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Easyjet cutting flights and jobs

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Easyjet cutting flights and jobs

Old 3rd Sep 2009, 09:56
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Easyjet cutting flights and jobs

Just posted on the BBC news website:

BBC NEWS | Business | Easyjet cutting flights and jobs
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Old 3rd Sep 2009, 10:13
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I hope there is an element of MOL "throw the toys out of the pram" here, and that the overall crew establishment remains the same (or at worst you end up with a "BALPA" negotiated Winter retrenchment.)
Difficult times, at least whatever happens will have an element of "negotiation" to ameliorate the final outcome.
Another bleak week following on the surprise final breath of Sky Europe.
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Old 3rd Sep 2009, 10:18
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To be honest, I don't think it is an MOL toys-out-of-pram thing. It's happening.

Press release
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Old 3rd Sep 2009, 10:29
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Apart from the usual "sabre ratlling" regarding Airport charges
I think the underlying facts are that everybody is still under
the cosh of the recession and the likes of Easy & Ryan are
going wherever they can to get more bums on seats......
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Old 3rd Sep 2009, 10:43
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Sounds hairy, however...

20% reduction of approx 500 crew

= 100 less staff

= approx 40 pilots and 60 cabin crew (2:3 Boeing ratio)

= 20 F/Os and 20 cpts for even numbers to remain

= Less than the total of your MXP and FCO waiting lists

They save capacity, flight-deck wise - everyone who wants to stay stays, everyone else can scuttle off or get a huge leapfrog up the list.

Very broad-brush but maybe not the death knell suggested? Albeit still a problem for CC.
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Old 3rd Sep 2009, 10:47
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The bottom line is more UK plc jobs go abroad.

Anyone's job could be next with this load of misfits running the country.
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Old 3rd Sep 2009, 11:21
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Those of you that have read the various Luton threads on the Airlines, Airports etc Forum over the past 2/3 years will know that the current situation at Luton was almost inevitable unless Luton Borough Council (LBC) took a realistic stance.

The business model at Luton (i.e. LBC as owner franchises the operations out to a third party) has and always will be untenable. LBC crow about it being unique ... yes it's unique because nobody else has copied it because it is unworkable.

You therefore have a position whereby LBC as owner get a hefty charge per passenger using the airport and obstinately refuse to do any deals or offer rebates that might save ot even create jobs.

In Albertis, you have an airport operator who bought out the original incumbent TBI for a vastly inflated sum (without carrying out adequate due diligence??), then table ambitious expansion plans for the airport only to have them shot down in flames by LBC as part of the expansion won't take place on their land. As a result, Albertis are very likely to exercise the break clause in their Franchise Agreement with LBC (in 2014 from memory) and in the meantime are doing all they can to maximise their income from their "investment" in Luton.

The result is that you have the airport owner and airport operator who have boxed themselves into a corner for different yet related reasons and who either can't or won't accept the reality of the current economic situation.

I'm not suggesting that this is the only reason for the announcement from EZY, but the position here is somewhat different to the "usual sabre-rattling" over airport charges frequently exhibited by RYR.


OLY1B
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Old 3rd Sep 2009, 22:11
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Alas, this is not MOL throwing his toys out the cot. It is the inevitable result of incompetent management at our regional bases who have fiddled while Rome burnt. We have had only 3 aircraft at EMA for many years and always said there were no grounds for increasing that. In the meantime, Ryanair, BMI Baby and now Jet 2 looked at the same market and disagreed. They have all in the past, or are now in the process of, installing substantial numbers of aircraft there. This base was there for the taking and we sat back and did absolutely nothing. Similar scenes are occurring in BFS, GLA, LPL and EDI. In stark contrast easyJet elected to go big at LGW (over 40 aircraft there this Summer) and it has paid massive dividends. There are some seriously incompetent people in key positions at easyJet who need to be leaving for pastures new. Ryanair, for all its ills, are aggressive, decisive and intuitive about taking on new markets. We at easyJet have instead employed sheep in sheep's clothing who are cautious, indecisive and without direction when it comes to the UK market. Our Flt Ops director, a 'European' himself, knows a lot about Europe, nothing about handling people and even less about the UK market place. Consequently he has allowed our regional bases to suffer through neglect and indecision. That leads us to where we are today. Bizarrely easyJet are frightened of competition and instead of fighting in our core markets are hoping to operate somewhere where no one else is. Such places only exist in the imaginations of our senior managers - there is competition everywhere and the sooner we draw our line in the sand to take them on the better.

