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Monarch Anyone?

Old 21st Jul 2012, 23:34
  #441 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: On the road
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antonov...don't be a pillock and read the posts.

Of course the pilots don't have a say in what gets written on the side of the aircraft but I'm sure they're not blind to what's written there either and there is no moral ground to be had for either FR or U2 pilots.
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Old 21st Jul 2012, 23:40
  #442 (permalink)  
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I tried to ignore it. To say it made me angry to see those slogans about the plight of fellow aviators would be putting it mildly.
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Old 22nd Jul 2012, 11:22
  #443 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
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And its berk, not birk, you berk.
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Old 22nd Jul 2012, 12:06
  #444 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
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This thread is starting to meander, and this morality discussion is an oxbow lake. Dicky Branson ressurected the concept of "shock" advertising with his boat, balloon and fibreglass airplane adventures years ago. The "shock" element was in his personal exploits, but they were always accompanied by the word Virgin in 12 foot high letters in the background, and good luck to him. As I recall, he also launched the concept of political slogan graffiti on the fuselage. "No way BA/AA" etc. Others then copied the concept with topics such as the abolition of duty free, etc. The lo-co's didn't miss a trick either and used the aircraft as billboards for their own marketing news, telephone numbers, as well as billboards for third party advertising. I remember seeing whole aircraft painted up in the colours of Hertz, Jaguar etc. Some of the perhaps more tasteless slogans of triumph, simply emulated some of the more tasteless slogans that were being orated by the "Shock Jock" MD's of one or two companies. Whether they believed what they said, I have no idea, but it achieved a result. That result I already alluded to in my previous post, aggressive marketing by way of free publicity!

Whole TV series were devoted to some of these fast expanding companies. Aggressive marketing formed the core element of many of these programmes. It often mattered little if the emotions being aroused in the viewing audience were anger, loathing, hate or love, just so long as it did arouse an emotion that would instill the name of the company in the wider public psyche. Even Monarch dipped their toe in this particular pond.

Pilots had no real input in this marketing concept, and the morality, tastefulness or otherwise of it, is irreleant to this particular discussion. Pilots I know in other companies work within the confines set by their own managements. We all work to put food on the table, a roof over our families heads and have enough left over to buy jam and save for the future! It is therefore important that we are satisfied we have made the right choices in life.

I am happy that I made a right choice many years ago. I am happy with what I know now. I am happy to advise my own family to follow in my footsteps. I am happy to advise others to follow the same path. When I speak to other pilots, it becomes clear that there are certain companies that provide a lifestyle they enjoy. That lifestyle isn't simply money although money is an important element. It involves their working profiles, their environment, and how they interact within their own workplaces. Putting competitive banter aside, it is usually clear who the good employers are, and who the bad employers are.

A company is made up of the sum total of its parts. One of those parts (and an important one) are the employees. Shock Jock policies might have a positive marketing impact with your customer base, but I believe they have completely the opposite effect with your employees. If those employees are not on your side, then you might as well be puttting bad fuel in the aircraft. You can rule by fear when you have the resources to do it, but it isn't likely to end well.

On the subject of cadets. In easyjet's defence, they were recruiting cadets throughout 5 years of an employment drought. Had it not been for them (in the most part) the backlog of new well trained pilots, would stretch through the classroooms, the halls of residence, the bank managers office, all the way down the High street, over the hills and far away! As pretty much the only game in town, and with a low cost philosophy in every heartbeat, it was inevitable that "flexicrew" and T&C's to match, would manifest themselves in some form or other. It is also perfectly reasonable that the survivors would seek the same terms as most other pilots as the situation improved.

So here we are.

