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Astraeus pilots fly for nothing

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Astraeus pilots fly for nothing

Old 26th Feb 2008, 20:42
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: U.K.
Age: 41
Posts: 3,112
It is a hard thing to do no doubt, but why haven't we BALPA members (I include myself in this) lobbied hard through the union and CC's (if applicable) to do something about it?

This is one one issue where a divided workforce with no representation or common voice can get stuffed about to pillar and post.

Apathy has allowed this to happen and in the words of Martin Niemoller.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

A bit melodramatic for certain in this case, but the principle is the same. If liberties start getting taken at the lower end of the scale, they'll start being taken higher up.
Say again s l o w l y is offline  
Old 26th Feb 2008, 21:17
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: England
Posts: 65
As part of the deal between Easyjet and Airbus, Airbus pay for so many FO's to be trained on the 319 and yet Easyjet still charge new FO's for a full TR. Is that fair to the new FO's?
2engop is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2008, 02:18
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: blank
Posts: 46
Unfortunately for wannabes BALPA and IFALPA and the other national pilots bodies across the world have bigger fish to fry. Our T&C's (and yours one day) are under constant attack so efforts tend to get focussed on the more important issues facing members. Things like pensions, pay rises, increases in rostered hours, days off, breaks, layover times downroute, quality of hotels, meals etc etc. Remember also that many of the unions survive by using volunteers from the pilot body and there are only so many hours that they can give whilst balancing work and home life. If you want greater representation then perhaps the best way is to get wannabes to join unions in the first place and lead by example with setting up sub committees to focus on issues specific to that portion of the membership. You could then take the various arguments to the likes of the CAA eg: impact on flight safety with pay for your own type rating f/o's on the flight deck.

I can't help but feel that this is an incredibly blinkered viewpoint as the very necesity of paying for hours is surely eroding t&cs further up the chain by providing cheaper labour. In addition, what clout would 'wannabe' unions have?

It's patently obvious by now that wannabes have little sway over the market, and accept the requirements imposed by airlines. Perhaps those interested in protecting their t&cs should also be taking a genuine interest in the t&cs of new hires to prevent a knockon effect on themselves? To only be concerened about directly perceived erosion to t&cs seems short sighted.
M80 is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2008, 02:21
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Cloud 9
Posts: 2,878

Mr Fogg

and rather than the 'thanks but no thanks' letter are you, or is your sec, replying with not just a one line letter, but maybe a second line stating that the line is drawn regarding paying for line training and warning them against it?

To answer your question the positions I/we may have available and the requirements of 'being considered suitable' are clearly advertised. One such requirement has never been for the applicant to pay for his job but such is the desperation of some they fire off the standard application anyway.

If they write then they do not even get a reply, why be nice to guys prepared to 'prostitute' themselves and can't even understand the minimum required criteria of the advertisement thus just wasting one's time?

If they phone then they are, quite politely, informed 'we don't sell hours'.

One 'line' that I sometimes enjoy is that we advertise that they need a good command of the English language. Well, let us say, the requirement, advertised in the English language, is 500 hours on type and they phone with zero or significantly less than 500 hours on type, well, I inform them, they have just failed the English language test
Phileas Fogg is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2008, 02:42
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Samsonite Avenue
Posts: 1,496

What may seem as a blinkered view taken by those pilots further up the chain is not a fair presumption since if we could change things then many of us would. If politics were changed that easily in our own backyard then BALPA to some extent would be redundant along with the Crew Councils that have to fight hard for the Ts and Cs for many UK airlines. Many of us have a hard slog fighting for our own Ts and Cs and since we often struggle up hill against what are sometimes tough odds, the thought of pursuing the interests of potential employees is bound to rank well down in our agenda - as harsh as it may seem.
Mister Geezer is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2008, 07:27
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: blank
Posts: 46
Thank for the reply. I understand that erosion of terms and conditions is a perpetual war of attrition and that resources are limited, with many pilots feel they are unable to effect change.

When you talk about the fight for your own terms and conditions as being different to that of the improvement of terms and conditions for new hires, that highlights my point. T&Cs of new hires directly affects T&Cs of established pilots. An influx of lower salaried pilots will devalue pilots across the spectrum.

We all like to bemoan the guys who are paying for hours, and they seem to be our punching bag. But with no one else looking out for them, they're doing what they see fit to get hired, to the detriment of the industry. Unfortunately, we'll no doubt all do nothing and it all goes in the 'Too Hard' box until one day flying won't be a viable employment option.
M80 is offline  
Old 27th Feb 2008, 11:08
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Scotland mainly, rather than at home.
Posts: 387
M80 hear, hear!

Very interesting set of points, and if others were prepared to accept that looking after those lower on the chain (a big assumption here), would in fact be helping themselves further up the chain, what would be the best way for them to go about doing this? Also what can those who have managed to get that first job do to protect terms and conditions for those behind them as they climb the ladder?

At the moment it is true to say that apparently all that seems to be done is to make a rallying call to the unions, and blame the type rating self sponsorers.
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Old 28th Feb 2008, 02:46
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Mr Angry From Purley,
Hiya 'A', the point here is that the passengers are paying down the back and even the guy/gal sitting up the front is paying, significantly more, for the seat he/she occupies.

