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Ezy cancel flights due to crew shortage

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Ezy cancel flights due to crew shortage

Old 9th Aug 2002, 12:08
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Maybe the eJ pilots can't be induced to turn up for work because they've found out that after reversing into Go, they'll suddenly have to pay for their own car-park passes and bring their own crew meals. Oh, and continue to buy your own uniform. (And just been confirmed yesterday that the Go people will be going onto the vastly inferior eJ Staff Travel deal, rather than the other way round). Morale? What morale?
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 13:20
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BBC Man reads PPRuNE - doesn't understand!

Apparently easyJet can't be short of pilots because they have been turning down applicants. So said a BBC News reporter on Radio 5 this lunch-time, having read the thread on easy's flight cancellations. Clearly if you're short of pilots, anyone will do!!

Another quote from the same bulletin: "It can't be hard to write a rota".

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Old 9th Aug 2002, 13:30
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Can anyone tell me who you have to sh!g to get an interview with EJ ?? I applied a while back, I'm type rated on the B737 and live in Scotland. Any offers of advice are much appreciated.
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 14:18
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Eff Oh,

I also have friends in eJ and quite frankly they are not enjoying it at all.

I am entitled to my opinions as much as you are.

jmc have treated us badly, granted they have. However they are still a whole way better then easyJet.

I however am leaving jmc for pastures new, so don't worry about me.

I was treated very badly at interview by an easyJet Captain. All he did was slag jmc off to my face and basically denigrated my flying and company.

That is why I hate them so much. I would not go there for love or money. He was such a Twit I left the interview early. At my choice. There you have it.

Last edited by tailscrape; 9th Aug 2002 at 14:21.
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 14:30
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I don't understand the childish mentality some of you guys seem to have... I am engaged by eJ, had a very fair selection procedure.
The fact that eJ is short of pilots is only because they made a mistake stopping training during the summer. As from September eJ will start again with trainings for newcomers.
It is not because you have a lot of candidates, that you can accept them all at once. Everybody knows that you need some training by the company before you can fly for them, even rated pilots need to fly according to the companies SOP's .

I do agree with eJ policy not to accept people who turned down their offer. I know that a minority of these people deserve a new chance, but you have to draw a line somewhere... What about the people who didn't have the chance yet to get an interview? There are a lot of applications at eJ, I don't know the exact number, but it appears to be huge... If everybody just gets one chance for an interview, even then it will take a lot of time before everybody attended a weekend in Luton. So if you had your chance before, shut up, and give people who REALLY want to fly for eJ a chance of getting into this company, because those are the people who will make eJ a great company...

Concerning the loyalty: I am loyal to a company, and I don't bark though... eJ is my second company, and I stayed with my first company untill it's bankruptcy... Maybe I am naieve on this matter, but hey, then again, I am a teamplayer, trying to solve 'problems' in my team, not running from them. In the point of view of the company, they need loyal pilots who are willing to go through some sh*t sometimes for their company. Every pilot who runs away costs another training for a newcomer, which is profit you take away from the company, thus your colleagues.

Last item: cancellation of flights, people being unhappy, sit in in Nice, ... well, all of us adults have had some growing pains, same applies for eJ. If you can't understand this, well maybe you still have to go through your adolocence.


I my written English isn't perfect, well I don't care, you understood it !!
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 14:35
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Thanks for a very interesting debate chaps - especially the pov from a pax.

I think easyJet will ride this out easily. Businessmen may be reluctant to take their chances regarding punctuality but, as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. Meanwhile at the other end of the market - my neighbour flew to Edinburgh and back in a day just for lunch with a friend. She accepts it's cheap and cheerful and was happy to put up with any chances of disruption (she was hoping for a night's delay...). The people who are discovering this new bus service are not going to go away. And the TV programme IS good PR. Nothing sells on telly like a bit of shadenfreud (sp??).

