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sad news Primera going under

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sad news Primera going under

Old 4th Oct 2018, 16:22
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 6,281
Thank you BluSdUp. Of course, I think a good number of us here recognise and know this, as described in your initial statement.

It would maybe good if EASA, instead of giggling to themselves playing politics over post-March UK licences, were to address these issues with certain national CAAs, especially two at opposite sides of the EU, who have the approach that you describe. Isn't that sort of thing what EASA are meant to handle ?
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Old 4th Oct 2018, 18:48
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North
Posts: 48
Originally Posted by RudderTrimZero View Post
Fursty Ferret, no front line employee knew until the 11th hour I assure you. This is a new operation with the vast majority of FOs having no prior TA experience. No surprises the voice reports were a bit rough!

As someone who spent 6 months there (I left when the agency cocked up everything they could with my pay, contract, parking), here's my view of things:

Firstly, I think (but not sure) that the parent company purchased and owns the planes. They have either "sold" them in order to lease them back or have leased them directly to the airline. Airbus and Boeing heavily discounted the planes as they thought they had what was a trusty partner to show case their latest green-jets. If the parent company is still the owner of those planes, they can be sold for a tidy profit indeed especially because of all the delays other airlines are experiencing.

However, as posted on here by someone, Primera had some highly dodgy employment practices and were about to be handed it to them by a Danish union. Separately, the Icelandic owned, Malta based but UK head quartered employment agency that recruited and employed every person working the transatlantic operation and some Boeing pilots too (ASTA - run by the same mob that runs Mountain High) applied a very amateurish understanding of UK employment law. They screwed up by thinking they could deduct an employees annual leave provision from their contracted days off per month! That's right, pilots and cabin crew found back in June that because they requested 5 days leave, they had 5 off days missing! This sounds outrageous, but it's true and apparently quite normal in some European countries.
Because of this cockup, they had to ramp up recruitment resulting in a much higher wage bill.

The contracts were poorly worded and amateurish and a constant source of consternation. They completely forgot about parking then retrospectively advised that money would deducted from salaries to pay for airport parking. Also, there was a massive issue with overtime payments. In the first month of operation, there was going to be a mass exodus over this. In the end, when pilots and cabin crew threatened action, the agency had no choice but to accept they made a mistake by not paying crew the "double" rate that was promised in the contract. All of this dealing another blow to their projection of how much profit they as an airline would make. All in all, Primera/ASTA misjudged how much the wage bill could be.

The reality of running a longhaul operation (and I'm no expert), especially one that flies mostly throughout the night is that you exhaust the hell out of crew who end up calling in fatigued/sick. You then pay others thousands in overtime and suddenly it all becomes unaffordable. Towards the end some people were making double their basic in over time alone. Good for them, but not sustainable for the company. As a low cost operator, margins are tight and my conclusion is that the Icelandic management saw it was not going to be viable in the long term.

Rumour within the company was because of the discounts, there were limited delay penalty clauses. So the sub-chartering most likely did have a massive, unrecoverable impact. One thing's for sure. The A321Neo has no problems carrying a full load of passengers and fuel between the East Coast and Western Europe. Airbus got it right and the the 737 Max has big boots to fill. Whether or not it can fly across the pond cheaply is not just linked to how fuel efficient the aircraft is but also what the front-line (operating) staff are prepared to put up with contract/pay wise. I think we have now reached the point where airline ticket prices cannot go any lower because the human beings responsible for delivering the service want to be paid a decent wage. Finally!

Happy to be corrected by people in the know on anything I've said above.
thanks for sharing this information. Gives a good insight in what potentially went down.
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Old 5th Oct 2018, 10:00
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Global Village
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The views from the inside of Primera have been expressed correctly. What has not been mentioned, is that staff employed through the UK agency Mountainhigh will not receive the statutory redundancy benefits to which they are entitled in accordance with their UK employment contracts. Unless you really need to put bread on the table, you are between jobs, or it is your last job for a few months, never, ever, accept an offer of employment from the Icelandic backed group of recruitment charlatans associated with Mountainhigh.info.......... ASTA; Avia Personnel, Airborne, Direct2Work and the newly created First 2 Resource.
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Old 5th Oct 2018, 13:04
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: uk
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Originally Posted by backtobasics View Post
What has not been mentioned, is that staff employed through the UK agency Mountainhigh will not receive the statutory redundancy benefits to which they are entitled in accordance with their UK employment contracts.
In the UK, statutory redundancy benefits can be claimed directly from the Insolvency Service (redundancy payments office) in the event you can't get it from your employer for whatever reason. However, statutory benefits are not subject to contract so I suspect you actually mean contractual redundancy benefits which, as with everything else, are worth only as much as the entity on the other end of the contract.
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Old 5th Oct 2018, 19:10
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 738
Statutory redundancy is 1 weeks pay for each year of service (if aged over 22). Don't think the UK Primera guys are going to get anything, sadly.
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Old 6th Oct 2018, 11:41
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Arakis
Posts: 179
Close shave

Having read everyone’s comments above I must say I have been fortunate and lucky that I did not accept their job offer. There was something just did not feel right with this airline that I sat on the offer for six months. Now I realise and also advise people not to jump in on any offer of employment until you are absolutely sure. Trust your gut instinct it will never let you down. My commiserations to the pilots who have this shock thrust upon them, but believe me there are better jobs out there. Just do your homework enjoy watching the desperation of the recruitment companies trying get A320 pilots and you relax and pick the job of your choice. The ACMI operators are also desperate for rated pilots and also operate on limits of the envelope, primera is not the first or last to go under.maybe should not work with anything colour yellow on tail .....and then brexit...well anything can happen next year so for those looking for another job now perhaps better do homework twice and look ahead as well on the horizon. I’m getting the feeling for to batten down the hatches cos another storm is coming.

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Old 7th Oct 2018, 12:07
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 17
Good luck

To the ex Primera Air employed air crews with finding a better job.
The only sad thing about Primera Air going out of business is that a number employees lost their jobs
Primera Air will not be missed. Lousy companies like Primera air are responsible for the "Race. to the bottom" culture that has plagued this industry for far too long now.
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Old 9th Oct 2018, 14:42
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Europe
Age: 41
Posts: 569
Statement from the lawyers dissecting the financial corps of Primera: 'There's an unusual small amount of cash and other liquid assets remaining in the company'. Which loosely translates to 'looks like someone emptied the bank accounts just before they threw in the towel'.
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 20:19
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Not just aviation.
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 20:26
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 1,903
WHBM you ask a very good question. Airlines hardly choose a registry hundreds of miles from their main operations to assure effective oversight!
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Old 11th Oct 2018, 20:43
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: usa
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Anybody working there with any sense knew they would not last to winter
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