Is Monarch a good move for cadets looking for a career placement? Yes!
Is Monarch a good move for ex-cadets looking to advance? Yes!
Is Monarch a good move for pilots looking for a career progression? Yes!
Is Monarch a good move for pilots looking for career stability? Yes!
Is Monarch a good move for pilots looking for a sound employer? Yes!
Is Monarch a good move for pilots looking for good terms and conditions? Yes!
Is Monarch a good company for general satisfaction of lifestyle? Yes!
Is Monarch a company where you and your family are likely to be happy? Yes!
Can I guarantee the future? No! But then I couldn't thirty years ago either. However I am convinced that the future plans, resources, and commitment are very good. Talking to the new pilots who have joined this year over a beer at the bar, they don't doubt the choices they have made either, or indeed the good fortune to be a part of the future.
PilotsOfTheCaribbean is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2012, 13:17
  #445 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: England
Posts: 19,422
Good post.

The terms and conditions of the easyJet flexi cadets are what they are and are what was offered. That some are now finding jobs and contracts that they find better is good for them and good for the profession. When you're the only game in town you get to set the rules. When there's several games in town - that's much healthier and honest.

Let's just hope that we see more airlines following Monarch and investing and employing. There is a truly massive army of wannabes with licences queuing up to sign contracts of employment. I fear that we have a training industry appropriate to the boom years and as a consequence a huge oversupply of cadet pilots. As such I doubt much will change contract wise at the big locos for many years. The good news for airlines like Monarch is that this provides a rich resource of experienced, well trained and willing FO's.
Wee Weasley Welshman is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2012, 08:53
  #446 (permalink)  
fade to grey
Posts: n/a
well, I wish my former colleagues well.I know a few from baby who have been hovered up by Mon for EMA.

I hope their transition to a more aggressive loco scheduled pays off. They appear to be one of the few 'gentleman' airlines left.Good TCs, bonded for new types. I always enjoy travelling with them, because I get an allocated seat...Should have applied really.

By comparison, E*syjet, from a passenger point of view shows it's age , its all cool brittania, mid 90s, Tony Blair. IE horrible.
Old 24th Jul 2012, 03:23
  #447 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 942
fade to grey - whatever your particular angst towards easyJet, the travelling public would not seem to support your view. In March 2012 (the last month for which Monarch published stats), Monarch carried 249,646 passengers on scheduled services. In the same month easyJet carried 4,629,241 passengers. Perhaps they may be doing more right than would initially be apparent to you.

I feel a sense of great sadness that a significant number of easyJet flexicrew pilots have got up and left to join Monarch. I stand by my view that it is a risky move, but genuinely wish them success in their new company. As anyone who has been around aviation knows, there is very little genuine making of your own luck. The moves you make seem good or bad at the time, but are rarely what you expected or intended. My gut feeling is that Monarch are not the wondrous rescuers of the poor and needy that they are being touted as here, nor is their future as bright as some of their employees would wish to think. Nonetheless, I am utterly frustrated at easyJet's attitude and I recognise that we have created this situation.

I would commend the wise words of Wee Weasley Welshman who invariably has great insight on these and other matters. He would contend that ultimately this is an issue of supply and demand. In essence these young cadets have by their very presence priced experienced pilots out of jobs and thought they had done well. Alas, they are finding out that the very quality (i.e. cheap to employ) that got them their job is the very same one that is forcing them to move on. A hard-nosed businessmen (of whom there are a number in senior positions at easyJet), might hold a radical view on this subject. He might say that cadets are two a penny and why should they change how things are done when it is like taking candy from kids? Basically, they can offer to charge people to work for us and still they would come in their hundreds. There is an infinite supply of desperate young men and women who would do virtually anything and sign any contract to wake up in the cockpit of an Airbus. Given that scenario, why would a business want to pay big money for them when they will effectively pay us to let them fly? I do not subscribe to that view myself, but it would seem to be the inevitable consequence of flooding a market with low-houred pilots, most of whom will never actually have a job. Those that do can be replaced overnight by 10 more will work for even less than their predecessors. Given that situation, it is almost impossible to maintain terms and conditions. My hearty congratulations to Monarch for behaving so honourably, but I fear they are in a very small minority of companies.
Alexander de Meerkat is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 07:04
  #448 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Here and there
Age: 45
Posts: 465
You can't compare passenger numbers like that.
Easyjet have more aircraft at Gatwick alone than Monarch have in their whole fleet!
Different products, Easy pile high, sell cheap and have a huge number of aircraft, routes and bases to cover the costs. It is a shame that they just don't have more respect for their staff!!
Monarch are going through a transition and expansion. Being smaller they try to offer a better service, remember sweets, newspapers and hot meals?! Unfortunately to compete effectively against the newer carriers cuts have had to be made, they they still aim for the quality, slightly more personalised service!
They do tend to have a good relationship with their employees and look after them. They know unhappy staff will leave. So they try to keep them!!

