addition of three new members to the global airline group. Work will commence immediately on the integration of Asiana Airlines of South Korea, LOT Polish Airlines and Spanair of Spain into Star Alliance.
No official date has yet been set for the official entry into Star Alliance of the new member airlines. It is anticipated, however, that they will all become part of the world's leading airline alliance within the next six to 12 months.

"We are proud that Asiana, LOT and Spanair have chosen to join Star Alliance," the Chief Executive Board said in a statement. "They will add further strength and quality to our worldwide route network by increasing its global reach and thereby its customer value. With the addition of Asiana, LOT and Spanair we have taken another important step in the development of Star Alliance as the world's premiere airline alliance," the chief executives added. Representing Air Canada on the CEB is the airline's President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Milton.

The addition of these member airlines represents an opportunity for Air Canada to continue enhancing its worldwide passenger network. Earlier this spring, Air Canada formed a commercial agreement with Spanair coinciding with Air Canada's start-up of daily non-stop service between Toronto and Madrid April 7, 2002. Air Canada operates daily non-stop service between Vancouver and Seoul and currently offers flights to Warsaw on a codeshare basis with Lufthansa via Frankfurt.

"Asiana is excited to join Star Alliance, the leading airline alliance that will continue to shed new meaning and light to the airline business," said Chan Bup Park, President and Chief Operating Officer of Asiana. "By working closely with Star Alliance members in the Northeast and Southeast Asian markets Asiana will become a great asset to the alliance, providing an extended network that will significantly benefit customers and Star Alliance."

Jan Litwinski, President and CEO of LOT said, "We are extremely happy that the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board today accepted our application for membership in this truly global airline network. I am convinced that the values LOT will bring to Star Alliance will benefit customers as well as the member carriers. Our membership in Star Alliance will connect Poland with the world and the world with Poland.

"We are delighted to further our valued airline partnerships by joining Star Alliance," said Gonzalo Pascual, President and Chairman of the Board of Spanair.

"After many years of successful cooperation with some of the world's most prestigious airlines - all founding and current members of Star Alliance - we look forward to providing travelers in Spain with the enhanced recognition, benefits and global access they deserve. Today's decision by the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board is an important milestone for Spanair that has been enthusiastically awaited by our customers, employees and shareholders as we complete the remaining steps to fulfill our role as Star Alliance's member in Southern Europe," Pascual said.

Asiana Airlines was established in 1988. It serves 64 destinations in 15 countries, including 14 cities in China, out of Seoul with a modern fleet of 64 aircraft. Asiana carried 12 million passengers last year. The airline employs more than 8,000 people.

LOT Polish Airlines can look back upon a history that started in 1929. The airline serves 12 domestic and 49 international destinations out of Warsaw with a fleet of 51 aircraft. Some 3.2 million passengers were carried in 2001. LOT Polish Airlines has 4,355 employees.

Spanair was set up in 1986 as a joint venture between Star Alliance member SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Teinver SA of Spain. The airline operates services to 25 destinations in mainland Spain, the Balearic and Canary Islands as well as internationally with a fleet of 49 aircraft. More than eight million passengers were carried by Spanair in 2001. The airline has 2,750 employees.

Star Alliance was established in May, 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance. The member airlines are Air Canada, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways - ANA, Austrian Airlines, bmi british midland, Lauda Air, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, Tyrolean Airways, United Airlines and VARIG Brazilian Airlines. The Star Alliance network serves 729 airports in 124 countries.
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 16:26
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Trying to bust their pilots associations it's not a privelege restricted to Oneworld airlines. Varig , one of the Star Alliance members ,has recently sacked all board of directors from Apvar (Varig's Pilots Association) , as well as other 32 captains and F/O's in the midst of an industrial action movement
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 17:14
  #163 (permalink)  
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Customers make pay days possible

Having carefully perused this thread I can find no mention of customers or of their needs. Part of the problem?
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 18:06
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Baily - don't be silly, an airline is run so that pilots can have a career - what on earth have passengers got to do with anything?
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 18:14
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Baily, on just a very quick perusal back 3 or 4 pages I have found the following:-

Kaptin M:-
It would appear to the naieve - such as I - that whomever decided to shut down the Aer lingus operation must be leaving himself open to damages claims by affected customers.