Sorry I can't contribute more regarding the recruitment lottery.
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 14:58
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Clearly the decision not to reconsider pilots who previously turned down an offer with EZY has not been a popular one! It wasn't an easy (no pun intended) one to make either but was made after careful consideration by the Flight Ops mgnt team (not HR). Whilst we obviously appreciate that everyone has the right to make the decision that suits them best in terms of their employment we also have the right to decide what we believe is best for the company. In this case we were concerned that we were being seen by some people as an 'open option' for the future or even worse a 'contingency plan' if all else failed. So, this decision was not made out of arrogance but merely as a way of doing what we felt was best for the company at the time. However, we will consider individual cases as necessary and we do review our policies and change them if we feel they are no longer appropriate.
In terms of the EZY/Go recruitment process, the Flight Ops teams have already agreed that we will continue with the exisiting assessment process. This is because ther are strong similarities in the processes used by both of us and we are happy with the results we achieve. The results being high calibre professional pilots who receive first class training.
Finally, Floppy Link I do owe you an apology for the delay in responding to you and will e-mail you later, you have not been forgotton - honest!
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 15:31
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Its not a pilot shortage

The issue here is the functionality of the rostering system
and migration of resources from a legacy system?

This is tricky stuff indeed sympathies to all concerned - it
will be fixed - I have been there.
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 16:47
  #49 (permalink)  
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Todat's BBC web news carries an article on EZY:
"Occasionally, people get things wrong, we had a bad July," a spokesman said. "This is not a big scale back. It's in terms of writing to all your staff, saying 'thanks, it's been difficult, what are we going to do'," he added.

The spokesman said the problem was not about staff shortages. "We have introduced a new rostering system which is causing us all manner of problems. "It's a rubbish system and we are changing it."
The company have publicaly apologised, announced a change in plan and, therefore, given themselves a public target which - if they miss - they will get hammered for.

If that is not a good result, I don't what is!!
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 17:27
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I have read through the posts here and have to say that I agree with the majority vote of arrogance. Many very good pilots are interviewed and rejected by easyJet, which in my opinion is a very poor reflection on their pilot HR department. It seems that the high rejection rate of pilots by easyJet is finally starting to catch them up, wait till all the Go guys starting leaving in numbers. Maybe JL and her team should take a long look at their approach.

A poor manager is one who never admits he/she is wrong !!!!
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 18:29
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EJ and crewing/roster problems have made the ITV National News. Without getting involved in the slagging side of things, I'm just curious what this 'awful' new rostering system is. On the one hand, the crews are 'overworked' and 'exhausted', and on the other the roster system presumably is not delivering the goods (where they are needed). So what exactly has fallen down?
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 18:42
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Booked on as PAX Monday 12th ,Rang Orange HQ to get full clarification on latest media offering. Helpful chap delivered a full current situation statement and to my ears made all the right noises.Heres Hoping
Old 9th Aug 2002, 18:44
  #53 (permalink)  
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You strike me as a very sad person, possibly one of those whom CRM training is aimed at? Your posts are bitter and twisted, and seem to show a inability to relate to anyone else's opinion. I have to say that I guess I'd not like flying with you and suspect that the Captain interviewing you saw a similar view and was pushing you accordingly.

One thing that has struck me greatly since joining easyJet nearly 2 years ago has been the quality of the pilots who do get through the selection process. With one single exception I've found all of the FO's I fly with excellent, proof I guess of the selection process. And even that one seemed to be having an 'off day' because I flew with him/her again some months later and was pleasantly surprised.

Anyone who knows me from ATC/a BA clone north of London/easyJet will understand that I am not a management toady. I am critical, occasionally very, of what I see as management failings. I have been so to my Base Captain and Ground Ops Manager in the last fortnight. So when I commend middle management at easyJet it is for me a considerable accolade. I wish I could be so supportive of those responsible for the total mess made recently of Rostering and Crewing .... though at last they seem to be getting the message we've been trying to get across this last couple of months.

So to your points:

".... [easyJet] an absolute catastrophe to work for as a pilot..." Not true. The last few weeks have been pretty bad granted, but mistakes have been acknowledged and we're assured changes are in hand. This reaction would have been unthinkable in my last Company. Generally working for easyJet is great, and I stand by my statement that they're the best I've ever worked for. How could you know from outside, except by rumour and competitive spite?

I agree with you that the current situation is a disaster, however the basics are good, [see above] there is the prospect that we can return to the pre Carmen situation and that lessons have been learnt by those who should have known better.

I never claimed that easyJet are the best, only the best I've experienced [though.... some might say the others must have been pretty awful!]

