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Worldwide Redundant Pilots-Smile Please

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Worldwide Redundant Pilots-Smile Please

Old 27th Aug 2020, 13:13
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Apr 2020
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Exclamation Worldwide Redundant Pilots-Smile Please

Dear colleagues,
I am well aware that this topic may have been extensively discussed, albeit in hushed whispers or individually in open forums on social media platforms.
Firmly of the belief that in numbers there is strength and in discussion there is knowledge and solace, I am specifically attempting to relieve some of the pain of seperations or redundancy that most professional pilots across the board of seniority today are having to endure.
This thread is started SPECIFICALLY for those very pilots to openly discuss anything and everything with their professional colleagues across borders and nationalities with regards to coping with redundancies, future job prospects, airlines hiring worldwide and other vocational options for a super highly skilled professional such as a 25K hour airline pilot or a 250 hour abinito rookie.
Please feel free to discuss your present condition, future employment prospects or other vocationally linked topics shamelessly or with due etiquette. Keeping in mind the company you’re keeping and the decorum of the forum.

As for me, this is my fifth month without having seen the inside of a cockpit after spending three and a half decades doing what I love most ie airline flying. I was very rudely laid off on my days off via a short impersonal email from a legacy carrier that I had been loyal to for many years. Not a smile nor a tear. Simply ‘informed’ of my notice period for termination and asked to contact seperations department after completion of the same. Almost made me feel like I had suddenly developed a highly contagious disease like the very virus that was the root cause of this irony. Made me very suddenly feel like a diseased untouchable!
And now, after almost 5 months of the email, I am almost beginning to believe that I may in fact be what I simply believed earlier … 😪
With at least a decade with of flying still in me, uplifting thoughts of a brighter future always welcome … 🥺
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 15:35
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Excellent thread Lucifer. Thanks for the start.
I myself am dealing with a very similar situation. Over fifteen thousand hours as an airline pilot and last gig as 380 TRE in a ME carrier. Was on no pay leave for about 2 months before I was politely made redundant by an email from none other than the CEO.
Licence and medical about to lapse. Am not sure how to get either renewed if I have to leave the country in about a week without a job. And then with my current rating..
Looking at ANYTHING that fits my CV in ANY part of the world. I can see some Far East markets showing a little hope, if that what you can call it. Bought myself a luxury in these times to keep myself sane. A 1100cc Triumph two wheeler cruiser from a friend.
Helps to clear your head when things get claustrophobic.
Any expected openings please feel free to PM me. I shall keep this space updated as things progress. Praying for a vaccine.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 15:53
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I hear Turkish might be looking for skippers sooner rather than later.
When the bull gates open, I have a strong feeling it will be a scramble for who can land the best for the least … hahaha.
Key word being ‘when’ !
🙄
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 17:10
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Great thread !

Just like Flaperon777, same position but I actually resigned pre-covid crisis (end of 2019) to relocate back home (UK) and decided to take a few months off before joining the new LCC gig and get ready for a busy busy summer 2020 !
The rest is history.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 17:57
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Thanks Nickler.
May I however enquire as to why did you resign pre covid. Just curious. Did you have some kind of a promonition based on the initial COVID spread end 2019 or was it just to relocate.
And how’s the UK LCC scene today ? Any potential employers ?
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 17:59
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I have a feeling that post COVID is gonna see the narrow body boys in the right place at the right time.
Followed very quickly by the fuel efficient new gen big boys ( 787, 350 etc )
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 18:30
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Hey Flap,

no, just craving to go back home after 20 years of dunes. Thought I would chill and relax before experiencing european LCC ops... I had my OCC planned in April... obviously that never happened.
Nothing good is happening in the UK, like everywhere else I guess... I keep myself busy playing tennis, at least there is social distancing !
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 18:38
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Lucifer, Good post! Same boat for me. 3 decades flying. 1.5 deacdes at the same carrier. 5 months away from flying. Keeping positive, looking at early retirment, maybe I will sit on a sailboat and drink whiskeys on a tight budget.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 19:19
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I feel very sorry for everyone who has lost their job. But I also very much support the idea of having a positive, pep-talk thread. Relentless doom and gloom will not make life any better.