Tom the Tenor:-
The management of Aer Lingus are treating their passengers like cra p.

Hand Solo:-
Well if thats true then its very disturbing, although do we know whether they were carrying AL passengers, or just the many hundreds who buy the BA codeshare tickets and whom BA would be obliged to refund otherwise?

Kaptin M again:-
The message is SAFETY - the people most affected and at risk are the travelling pax.

Apart from the fact that the sort of tactics Aer Lingus are adopting affecting the livelihoods of every professional pilot in Ireland AND the UK, which would (naturally, I think) get almost anyone exercised, this dispute (as I understand it) is largely about AL reducing safety margins. Whilst no pilot that I know is particularly keen on killing himself through fatigue, the concerns of most pilots are for their passengers. It is vitally important that the real basis of this dispute is made known to the travelling public. Our safety is their safety.
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 18:28
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Baily - ignore the quip form 'Joyce' (we'll give 'her' the benefit of the doubt, both on gender and motive, eh?) - there is a significant majority of flight crew who DO care about you, the passenger.

It seems to me that the AL flight crew are available to fly you (but cannot), so maybe you should ask the AL managment what they feel about the passenger?

While you are there (and I'm pleased that you have spoken up) - I'm sure we NEED to hear from you and your kind - what are your views on potentially tired crew flying you around? Does that bother you or do you just want to feel that 'someone' cares about you? How much do you want crews to care?

Do you think that airline directors who will, no doubt, award themselves SIGNIFICANT bonuses this year (as ever) care about you, or just your money.

The crew have spoken out. They may be right, they may be wrong...but, trust me - when you are in their aircraft, they care about you.
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 19:51
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Although a non-pilot I've been keeping up-to-date on this thread, so please pardon my intrusion at this juncture.

Since Flt Lt W Mitty has specifically asked for passengers' input, I'd like to point out that the idea of putting my life into the hands of an insufficiently-rested crew holds no appeal for me whatever.

In fact, I would never knowingly fly with any airline that adopted such a policy.

Last edited by Caslance; 2nd Jun 2002 at 22:45.
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 22:10
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In reply to fatigue in the workplace. I have taken an interest in these threads the last week because I will be flying AL at the end of this month on a trans-atlantic trip. To me it is hideous to nitpick time off hours at the expense of personal safety. In the workplace, cutting corners and overworking individuals definitely compensates safety. And by doing that, what are you really saving. This whole issue has been a blatant violation of safety from the start. I wouldn't want a partner in my line of work as an electrician, to be unrested. We certainly don't want the men & women flying these aircraft to not be properly rested. Thanks for all the input.
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Old 2nd Jun 2002, 23:36
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RIP all the ground and Cabin Crew jobs............RIGHT or wrong, there is a lot more than meets the eye.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 00:04
  #170 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up

Apparently Aer Lingus management has accepted a peace plan.

I hope the outcome is successfull.

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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 01:19
  #171 (permalink)  
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Some of you on the Aer Lingus forum have already hinted at this and I believe it to be very real. There seems to be a concerted effort within the management of Oneworld carriers to seriously weaken or flat out get rid of their unions. Lan Chile's pilot union no longer exists, Cathey went from a class act to a catastrophe within a matter of a few years, Don Carty, the grand master of potential union busters, is attempting to lobby congress to take away U.S. pilots right to strike.
I would urge all pilots from Oneworld airlines to keep very vigilant on these issues. Let your union reps. know your concerns and voice them to your elected officials. I spoke with a friend of mine high up in APA and he indicated that the Oneworld cockpit coalition is exploring ways to give it teath in dealing with these kinds of threats on an international level.
Any ideas, comments or insights on this issue would be greatly appreciated. In the meantime I hope our Aer Lingus brothers prevail and set an example for the rest of us on how to stand up and fight.... Great job.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 03:41
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Pilots set to accept Labour Court proposals
By Padraig Yeates, Industry and Employment Correspondent

Aer Lingus pilots are expected to accept the Labour Court proposals to end their dispute at a mass meeting this evening. If they do, the airline could have a full schedule operating before the end of the week.

