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Air Japan (AJX) B767

Old 6th Jul 2010, 07:32
  #1161 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 67
I used to support people applying to come here and gave helpfull advice about working for ANA. Not anymore. It is not the same place, since the pay cuts started and cheap, cheap ass tickets issues came up, I can't recommend it any longer. The lasy guy to contact me chose KAL instead of Japan based on the days off 'shafting' and the commute ticketing problems.
We also have a private forum set up, now that's some colorfull reading!

Unfortunately, it's all down hill from here, we're getting bizarre memos about scarred hearts and worshiping the 767. Although ANA has been around for a long time the AJX/V's haven't and it is evident that it is in it's infancy. The AJX model now will start at about 1950's Panam and grow in maturity from there. You have to understand, even the Japanese outside of ANA think that they are childish and weird. It's a pity their behavior is so costly to people considering coming here.

Another common scenario, is they change managers and Japanese staff all the time, they get cycled through AJX/V. So, all of the lessons have to be re-learn't everytime. "my order", "company order", "you must" There is nothing quite like the blank face of a scheduler when you say no, I am not doing it. " order..."

I would say morale is about as low as I have seen it.

I wouldn't say my heart is scarred, I'd say my pocket hurts and I don't like working extra days for free.
meguro is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2010, 22:03
  #1162 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: ME
Posts: 21
Ouch, I'm having second thoughts in applying.

So basically, things will only get worse.
Jiraiya is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2010, 02:19
  #1163 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: 日本
Posts: 456
I'm sure someone in the office has an idea of how they can piss us off a bit more but I have no idea what little scheme they have up their sleeves. A few months ago you had two perfectly happy groups of pilots. There was so little complaining that it was totally unlike flying for any airline and even the Japanese were content, as harmony abounded.

Then, two years late, they decided to cut costs. Combining the freight and pax flying and, rather than rasing the pax deal to the freight deal, they cut the AJV pilots' days off and (in the case of captains) their salaries. Now they're penny pinching with the commuting tickets and severely pissing off the Yanks by insisting on ANA flights (and no codeshares) and forcing the pilots to often spend another day in Japan because they arrive back too late from a trip to take the ANA flights, which depart before the codeshare flights.

Factor in the pax guys now having to fly freight and, even worse, the freight guys having to fly bloody passengers around (including a ridiculous 'conversion' course) and you've got a lot of unhappy pilots around. The agencies have all been a total waste of space. They would rather kowtow to ANA and not upset them, rather than support the terms and conditions of the pilots and risk being dropped as agents for ANA. So, we have to rely on the goodwill of the 'management' and the hard work and bartering skills of our Scheduling Committee.

It wouldn't be so bad if they were serious about saving money but they are complete dicks at the whole process. They save a few Yen by cutting down on air conditioning (and, thereby, having sweat-stained aircrew going off to work), cutting our wages and making us (not ANA Mainline of course) work more days and then they go and piss it all up the wall with amazingly stupid fuel policies, decisions to dispatch aircraft when they are going to end up diverting back home and various other inane choices that anyone serious about saving money would never suggest.

It is still the best contract around for commuting, given they get you where you want to go, rather than the nearest airport served by the Company and the guys (and girl) are, in general, great to fly with and spend time with when off duty. However, things are definitely not what they were just a few months ago and I have no idea if Spud and his ilk are planning on making matters worse. I think for many (me included), just one more degradation in the conditions will be enough to push us over the top and we'll actually go elswhere, rather than just talk about it.

Is it worth coming to AJX? Well, that all depends what you're doing now (obviously). The aircraft are the best maintained you will find anywhere in the World. Your fellow pilots are a fine bunch and the rosters are not difficult. However, you're away from home every day of your working block i.e. no going home when you finish an early trip, no being at home on standby and, to top it all, you're in Japan. Sushi, noodles and the endless robotic dedication to the Company gets very old very quickly and no amount of initial delight at the culture and customs can make up for that.
Fratemate is offline  
Old 10th Jul 2010, 16:19
  #1164 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: ME
Posts: 21
It seems it's an airline's instinct to become penny wise pound foolish, nowadays.

I thought that for commuting purposes you were given an allowance and get to Japan how you please, or am I getting it all wrong?

I personally, am fed up of living in an island and working in a company that has no future at all. Been with the company for 7 years now, if I'm lucky I might get a chance for command in ten years, if the company is still here . Very badly paid, and disrespected. It's a crappy island.
Jiraiya is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2010, 01:44
  #1165 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: 日本
Posts: 456
I thought that for commuting purposes you were given an allowance and get to Japan how you please
You can either have a $2000 allowance OR you can have C class (Business) tickets to your home. Some people take the $2000, get ZED tickets and then keep the change. Obviously, they will have to sort themselves out if the standby tickets don't work out for some reason e.g. service cancelled and the airline fills up the aircraft our ZED commuter was planning on using. AJX doesn't have a huge number of ZED partners you can use but it seems to have sufficient options, thus far, for most people.

