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What for British pilots, after Brexit? (v2)

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What for British pilots, after Brexit? (v2)

Old 20th Jun 2020, 17:56
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What for British pilots, after Brexit? (v2)

Take two.
(I really want to keep this on point, so I've deleted the reference to being disadvantaged due to local language requirements. I'm happy to admit it was a narrow view.)

This thread is not to discuss the wrongs and rights of Brexit. It's to discuss job opportunities and the complexities of pilot hiring at UK airlines (especially those with bases home and abroad) in a post Brexit world.

Brexit, rightly or wrongly brings an opportunity with it for the British pilot. Let's have a smart, well informed and emotionless discussion about the prospects of NEW pilot jobs for the British pilot in a post Brexit world. Clearly with the demise of small players during Covid-19, the larger more established ones will expand. These airlines will not be able to tap into the same unlimited supply of European pilots unless they make changes to their operation.

What might this all look like?
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Old 20th Jun 2020, 19:16
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Most probably like Germany, have a look over there. No real competition for them (LH). Even the competition is part of LH (EW/SXD). Some established cargo carriers like EAT, but then there is AL (again, part of LH). LH has it really to say in Germany. In the past there was AB, which collapsed due to LH. Now they took the better routes from Condor and the government wanted to sell the remaining to its neighbours (PGL). That didn't work out at later stage due COVID-19.

But atleast they have some good work agreement within LH. For how long, we will not know (now). But I hope they will keep it that way, even though every pilot would like to fly for those conditions. Unfortunately we can not say the same anymore about BA.
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 08:30
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Could you elaborate on what you see as the opportunity you see for British pilots?
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 09:13
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“These airlines will not be able to tap into the same unlimited supply of European pilots unless they make changes to their operation”

?

How many European pilots are actually working for U.K. AOC operators? Probably not as many as you think.
And I’d love to know where the opportunities are coming from post transition period for Brits.
Unicorn airlines maybe??
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 09:13
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I guess he means, all the positions presently occupied by EU nationals would become the preserve of UK nationals -... except that Europeans can stay and work in the UK indefinitely, whatever the outcome of Brexit, so until there is a mass exodus of European pilots, or mass expansion of UK aviation (unlikely with the prospect of loss of EU cabotage), then it is a forlorn hope!
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 09:23
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Just thinking out aloud here, happy to be corrected...

Airlines that have been able to set up shop in the UK using foreign registered aircraft with a foreign AOC and company registered outside of the UK (namely Ryanair but also the Eastern European charters that work or have worked with UK operators like TUI, TCX, Jet2). Obviously we don't know what will happen (though increasingly looking like a no deal situation) but if they are required to move to a UK AOC and move all based aircraft to the UK AOC, in this scenario they will not be able to hire NEW non-Brits. That would be an opportunity right there. Secondly, airlines already registered in the UK (with a UK AOC) will not be able to hire any NEW employees who are not Brits. My understanding is easyJet (in the good times) recruits a high number of Europeans to sustain it's operation out of the UK (though happy to be corrected).

I understand this works both ways, and Brits wanting jobs in Europe won't be in line for them either thus they'll be competing for jobs at home but having walked past security checks at 3 of London's airports and then done the same abroad, to me it would appear Europeans today benefit much more from aviation jobs based out of the UK than the opposite. I have no data for that, just an untrained observation.

Of course, "British" airlines that serve the UK population, could do any manner of things to "move" their operations outside of the UK and fly in rather than out. Anything is possible but is it viable given UK rules on trade/slots will be made entirely in the UK's favour going forward?
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 09:33
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In my european base alone there are several dozens of british nationals, and the same goes for all the other extra-UK bases so yes, your perception really is untrained.
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 10:18
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The main flag carrier in the UK has shown during an existential crisis how it deals with its workforce.
Flag carriers set usually the benchmark for working conditions in the same country - so I cannot see the pilots working conditions industry thriving in the UK.
Wizz will expand its UK operation in LGW and LTN, and they will probably take the pilots made redundant in EZY, BA, Virgin working for less with open hands.
Under the UK points-based immigration system, pilots will be considered as a skilled worker earning in excess of 26k. So I assume that some pilots would be able to
compete with those UK jobs as well, if Wizz is offering them a job.

Consequently, there would be also an oversupply in the home country when new pilots are not able to apply for jobs on the continent.

I can't see many advantages for post-Brexit, to be honest with you.
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 11:04
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Dirk 85, your circumstantial impression based on one side of a tiny sample of people in your local base, is hardly reason to dismiss super pilot's hypothesis as "untrained". Fact is, there are almost three times more EU nationals working in the UK (2,100,000), than there are Brits working in the whole of the EU (800,000). The respective proportion for working pilots may differ slightly from the general working population, but to suggest that the ratio is inverse, based on seeing Brits in your base, is preposterous.

Super pilot uses the word "NEW" advisedly. Yes, UK airlines will find it more difficult to recruit NEW non-UK passport holders after Brexit, but even if an airline switches from an EU to a UK AOC, I think currently UK based EU Nationals would still be allowed to live and work there - so that doesn't free up vacancies for UK pilots. Moreover, airlines will get much greater flexibility by flying their UK - EU routes under an EU AOC, likely based in the EU with EU pilots, so that will represent a big reduction in opportunities for British pilots.

