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The death of the KAL contract

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The death of the KAL contract

Old 29th Apr 2022, 19:22
  #1 (permalink)  
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The death of the KAL contract

Well, itís a sad day for a bunch of KAL guys. The airline appears to be holding the expat pilots prisoner and making them choose between their job and their families. You can go home about once a year - or quit, or so it seems.

What was once a great commuting contract is now, de facto, dead. The expat force has been cut to close to 200 and most will not stay under the current conditions. Once asked to stay until quarantine restrictions end - is now stay until we tell you youíre allowed to commute. It feels all very authoritarian, almost like China has taken over KAL.

What a shame. But I guess it couldnít come at a better time for the pilots. The world pilot shortage is rearing itís head more and more each week and within a few months, there should be offers a plenty. In fact, the days of airline management being in a power position are over. Even if we do see a recession this year or next, the amount of retirements and the lack of pilots in the woodwork, might actually make this a desirable career again. Who will suffer the most? Asian and Middle East airlines, and airlines that operate under the punishment-culture ethos. Time has moved on, letís see if they can move with it.

Letís hope cooler heads prevail and KAL opens their eyes to the new reality. It would(nít) be a shame to see lines of wide bodies still parked on the ramps of ICN/GMP, giving the chairman a great, but expensive, view with his morning coffee - all the while costing his airline hundreds of millions of dollars a year because of simple human mismanagement.
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Old 29th Apr 2022, 23:30
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Pilot shortage is a biggest lie in 21st. Before covid , KAL never raised their pay in ten years and you tell me there was a pilot shortage? Never ! Ever!
Not to mention post covid, There are accumulated fresh pilots during this period and many airlines close, downsized ,mergered.
"pilot shortage " is always said by flight school.
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Old 30th Apr 2022, 07:16
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What is Asia's traffic right now? 40 percent of pre covid? The worst big region in the world. The cargo business is doing excellent but they need to merge Asiana and KAL pilot pools at the same time.
Nobody knows what is next with the Ukraine war possibly going out of control.
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Old 4th May 2022, 00:13
  #4 (permalink)  
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Hi Franky,

I get where youíre coming from as the pilot shortage has been discussed over the last decades, ad nauseam. Emotionally Iím burned out with the thought of it ever being.

But right now the numbers donít lie. Within the recovering/recovered markets in North America, there are numerous issues the regionals, cargo and secondary tier carriers are facing. I donít think I need to post links to the dozens of companies that are suffering issues. And it goes all the way up the food chain to Alaska Airlines, Spirit, Swoop, Flair, Breeze, Atlas, etc, etc, not the great jobs the majors are, but jobs that are now at a liveable wage and rapidly improving (at least in the USA). I feel Canada will have to react. So Will Asia and the Middle East. They wonít be able to attract the talent they once did as people are less likely to put up with the punishment culture unless thereís a reward. Thatíll be money, as I donít think they can change that culture. That ship has sailed.

KAL has backed themselves into a corner, caused my the worst human emotions - greed and false pride. Itís not going to be a good transition back to an open world. I hope they saved all those dollars they made, because their profits are about to be hit by terrible planning, which is a cancer within KAL. Why be proactive when you can be reactive???

Time will tell, lots of variables, the most worrying is the global economy in the coming months and years. That could save their ass on pilots but kill them financially for a period of time.
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Old 4th May 2022, 00:25
  #5 (permalink)  
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Less Hair (I hear ya!),

Youíre correct and thatís much to the point Iím trying to get at. KAL can barely cover their schedule as it stands, yet they want to active dozens of widebodies in the next couple of months? How about planning and training. Guys and gals are already bouncing off max yearly hours. New upgrades take many months at KAL and the remainder of the expats have mostly moved on. The numbers were getting to up over 450 and now will likely settle around 200+/-.