I always use the C class ticket and accept the fact that I don't profit from the allowance. I enjoy knowing I have a ticket on the date that I want to fly and don't need to stress about loads and whether or not I'll get on. One great feature is you get to keep the loyalty points of your airline, which can be useful later on when you want to get some 'free' tickets.

You are able to change on a monthly basis and some guys do. When the loads are low and they can basically guarantee they'll get on, some pilots will take the ZED option and, when the loads start to get worse e.g. Oz Summer, they will take the C class option.

As I said previously, it is still the best commuting contract around but I'm waiting to see how they piss us off with their penny pinching ideas. At the moment they are talking about only having 6 return ZED tickets on ANA per year. I mean, what the hell are they thinking They actaully make some profit for the Company when they'd travel with otherwise empty seats and they're talking about restricting the privileges of being able to use standby tickets. See what I mean about them being complete muppets in their all out war to be seen to be doing something to save money; even if it does piss people off and achieve the square root of bugger all .
Fratemate is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2010, 13:52
  #1166 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: ME
Posts: 21
Thanks for the info. I myself like to travel safe, the last time I used ZED tickets I ended up paying sourly, not to mention the fact they get the chance to treat you like trash.

So how is it you're operating since AJV/AJX merged? I mean how would a typical roster look?

Uniforms, recurrencies and medicals are they taken care by the employer or by the individual?
Jiraiya is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2010, 18:54
  #1167 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Over the Pacific mostly
Posts: 1,036
So how is it you're operating since AJV/AJX merged? I mean how would a typical roster look?
Good question, we don't even know yet. Not until early next year

Uniforms, recurrencies and medicals are they taken care by the employer or by the individual? Yesterday 20:44
The company does.
The Dominican is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2010, 22:23
  #1168 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: ME
Posts: 21

So you got no clue of what's going to happen?

How does your actual roster go, in terms of flying hours and rest? Do you get paid extra per extra Off day taken as work?
Jiraiya is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2010, 00:59
  #1169 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: 日本
Posts: 456

No, at the moment we don't know for sure how the rosters will eventually be designed, since the AJV & AJX have only been combined for 13 days. As it stands, we'll basically be carrying on doing what we did before the merger i.e. freight guys doing freight and pax, pax. Gradually they'll 'convert' us (kicking and screaming) from cargo to people and then they'll probably start dual rostering. It MAY be they schedule month on cargo, month on pax. It MAY be they integrate the cargo flights with pax flights at the same destinations. The Japanese MAY have an idea how they want to play it but they haven't yet shared that information and they seem quite happy to let things run along as usual.

Their scheduling is not effecient but it may become moreso. Typically, on the cargo side of things, we fly around 450-500/year. Sometimes the 24 hour rest requirement every 7 days is taken downroute but most of the time it is in NRT. Apart from that, standard rest rules are in place but you'll normally get longer because of the rotation of the aircraft to your nightstop.

When you are in Japan you work. When you have days off you go home. We DO NOT sell our days off to the Company, so do not even consider such ridiculous notions. Start playing around with fire like that and (a) you'll cock everything up for everybody else and (b) find you're Mr Unpopular Of AJX and all that that would entail. Just stick to the contract and don't try any smart-arse deals in order to get a few more $$$s.

The contract DOES allow for some form of extra payment if you fly over 70 hours in the month but I've never come anywhere close to that, so I really cannot speak as an authority on it.


We've got 3/4 guys who are married to Japanese girls and they have their time off, for the most part, in Japan. They obviously enjoy the advantage of having standby days at home (instead of a hotel) and, when they get back off a trip early, they have the rest of that day to do things people would normally do around their house (unlike being in a hotel). I could never live in Japan and I really am ready to go home at the end of each work block. I do enjoy the social life we get to spend when in Japan, with both locals (especially one or two of the very pretty locals) and non-locals but, as you implied, as employers they would test the patience of a saint.....and I'm definitely not one of those .
Fratemate is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2010, 07:11
  #1170 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: ME
Posts: 21
Hi Fratemate,

Someone mentioned, that he doesn't like working extra days for free, thought that you'd get to work extra and won't get paid for it.

So what was the Major difference between a pax roster and a cargo roster? And what about the conditions?

Besides, what is so awful about the Japanese system?

