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Would you suggest being an airline pilot as a carreer?

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Would you suggest being an airline pilot as a carreer?

Old 20th Sep 2016, 08:04
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by McNugget View Post

US Legacy carrier pilots took enormous cuts and concessions, so went from being some of the best major airlines in the world to work for, to some of the worst. Their pay was dwarfed by the likes of BA, Lufthansa, KLM, CX, EK etc... As you know, multiple bankruptcies leveraged the workforce into the corner.
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Must admit I'm a bit surprised that you think European salaries dwarfed US ones for a while but you're better placed to comment. I'm certainly aware of individuals in the States whose pensions were torpedoed during the downturn.

I think the big advantage you appear to have in the States is that your organised labour (labor..) is more cohesive and is effective across all the 50 states. In Europe we're faced with multiple national pilot associations, multiple sets of national rules governing what unions can or cannot do, and above all trans- European airlines who are able move their assets (including workforce) around the EU to prevent or at least very much reduce the impact of industrial action ( e.g positioning crews/aircraft in from country A to break a strike in country B.) There's also the impact of "pay to fly," which I believe hasn't crossed the Atlantic yet(?).

The company I work for was well in the black recently as it's own fortunes improved yet that didn't translate into jam for the workers, we are already into another round of belt tightning which manifests itself everywhere from pressure on rosters, uniform provision, through to the standard of slip hotels, especially for short haul. IMVHO most of the erosion of T&Cs in Europe is the result of calculated move by the CEOs rather than a consequence of a temporary financial downturn... As a result personally I can't see any end to the steady erosion of T&Cs in Europe, but I have been known to be wrong....

Last edited by wiggy; 20th Sep 2016 at 08:34.
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Old 20th Sep 2016, 08:34
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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'Dwarfed' would perhaps be too strong a term, but a 40-50% pay cut, coupled with the collapse of the USD against the GBP (2:1) and EUR (1.7:1) meant that a long haul BA skipper on a GBP140k (US$280k) - in currency terms probably upwards 30% more than their US counterparts who struggled to break 200k. This, of course, on top of having pensions worth millions stolen.

Now with the advent of huge profitability and new labor(u)r contracts, most wide body US legacy carrier captains (the vast majority being on top tier year 12 pay) are making about $300k (GBP 230k) under 'normal' rostering conditions, save for those who choose to work more or less). At current exchange rates, they're back out in front.

You're right that cohesive labour has been the backbone of the resurgence in pay rates. It's been hand in hand with the supply/demand see-saw swinging violently back into the pilots' favour. Unfortunately, on both counts, it doesn't bode well for Europe - where multiple jurisdictions make cohesion impossible, and a glut of pilots.

I'm not in the US, but have an active interest...
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Old 20th Sep 2016, 08:36
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Those numbers are interesting, thanks.
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Old 20th Sep 2016, 08:38
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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I think pay to fly was likely on the cards in the US at one point. The industry was atrocious during the financial meltdown. Colgan, and later the retirement wave/hiring boom took care of that threat.

As you pointed out, in Europe it seems to be a long term strategic campaign against Ts & Cs. In the US, it is far more reactive (feast/famine).

Hopefully labour there is protected somewhat from the next economic wobbles, due to sheer retirement figures coming down the pipe.
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Old 27th Sep 2016, 17:50
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Big NO from me also. Anyone know what impact this flying is having on our long term health? Many of the older pilots I see in work have aged a good deal worse than people I know outside of aviation. Guess it also depends what sort of flying your doing and who your working for !!
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Old 28th Sep 2016, 01:13
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Americal Pilots association have a series of videos relating to the perceived pilots shortage, and one piece of it is especially relevant to this discussion. It shows with data and statistics why less students in the states are choosing the pilot profession.

Although the video is more relevant to the American market, I assume the same principles regarding return on investment will apply to the European market.

It seems less and less people in the states are choosing to join this profession, and it would be interesting to know the same is true about Europe.

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Old 28th Sep 2016, 20:10
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Ive thought about this before. At the moment I would, however I would strongly suggest not getting into huge amounts of debt for it.

