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Excel Airways

Old 14th Sep 2006, 03:35
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Excel Airways

I am considering putting an application into Excelairways after seeing their advert in Flight. I don't know anyone there and would like to know what is the general feel about the company, and what sort of salary would you be on as a 767 Captain?

I would understand if you did not want to put this information out to the general public, however I would appreciate a PM.

Thanks!
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Old 14th Sep 2006, 09:35
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Avoid if you can

Hello RaTa,

I do not work myself for Excel but I have a friend who does. This is not the rosiest picture you can dream of apparently. He is on the 756 fleet. Since he joined them he's been complaining of poor rostering practise and sheer instability (frequently being called during his days off to come to work / constant roster change .....). He's been there for two summers now and it's gone from bad to worse . He told me that morale is very low and people are living "en masse"; among them are a LOT of trainers. Hence the wording in the ad ; "preference will be given to type rated pilots particularly those with training qualifications". A bit of hope though : Mission control in Iceland has recently sacked a numbers of UK based managers because of their many cock-ups. So hopefully the situation is going to improve in the not too distance future.

I have personally NOTHING against Excel nor am I connected to them in ANY way. All I know is that my friend has handed over his resignation and is a MUCH happier chap now.
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Old 14th Sep 2006, 10:20
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Excel still doing joint work with Miami Air?
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Old 14th Sep 2006, 10:24
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I have heard much the same story; someone known to me is going to quit. It's awful apparently.

Some of these seedy little airlines can put you off the game entirely.
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Old 14th Sep 2006, 11:32
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Angry

If Excel Airways last the winter in its current form I would be very suprised. I have a close friend who is so close to resignation one last push is all that it will take. I dont work for them thank god but talking at length to him over a few beers he paints a very sad story.
The 76/75 fleets are old and therefore require high maintenance input.
The 737 pilots who make up the management want to rewrite the boeing book on how to do etops, consider that all the 75/76 crews are basically cowboys who have to be brought back into line and made professional aviators.
The crewing department lack experience and spend most of their time firefighting
The blame culture is highly developed, read from that what you will.
The pilot management completely lacks any direction and any sort of leadership skill what ever.
As a pilot who once worked for a similar organization I could only advise my friend to get out before the whole organization implodes.
I HOPE HE HEEDS MY ADVICE
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Old 14th Sep 2006, 17:03
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Originally Posted by saddest aviator View Post
If Excel Airways last the winter in its current form I would be very suprised. I have a close friend who is so close to resignation one last push is all that it will take. I dont work for them thank god but talking at length to him over a few beers he paints a very sad story.
The 76/75 fleets are old and therefore require high maintenance input.
The 737 pilots who make up the management want to rewrite the boeing book on how to do etops, consider that all the 75/76 crews are basically cowboys who have to be brought back into line and made professional aviators.
The crewing department lack experience and spend most of their time firefighting
The blame culture is highly developed, read from that what you will.
The pilot management completely lacks any direction and any sort of leadership skill what ever.
As a pilot who once worked for a similar organization I could only advise my friend to get out before the whole organization implodes.
I HOPE HE HEEDS MY ADVICE
Harsh words and still heresay. I feel the need to redress the balance somewhat.

I recently left xl for resons other than the above.
True the 756 are a pile of sh1te. That is one of the root causes of roster instability .
SOME of the 756 crews refuse to operate to sop. They know better..."when I was in etc etc etc." Know all prima donnas who struggle to conform to any reasonable request, and insome cases down right in breach of the ano as enshrined in the ops manual.....because they know better. All of this came from AAE not Excel. A vocal minority from that comapny seem oblivious to the fact that the gripes mentioned above are all directly linked to the problems that were basically AAE. The I will resign gang are in many cases are the same " when I was at Britannia" type. Well why arent you stil there.?Were they wrong too?

To cut it short(ish)... Most of the problems mentioned above at excel are inherited and as one who was their from the begining they are directly proportionate to the increase in inolvemnent of the frankenstein AAE. There are many good people from both companies at excel but a vocal minority of itinerant job hoppers on all fleets paint a bleak picture. There are problems , this year was pretty bad , no arguement there, however o those of you thinking of joining the original ethos is still there just swamped by a bunch of gippos (vocal minority) who believe their pathetic resignation threats or indeed acts are a worthy bargaining tool. Wake up call fellahs its a godsend to HR. There are many a less bitter and twisted candidate out there than the alleged hard done to friends. A bit of fresh blood to dilute the whinging AAE transient knowalls will do XL the world of good.
I aplogise unreservedly to those at XL (ex aae) who are trying to make it work. Like I said vocal minority.
PS I wasnt management just a line pilot.Gone on to different things
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Old 14th Sep 2006, 21:37
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Post Excel. Where do I start?

I recently worked there and I can confirm that it’s much worse than the above posters imply.
This company is shocking. The long term planning horizon is the next 12 hours. Aircraft and crew are rostered using the legal limits for planning purposes so as soon as ANY aspect of the operation doesn’t run exactly to schedule – it’s chaos.

