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Monarch T & C's

Old 4th Oct 2006, 17:45
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Monarch T & C's

Hey all,

Have an interview with Monarch coming up and was hoping that someone was able to tell be a little about what it's like working for the airline, eg. rostering, T & C's etc. What would a typical month involve in terms of flights etc?

Doesn't seem to be a huge amount on the site about the airline which is usually a good thing!!??

Thanks V much in advance.
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Old 4th Oct 2006, 18:35
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Hi TD,

Good luck with your interview. There is a lot of information on This website which might help.

There are main bases at Luton, Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham.

Recruitment is initially on to the A320/1, A300 and B757. There are opportunities later for mixed fleet flying on the 757/767 and A320/1/330. Obviously such opportunities depend on many factors but have been occurring within a year or two for some recent joiners.

It is difficult to come up with a typical roster as it varies from fleet to fleet and base to base. You can however expect to be busy particularly on the Airbus fly by wire fleet. The flying is likely to be a mix of schedule service flights to Spain and Portugal and the Canaries, and Inclusive tour flying to all the usual med' destinations. With regards to the latter Summer is obviously busier than winter and rosters of up to 90 hours in 28 days are not unusual at some bases and on certain fleets. Winter tends to be quieter however ad hoc and ski flights supplement the winter sun flying and it can be busier than you might expect.

The company has 6 firm orders in for Boeing 787's with deliveries starting in 2010. Additional options may increase this order eventually to 10 units in the foreseeable future.

A good company with a lot of great people to work with. Terms and conditions were revamped for new joiners a couple of years ago to bring the renumeration into line with market competitors. Obviously from a new employees perspective not for the better, however you read the contract on offer and decide for yourself I guess. Some of the conditions on offer make it easier for a pilot to move on if they feel that is beneficial for them, and this may become something the company has to address in the near future. The old "anchors" of seniority and final salary pension schemes are not ties for new joiners.
Despite this and contrary to what some might tell you, there is not an exodus of previous new joiners and many people make a good career in the company.
It is hard work at times, it can be very frustrating, but that is true of most companies in the same markets and it still remains a good place to work for most people.

If you want any more information just ask either here where you will get more varied replies or by PM ( though the replies may take longer).
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Old 4th Oct 2006, 19:14
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I would agree with most of what Bealzebub says regarding it being generally a good company to work for and good people. However T's and C's for new joiners fall behind comparable companies - Thomsonfly, First Choice, Thomas Cook etc. And IMHO there is considerable movement in terms of relatively new people leaving.

The pension now is very poor. You contribute 8% to generate a company maximum contribution of 8% and it is a direct contribution scheme. Compare with a final salary scheme available after 5 years at Thomsonfly or between 3.5 and 5% contribution at First Choice to generate a 15% Company contribution.

Also there is a salary cap for new joiners. It occurs after 10 years as an F/O at a level about 9000pa less than people on the old scheme. Hopefully you won't spend 10 years as an FO, but for Captains it also occurs at year 10 and knocks between 7000 and 8000pa off your final salary compared with the old scheme.

As a company and job I would recommend it, but go in with your eyes open. Long term there is a salary cap and poor pension to consider. If you are relatively young it is a great place to get a good type and move on after 3 years experience. By then things may have changed for the better or you might be content with your lot.

Check your PM's for a bit more....
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Old 4th Oct 2006, 20:55
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Bealzebub, Sphinx

Thanks v much for your replies!! Great to get a bit of gen from you guys. Will have a look at the link Bealzebub and come back once I am suitably confused!!

Thanks again,

TD

Last edited by Touchin' Down; 1st Nov 2006 at 18:30.
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Old 5th Oct 2006, 00:08
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Apparantly a management pilot has stated that they want to benchmark our terms and conditions with Jet2
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Old 5th Oct 2006, 08:27
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As per usual RS wants the zero cost option, first we were benchmarked with T/Fly, then Easy, then Excell, and finally Jet 2, I don't personally know why he doesn't just go the whole hog and benchmark us against Air Kurdistan, but then that would cost him his bonus...wouldnt it
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Old 5th Oct 2006, 19:01
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Thumbs down

Aye, things are not how they were in my day, lad!!

