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EZY Captain v VAA F/O

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EZY Captain v VAA F/O

Old 24th Jan 2012, 22:17
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 277
What has happened to the reputation of VS over the last few years??? It wasn't long ago that there were heated debates on this forum over Virgin V BA - and Virgin won for a lot of people! Now it seems the answer is a forgone conclusion...
ManUtd1999 is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2012, 10:24
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: in my own world
Posts: 115
What has happened to the reputation of VS over the last few years???
Many things have changed in the last few years:

- BA being 'given' T5 which has helped their cause tremendously.

- IAG tie-up and expansion with the acquisition of BMI and all the slots that come with that.

- VAA management losing the plot with numerous bum decisions - commercial as well as with it's workforce.

The trouble with a small company like VAA, a long economic downturn is always difficult. Panic sets in and services and the workforce suffer, and when there are better times the question is will VAA be in a position to take advantage?

As for short vs long haul, as people have commented, it's dealers choice. I enjoy the long haul lifestyle, but in these unsure and unclear times it would be a brave man who leaves a secure role to join any airline at the bottom of the seniority list.
xray one is offline  
Old 26th Jan 2012, 11:44
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: London
Posts: 219
A easyJet Captain is probably saving more cash than a Virgin Atlantic F/O earns in some cases. That's a lot of money to give up to fly to LAX for 48hours 4 times a month and have no job security....

Still if I was young and single (no wife no kids!) I'd probably go to Virgin to enjoy the sex and beach
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Old 26th Jan 2012, 12:00
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cloud Cookoo Land
Posts: 1,248
This is the downside of the draw. I can't think of why you would leave a job with command and ultimately more spondulax for one offering minamal prospects and insecurity? VS generally look for people with command experience when hiring for the RHS, however I know it's not always the case. Moving LHS at EZY or FR even, to RHS VS would show a massive mismatch in income and security. Sure there will be individual reasons for everyone, however I can't think far beyond someone's burning desire to fly a large four engined aircraft to various parts of the globe as being the ultimate reason. To me, VS is a young mans job. No ties, no real responsibilities. A few years of long haul experience and move somewhere else by choice or by virtue of seniority!! - most likely to the Middle East because Europe will probably no longer be in the equation for you. Why not cut out the stepping stone and get to Emirates or Qatar now. That's where you will probably end up anyway!
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Old 27th Jan 2012, 18:33
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 397
Call sign Kilo

Regarding VS looking for command experience for the rhs may I ask where you get that info from. Never heard it before. Seems unlikely especially as new FOs looking at very long time perhaps 15 years.
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Old 27th Jan 2012, 19:09
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Up in the air
Age: 53
Posts: 196
I think, in general, the best strategy is to get on the seniority list of the best possible carrier as soon as possible, forget the LHS, do not under any circumstances delay your date of joining. Going after a command at a LCC without actually planning to stay seems to me the wrong choice.

I am stunned to still see guys e.g. heading east to EK, EY,etc " to get a command first, and then look for options" , without actually realizing that should they decide to come back they still have to join the end of the line..

( I don' t want to be a smart ass, I fly myself with Cpt's at CX who are younger and have less experience, but simply joined immediately)
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Old 27th Jan 2012, 19:16
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sx
Posts: 5
Ron, how old are you? There is no need to answer the question it is more of self question really. I have been around this business for yonks and I am certain in my own mind that you should stay as you are. You have a command. you have stability and you have an employer who knows what they are doing.

Stretching your arms and legs is a natural thing to do. Stretching your ambitions can be a disaster. Stretching your family to match what you feel is a step too far IMHO.

Taking the step into BA is not, and will not, be what you think it might be. Stabilty is what you should aim for right now simply because the world economy and our economy is in dire straights. What could be worse than to make a mistake that costs you and your family terrible grief.

I imagine you are probably around 40. If so you have a lot of time to consider your future - but ONLY when the country and the economy stablize. That may take another 5 years but you and your family will be snug as a bug in a rug.

ANYONE assuming this is the right time to change is living in a pardise that doesn't yet exist.

Ron, grasp with both hands what you have an be thankful. Tis better to be thankful that you made the right decision than to have made the wrong one.

I have a few friends who are captaines in EZE and they would dream of moving in the near future.

Whatever you choose I wish you well.
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Old 27th Jan 2012, 20:03
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: LHR and beyond
Posts: 134
excellent thread

for what its worth i've been at VS for nearly 9 years now and quiet frankly its just not the same airline i joined!!

The senior management and HR have destroyed what was once a great place to work and morale is at an all time low..