Flight crew are treated with contempt – cabin crew with total contempt.

The roster is a useless document – rarely issued more than 4-5 days before the end of the month and irrelevant anyway because you are regarded as available every day. You’re also assumed to be permanently logged on to Email – roster changes are notified to you this way (except on the day itself). So if you get up at 0400 for a 0600 duty having gone to bed early, it might have been changed overnight (by Email) to a 1400 start without you knowing about it - or more likely vice versa! Expect to be called on your days off and expect changes to at least 80% of your duties – frequently changes of > 6 hours to a duty start/end time at very short notice – i.e. disrupting your planned rest – assuming you ever managed to plan it.
Cabin crew are subject to disciplinary action if they refuse to work a day off (for which they receive no compensation) without a good reason – being a rostered day off doesn’t count as a good reason. The systems supporting crewing seem to be hopeless – don’t be surprised if they ring you thinking you’re on a different Continent. Also be aware that retrospective roster changes will be made to make it legal for you to work e.g. you had 2 days standby last week but weren’t called? – we’ll change them to days off to make the duty we want to give you legal.

As others have mentioned, the aircraft are old and tired and insufficient account of this is taken when planning. The 5 767s have 4 different flight deck layouts/configurations since they were originally built for different customers. Naturally, the 757/767 fleet has all 3 different airframe/engine combinations.
If you decide to work there, check the aircraft’s legal docs before departure VERY carefully. The FMSs have no pre-stored routes and no SIDS/STARS/Approaches for any airfield except LGW/MAN. Some destination airfields aren’t even in the FMS.
Don’t forget to brush up your manual load sheet technique either – you’ll also need it everywhere except LGW/MAN.
Trivial perhaps to all you super aces (!) out there but all the “low level hassle” (and there is plenty more – see above) makes the job much more wearying than it needs to be.

Positives – yes there are some – your colleagues (flight and cabin), genuinely mixed 757/767 long and short haul flying (none of this bo**ocks of rostering the 767s by seniority for example – but then they’re too disorganized to manage that!), there’s a good cross section by background/age of very experienced and knowledgeable flight crew who will have lots of useful tips for you. The people who prepare the FPL/Notam/Wx paperwork for you pre-departure have the patience of Saints.

You’ll have to decide for yourself if you want to go there (which of course is tricky without taking the risk of going there and seeing for yourself), it all depends on your personal situation and experience but keep in mind that there are plenty of 757/767 jobs out there at the moment – but be quick because Excel people are filling them as fast as you can read this !! If you’re already in one you’d be very ill advised to quit to go to Excel.

The particularly demoralising thing is that there’s no hint of improvement – indeed, no hint that the “management” recognise that there’s a problem. Hopefully, the trickle of departures turning into a flood will disabuse them of their complacency but as ever, by then it’ll be too late.

Re Saddest’s post about the 737 people – Excel has actually taken over Air Atlanta Europe and there are some particularly unpleasant Excel folks who think they are God and the ex-AAE 757/767 people are untermenschen spoiling their cosy little world on the 737 fleet – something the substantial body of BA retirees with their ACTUAL experience of ETOPS (and years of long haul experience on other types) are not particularly impressed by.
All in all, this is a nasty mean spirited company where flight and cabin crew are regarded by the (invisible) “management” as a problem obstructing the smooth operation of their airline.

To be avoided.

PS Oooops forgot to answer the original question. 757/767 (you won’t be 767 only) captains get GBP65,000 plus GBP2.28 per hour from check-in at base to check-out back at base. No (more) over 60s.
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Old 14th Sep 2006, 22:58
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I believe there setting up a base in Dublin.From the comments and descriptions of the constant chaos in the airline they seem pretty similar to the outfit I already work for.Will there ever be a descent airline set up in Ireland!!!!Does anybody know there plan for Ireland?
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Old 14th Sep 2006, 23:55
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Thanks everyone.

Well I would have to say that the replies (except one) have not been too encouraging so far. I meet all the criteria and since I've been with my airline for quite a few years and in general I'm not unhappy with them, I was thinking I needed a bit of a change to blow the cobbwebs away.........perhaps just not that much of a change.

Thanks again!
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Old 15th Sep 2006, 09:52
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In defence my 'lud...

