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Strategy for legacy to beat the low-cost carriers

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Strategy for legacy to beat the low-cost carriers

Old 14th Feb 2017, 11:07
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Strategy for legacy to beat the low-cost carriers

Major airlines are trying to beat the low-cost companies with their own game by opening contract bases for crew etc.

Why not keep their current "secure employments", and attract pilots from the low-cost companies. Limiting their expansion. Low-cost companies are already struggling to find enough pilots as it is.

I understand this is not a long term solution, but it might give them good a head start.
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Old 14th Feb 2017, 11:44
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It's not that simple. Many LCCs have regional bases. No money in the world will tempt many people to move to a legacy who tend to gravitate around one or two hubs. BA at London, AF at Paris, KL at AMS. LCCs also tend to be quite well paid and give you options of moving around the network without the hassle of commuting. Ryanair and easyJet have dozens of bases. I don't see any evidence of LCCs struggling to find enough pilots.
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Old 14th Feb 2017, 16:16
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Like meatballs said there is no way you are tempting people away from regional bases. Certainly in the UK pilots at LCCs are now thinking very carefully before jumping to a legacy, the grass isn't always necessarily greener.
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Old 14th Feb 2017, 16:38
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If you get rid of the notion that legacies are limited to BA and Virgin then you have a point. The old "charters", TCX, Thomson, Jet2 and Monarch are spread as far and wide as the LCCs.

But attracting just piloting talent isn't good enough. You need to attract talent from every discipline. I'm of the opinion that LCCs have had their day and we are going to see for a long time a bit of a stabilisation period. The LCCs have annoyed enough of the "untravelled" public to warrant them wanting suitable alternatives.
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Old 14th Feb 2017, 16:55
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Pilots are beginning to realise that 'quality of life' is paramount. The work load has increased significantly over the years, and the retirement age has retreated over the horizon. To many individuals quality of life is more important than a few more net earnings. What pilots need to be careful about is not selling too much of a respectable minimum basic package in return for this desire; i.e. not allow themselves to be exploited. There has been too much of that in our vocational career already.
The legacy carriers will need to realise that throwing money at the pilot shortage problem may not solve everything. Guys will not want to relocate from the regions, and their own home & schools etc., to a higher cost housing area and new schools. The extra dosh may not be worth it. But if the legacy carriers offer a tempting package and can have a flexible roster system to allow sensible commuting then I suspect many will be tempted. I have few mates who commute from the continent to LHR for BA. No bother with their staff travel. From what we hear there are many in the LoCo world who endure a very anti-social commuting life, anyway, driven by unsympathetic rostering. Perhaps the LoCo's will need to make their rostering policies more flexible and employment conditions more transparent.
We've heard on many who have resisted the greener grass of the desert or China for personal/family reasons. However, I know of a couple of pilots, one gone to the desert and one to China, and they tell stories of the streets being paved with gold. Good for them. But management will have to acknowledge that money is not everything and pilots will choose a respectable balance with work/family over the lure of mammon, but there are limits to that being abused.
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