Everyone has their part to play here. We need pilots and cabin crew to operate the aircraft, engineers to keep them flying and marketeers to ensure there are passengers to take. Right now, that last group are losing the plot by not providing aircraft in sufficient numbers at our regional bases. This needs to be corrected swiftly.
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 06:08
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Now, what a big can of worms has just opened

So if East Midlands closes, Luton loses 20% of jobs plus Newcastle, Belfast, Stansted and Bristol in consultancy phase mode regarding flight crew losing jobs. How do the crews stand. Is it losing jobs on base by base basis or LIFO.

Plus will they still take on crew from CTC for 6 months or flexi schemes when they are making full time people redundant?

Over to you Balpa?
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 06:53
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How many more airlines are going to follow this trend whilst the punitive taxes in the UK rise and rise to cover the Governments mishandling of the economy and their failed social engineering.

BALPA has shown the 80% of the population will take a long haul flight from AMS rather than from the UK due to APD and taxes but still GB refuses to see it.

Time will tell when there is a change in No. 10 but history has taught us that in our two pony race for Downing street little changes after the policies have gone through the Labour bloated behemoth known as Whitehall.

I think this is an open, honest and shrewd move by EasyJet as the travelling public will now want to know why their travel is being disrupted and will start asking questions of the airport operators instead of the carriers.

Hopefully the crews will be relocated if they wish.
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 07:16
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the travelling public will now want to know why their travel is being disrupted and will start asking questions of the airport operators instead of the carriers.
I don't think the British travelling public, by and large, will think about it that deeply - certainly enough of them anyway. The first question they will ask is "so, who else flies that route"? Then they'll book with Ryanair or bmibaby, and that will be the end of it.

EMA is not about airport charges, it's because they think they can make more money elsewhere. The opportunities there that have been lost over the years to other airlines are huge - and nobody in management seems to be answering the question as to why the neglect was allowed to happen.
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 08:55
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As ever NSF has hit the nail on the head. A lot of the announcement - made public before informing the workforce - is purely a tool to redeploy the workers elsewhere at the convenience of the company at the cost of the individual.

The ultimatum being redundancy, or if you are lucky and arrive in Athens on the 1st of march to open our new base on the insulting contract that can be found inside, then we may find a way of keeping you on.

People will take it up for 2 reasons:

We all have bills to pay and mouths to feed.

We are mugs and will accept it without contest because there are no options at the moment.

Other underlying issues in the press release include the concept of pay per flight training allowances, and worryingly, a floating seasonal supply of CTC pilots with little experience, little continuity, given no time to consolodate, who are living from hand to mouth in constant fear of termination, and no future on the horizon.

All of which leads to a very unsafe operation and an unpleasant environment.

The AA, Cortaulds and Debenhams are a very different place. The employees don't pay 100k plus to gain qualifications and there are numerous alternatives for similar money if you don't like the uniform. Right here right now the economy is being used to trample on the captive audience.

As share holders the workforce do have a vote, which includes any belief of confidence in certain individuals.

There - got that off my chest.
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 08:58
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BALPA has shown the 80% of the population will take a long haul flight from AMS rather than from the UK due to APD and taxes but still GB refuses to see it.

Time will tell when there is a change in No. 10 but history has taught us that in our two pony race for Downing street little changes after the policies have gone through the Labour bloated behemoth known as Whitehall.
Ken Clarke, local MP, on Radio Nottingham at 10 am today - have posted a question about this!

BBC Radio Nottm
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 09:09
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BALPA has shown the 80% of the population will take a long haul flight from AMS rather than from the UK due to APD and taxes but still GB refuses to see it
The issue with EasjJet however is that less and less of the population can afford to fly due to the economy.
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 09:36
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From an outside observer's point of view this has undertones of BA in the regions.....From little withdrawls here and there........the floodgates eventualy opened.

They got so fat and complacent that they forgot how to compete and ran from competition on every occasion until they were left with little but fortress Heathrow.

Could it be that Easy have just become too bloated with their own success and have forgotten how to compete themselves?
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 10:37
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BALPA has shown the 80% of the population will take a long haul flight from AMS rather than from the UK due to APD and taxes but still GB refuses to see it
Which conversely infers that short haul carriers a la easyjet should see their passengers numbers increase whereas BA, Virgin and others should see their numbers fall from the UK.
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 13:51
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Which conversely infers that short haul carriers a la easyjet should see their passengers numbers increase whereas BA, Virgin and others should see their numbers fall from the UK.
Agree! Ken Clarke seemed to miss the point and blathered on about it wasn't a time to reduce taxation in the current circumstances and that jet fuel wasn't taxed anyway.
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 16:06
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Since my last post I have coincidentally bumped into quite a senior chap within the company who is most definitely 'in the know' as to what is going on. I found my conversation with him quite illuminating - it certainly cast a different slant over what easyJet as a company is doing at East Midlands. None of what I am saying is breaking any confidences, and I hope it may be helpful to people, who like me, are concerned by these decisions.