The expats just donít trust KAL anymore. Why would you when youíre discarded without pay for months or years on end? It was always a money vs schedule/lifestyle balance, that has seriously tipped against KAL. They donít know it yet, because as I mentioned above, itís a reactionary vs proactive culture here. Change will occur once the pain is felt and it canít be hidden from the top man. That will be cancelled flights and/or schedules that are readjusted to paper over the reality of the situation, enabling it to be hidden.

Iím sorry, Iím just not bullish for companies like this. Now is a time to be smart, be able to pivot quickly and get ready for changes. Theyíve prepared for the exact opposite. I believe theyíll suffer, especially as belly cargo resumes to some degree and prices come down for cargo. This will separate the wheat from the chaff.
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Old 4th May 2022, 08:59
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Originally Posted by Soulless View Post
Hi Franky,

I get where youíre coming from as the pilot shortage has been discussed over the last decades, ad nauseam. Emotionally Iím burned out with the thought of it ever being.

But right now the numbers donít lie. Within the recovering/recovered markets in North America, there are numerous issues the regionals, cargo and secondary tier carriers are facing. I donít think I need to post links to the dozens of companies that are suffering issues. And it goes all the way up the food chain to Alaska Airlines, Spirit, Swoop, Flair, Breeze, Atlas, etc, etc, not the great jobs the majors are, but jobs that are now at a liveable wage and rapidly improving (at least in the USA). I feel Canada will have to react. So Will Asia and the Middle East. They wonít be able to attract the talent they once did as people are less likely to put up with the punishment culture unless thereís a reward. Thatíll be money, as I donít think they can change that culture. That ship has sailed.

KAL has backed themselves into a corner, caused my the worst human emotions - greed and false pride. Itís not going to be a good transition back to an open world. I hope they saved all those dollars they made, because their profits are about to be hit by terrible planning, which is a cancer within KAL. Why be proactive when you can be reactive???

Time will tell, lots of variables, the most worrying is the global economy in the coming months and years. That could save their ass on pilots but kill them financially for a period of time.
Hi Soulless,
Thanks for your opinion.
I don't think there's "really" shortage of pilot in US? If shortage is reality why I didn't see massive pay raise? Look at the pathetic wage for regional pilot.
Even if they really shortage for pilots that's because the residency for working in US is a hard requirement.
Once they sponsor green card or work permit for pilot ,they can find plenty of experienced pilot from the world at the moment especially.

And this's because why I said korean will never shortage of pilot because their government doesn't prohibit airlines hire foreigners , same circumstance for other asian country. There are plenty of young guys in korea with CPL struggling to land a job because korean companies don't want to train them. They can easily get experienced pilot why spend the cost to do that.

And about the Canada side is recovering but not shortage , once I see the pay raise I will believe it. Many expats come back and accumulated unemployed fresh pilot in these years. But expansion of new companies and aircraft orders may drive shortage happened after3-4 years.

Over all, Asia is biggest expat pilot regional and situation is still bad , China ,Hong kong , Vietnam ,Japan .Too many pilots still unemployed or furlough or heavy pay cut. One of my friend got furlough from Viejet and still no massage and another flying b787 at vietnam airlines with poor pay.
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Old 5th May 2022, 00:26
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Expats were brought in due to the appalling safety record of KAL last century, the question is have they changed the culture of the airline permanently for the better, or are we going to start seeing hull losses again if and when they leave.
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Old 9th May 2022, 20:00
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Franky,

Iím going to have to respectfully disagree. Most of the jobs in the US are the highest paying in the world now. Atlas, Kallita, low costs, majors, have all raised their pay substantially. Yes, the regionals are lagging, but they have come up and are being forced to off bonuses of $40 and even up to $80k to join. I tend to think regional management has their heads up their proverbial butts, as this doesnít solve the structural problems, just delays the inevitable.

In Canada, I also think youíre mistaken. Yes AC wonít have problems filling mainline seats, but everyone else will and already is. Just ask around about Flair, Lynx, Swoop, the regionals. They wonít be able to keep up once all the restrictions are over. The lowest rungs will suffer the most, obviously. Looks south of the border again and you see companies like Breeze having to pay DECs on a A220 $168/hour. Thatís pretty good money for a low cost/regional hybrid.