Hello
I would like to point out that there are many people in all departments working extremly hard to try and turn the corner at XL, a company that is evolving from a complicated background.When you merge the different cultures of AAI and XL there are bound to be clashes,both of operational ideas and more likely as some of the above posts show personalities.
We are all fully aware of the disruption and the difficulties that this then presents to crew, that situations that we face are the result of decisions not made by the guys and gals in ops , crewing etc , they just have the thanksless task of pushing pi*s up hill.
I believe that many guys on the 757 / 767 are on their toes to Flyglobespan, will it be any better there ? You might find some family connections in the senior management there , perhaps a case of same sh*t different colour ? Surely they suffer from delays and tech aircraft ?
Many of the crew appear to be relatively happy , we have many guys that are getting good hours ,flying modern equipment ( B737NG) , progressing up the ladder.And a lot of the guys of the B757 / B767 seem to be content as well.
As for rosters arriving with only 4- 5 days notice , I can think of one only one occasion when this was the case ,and due to some huge disruption to the flying programme,and I think it was actually 7 days.
At any company there will be a percentage of crew who are not happy,that is my own personal experience ,and they are always about to leave to go to VS, Ba or EK,for vast somes of money but in general they never do.
To answer the original question ,why not apply to XL ,things are changing ,too slowly for some but definatly for the better.
May the farce be with you
Daft Wader


ps sorry for any poor speeling and gramma I didnt go to skool.
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Old 15th Sep 2006, 11:18
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FlyGlobeSpan is an interesting case... XL's Queen of Crewing went there earlier this year, and within a week they sent an email asking for their job back as they could not believe how disorganised and chaotic it was there...
Think the Wader is right - the charter industry is by its very nature a constant state of flux and flummox. And i for one love it, and i love working at XL! (and yes, i was at BA before this so have something sane to compare it against).

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Old 15th Sep 2006, 20:06
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How's life on the 747 fleet (Travel City Direct)? Similarly bad or more stable?
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Old 15th Sep 2006, 22:16
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RaTa,
If you are thinking of putting in an application then it might be useful to remember that their identity is 'Excel' and 'Airways' (two seperate words) and not 'Excelairways' without even a capital 'A'
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Old 16th Sep 2006, 01:33
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Originally Posted by The Yank View Post
Don't get me started...
Care to elaborate for those who are not familiar? I would think flying the 747 would be a good opportunity and offer a good long-haul lifestyle... No doubt the pay is crapp but that wouldn't surprise me.. Perhaps you could add some details. Are newhires even eligible for the 747 or are those filled by internal transfers?

Cheers
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Old 16th Sep 2006, 03:57
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Phileas Fogg

Thanks for the tip, having just checked their advert again it is two words.

However perhaps they should be a bit more consistent. Since I work overseas and I'm not familiar with the airline, I used the header of their advert which is one word, a reasonable thing to do, but they do have it at the bottom of the advert as two words.
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Old 19th Sep 2006, 13:23
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Question

Hi Guys
What is the take home pay per month for a Capt on the 737 buses.
Cheers
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Old 20th Sep 2006, 22:45
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And I have an interview coming up for F/O on the 73NG. Can anyone give me a clue as to take home pay for an F/O and the roster pattern etc? have tried ppjn but its not that informative. Many thanks in advance.
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Old 21st Sep 2006, 20:28
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Yes, some feedback from the 737 crews would be good! Any 737 F/O's like to comment on lifestyle, pay, etc?
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Old 21st Sep 2006, 22:00
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Originally Posted by NG708 View Post
Yes, some feedback from the 737 crews would be good! Any 737 F/O's like to comment on lifestyle, pay, etc?
Reasonable amount of beer tokens, a free anr headset, second choice on the hosties, oops i mean crew food, and free cardio health care walking to and from the man crew room.Erm thats it. Oh and the mangamnet know your first name and you theirs.....priceless.
Despite some of the anti xl people , life isnt too bad on the 737 fleet. As one young man put it, ...New jet , interesting flying to the islands, easy going colleagues and constructive sim (ie not an ex raf chop house) , mostly, and getting paid as well.
rosters have been a bit dodgy, but about 2500 to 2800 take home for average (three bar typed) f/o before flight pay, loss of licence,pension, 2.28 per hr fp, and all of the above. No different problems than any other charter operator, it just seems to affect some more than others.But then Ive found they are usually the same types that seem to have worked for everyone.
Cheers. I had a ball. The desert is calling
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Old 23rd Sep 2006, 22:12
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Bushbolox,
I hope your time in the sandpit will bring you to a level of maturity that time at previous employers has obviously not. Your comments paint a picture of an opinionated unreasonable individual to say the least. Post merger Excel, whatever trials and tribulations lay ahead can only be grateful for your departure, as you obviously had nothing positive to bring to your amalgamated FELLOW employees.
Good luck, hope you find some happiness with your new peer group.Our loss is obviously their gain.
Back to the point, yes times can be frustrating at Excel, I've worked for worse,.. and better. Transitional phase that could go either way. Been around long enough not to expect valhalla with any employer. Rostering can be frustrating, due more people required to cope with a constant expansion (and natural attrition) over the three years that I have worked there. The people that you work with make up for it though, (with the odd exception, who will generally leave!) across all fleets in the main. Good mix of long and short haul 75/76. Money average. Sociable times downroute.
Slainte.

Last edited by threestable; 23rd Sep 2006 at 22:25.
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