If you are so high and mighty, all world knowing that you can slag off easyJet from outside with total confidence that you know best why can't you say who you are, why do you hide behind a fictional name?

Hope your new company sees through you soon.

Steve Moody.
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 18:54
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Well at least you chaps have been fortunate enough to have been selected to go through the interview process!

My chronological age is 51 and I am sitting here with circa 14,000 hours (9,000 on jet), previously rated on B737 variants and A320 with ten years in training!

My crime? Owing to personal circumstances I have not flown a big shiny jet since 1995. Just getting a look in at the interview would be a bonus!
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 20:18
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whilst I agree with most of what you are saying here I do feel the need to take you to task on one point and I quote:

I know that a minority of these people deserve a new chance, but you have to draw a line somewhere...
It is not appropriate to "draw a line" regarding a situation such as this, quite simply because people fail selection processes by differing degrees or turn down a job offer for many different reasons (some of which are quite reasonable). This being a situation "Cruella" appears to have hoisted on board and acknowledges here that they will be addressing. BTW Cruella, the mere fact that you ARE treating each individual case on merit would appear to me to make the letter/email sent out a waste of effort serving only to upset the recipients as by now I'm sure you can see.....

Finally, I feel I have to say that if indeed the company are taking the attitude "well you didn't want to work for us then so why should we take you now?" towards those who turned down a job offer - then you may as well stop recruiting now for good, since to date you were not good enough for those that will be applying in the future! If you were good enough for them they would all be with you now.

Finally, finally........ Cruella, you made an interesting statement which I now quote -

In terms of the EZY/Go recruitment process, the Flight Ops teams have already agreed that we will continue with the exisiting assessment process. This is because ther are strong similarities in the processes used by both of us and we are happy with the results we achieve.
How would you reconcile the fact that there are Pilots working for each of the airlines that failed the others respective selection processes (or perhaps comitted the heinous crime of rejecting a job offer)? Amusing that you each now inherit these "misfits".....
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 21:43
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Fri 09 Aug 2002

easyJet admit new roster system is 'rubbish' as more flights are cancelled

According to easyJet’s operations director, the airline is struggling to cope with its rapid growth and needs to cut back its schedule ‘to recreate stability’ for pilots and cabin crew.
In a 7 August letter to easyJet’s pilots, which was leaked to the Times, Vilhelm Hahn-Petersen said: ‘It is very clear that the current situation cannot continue. Right now it feels soul destroying and the bottom line is we can now conclude that the 60% growth coupled with four new crew bases and lots of new routes has stretched us significantly.
‘The combination of volume and complexity in the summer schedule has stretched us to the limit. I recognise that we need to scale back slightly to recreate stability.’
Last Sunday, easyJet cancelled 19 of its 250 daily flights, because ‘it did not have enough staff or back-up aircraft when two planes developed technical problems’ reports the Times.
However, the airline blamed the cancellations on a new roster system, which had resulted in crews being in the wrong place. It said that to avoid a repetition of Sunday’s problems it would cut some of next week’s services but let passengers know of the schedule changes well in advance.
‘We shall be announcing shortly what flights will not be operating next week,’ an easyJet spokeman told Ananova.com. ‘They will be ones on which very few people will be travelling.
‘This is not about staff shortages,’ he added. ‘We have introduced a new rostering system which is causing us all manner of problems. It’s a rubbish system and we are changing it…We have also suffered from delays caused by air traffic control and from problems [with building work] at Luton Airport.’
However, an easyJet pilot told the Times he was concerned the airline’s rapid expansion would lead to an accident through crew fatigue. ‘I have repeatedly told managers the situation has become dangerous but their only concern is profits,’ he said.
‘They have pushed staff to the limits and now we are seeing the consequences. It would be terrible if it took a crash to force them to rein back on this breakneck expansion.’
On Wednesday, easyJet announced a 61.7% year-on-year increase in July passengers, while its takeover of Go, which was completed last week, will make it Europe’s biggest budget carrier.
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Old 9th Aug 2002, 22:33
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Easy is my third airline and I AM enjoying it. It has some great attributes (nice crews, new shiny jets, lots of flying hours etc) and like all the other airlines I have worked for it has its downsides too (rosters, rosters rosters!)

Yes, there are problems right now but it was steady in May and it will be steady again soon if the management really pull with the crews. Carmen is history......