If you have a Command at EZY then it is best you stay there as Virgin has nothing to offer..

all the best
fast cruiser is offline  
Old 27th Jan 2012, 20:19
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Reading
Posts: 31
I am suprised by the lack of enthusiasm for a move to BA. If you do seriously want to consider a change then I would recommend you consider BA.

I dont think there is a flying career in the uk at the moment that will provide for you the security, lifestyle, career options, long term earnings, variety that BA will.

I started in Ryanair and jumped to BA as soon as I could (2005) Granted I may be looking at the company with rose tinted spectacles sitting on the 777 but I have to say I love my career.

If you joined on SH you would probably be there for about 6 years before getting LH but then its nice to have the choice to suit your lifestyle requirements.

I think the pp34 change should not be the deal breaker you seem to think it is.

Also my understanding is that BMI integration would provide for better long term career progression as BA will find itself with the opportunity to grow at LHR and transfer slots to LH if required.

At the moment a LH fO starts on a basic of about 49,000 this increases at
about 2600 per year

With the new PP34 I assume you would still start on 49,000 but take extra 10 years to reach the top, this would be an annual increment of 1800.

So 2600 v 1800 or 800 per annum gross difference is not a huge amount. Please bear in mind your pensionable salary will be the same as it currently is for BARP pilots in BA so your pension will be no worse.

I dont think BA have ever carried out compulsary redundancies. My friend in VA has faced it twice in 4 years and has been forced to change base and aircraft type. The 750 hour VA limit is also a red herring as BA pilots probably average between 750-800 anyway.

Best of luck deciding what you do.
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Old 27th Jan 2012, 21:35
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SE UK
Posts: 86

What about asking something like "does anyone know how to get back in the LHS of an Airbus because I am now unemployed"?

I would put job security higher in your thoughts.

Cloudn9e.....take a break from counting your allowances and think about this....Ron could transfer to a Paris base and be earning up to 160,000 per year.....just think, that's almost as much as a First officer working for the world's favourite airline?.....!!
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 00:45
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,484
As I said before, I wouldn't leave the left hand seat of an Airbus of a very stable (and growing) airline for the bottom of a seniority list with a 15+ year upgrade. I would stay and move to the northern Easy base when seniority permitted. If I were to move, BA would be the only option I might consider given the fleet choice and SH/LH options. It might be difficult to turn down a 787/777 FO slot if offered (you never know what might be available) as I could always return to SH flying if desired...

Regardless, leaving a left hand seat at Easy would be very difficult in this economic climate.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 02:43
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: uk
Posts: 160
Indeed, a very interesting thread. The security arguments are of course very valid, but I have decided to give up a very lucrative mainland europe easyJet contract and move to BA. The reason for this has not really been discussed yet I don't think - long term health.

I am about to embark on a 5th straight 4 sector duty in excess of 10 hours. All of which started before 05.30am. It doesn't take a doctor to tell you what effect this will take on your body.

To take an example, there are 5 captains at my base who are suffering from a narrowing of their ear canal. The doctors say it is due to too high a frequency of pressurisation cycles. All 5 guys look set to lose their medicals at not much over 40 years old. At least if you are made redundant from the bottom of a seniority list you have a chance of securing some future for your family. At over 40 with no medical it is a different ball game......

Two pilots at my base also had sleep tests done recently. When the sleep doctor was shown the rosters he thought the guys were joking.

Good luck to everyone making these tough decisions at the moment.
Full Left Rudder is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2012, 03:16
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,484

Congrats on your new position with BA. Solid argument from your point of view. Health is critically important in our line of work. I have also heard that years of long-haul flying can be detrimental to one's health and relationships (i.e., missing children as they grow up and experiencing spousal challenges). I know Virgin and BA pilots who seem to be exhausted by frequent long-haul, multi-time zone trips (no big surprise with that type of flying). At least they can sometimes relax at the beach down route. Valid points all around.

I guess you cannot win in this flying job - both long-haul and short-haul flying can reduce your lifespan... Time to get a law degree!
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 03:18
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cloud Cookoo Land
Posts: 1,248

The command experience requirement came from someone in VS. I was told it is 'generally' what they look for. I know that it is not a prerequisite because they hire DE FOs. Sorry if it appeared that I suggested that they only hire DEPs who come from the LHS.


The starting salary at BA is now 50,300 Basic - so I'm told
Callsign Kilo is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2012, 06:47
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: uk
Posts: 160
Very true Iver. It does seem difficult to win at this game!

However, from looking at many rosters it does seem short haul legacy is very much a different ball game to short haul low cost though. At least that is what I am hoping!

The amount of pilots I know who want to go part time is staggering. Unfortunately that is the aviation industry for you now.
Full Left Rudder is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2012, 12:29
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Europe
Posts: 2,968
Granted, you do much less FLYING hours at some legacy short haulers, and there is a lot to be said about that. But what about DUTY hours? Turnarounds of more than an hour, sometimes two or three, spending most of your working week in different hotels, random rosters, odd hours. Compare that to the stability of a 5/4 roster, always home at the end of a working day, earlies nicely separated from lates, etc.