Sadly, for the last 6 - 8 years it has been a gradual but accelerating erosion of terms and conditions. Gone is............................... everything, the only insurance the company has against you wanting to leave in 2 years time is that you'll be on your knees and too tired to apply elsewhere, coz I guarantee you'll want to. This will be in no small way attributed to the constant 18hr rest periods, roster patterns going from earlys to lates to nights.Ask the CAA.

Human resources, are a couple of dirty words in head office, where the attitude of if its legal........then F'off and do it. There are still some dinosaurs running things who have been there since the company was in short trousers, based in portakabin with a fleet a third of the size it is now and at the risk of seeming harsh they can no longer cope. My sympathy extended for as long as it took to effect my lifestyle.

There are some great people on the flying side, but the union is paralysed from an impressive bit of divide and conquer imposed by the management. With so many different fleets, payscales etc progress will always be limited. If things are bad now its unlikely they are going to improve again until there is a world pilot shortage(not on the horizon!), and they finally the company relents to pay as much as it takes to stem the flow of exhausted, demoralised pilots.

If you are on the bottom of the ladder looking to start I have every sympathy in your need for a first break. My only warning is don't be tempted by any previous reputation the company has. The original attractions Monarch held as an employer are evaporating and fast. If you have choices consider them carefully.

Please all, this should not be interpreted by anyone still there as me gloating and an outburst self congratulatory dirge. I made my choice to leave for many reasons and only on my day of retirement will I be able to decide whether they were good or bad choices.
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Old 5th Oct 2006, 20:13
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Touchin Down,

A fellow ex-military flyer who joined Monarch just 18 months ago has recently resigned despite being told that he is being considered for Command. That should speak volumes!!!

Whilst Bealzebub is quite correct to state that there is not an exodus, it would be fair to say that pilot turnover is far greater than it has ever been before. People are leaving and many more are considering thier options very carefully.

As QAR ASR has already stated, don't be suckered in by the company's previous reputation as an excelent employer. Sadly, it is a completely different beast these days.

Good luck with the interview, it tends to be a rather relaxed affair usually nothing more than a friendly chat with a couple of management pilots at head office in Luton.
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Old 5th Oct 2006, 20:25
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Monarch

Cheers guys, all food for thought. Sounds as though you are working pretty hard. Guess I'll see what happens in a couple of weeks. May not even come to having to make the decision! Really appreciate the insider views, certainly a few things there I hadn't really thought about too much.

TD
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Old 6th Oct 2006, 17:18
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With that attitude Touchin down you'll go a long way

The interview is a relaxed affair, essentially a chat between yourself and a couple of management pilots. They are there to get a flavour of you, and you to get a flavour of the company.
On the negative side there are some quite contentious issues that are coming to a head at the moment, as well as some within the management structure that are stuck in a bit of a timewarp.
On the positive side, the company is profitable, scheduled pax numbers are up 20% year on year, and the prospect of the 787 looms large.
The company is full of some absolutely fantastic people, excellent trainers (who as a group view checking as a training rather than chopping exercise), and at the current rate of expansion you can reasonbly expect a command assessment within 3 years if you join with a reasonable experience level(it has been up to 7 years)
All in all I've decided to stick around for a bit, I've even turned down BA in the process.
If we (pilots and the CC) get on top of a 3 or 4 serious issues, the place will regain a fair bit of the shine it has lost recently.
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Old 6th Oct 2006, 17:59
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Cheers MM,

Always try to go in to things with an open mind but can be a bit hard when you know so little about working in the industry! Again, all good info you've passed on. Apart from the people who work with Monarch, which it appears are all pretty chilled out, there must be some other positives??? Or not? lol.
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Old 6th Oct 2006, 18:08
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Touchin' Down