The rest of the story is here:


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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 04:17
  #173 (permalink)  
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Personally I believe that it is absolutely DISGRACEFUL that the pilots found it necessary to have to take strong industrial action over a SAFETY ISSUE - and previously agreed upon by Aer Lingus - to bring the problem to a head.
Surely the airline cannot be so short of pilots, that for roster and scheduling requirements, they found it necessary to reduce the STANDARD rest period. Not just once or twice, in a short period of time, but more than half a dozen.
It almost appears to have been a concerted campaign!

However, even more DISGRACEFUL, and with total disregard for Aer Lingus and its customers, were the selfish, irresponsible actions of (some) management in shutting down operations for NO APPARENT REASON, other than the flexing of their management-muscle power.

If it were the US, I'm sure that some pilots, and their families would be looking at suing for the stress created!
There may YET be repercussions and claims from customers who were disadvantaged by these ill-thought-out tactics.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 05:37
  #174 (permalink)  

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The dispute has been a major test for the company's new chief executive Mr Willie Walsh, who is himself a former Aer Lingus pilot. Although he has been criticised for locking out the pilots, he had a dilemma which increasingly faces Irish employers, that of dealing with guerrilla tactics by unions, which cost them little but disrupt companies' operations severely.
End quote:

What about guerilla tactics by Management....or are they exempt?

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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 05:48
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I saw this piece in this morning's Indo and I couldn't help wondering which planet this guy was on; looks like it was planted.

Anyway, things look better now and likely to get back to normal. The LRC has recommended 12 hours or the preceding duty plus 2 hours, whichever is greater. EI accepted this straight away (strange?) and the pilots are expected to accept today.

I must say I find the management's behaviour through all of this very strange, to put it mildly.

- They unilaterally tore up an agreement and suspended pilots on the basis of a new imposed agreement. WHAT DID THEY EXPECT? In this day and age, surely they cannot have expected the pilots to take this lying down?

- The pilots only ever struck for one day and as far as I'm aware, never threatened further strikes (not guerilla tactics, surely?) and the airline itself decided, over a potentially very lucrative bank holiday weekend, to ground itself. Again, what the $^&*"!! were they thinking?

- And then, when the recommendations come out, they accept them almost immediately, despite the fact that they only "gained" an hour - down from 13 to 12 - as a result, and lost at least 12m (plus back pay and whatever legal claims are involved).

Is there a discernible strategy here? What did they hope to get out of this?

I'm not a pilot and don't work for EI, but I have to say that this debacle must raise serious questions about WW's strategy.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 07:43
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Red face Its dja vu all over again one more time

So lets see. An ex-pilot who thinks hes a born again chief executive just because hes done the three week shaft the staff course at Harvard, whos embarking on a jihad against those nasty pilots he once counted amongst his colleagues.

Now do we know any other airlines with similar warped personalities children?

Oh dear, its going to be a long hot summer.

Ill take on the opposition anyday. Its my management I cant beat!
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 09:48
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akerosid - good post, i agree.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 10:41
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Are the words "ACCOUNTABLE and MANAGEMENT allowed to be used together in this - and other similar - situations??!!

Or are some fanciful accounting procedures going to be applied eg. the projected revenue was never actually realised, therefore there are no losses to account for!
We ALL know that this type of accounting procedure is total bs, yet it is conveniently used to cover aggressive managements' excesses.
Unfortunately the losses DO present at a later stage, generally resulting in the loss of employment of people who were not responsible, while the REAL culprit(s) maintain thei 6 or 7 figure salary.
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 10:48
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Did LGW - DUB - LGW on Saturday.

Full to the rafters going out (737 - 300), 777 following behind us doing the same thing about 2 hours later.

All pax very happy etc etc. Coming back speaking to the BA sttion manager in DUB he said that we had 2 spare seats in club class (even though we had 33 already!!), he had rung AL to see if they had any PAX they wanted to squeeze on our flight (considering airport at a standstill lots of cancelled flights etc etc) - the reply he got was....No....?????????????

He couldn't understand it either, but with a slot to meet and all PAX with BA tickets satisfied and on board we went with empty seats.

Now this doesn't sound like an airline to me that looks after it's PAX, so I can completely understand why they don't give a toss about their staff - CRAZY!!!!
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Old 3rd Jun 2002, 16:03
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Problem is management/accountants see pilots as an expense rather than an asset. A good pool of pilots is worth its weight in gold...
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