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Air Baltic information

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Air Baltic information

Old 15th Feb 2017, 18:14
  #1 (permalink)  
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Air Baltic information

Hi guys and girls

I just been offered an interview at Air Baltic on 737CL, DEC.
Anybody have information on the airline, lifestyle, is the airline stable, etc etc...
Any info will be gladly appreciated.

Thanks
italian stallion is offline  
Old 15th Feb 2017, 19:46
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WMB
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mordor :(
Age: 48
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Hi,

I first came to Air Baltic in 2008, and except for a year and a half out of Dublin I have been here ever since. (Truth be told I am off to Flybe in April). Latvia is a nice place the summers are warm and short, the winter grey and long, although you don't have the extreme wind of Ireland or the UK. People are generally nice and welcoming to foreigners, rent is a lot cheaper than the rest of Europe(but it is increasing), groceries are a little bit more expensive than I thought they would be, but the good news is you can enjoy excellent food in most restaraunts for a reasonable price.
The aircraft you will fly are not the newest, but well maintained, the destinations are interesting, some with their own challenges, but an experience you will enjoy. I know most of the Boeing Captains, they are a good group of hard working guys, if you respect them, then you will be welcomed to the team. The First Officers are about 80% new guys in the Line Training Program, ( Basically Pay to Fly ☹️), and from what I hear almost all doing a very good job. Pay and conditions are decidedly average, just bear in mind that you may be on a better salary than a guy who has been with the company for 4 or 5 years, if you join now as Direct Entry Captain, so don't gloat about you salary in front of a veteran Captain.
Roster is the biggest bone of contention in the company, in order to maintain the Rīga hub model, it is necessary to have night stops, and more pointedly short night stops/ split duty. The spilt duty on the Boeing is not as common as the Q400, if you do have to do them it will most likely be HEL, TLL or VNO, typically it will mean an arrival around 00:30, depart around 05:30, ( local times),you do get an hotel, just time enough to close your eye for an hour then get a shower and go, check in is around 22:00, check out 06:50 (local), not the hardest duty in the world, but if you get four in a month, they take their toal on your body. Add to that you will also have quite a few long night stops, typically three days away in VNO and TLL as there is no permanent base in either location.
Financially the company is sound, they have never missed a salary for me, even during the darkest of days, the outlook is positive, and with the new CS300 it can only get better. So why no give it a shot?
If you want to know any more message me, I have nothing to loose, or no axe to grind with the company, so anything I say will be as honest and impartial as possible.
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Old 15th Feb 2017, 21:12
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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WMB - great post!

How long before the Boeings are fully replaced with the CS300s? Are pilots required to pay for training/type when transitioned from the Boeing or Dash to the CS300?
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Old 16th Feb 2017, 09:38
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Ciao,
I've been there almost 2 years, the airline is nice, destinations are cool and some interesting especially to the east...
Not the best roster but you may relax during the winter. On summer they usually fly charters from Riga and also out of base to have some fun. (Italy, Spain...)
Boeing procedures, straightforward and not a pain in the ***...Aircrafts are good old Classics, a pleasure to fly. Colleagues and atmosphere are very nice and relaxed, no stress, training is done in their TRTO next to the airport, everybody relaxed. Usually you fly 2 sector a day, 3 with night stop, seldom out of base from VNO or TLL with morning positioning or night stop.
Riga and surroundings are beautiful, you will be happy to experience all this.
Write me a pm if you need anything else.
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Old 16th Feb 2017, 12:51
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WMB
 
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Originally Posted by Iver View Post
WMB - great post!

How long before the Boeings are fully replaced with the CS300s? Are pilots required to pay for training/type when transitioned from the Boeing or Dash to the CS300?
From what I can gather there will be at least another four CS300 delivered this year, the company bought some of the Boeings, exactly how many I have forgotten, but with no leasing payments and the reduced price of fuel, it still makes economic sense to operate these aircraft at least in the short term. There are rumours of wet lease contracts in exotic locations for the Boeing, but I have heard nothing definite. The only wet lease they have operated on a number of occasions was out of Beirut. The Boeing will leave Air Baltic, within the next couple of years, and the Captains will transition to CS300, the First Officers are usually given the opportunity to under go command assessment for the Q400 or continue on the right seat of the CS300. If you do change types then you will be subject to a company bond.

Last edited by WMB; 11th Mar 2017 at 19:39.
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 14:38
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Join Date: Mar 2017
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Hi WB,

First of all, thanks a lot for the info provided. I have been offered a DEC for Q400 and I have a few doubts...In case you could give me an answer, here are the questions:

- where do usually expat pilots live in Riga( I mean what area), and what would be the monthly cost of a three bedroom apartment?
-Is it feasible to have a good lifestyle with my wife and two children in private school?

I would a appreciate any info.

Cheers
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 17:10
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Some colleagues were staying in Panorama Plaza, just 5 minutes from the airport and next to the Spice, a big mall away from the city centre. Some others and me personally next to the centre, prices between 450-750 I think for your needs, 20 minutes from RIX.
Regarding lifestyle I suggest you to take a look and a week in Riga checking the surroundings, a lot of people like it others not at all...
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Old 5th Mar 2017, 19:35
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Join Date: Mar 2017
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Thank you I-PIERLU.
I would appreciate info about the net payslip for a Q400 captain, just to know whether I can afford an International School for my kids ... among other things....