I'm just another easyJet captain, and sure, sometimes I'm tempted by shiny 777's or the idea to 'see the world', have 14 beautiful women under my command somewhere in Barbados. Who knows, I might jump ship one day if the offer is good enough. But not now, and that's ok. Yesterday I flew a brand new shiny 319 and we landed at three very nice modern European airports. I know a lot of people who would be mightily impressed with that.

Last edited by PENKO; 28th Jan 2012 at 17:01.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 14:09
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: uk
Posts: 515
BA starting salary is 50,803 (pensionable 49,556) following a pay rise this year.
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 15:41
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: UAE
Age: 39
Posts: 465


Need to check something. Cloud9 you state for BA to be a difference of 800 per annum and i'm getting no where near that.

Based on your numbers (I know the new basic has gone up by 3% but for this we'll start with 49K.)

So based on 23 incremental rises of 2800 for PP24 the top rate would be 49000+(2800*23) = 113,400.

Now, based on the same top rate (113,400-49,000)/33 = 1951 increments for PP34 but for simpler maths lets call it 1900.

Now by simply adding the incrematal increase for each starting from year 1 this is what I get.

Yr 5 PP24 - 60,200 PP34 - 56300
Yr10 PP24 - 74,200 PP34 - 65,300
Yr20 PP24 - 102,200 PP34 - 84,500
Yr24 PP24 - 113,400 PP34 - 92,100

Now continue this on for PP34.

Now at year 24, a pilot on the "old contract" would've earned a basic salary of 1,948,800 to this point in thier career.

A pilot on the "new contract" would have earned 1,684,800 at the same point.

Both pilots have a life expectancy of 34yrs flying with the company.

Now seeing that the "old contract" guys are now top they will continue to recieve 113,400 for the next 10yrs meaning they will earn an extra 1,020,600 and so making their total basic salary earnings over
34yrs = 2,969,400.

Right, "new contract" guys will continue to get the rise until Yr34 and thus make their career basic salary 2,710,300. (there is a 3.6% error in here but could not be bothered calculating it again)

Now difference between old and new is 259,100.

Thats a house in some places of the UK. Now if you look at your BARP pension based on 49K 5% employee and 12% employer contributions this would give a pot 364,859 or 25Kpa till 80yrs old. (UK Pension Calculator and Annuity Calculator)

Of course the guys on the old contract could have pontentially an extra 259,100 to add to that pot.

So for those starting at the begining of March at the age of 31 (should the yes vote go through), think of how much you will earn now compared to the someone aged 31 starting a week later.

People bleat on this fourm about how low cost pilots are to blame for everything for not standing up for t&c's but it now looks like the legacy guys are doing the same.

And why that? Its cause I'm alright Jack!

Maybe this should be in the BA DEP thread but what I'm trying to get at is that the grass isn't always greener and there are certainly limited lush pastures in ba unlike evryone seems to think.

Lifestyle, money, girls, aircraft, whatever. You dont always have to follow the sheep. Its your life and what makes you happy is different from what makes me happy.


safe flying!

Disclamer: These figures may not be 100% accurate and spelling and gramar mistakes have been left in to keep everyone happy. I've been up since 4am testing landing gear around europe and would like to apologise for the earth tremmor in eastern Europe at 0916z today. Sun was in my eyes.

Last edited by Kempus; 28th Jan 2012 at 15:52. Reason: disclamer
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Old 28th Jan 2012, 16:56
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: hang on let me check
Posts: 458
I agree. With this job, especially being young, you' ll always have enough money to have a decent/good life. So I wouldn't base my decision on that.

As far as long term health, long haul is as dangerous as the fatiguing rosters on the short haul which change with different periods of the year (usually 5 months per year with very little flying if you play a bit with leave/fixed roster pattern).
You go to any good long haul carrier and you ll fly 850ish hrs per year changing time zones all the time. Can't be good.

All of this to say that you won't find your answer here because everyone will come up with his own precious truth.

Just do what you want to do, and if it's real bad well at least you tried.

good luck
bringbackthe80s is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2012, 17:36
  #60 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 356
Kempus, your figure are out somewhere but I can't quite spot where, however I ran a quick spreadsheet and I calculate that a longhaul FO starting on 50,800 and receiving 33 annual increments of 1900 will earn a total of 2,793,100.

An FO starting on 50,800 but getting 24 annual incrments of 2500 will earn a total of 3,044,200.

That's a difference of 251,100.
Mungo Man is offline  

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