Basically as a pilot looking at the jobs, I would say Monarch do care for their pilots more! This may upset crews at Easy to see their flexi colleuges leave for a better offer. And I know as more leave the worse it will get for those left!
Monarch is a solid company who looks after staff. You can't compare to Easy and critasise. It's just not the same!!
Serenity is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 07:15
  #449 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: The Norf
Posts: 134
I feel a sense of great sadness that a significant number of easyJet flexicrew pilots have got up and left to join Monarch. I stand by my view that it is a risky move, but genuinely wish them success in their new company
I understand this view in respect that people think Monarch is a less secure company than EZY and any possible further downturn may hit them worse.
However how is staying on a flexi crew contract with EZY anymore secure? Any down turn would hit both companies and I can't see much job security in a contracting position. You may well still have a job with EZY with earning per flying hour I wouldn't be expecting to earn much.
greywind is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 09:50
  #450 (permalink)  
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Monarch carried 249,646 passengers on scheduled services. In the same month easyJet carried 4,629,241 passengers.
That is a ridiculous statistic, it tells you nothing. EZY have 200+ aeroplanes and Monarch a mere 32 at the moment, so of course EZY are going to carry significantly more passengers.

You may well still have a job with EZY with earning per flying hour I wouldn't be expecting to earn much.
Or you might lose your job with no redundancy protection at all!
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Old 24th Jul 2012, 09:57
  #451 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: LHR
Posts: 187
Plus Monarch do medium/long haul so the passengers are on the aircraft longer and further... ridiculous comparison.
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Old 24th Jul 2012, 14:32
  #452 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 317
Monarch is a no brainer

Frankly I don't work for Monarch - but I'm with a leading regional airline (who also believe in giving people a full salary, uniform, employment contract etc from day one) but I wish Monarch and all their staff every success with their strategy and I hope that Monarch continue to thrive for as long as there is Jet A1 in the ground! There are too few companies like Monarch, BA,etc who believe in treating employees as people to be nurtured, supported and developed rather than as a liability to be exploited and quite honestly if people leave Easy flexycrew or Ryan etc in droves to go to Monarch I would say it's a very sane decision. From what I gather both Easy and Ryan will work you harder, pay you less, put you on a temporary contract, charge you for type rating and line training and spit you out at a moment's notice if it suits them.

If the exodus from the lo-co's were to develop into a genuine flood then I could see a time when the likes of Easy/Ryan wouldn't be able to get away with their exploitative schemes and that would be a very happy day for all of us.

I might also say that I don't loathe Easy the way I despise Ryanair, but I just don't admire their ethics with new recruits. Frankly I might have been tempted by Monarch myself but from the jet fleet in my company with high seniority, the base I want and a permanent contract that would be a difficult choice.
Desk-pilot is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 15:18
  #453 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 942
I beg to differ - those statistics tell everything. In 1996/7 we had 2 aircraft and Monarch had slightly less than they do today. We attacked the market place with clever marketing and cheap fares while companies like Monarch looked down their noses at us. The reason easyJet now has more aircraft is more people want to use them, depressing as that may be to you all. Even more depressing is the fact that Ryanair carry more passengers than we do - principally because they bought the right aircraft with 737-800s (189 seats) and we bought the wrong ones with A319s (156 seats) instead of A320s (180 seats). The fact that easyJet Gatwick (51 aircraft I believe) is substantially bigger than Monarch in total (32 aircraft) is that the people who run easyJet have been tough marketeers who have found a niche market and built aggressively upon it whilst stealing passengers from their legacy competitors. Therefore we now have 204 aircraft now instead of the 2 we started with just over 15 years ago. Monarch have rested on their laurels for years, kept an old fleet with varying mod states, flown multiple aircraft types and somehow thought it would all be all right in the end. That is not the fault of the pilots or the flight ops department but it is the fault of the people who run the company who fiddled while Rome burnt. To their great credit, Monarch are now coming out fighting, but what on earth were they thinking for the last 15 years? Just remember, these are the same people who are still running the company that all you think has a fantastic future - I genuinely hope you are right, but I would not bet my pay cheque upon it. There is much negative talk about easyJet management, but they are still talking of 'turning Europe orange'. You may not like it, but I do - I want to be part of a company where the management have vision and direction.