Last edited by Jiraiya; 13th Jul 2010 at 07:34.
Jiraiya is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2010, 08:36
  #1171 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: 日本
Posts: 456
Okay mate, see where you're coming from and where the confusion lies regardiing days off and $$s. Basically, the cargo side of things got 11 days off per month and the pax, 10 days off. As a result of this fantastic merger and no support from the agencies, complete apathy from the majority of the pax guys (with some exceptions) and some very unspirited responses of support from the cargo pilots, we've ended up reducing from 11 days off to 10 days off per month and, for captains, a reduction in salary of about $500/month. This is all so we're 'in line' with the pax guys, never mind bringing them up Anyway, the comment regarding working a day off for free was reflecting the extra day off we will be giving up for no gain and, in the captains' case, a loss of $$s.

The cargo pilots fly mostly by night, the pax pilots by day; that is essentially the difference. If you're in Japan for 20 days then expect 2 or 3 of those to be off in NRT. You'll have 1 or 2 standby days and, possibly sims etc. The trips tend to be nightstops, although there are some trips where you'll be away for 4-6 days. FOr instance, a trip could be NRT-HKG-OKA...nightstop OKA.....OKA-HKG-NRT. Or DH NRT-HND. Fly HND-OKA-ICN...nightstop ICN.....ICN-OKA-NRT. For the 16-17 days you'll be rostered to fly, of your 20 days in country, your schedule will be pretty much full of such trips. There is a fair bit of deadheading but not nearly as much as there used to be. However, standby for HND's new runway being opened and we may well find a lot more of our trips being flown from there and more sitting in coaches/taxis.

Enough has been said about the Japanese system in this thread. Look back over it and make your own mind up. Good thing at the moment is it's Summer and the lovely Japanese girls cannot get skirts short enough
Fratemate is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2010, 11:35
  #1172 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: ME
Posts: 21
Been there a few weeks ago when temperatures were in the low 20's (C), and they were already But let's get a little more serious

The operations seem to be quite easy going. I'll go through the thread again and see how the Jap system works, personally I don't think I can get any worse.

Thanks for your help.
Jiraiya is offline  
Old 31st Jul 2010, 05:44
  #1173 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: hot tub
Posts: 295
hey guys,
I m trying to figure out if this job would be too harsh on my relationship or not.
I understand it s impossible to get a visa to reside in japan.
i read a previous post in which somebody was suggesting that wives could get a english teaching job thereby getting a visa. by extension the pilot could get legal residence in japan.
Is that the only solution?
have some of you guys found solutions to limit the damage it maight cause on your relationship?

saviboy is offline  
Old 1st Aug 2010, 01:28
  #1174 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 1998
Location: between 20 & 30 000'
Posts: 82

If you already have doubts about your relationship, then I think you have your answer.

A job that has you away from your loved ones/family for 2/3 (or 66%) of your life is far from ideal. It's a severe test of a relationship and even the strongest relationship struggles to survive.
gtseraf is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2010, 17:20
  #1175 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London
Posts: 20
back to basics

Hi Guys,

Have looked through the thread looking for current monthly wage with no luck. Anyone care to post the current T&C's. Would be most appreciated

Byobeer is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2010, 05:01
  #1176 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Over the Pacific mostly
Posts: 1,036
Available Positions Through Crew Resources Worldwide
The Dominican is offline  
Old 1st Sep 2010, 06:50
  #1177 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: ... on an island!
Posts: 228
AL files aggressive restructuring plan; 16,000 workers, 103 aircraft to be cut by Mar

Hopefully this plan will not affect the ANA pilots recruitment plan! Anybody with positive info on that? Thanks

JAL files aggressive restructuring plan; 16,000 workers, 103 aircraft to be cut by March 2011 | ATW Online
169west is offline  
Old 1st Sep 2010, 14:40
  #1178 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: not here
Posts: 34
It won't, but the explanation is too lengthy for my time of night.

Someone else will perhaps spend more time telling you why.

There are other issues, though, and someone might expand on them...
big white bird is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2010, 10:42
  #1179 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: location
Posts: 87
169 west, pilots are generally thought to be individuals who can make good decisions based on information available. A bunch of people have explained some of the issues presently affecting the AJX workforce. If you are so docile that you cannot read then apply for the job and accept the inevitable consequences!
People here are far too polite explaining the ongoing problems at the airlines that they work for, caveat emptor is designed for consumers, and you potentially are one. If you want a job here research it, otherwise don't post stupid questions that result in repetitive strain injusry for the poor soul who takes the time to respond to your oft answered question.
Thank you
Hobbit is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2010, 12:51
  #1180 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: ... on an island!
Posts: 228
169west is offline  

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