As for Asia, I can tell you CX, KE and many others are operating on skeleton crews. Once the chiefs decide to try and operate all their tails, theyíre going to get the shock of their lives. Could it balance in the long run? It could, but I donít think thereís a massive surplus of experienced aviators sitting around. Thereís still retirements, medical loss and other small issues that aggravate it. What could save them? A massive global recession that derails the recovery. Thatís not good for them either.

Iíve been sidetracked though. The reality is that the KAL contract is being spit on by KAL and has all but been thrown away. Letís hope they remove their heads from their a$$ses and get back on track and start caring about the humans working for them.

I can dream, canít I?
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Old 9th May 2022, 20:10
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Kris,

Yes, they were. I believe expats came in before or during that, and became a requirement for a period of time but that’s now gone.

The number one issue today is the horrific level of English of the local crews at KAL. Constant mistakes and misunderstanding of and with ATC. It’s generated a so many minor incidents but has yet to be addressed or even acknowledged by KAL. That’s the issue to watch for. If you know any American ATC folks, just ask them.

As for other standards, I personally believe it all comes down to the unbelievable capability of the aircraft we fly these days. The safety systems and reliability, save a lot of bad pilots from themselves, imo.

Does KAL need the expats? Maybe not, in a few years. But today, KAL is massively short of current and type rated pilots and their culture won’t allow a return of the China dropouts. Only time will tell, now.
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Old 9th May 2022, 20:17
  #10 (permalink)  
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Great, another solid decision from inside the grand old OC. Limiting flight requests to see your family only once every three months. “We’d hate to give you something that makes you happy, that costs us nothing.” That begs one to ponder - are the Koreans only allowed to see their families overseas only once every three months as well? Or is this just another racist policy from within???

In fact, that should be the new motto for treatment of expats at KAL - “We’re not happy, until you’re not happy!” They should use that when they start recruiting again 😉
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Old 10th May 2022, 09:50
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Originally Posted by Soulless View Post
Franky,

Iím going to have to respectfully disagree. Most of the jobs in the US are the highest paying in the world now. Atlas, Kallita, low costs, majors, have all raised their pay substantially. Yes, the regionals are lagging, but they have come up and are being forced to off bonuses of $40 and even up to $80k to join. I tend to think regional management has their heads up their proverbial butts, as this doesnít solve the structural problems, just delays the inevitable.

In Canada, I also think youíre mistaken. Yes AC wonít have problems filling mainline seats, but everyone else will and already is. Just ask around about Flair, Lynx, Swoop, the regionals. They wonít be able to keep up once all the restrictions are over. The lowest rungs will suffer the most, obviously. Looks south of the border again and you see companies like Breeze having to pay DECs on a A220 $168/hour. Thatís pretty good money for a low cost/regional hybrid.

As for Asia, I can tell you CX, KE and many others are operating on skeleton crews. Once the chiefs decide to try and operate all their tails, theyíre going to get the shock of their lives. Could it balance in the long run? It could, but I donít think thereís a massive surplus of experienced aviators sitting around. Thereís still retirements, medical loss and other small issues that aggravate it. What could save them? A massive global recession that derails the recovery. Thatís not good for them either.

Iíve been sidetracked though. The reality is that the KAL contract is being spit on by KAL and has all but been thrown away. Letís hope they remove their heads from their a$$ses and get back on track and start caring about the humans working for them.

I can dream, canít I?
Hi Soulless
Thanks for sharing different view. I hope things will go the way you said.
But for Canada side I know some guys still stucking . And I do believe No shortage in Canada because airlines always can lower their requirement.
Sunwing hired CPL250 hours directly to b737 and Jazz hired 250hrs guys to crj q400. Encore advertised too. Just like european or asian style.
Do you think we will shortage for CPL fresh guys too?
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Old 12th May 2022, 16:48
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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"your sacrifice won't be forgotten..."

I seem to recall that from the LWOP email.

Sounds like somebody forgot
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