I have never, however, been embarrassed to say when easyJet management have been wrong, and they have most certainly been so over the cadet issue. The mere fact that cadets are desperate to go to Monarch, and feel delighted to be there, says that Monarch are doing something we are not - building a corporate culture that employees identify with and buy into. We have done that for our permanent staff but alienated our flexicrew pilots, despite countless warnings to our managers - that is something I deeply regret. The problem has been that when I and others speak to our managers, they tell me it is only old Training Captains like me who are bothered about the cadet situation and the cadets themselves think they are lucky people. I am told some of them even write emails to our CEO etc saying that they are happy with their lot! In a nutshell, they have failed to make their true feelings known - maybe for understandable fear of upsetting the apple cart. None of this is an attack on Monarch, a company that I wish nothing but good upon. It is, however, a statement that easyJet and Ryanair have wiped the floor in marketing terms with their competitors and that is reflected in the passenger statistics I have quoted and the load factors which I have not. If Monarch are at last waking up from their 15 year sleep walk into oblivion that is good news, but boy did they need to. All pilots want other pilots to succeed and have jobs. As I have said before, I would not advise my son to go to Monarch but I could be totally wrong. Many job decisions are actually emotionally driven. Something deep inside says your current employers are losers and you just need to be shot of them. Once that feeling has set in, it is almost impossible to have a rational conversation on the subject thereafter. Sadly, those cadets who have left us did so under the impression they were going to a 'proper' employer who would look after them and care for them - that is easyJet's loss and I can only regret that we failed to treat these guys better and give them proper contracts. I truly wish them well, but am yet to be persuaded that in the long term they have made the best move - time will tell if I was right or not, and I would be delighted to be proven wrong.
Alexander de Meerkat is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 15:45
  #454 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: LHR
Posts: 187
It tells you that easyJet have expanded massively and that's about it. What happens when they need to start replacing aircraft like Monarch are having to do? Did you decide to leave out the load factors because they tell a different story? Just out of interest I've just been on the easy website and got these:

Load Factor2 89.9% 88.3% 1.6pp
The first figure is June 2012, second is June 2011 with the percentage increase.

These are Monarch's figures for the same month:

Passenger numbers (1)
June 2012 626,185
June 2011 506,321
% change 24%

Load factor (2)
June 2012 91.52%
June 2011 87.81%
% change 3.7% pts.

As you can see - our load factor is 2% higher than easy's and we have a 24% increase in passenger figures, mainly due to better utilisation of aircraft. Monarch are making the right moves. As for passenger numbers as I said - Monarch have several long haul aircraft, the passengers may stay on for twice the length of time and pay twice the price for a ticket... so not really comparable - it's like saying Ford sold 1000 cars but Lamborghini sold 10 - but if a Lambo is 20 times as expensive and makes 100% more profit on each car - who is the real winner? You mention niches... Monarch have had their niche for a long time and easy haven't really stepped on that. The truth is airfare has become cheaper and easyJet has picked up the slack created by those lower airfares.