As for the applications - it took me 3 applications and 2 years to get the job so hang in there if this is what you want. Its not everyone's cup of tea but then neither is BA or Air2000 or anyone else.

PS I hope I am good enough to work in a garage!
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Old 10th Aug 2002, 00:58
  #58 (permalink)  

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From where I’m sitting (nowhere orange) and viewing this thread, the eJ selection process seems to be working pretty well, inside there’s a set of team playing, supportive, pilots who agree that life isn’t perfect, but are prepared to work with the company through the current, ahem, difficulties.

Outside – well just look at the comments of some of those that didn’t get in. Maybe there’s a reason? Just because you have the technical skills doesn’t mean that you have the right personality for a given organisation – that’s why some people prefer long haul, some charters and some even fly freight by choice.

The purpose of any selection procedure is to find someone to fit the role – this includes the culture. People may be disappointed if they didn’t get it, but plenty inside seem to be happy, so something must be working? I know which set of individuals I’d like to be playing with my expensive train set.

Having seen some of the vitriol on this thread, it’s not hard to see why some didn’t make it past the psychometrics. Get over it and go for another job – if your skills are that good and eJ are fools to let you go, you should easily walk into another position.
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Old 10th Aug 2002, 07:40
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Financial Times. London 10 August:-

Pilots make safety call at low-cost airlines
By Matthew Jones and Andrea Felsted
Published: August 9 2002 13:42 | Last Updated: August 9 2002 20:47

British pilots are to demand higher safety standards at low-cost airlines after EasyJet, Europe's largest low-cost carrier, admitted its rapid expansion was stretching the airline to its limits.

The British Air Line Pilots' Association said on Friday it had requested a meeting with Ray Webster, EasyJet chief executive, to seek better working conditions.

EasyJet pilots have complained that safety standards are being compromised by the group's rapid expansion, which saw passenger numbers grow by more than 60 per cent year-on-year last month.

A Balpa official said pilots were also worried about other airlines. "Among a lot of low-cost airline pilots there is a quiet concern that they are being overstretched and that safety could suffer," he said.

"We have also been told of concerns among pilots at Ryanair, although Ryanair does not recognise union membership."

Ryanair said its pilots were not under pressure and that it operated to an approved flight-time limitation system whereby no pilot could fly more than 900 hours in any year. It had no t cancelled any flights because of pilot shortages and had no plans to do so.

EasyJet said it would have to cut four to six flights a day after being forced to cancel 19 flights last Sunday, on top of 28 in July. This followed the introduction of a new flight-crew roster, which the airline admitted was "rubbish".

Vilhelm Hahn-Petersen, the group's operations director, has written to pilots acknowledging that they are being overworked and that "the current situation cannot continue".

"The combination of volume and complexity in the summer schedule has stretched us to the limit. I recognise that we need to scale back slightly to recreate stability," he said.

The concerns came days after EasyJet continued its aggressive expansion plan by completing the Ł374m ($570m) takeover of Go, its smaller UK rival.

EasyJet said its summer service had been hampered by air traffic control problems and building work at Luton airport, but its ability to cope with these problems was hindered by the n ew rostering system. This will be dropped in favour of the previous system.

EasyJet added that the four to six flights it is cancelling - a small percentage of the 250 it flies a day - would be removed from the schedule until October.

"This is a punctuality issue, not a safety issue," EasyJet said. "This is caused by a rostering system. It has got nothing to do with safety or expansion."

An EasyJet official said its pilots were trying to raise concerns in the press to win better pay deals following the merger. "We refute absolutely that we are compromising safety - we would rather cancel all flights than reduce safety levels," he added.

Dominic Edridge, transport analyst at Commerzbank, said: "Low-cost airlines have almost had too many opportunities in the last year and it's difficult to sustain growth at those levels."
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Old 10th Aug 2002, 08:04
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I am not going to engage in a discussion about - for or against easyJet.
I will only say this: I am an outsider and I have been watching this orange thing growing and developing. The thing is it has reached a proportion in size, beyond which it needs extraordinary talent to keep it all flowing smoothly and operating efficiently. It seems like it's lacking in that department and the all too familiar slogan: "Victim of it's own success" should now replace the "The webs favourite airline" sentence on it's fuselages!
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