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Astraeus pilots fly for nothing

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Astraeus pilots fly for nothing

Old 25th Feb 2008, 07:49
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Astraeus pilots fly for nothing

Is it true that Astreaus actually charges some of its junior FO's to fly their aircraft??
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 08:29
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Morning old chap

Technically, these boys and girls are paying for line training, getting those 100/300/500 hours on type, whether it is worth anything? The verdict is still open; however, some do get hired by astreaus or other players following the conclusion.
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 08:33
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That is outrageous.

I hate to mention minimum wage regulations, but this is a scandal.

Are any of the management 'employed' on the same basis as a result of the 'experience they are receiving?'
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 08:36
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They are not employees, but pilots paying for 'training' services. As I understand it.
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 08:53
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Okay, but are they operating or 'training' on public transport flights?
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 09:19
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... dont you think it would be a bit expensive to only have training on non-revenue flights ? i think you will find that most airlines train new recruits, whether self funded or not, on commercial flights ... there is no other way around this. the difference with Astraeus is that, as mentioned earlier, the trainees are not employees.
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 09:33
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The 'difference' is not that simple.

Correct, they are not employees. They are pilots paying to operate commercially which in my opinion is even worse than self funding type ratings and yet another nail in the coffin of this industry's so-caled professionialism.

It's disgusting.
Old 25th Feb 2008, 10:19
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Because of less than satisfactory experience with pilots who,d gained some hours on type on "pay for line training schemes" all pilots joining my airline with less than 500 hours on type have to have a full type rating course irrespective of holding a rating.This makes paying for line experience a waste of time.VBR Stampe
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 10:29
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Personally I think this practice of pilots paying for hours on airliners engaged in commercial operations should be stopped by legal means. It is blatantly NOT "line training", they are sitting in the right hand seat as an acting first officer and should be getting paid at least minimum wage. Also it means that an airline involved in this type of exploitation will not have a decent level of experience in the RHS due to constant turnover of F/O's.

Another consideration is that you have a potential situation where you have a first officer who is not up to standard but sits there because of their wallet and it creates an unfair market balance as the airline has reduced their crew wage bill considerably compared to their competitors.

Also worth noting that one of the airlines in Europe who operate this "scheme" have had a fatal accident with a large loss in life in the last 12 months.

Rant over, I think I've said this numerous times on here and the wannabes thread before.
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 11:10
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paying for a TR has been around for decades
That doesn't make it right. Will paying for line training be an accepted practice in twenty years time? You only have to look at Ryanair to see where that has led, the way the management perceive the crew. O'Leary knows there'll always be someone prepared to undercut their 'colleagues'.

but paying for line training is wrong
Would you have said paying for a type rating was wrong twenty years ago? I suspect you would.

Its no good giving the chaps doing it a hard time;
Why not? They are undermining the rest of us just as those who first paid for their type ratings did.

How would you feel if you lost your job to someone who was paying to fly? Because that's what's happening here. The next step is someone who passes the line training and buys another block of hours. Twenty more years down the road will that be acceptable?
Old 25th Feb 2008, 11:36
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Just plain wrong

If the people paying for the line training are good enough to succeed the type rating course why on earth are they paying for line training as well. Oh how naive(sic) of me, its to get a foothold upon the airline pilot job ladder. Whats wrong with a bit of working your way up the industry from GA to Corporate to Regional to Long Haul (and perhaps back !!!) Why not just buy your way to the airline jet jockey job with a fat 20k odd cheque to Bond or Astraeus. I remember the good intentions of Astraeus when it first started offering type ratings and the potential for a job with a semi-sponsored scheme about 5 years ago. Thats disappeared and instead we see money-no-object idjits gate-crashing a profession for little or no reward. Who is taking who for a ride ???

I imagine that the Astraeus "trainees" working at LHR going to Freetown this summer will be earning less than the cleaners

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Old 25th Feb 2008, 11:43
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If its true what do balpa have to say about these practices which if true are morally and professionally wrong.I guess you have to work for BA for balpa to get involved

Last edited by king surf; 25th Feb 2008 at 11:51. Reason: spelling
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 11:51
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Can anybody explain to me why this bs practise is accepted by the IFALPA? To me it seems that they have never done anything to stop it, that`s why I say that they accept it. They`re good at looking after their union mates and all (yes I`m a member), but what about the future members and their right for employment on an equal basis? This really bugs me, since a lot of good pilots who have worked their way through instructor jobs to GA companies, even corporate, are getting bypassed by inexperienced pilots straight out of flight school and a fresh TR just because they have paid their way to the airlines. Disgusting.
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 11:52
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'LHR going to Freetown'. Freetown .... the poor buggers
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 11:53
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How would you feel if you lost your job to someone who was paying to fly? Because that's what's happening here. The next step is someone who passes the line training and buys another block of hours. Twenty more years down the road will that be acceptable?
I fully understand your opinion, and whilst now that I have a proper flying job it would be easy to jump on the bandwagon and say ban the desperados who go to these lengths, let's remember that they have got themselves that way by being between a financial rock and a hard place: having thrown good money (and a lot of it) after CPL/IR training without the possibility of financial return on their investment. The problem stemmed from the decision to start training in the first place, not from the decision to pay for a rating or for line training. Too many pilots must be being trained if there is a surfeit of qualified people having to pay to get more experience to get themselves noticed. It's easy to blame them but let's try and remember the desperation which forced them into this in the first place.

Whilst I did not myself have the choice of paying for ratings or line training, if I could have found the funds it would have been a fairly good investment and most probably got me that return on my initial investment (which was beginning to look a total loss at the time) because it would have helped me into a jet salary. Although I was forced to do it the "hard way" by flying a photographer, there weren't many GA jobs around, and I was lucky to get one, especially in my area of the country. This type of work does not pay well, and the two hour each-way drive from home to work cost more than I was earning, so, in a way, I was paying for my hours. Even now, I am so low paid as a turbo prop FO there is little profit after travelling and living expenses, my salary is half that of an Easyjet FO. In a way I am STILL paying for experience, why is that more acceptable?

Without hours and experience few get jobs (although some are lucky), more often than not those hours and experience are required to include turbine and multi crew time. Quite often jet time is the preference.

What's the answer? I've not a clue.

It would help if wanabes were better educated as to the true facts facing them at the end of their initial training. It would also help if it were possible to plan a career strategy and go step by step up the rungs of your flying career, but so much of it depends on luck and being in the right place at the right time, as there are simply not enough jobs to go around at any level of the ladder. Let's not forget that the instructing route generally involves paying for a rating, it just costs less, but then the pay is very low too.

Whilst I can see that having to pay for line training is a poor thing to be asked by an airline, I can see why the trainee does it: to them it is simple logic.
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 12:04
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"What have Balpa got say" the answer is Astraeus is an airline that negotiates with the IPA says it all really.VBR Stampe
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 12:06
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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.
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 12:26
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hope the pilots have enough money to pay for malaria tablets at 30 quid a go.
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 13:02
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And lets not forget the biggest of them all . . .

What's the big surprise???

Good old Eagle Jet that is doing the exact same thing for ages . . .
What a rip off . .

I'm happy at least to see they have knocked their prices by more them 50% . . it means hopefully that the pay to work enterprise of their isnít doing very good.
slowly but surely businesses like them will disappear off the face of the earth . .
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Old 25th Feb 2008, 13:21
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The original qustion was "Is it true that Astraeus do this?" I know they used to, when they were tied up with Bond. I was under the impression that their relationship had broken up.

If so, do Astraeus still charge for line training or not? Perhaps someone can answer this specifically.


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