Good day for all.
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 14:12
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Roster

Hi Pierlu, it looks to me you are italian (so am I) but I'm going to write the message in english so to be fair to everyone.
Do you know anything about roster schedule? Are there general basic rules being followed by airBaltic? Do you know if there is the possibility to negotiate it trading availability for flexibility (e.g: to short a certain amount of day off to the minimum in order to collect the remaining ones having a longer brake at the end?
Thank you in advance
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 19:31
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WMB
 
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Most pilots live in the Riga center, some in the Old Town, https://www.ss.lv/en/real-estate/flats/riga/centre/
is the local website most use to find accommodation. If you deal direct with the owner it's better, if you go through an agent you have to pay them a finders fee, which can be up to one months rent. Most of the best restaraunts and night life are in the centre, so it's a great place to socialize. The bus number 22 runs to the airport every fifteen minutes, and takes around 35minutes, but can be quite crowded and very hot in the summer months.

Panorama Plaza is high rise development within ten minutes of the airport by bus, usually with lots of apartments for rent, nicknamed Baltic Tower, given the number of pilots living there. Prices are on the high side, but if a short commute is what you want it is about as good as you can get. https://www.ss.lv/msg/en/real-estate...lns/cncdg.html
If you have a car and want to live outside the center, then the district of Marupe is good and close to the airport, I chose to live in Saliena development in Pinik, which is excellent for families but a bit remote for a single guy. http://www.saliena.eu/properties/apartments/

With regards to International Schools, unless you are a contractor on the 737, then I doubt if your salary will stretch to the annual fees. I live close to two international schools, (with a third to be opened this year) and at home time the car parks are packed with Bentlys, Mercedes, Porshe and BMWs, education is big business in Latvia!

Someone asked about Q400 DEC Salary, PM me as I don't want to publish it here. Within the last month there has been discussions about an 80% contract, that would give you ten days off in a row every month, at the moment only four days in a row are available. This would be prefect for commuting, but it has not been decided yet, but the pilots have been told that they will all progress up a level in the salary scale this summer, which is good news.
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 22:13
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Thank you very much WMB!. I am new on PPRuNe and I am unable of sending PM. I have no idea what is the problem!!. The thing is that I am really interested in the NET salary for a captain on Q400 because my children´s education is first, and as foreigner I guess I can´t put my children on a public school because of the barrier of the language. Anyway, I have received from Airbaltic the working conditions but I have a big doubt. What I need to be clarified is about the block hour rate. Is it in addition to the basic salary and divident payment or is included in the basic salary???. Another doubt is whether the divident payment is monthly or anual??


Thank you very much in advance.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 08:54
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Clapampa, the roster in BT was hard sometimes but not crazy. Expect 9-13 days off a month, you should have a block of 3-4 days in a row every month, swap with colleagues are easy and pretty fast to do, I was used to get rid of my positioning flights and duties for charters sometimes to have more day off in a row, but you know it's better do not exaggerate to be professional... In my experience 85 hours in the summer 60 in winter as average...
FIRGCCC I can't send you a PM, sorry...
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Old 9th Mar 2017, 21:16
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Salary info on pilotjobsnetwork is accurate, you can find a gross -> net calculator online. If I'm correctly informed, DECs start at the third year figure (lvl 2)
Sirijus is offline  
Old 9th Mar 2017, 21:47
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Join Date: Mar 2017
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Hi Sirijus,

Where on line?

On the other hand, someone (foreigner) ,with children, who is or has been working in Airbaltic can tell me what school did you sign up them?
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Old 10th Mar 2017, 11:00
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Salary calculator for net and gross earnings in Latvia

This one for example you probably will also get offered a different contract which is +500 eur, but that's not for here to discuss
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Old 12th Mar 2017, 09:26
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Pierlu, thank you so much for the details you shared; by reading different opinions it looks airBaltic is in a nice growing up phase and things (in general) are improving... I had the interview about two weeks ago.... it looked to me it went not too bad but still I'm waiting for official responce... I wish I will be allowed to have a good chance with airBaltic because, for what I saw, I really appreciated the organization smart and friendly, and I really enjoyed the environment with smily and friendly people all around.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 10:27
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Join Date: Feb 2017
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Great post WMB

I was offered f.o. position on CS300 just now. I know its 5/2 schedule and I will have my family back home. Is there any way to work harder for lets say 4 days and be able to go home for a longer period?

Thanks for info
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 13:21
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New Jeppesen rostering system has just been introduced, it "should" help a little with the Days Off situation. In any case, you normally can manage one block of 4 a month & maybe a couple of pairs, or a 2 & a 3. In the past Swedish guys seem to have been able to go home fairly often (particularly Stockholm, which is served several times a day ) so, I don't think you will find it all that bad.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 20:47
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Does anybody now if you get hired on the Dash 8 as DEC you have an opportunity to go back to jets, the C series?
How does it work, seniority or.....
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Old 9th Apr 2017, 14:44
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Here is a good analysis of airBaltic:

https://centreforaviation.com/analysis/airbaltic-the-hybrid-lcc-punches-above-its-weight-back-to-growth-and-positive-ebit-in-2016-338288

I taxied behind one of the CS300s recently - a beautiful airplane and bigger than I expected. Any flight reviews of it yet? Anyone on PPRuNe fly it yet?
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