I do have an insight into what goes on at 'Ashtrays' and of course they are only going to allow guys/gals that are up to scratch to proceed with the flying after their type rating but that doesn't prevent Ashtrays from doing the 'hard sell' on the T/R & flying package. Indeed there is often a backlog of guys/gals that have done the T/R but there simply aren't enough slots available to fill them in for the flying so, just perhaps, should a few not be up to scratch then, just perhaps, it might suit!
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Old 28th Feb 2008, 16:09
  #49 (permalink)  

Ut Sementem Feeceris
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 2,582
So, presumably then, all Captains at Astraeus are Training Captains? Or do these pay-to-fly guys and gals only get to fly with Trainers. If not ...... how can they be under training if flying with a Line Captain?

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Old 29th Feb 2008, 08:17
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: london
Posts: 26
PPrune never ceases to amaze me. A thread is started and opinions expressed without the correct information.

Bond (now known as Alpha) has a contract with AEU to help it market it's type rating courses. The contract, which I believe is now the bane of AEU, allows Alpha to sell line training on AEU aircraft. AEU get nothing from the deal accept the right to then employ the really good ones (if that coincides with a requirement). I understand that this was set up on a goodwill basis, when Bond and AEU were sister companies (now not the case).

I understand the new FTM at AEU is less than happy with the current arrangement he has inherited and only allows these Alpha/Bond cadets to fly with Trainers AND a safety pilot (and then only for 10 sectors - to fulfil contractual obligations). Apparently only 1 such cadet is in the system at present, so hardly cause for Union involvement.
standbyils is offline  
Old 29th Feb 2008, 11:49
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 78
Bond and AEU were one and the same before AEU sold up.
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Old 1st Mar 2008, 18:40
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: TYLOS
Posts: 112
Here, here standbyILS!,

You are completely correct.

If anybody would like to call the training dept at AEU in the search for line training, they will be told, without doubt, that it is not available through the airline on a commercial basis to self sponsored cadets.

Astraeus used to be the sole supplier of a limited amount of line training to Bond Aviation TRTO when they were sister companies - up until about 18 months ago. Any line training will, I believe, have been invoiced and provided to the student by Bond NOT Astraeus.

Since Bond and AEU split (approx. 18 months ago) Bond can request line training provision from AEU and subject to A) availability of training on the AEU line and B) the student passing AEU's OCC operator conversion course (including LPC/OPC SIM check and about 2 weeks ground courses) then AEU can provide LT to Bond as part of a reciprocal company agreement.

Bond has the contract to provide all of AEU's pilot training in terms of TRTO services/support and therefore it SHOULD be a reciprocal and successful arrangement.. as StandbyILS says that is a bone of contention with many at AEU at the moment... I will say no more.....

Also, any line training pilot that has sat in the RHS of an AEU aircraft through the above has done so following:

1) Passing an initial assessment to get onto a TR course with Bond (SIM assessment)
2) Passing the CAA approved B737/757 Tech ground school Course (3 Weeks) including a morning of CAA B737/757 tech exams
3) Passing the LST (Licence Skills test) at the end of the TR SIM course with a CAA appointed TRE (Type Rating Examiner)
4) Successfully completed Base Training with a CAA appointed base training captain (TRI (A)) in the aircraft to a good standard
5) having his/her full training file audited and assessed by the training management at AEU prior to acceptance - perhaps the best assessment for any pilots position, a detailed history of the pilots basic training and a full breakdown and write up of the 6-8 week TR course.
6) Passing the AEU OCC course including a further LPC/OPC with an AEU (CAA authorised) TRE, successfully.
7) a 5yr reference / criminal reference check and subsequently been issued a full BAA ID airport security pass

and will once cleared onto the line only be rostered to fly with AEU training captains (TRE's/TRI's and LTC's) and for at least the first 10 sectors with a safety pilot / FO as a third crew member sitting on the jump seat.

and Most importantly is there because more than anything else he or she WANTS to be there, has asked to be there and has demonstrated their ability and comitment to doing so having jumoed through all the above hoops.

None of the pilots in the RHS at AEU in the last 3 years will have paid AEU for their LT. Possibly to Bond, but it is Bond marketing the product and dealing with the pilot commercially not AEU. AEU and Bond had a good working relationship (until recently!) which worked in favour of both parties, simple as that.

You can argue until the cows come home about whether or not it is right to pay for TR's or indeed LT. The fact is the airlines want TR pilots but many are not prepared to pay for TR's and many cadet pilots want to fly jets because they want to progress quickly to a decent salary and are not type rated. Demand = Supply!

Whether it is Bond via AEU, EagleJet via Royal Air Maroc, Pegasus TRTO and Airlines , Sigmar via MyTravel or anyone else it will continue as long as pilots want it in my view..
lookoutbelow is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2008, 00:13
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: uk
Posts: 247
This wouldnt be a smear campaign would it? Surely not.
aztruck is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2008, 00:27
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Location: Location:
Age: 52
Posts: 265

Hopefully not. I have flown with them many, many times and whilst they may be a small outfit, they are professional, service orientated and have some of the best crews I have ever met, both Flight and CC.

So what if they have some low-houred, in-training FO's?? Everything is legal, many Astraeus pilots have forgotten more than most of us will ever be lucky enough to learn, they certainly have developed skills that people who don't fly to deepest Africa/Asia never will and in only 5 years they have gone from being a start-up to if not a major player, then certainly a company which can compete amongst the larger charters.

And no, I don't work for, nor do I have any involvement with Astraeus, financial, vested or otherwise!!

Last edited by Dan D'air; 2nd Mar 2008 at 01:14.
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Old 2nd Mar 2008, 15:46
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 78
Jet2 haven't had a slagging for a while
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