I'm not regretting moving at all - I earnt more this month than I did over 3 Winter months at easyJet, being a cadet at easy is the lowest of the low, I would have done anything for a permanent job on the same Ts and Cs as the other permanent guys but that will NEVER be forthcoming now at easy - can't you see that? No cadet from my era thinks themselves lucky - maybe the guys joining now who were aware of flexicrew before starting training are but then that's a different breed.

I was under the impression that Monarch treated their staff better and so far I have been proved right - so my impression was correct, if not exceeded.
HPbleed is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 16:11
  #455 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: England
Posts: 19,422
Where were Monarch when you needed your first job two years ago?

I'm glad flexicadets are finding alternative jobs. Its a win for them, easyJet, CTC, some new guy, the trainers and Monarch. I don't really 'get' Monarchs new business plan but that's probably because I'm a bit thick and it hasn't been explained to me enough. No airline is 'safe' these days. Even the walls of the mighty Air France are starting to tremble..
Wee Weasley Welshman is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 16:15
  #456 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: The Norf
Posts: 134
I am told some of them even write emails to our CEO etc saying that they are happy with their lot!
That really does surprise me, not one flexi pilot I know would consider themselves particularly happy with their lot. Maybe happy to be scraping together loan repayment money most months and actually be flying rather than unemployed. But happy enough to be writing glowing letters to the CEO - Who are these crazy people?!

Last edited by greywind; 24th Jul 2012 at 16:16.
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Old 24th Jul 2012, 16:35
  #457 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Pineapple under the sea
Age: 40
Posts: 11
Ezy is indeed a very successful company but passenger figures as a comparative measure of success is just not credible. Also; "Past performance doesn't not guarantee future performance" or whatever the investment industry caveat emptor states. This is true of Monarch, and everyone else, too.

To those that join Monarch - welcome and I look forward to flying with you.

For those who have thrown their lot in with Ezy - I wish you all the best too...even the self righteous ones.
Cheapshoes is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 17:29
  #458 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: At home
Posts: 26
Two years ago I missed out on a Monarch interview because I was about 5 places too far down the CTC hold pool to be considered.

So when the likes of easyjet came along telling us that we'll (likely) be flying in excess of 750 hours a year and permanent UK jobs were in the negotiation process it did not seem too risky to go in as flexi-crew. At the time! Obviously things have changed significantly and looking back I think I made one of the worst decisions in my career. To which I now have to pay through my nose yet again to go. From what ever angle you look at it, CTC make so much money from a flexi-crew pilot it's shameful.

I'm praying that this next move is not something I'll regret this time next year. There were no other airlines recruiting at the time and no sign of them doing so in the future so it was a choice of going to an airline with crap T&C's but gaining experience, or going back to the office to do something I had no interest in doing and said office job would probably pay me no much more than what I would be expected to earn as a flexi-crew pilot. A very tough choice had to be made.

I've heard various rumours lately. This is a rumour network after all. Including the one CM is in early negotiations to leave and go to M&S. Ride the wave, get the share price as high as it will go, cash in and leave maybe? And permanent jobs on the continent will be almost non-existent next year so flexi-crew guys waiting for one maybe sorely disappointed.

Spoke to one other flexi-crew pilot recently who thought things will get better soon at eJ. I'm not so convinced. Another who frankly mocked me for making the decision to move.

Here's hoping things will get better for all.
Sprinkles is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 17:40
  #459 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: London
Posts: 279
Anyone aware if Monarch have now finished recruting ?

I hear all about the poor flexi-crew now getting a chance to move somewhere better, would it be fair to assume that Monarch will not be looking at the folk that have not paid for their ratings, fought to work and build a handful of hours on much smaller aircraft ? fair to say they will be forgotten in the wake of the flexi-crew cadets ?
OutsideCAS is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 17:48
  #460 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Manchester
Age: 34
Posts: 14
Outiside CAS - I'm not sure where the recruitment dept are up to with this. Certainly non-TRd pilots are filtering through the system with some having been offered positions and others awaiting interviews in the next few weeks.

I'm sure someone said a while back that courses have been filled up until about April 13 so far. Can anyone confirm this?
Fansfail is offline  

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