Ive never questioned my sanity before i started with a major airline.
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Old 29th Sep 2016, 11:47
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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It seems less and less people in the states are choosing to join this profession, and it would be interesting to know the same is true about Europe.
Spitfire, at a recent careers day at CTC in Southampton, one of the reasons they gave for the increased demand was a lot of pilots demanding part time contracts.
One of their advisors put it plainly to me (when I asked about whether being older was a detriment) and stated that with the current rate at which pilots graduate to the command seat left little for pilots to aspire to after a relatively short time.
Good pay and little requirement to work hard for advancement (purely based on time in service) meant that many preferred part time as their first decade pretty much paid for their mortgage and pension.
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Old 29th Sep 2016, 13:14
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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The current status of this profession with one particular airline:-

A shelf stacker employed by Poundland has more employment rights than a LGW 787 Captain flying for Norwegian.
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Old 29th Sep 2016, 13:39
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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WIllyPete

Good pay and little requirement to work hard for advancement (purely based on time in service) meant that many preferred part time as their first decade pretty much paid for their mortgage and pension
Putting it politely If you believed all that then I've got a bridge I can sell you....

There's no doubt that is what CTC would like you to think (they are trying to sell you an expensive course) but I suspect you might get some feedback from others on that comment, especially about the mortgage (I assume you talking about house buying, rather than training loans) and are CTC seriously implying after 10 years pension contributions at an airline (even BA and Virgin) you've put enough in to stop contributing? The pay may be good but it's not that good.......

However TBF your CTC advisor may well be right on one thing - there's certainly been an upsurge in demand for part time contracts (in various shapes and forms) at some companies but I'd strongly suggest from conversations I have had with those that have gone part time (as I did a few years back) that it has much much more to do with factors the CTC advisor chose not to tell you about: The rigours of current rosters, fatigue, conflicts between family life and work, and sometimes just a need to get the work life balance back to where it should be.

It's certainly much more likely to be one of those reasons than waking up one morning after just ten years as an airline pilot and realising you are rolling in so much cash you hardly need to go to work anymore....

Last edited by wiggy; 29th Sep 2016 at 18:12.
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Old 29th Sep 2016, 14:06
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Following on from WillyPete and only considering the financial side of being a pilot; can I float an idea?

I would suggest that there would be a higher percentage of disillusioned pilots in the S/SE of England factoring in cost of living.

For example, a 100k/yr Captain would be a 'rich' man in some parts of the UK(and no not just the bad parts), as that is still very very BIG money in some parts.

There are new build 3 bed, detached houses, with a garage in a country village in my part of the world selling for 145K, good luck getting a similar deal for twice the price in say Gloucestershire. They are 25 mins drive from my local airport where RYR, J2, EZY and TCX are based.

Spelling it out, 100k/yr would easily pay for a house and family in some NICE parts of the world.

Not suggesting that relocating your entire life is/or should be an answer, just think I'm spotting a trend!
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Old 29th Sep 2016, 14:08
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Airline pilot career path.

21 years old. Shell out €150,000 for CPL & type rating.

With luck join a LoCo soon after flight school: unless on a 'scheme'.

Graft for 4 years.

Achieve command.

Graft another 2 years in LHS.

30 years old. Bale out and go to China as captain.

Graft for 10 years at U$300,000pa.

40 years old, retire, go live like a king is some sunny clime and buy a small a/c and fly for fun in paradise. Perhaps even work as an island hopper pilot with Netflix and your 60" flat screen in your beach hut with your yacht moored in the bay.

Make sure only 1 wife max.
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Old 29th Sep 2016, 14:14
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Maverick

Not suggesting that relocating your entire life is/or should be an answer,
There are some who have done that for all the reasons you state, and certainly you need to think hard about factoring that in before taking that seemingly more lucrative short haul job at a London/SE UK based outfit.

Of course relocation doesn't solve the pension problem, especially given the way goalposts have moved over the last few years in the UK it's a brave person who stops contributing after 10 years......
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Old 29th Sep 2016, 20:26
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RAT 5 View Post
Make sure only 1 wife max.
haha. Top tip right there
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