Well yes there are other good things, but it depends on your point of view. For instance I enjoy the fact that I get a mix of charter, scheduled, and longhaul flying. I dont exclusively do one or the other, and that suits me fine because I prefer to be home most nights
If you join on the FBW fleet 320/321, you will get to know the Spanish Costa's and the Canary Islands very well, then when you get a chance on the 330 you can go to Sanford, Calgary, Male, Goa, and a few more places besides, so once you get some seniority (18 months worth or so) the variety of flying is quite good

Again I hope this helps
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Old 6th Oct 2006, 18:32
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QAR
18 hr rest periods, earlys to lates to nights is a by product of one thing called CAP371, particularly said rule on max 3 earlies/nights.
We all hope that Sub Part Q will eventually reach these shores and you will see much more sensible schedules. For example why not offer 4 consecutive earlies or nights instead to solve your complaint. Which is better?. Given that is medical evidence to support 5 earlies (EZY) and 4 nights (DHL) there should be no issue
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Old 6th Oct 2006, 18:43
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The 787 will replace the A300/767. The A300/767 pilots will probably be tranferred to the 787,

A pilot joining on the A320 may see long-haul for a while, but the A330 is due to be retired in 2013, so expect a lifetime of Spain and back, with no prospect of 787.
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Old 10th Oct 2006, 22:47
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Mr A,

5 earlies is already possible in CAP 371 - its just you don't choose to use it because of the extra strings attached like not more than 9 hours duty and the extra time off needed - Brown Book 7.7.2.1 if you are interested. Sub part Q is unlikely to come our way as sensible countries have decided they don't want to be dragged down to the lowest common denominator and they realise that when people are tired at night in charge of machines people start dying (ask Gary Hart).

Yes easy do it - that's why their management have just agreed to go to 5 on 4 off 5 on 4 off because all their pilots are so knackered despite all their days off - nothing to do with the fact that their days off are midnight to 6 am rather than our 9 pm to 9 am of course.
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Old 10th Oct 2006, 23:19
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Monarch is a good stepping stone. You will get good training and fly with nice people.

I am looking to leave (Capt A320). The current management do not give a sh1t about its pilots and life is only getting worse. The union is well represented but unfortunately there are two different lifestyles within the company; A300/B757/A330 pilots are generally happy and do not want to rock the boat, A320 pilots are miserable - so any decision to stand up to the company is based on your fleet and to a certain extent, base. I sincerely do not know whether those in a better position are prepared to stand up for those of us who are not. I expect time will tell.

My advice is that we are a better bet than some (flybe, XL, ryanair etc) but a lot worse than others (BA, Virgin, Brits, First Choice, TFly, Easy etc).
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 09:23
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I have to agree with all that Whoops says. Like Whoops I am an A320 captain, and like him I am looking to jump ship in the not too distant future!

There is no career progression in Monarch and if you are unfortunate enough to be offered the A320, you will be stuck on that for ever! (Yes there is the carrot of long haul on the A330, however you possibly won't be on it very long before promotion and then it's back to the A320 / A321 only and 900 hours a year of Alicante!)
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 11:18
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The subject of crewing the B787 has not yet been established. Historically , Monarch has used its most experienced Capts to crew new ,longhaul a/c, and the Ops director has publicly stated, 3-4 years ago ref A330 crewing, that he sees wide body command as 'career' progression for his Capts. Of course there is nothing in writing ref any career path in Monarch, so in reality none exists, but it will be a contentious decision whichever way its decided.
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 11:24
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The Ops director has stated a lot of things lately....none of which amounts to a hill of beans, as he loves to say one thing and then do another.
Personally I've stopped taking notice of anything he says, afterall he doesn't take one bloody bit of notice of what we say
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Old 11th Oct 2006, 11:58
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From his book of quotes and the only entry, "I'll only consider it if its a nil cost option"
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