The first thing that was pointed out to me is that it is not our Flt Ops Director who makes any decisions about where aircraft go - a surprise to me, but there you have it! These decisions are strictly the territory of the Commercial Dept - and even they cannot open or close bases without the specific authorisation of the AMB.

In a nutshell, we have struggled to make East Midlands cost effective over the years. On several occasions in the past, the possiblity of expanding the base has been mooted, but the same arguments that prevented expansion initially have still held good after further examination. There are a variety of difficulties with East Midlands as an area. The passenger catchment area is not huge (around 600,000 people), and it is not a hugely wealthy area compared with other parts of the UK. These demographics create a significantly seasonal pattern to the flying program there. In practice this has led us to really cater for a leisure market rather than a business one, with the routes out of there being much more akin to a typical charter airline rather than a business one. The yields are very low, and the European market offers substantial increases in yield when taking on legacy carriers instead of other low cost carriers.

Our much loved fixed-pattern roster has proved very advantageous to company and crews alike at big bases such as Gatwick, but has proved very inefficient at East Midlands. In practice that means the company has struggled to get more than around 620 hours a year out of pilots - which is way below the competition.

The issue of competition is a tricky one. On initial consideration it would appear ridiculous that we cannot take on the likes of Jet 2 and Ryanair. Ryanair, however, are employing around 40% of their pilots as contractors. They are basically the kicking boys of the company (are not all Ryanair pilots kicking boys?) who can be employed 'as and when' at regional bases. Their employers have no responsibility for their HOTAC, and if they end up staying on park benches, rear seats of cars etc on before, during or after duties then that is their problem. It makes for a hideous but flexible workforce. Jet 2 have a fleet of old bangers which have no capitalisation issues - their 737-300s are cheap to own and it is of no consequence if they are sat around over the winter doing nothing because their cost of ownership is relatively small. Our posh new Airbuses, however, are big money to own and our crew costs are higher due to the 'inefficiencies' mentioned earlier. They need to be constantly flying as time on the ground is money - the seasonal nature of our flying at East Midlands really does not help us at all.

The company are very keen that this 'redeployment' of aircraft is seen as just that. We are still totally committed to expansion but bases like East Midlands do not offer that possibility. The question rightly arises as to what happens to the people employed at East Midlands and other affected bases. The company seems again keen to emphasise that there is no intention to make anyone redundant as there are jobs for all - it is just a question as to where those jobs will be! We are an expanding company and doing well, but there is great pressure to maximise bases doing well and leave those where there is no future. Alas, Dortmund and East Midlands are in that latter category. It is also worth mentioning that nothing is absolutely set in tablets of stone - if the Spanish, for example, recant from their position at Luton then we will not have the reduction in flying being considered.

To some reading this, it may seem I am just trotting out the management line. To an extent that is true - what I have said above comes straight from the horse's mouth. I think it is nonetheless helpful to hear their perspective and I hope it is therefore useful for those affected to hear the logic of what is going on from their perspective - love it or hate it! I was pleasantly surprised during my conversation that the guy I spoke to had a very clear grasp of the issues. From the outside, that is not always immediately apparent, and I for one was somewhat reassured by the conversation. Clearly there are implications for us all in what is happening and we have to recognise the enormous pressure our business as a whole is facing. Nonetheless, to quote Chicken Run - 'the Poultry have a Plan'! Our management seem to be reacting to a difficult situation with some degree of sense, even if it did not initially appear so. There is nothing yet cast in tablets of stone, but it is difficult for me to see a way back for East Midlands. It is, nonetheless, good news that redeployment will be a available to all staff affected.
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 16:28
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Don't know where your friend gets his population stats from NSF but within a 1 hour drive of EMA the National Office of Statistics reckons there are 5.2 million people.

Trouble is you have LBA, CVT, BHX, MAN and LTN (at a push)!
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Old 4th Sep 2009, 16:30
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NSF

Thank you for the insight.

You are correct in saying that what you are relating is the management position not yours but not sure why anybody would criticise you for doing that as relaying a honest discussion.

In the position they are in Management and are paid to make the decisions, good and bad.

Last edited by racedo; 4th Sep 2009 at 16:52.
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