This thread is an unusual attempt to put a positive spin on Brexit, but so far as I can tell, Brexit will be disastrous for UK pilot employment prospects in the UK/Europe, limiting most future new opportunities for Brits to parts of Asia, middle East and Africa (where sadly, expats are very much a disposable commodity). As a Brit, I say Brexit is a quite extraordinary act of stupidity, in which it should be remembered, 49% of the population are reluctantly along for the kamikaze ride!

Last edited by Time Traveller; 21st Jun 2020 at 18:54.
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 12:28
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It's even worse than that with the departure from EASA. UK based ATOs will see a decrease in students numbers from EU27.
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 12:48
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Originally Posted by Time Traveller View Post
Dirk 85, your circumstantial impression based on one side of a tiny sample of people in your local base, is hardly reason to dismiss super pilot's hypothesis as "untrained". Fact is, there are almost three times more EU nationals working in the UK (2,100,000), than there are Brits working in the whole of the EU (800,000). The respective proportion for working pilots may differ slightly from the general working population, but to suggest that the ratio is inverse, based on seeing Brits in your base, is preposterous.
I said the same yesterday.
From my personal experience there are way more UK national based in the EU (wanting to be based there, especially Spain and France) than EU citizens based in the UK. From indirect experience this should also be true for Ryanair.

No idea of the situation in other airlines, but I think the "ratio" could really be different if restricted to pilots.
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 13:17
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Two things going on. #1 A good percentage of British Ryanair pilots end up in those bases not out of choice but because that's where the work is. Inevitably, they end up making a life for themselves in the respective country. The Brits in EU tend to be younger, having just started out, and they're not going to complain. #2 Just stand in line on a busy morning at LTN or STN and count how many Brits are in those queues. Again, just an observation but it would appear there is a very significant amount of non Europeans based there. In my experience, Brits are the minority definitely at STN. And as for cabin crew, if you think there are more British boys and girls at any of Ryanair's UK bases, you're just not awake.

I didn't want to make the above points and they are petty but to suggest that Brits benefit more from employment in Europe is just plain BS. It's the other way around for sure!
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 14:19
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Pilot wise I believe there are more Brits working in the EU then Europeans in the UK. However there are way more (Eastern) European cabin crew in the UK then UK cabin crew in Europe.
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 14:48
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It would appear from my observations that many airlines that operate in U.K. and Europe have set up separate U.K. and european entities. Wizz, Ryanair and EasyJet to name three.
Taking EasyJet (Europe) as an example, their business base is now Vienna and they’re flying in and out of the U.K. with Austrian registered aircraft and european crews.
i don’t see how that can lead to new employment opportunities for U.K. pilots.
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 17:42
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MonarchOrBust

We're talking about pilots.
I know a lot of British willingly living in the EU, but I don't know a single EU citizen living in the UK by choice. This being said, I'll laugh my ass off on Jan 1st, good luck to you.
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 18:12
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It depends which airlines we're talking about. There are a huge number of non Brits in BA, way more than are Brits in other flag carriers. I see no evidence that the ratios are any different from the general expat population of 3:1 EU expats to UK expats.

Most unbalanced is the advert I saw recently for a uk based crew who must have permanent EU right to work (presumably to get UK right to remain before Brexit, and exclude local Brits in the process.)
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Old 21st Jun 2020, 18:14
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Originally Posted by Theholdingpoint View Post
We're talking about pilots.
I know a lot of British willingly living in the EU, but I don't know a single EU citizen living in the UK by choice. This being said, I'll laugh my ass off on Jan 1st, good luck to you.
That's utter rubbish, there are plenty at my current base and far more at my former. Perhaps the balance isn't in that direction (who knows) but my base is full of EU guys that have chosen to settle here and raise a family etc without returning to their home country despite my airline having numerous bases in them.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 06:54
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As far as i know there are no statistics how pilots are distributed between the EU and the UK. So at the moment it is anybodies guess how it is distributed.

Apart from that, the new UK immigration system would class pilots as eligible to get a work visa without any further question, based on their salary. As the UK CAA will hand out a CAA license if you can present a current EASA one, it is easy enough for european pilots to work in the UK if one wants to do that. The other way is much more complicated without any agreement, as UK licenses will not be recognized anymore and the right to work and live in the EU is actually quite hard to get and depends on country, so varies wildly between different EU countries and only grants the right to live and work in that specific country. Even those already in the EU will no necessarily retain their freedom of movement, just the right to live and work in the country they currently reside in. It is much easier though if you can get naturalized, but that usually requires quite a long time in the host country and can be difficult, for example from january on there will be no dual citizenship in germany for UK citizens that want to get the german one (that is a right reserved for EU citizens and the UK during the transition period).

It is a complete mess and will lead to major headaches for employees, especially as in an employer market they will just shrug and not take any responsibility.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 09:42
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Its funny that every EU country can determine whether Brits can get naturalized and when/how. You would almost believe they are sovereign nations...

problems might arise for a Europe-based Brit if the base closes or the company folds. Could you move cross border within Europe? Uncertain times ahead. Complete shit show.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 09:50
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Question. If someone had a JAR license in one EU state before exchanging it for a UK EASA licence would he/she be entitled to get his old license back? At the moment you canít hold two licenses from two different EASA countries. You have to exchange it for another. Come 1st of January the UK will leave EASA and you should be able to hold one UK and one EASA license again. Same as you can hold a FAA and EASA license at the same time...Probably somebody has an answer to the question?...I guess lawyers will make a killing with all the grey zones that might come up!
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