Especially for the redundant A380 and A340 masters - you're actually quite well positioned, so no need to get upset. You can retrain for any other FBW Airbus a lot quicker, easier and cheaper than a non-Airbus candidate. And some of them are very well suited to a post-quad aviation. Think A321neo LR, A330neo, A350... All of them have a good future and all of them will need people to fly them. Especially the ones which used to be senior fleets pre-COVID. This is where many early retirements took place and, the moment their capacity recovers, a replacement will be much needed.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 19:42
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Will require airlines to not demand recent time on type.

I don’t see much poaching going on between airlines for a while. Most pilots will be thankful to stay in whatever job they have; seeing the benefit of job security.

Therefore most new hires will be way out of recency.

To that end, the best bet is for former employers to take back those they had to let go.

I also think airlines may be surprised of how few come back after a couple years out.
1) Too old.
2) Early retirement
3) New Employer
4) New profession
5) New roots somewhere
6) Change in priorities (family, sleep etc)

I personally would dread working through the night again after having 5 months off flying; They will have to make it worth my while.

Those managers thinking they will snap their fingers and hand out reduced contracts to rejoiners may be in for a shock.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 20:36
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As for the recency problem, at some point it will become so widespread that there will only be a handful of candidates who are out of work AND current/recent. At best, they will have done the annual LPC to keep their type rating, but nothing beyond that. So, a recruiter's options will either be limited to those who have recently lost their jobs or those who are working somewhere and looking for a better gig - or will include the not-so-recent candidates, as long as they have retained sufficient knowledge. This boils down to supply and demand. In times of high demand, I have seen people who have been out of flying for 6-8 years get jobs. Many of those weren't even rated, one was a 200-hour guy who did his fATPL, ditched flying for a career in IT and decided to come back 6 years later.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 22:04
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I’m personally going to run out of currency very soon. Say a couple of months. NOT looking forward neither expecting my previous employer to take me back. Like Nickler very correctly said earlier, had wayy too much of the pit.
What are my options now ? I’m guessing loads of us are gonna be running out of recency. And after the local regulators grace validity extension period runs out, I’m guessing most agencies and airlines are going to have to accept this lack of recency as a norm rather than otherwise and then tweak their recruitment processes and/or their initial training accordingly. I don’t see that as much of an issue so far.
What I’m certain of however is that even a scent of a vaccine or a cure is going to be a real game changer. Especially for aviation !!
Lets say a vaccine is hypothetically out and patented by someone by say 1st September. How long do you think it would be before the normal legacy carriers begin recruitment drives again. Given the current situation. Just hypothetically.
I mean, finding a vaccine is inevitable. People will start to travel again and this time given the added insurance of a known cure/vaccine, their travels are gonna be more frequent and HUNGRY ! That’s going to need high frequencies between cities and obviously more flights and therefore more pilots.
All this, I feel is going to be very sudden and airlines will be left none the wiser and extremely poorly equipped if they keep letting go of their most vital resource. The Pilot.

Last edited by Lucifer786; 27th Aug 2020 at 22:14.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 22:17
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Depends on some semi-predictable factors like how long vaccination will take, how bound to border reopening it is going to be, how many people will be confident in taking the vaccine right away after it comes out, the recovery of economic branches where potential travellers are employed etc. Many people are willing to travel even now. The desire to explore, meet friends and relatives abroad, go on holidays and so on hasn't gone anywhere. So, I'm also in the more-or-less optimistic lot who don't think that severely reduced traffic will last forever. As a pure speculation, I think that with the current state of affairs we're looking to a somewhat better 2021, an almost-normal 2022 and life as we knew it in 2023. With a lead time for recruitment of 4-6 months and the gradual nature of the process, I would say that mid-to-late 2021 might be the beginning of some more or less significant recruitment. That's not to say that no openings will be available by then. There are some even now, but mostly in business aviation and not quite well-known carriers who only take a handful of people and often through connections and referral.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 22:37
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I more or less agree with your timeline PilotLZ. But for obvious reasons I like to see the glass half full these days.
Hoping that Jan 2021 will bring in the more sensible think ahead recruiters. When dawn is inevitable, the smart sleeper pulls his blinds at night. Pilots are going to be in demand. Say what you want. And the deck has been shuffled now. So the really smart airlines and recruitment agencies really get their pick of pilots that at any other moment in time they couldn’t dream of recruiting.
THAT fact I feel is going to separate the successful airlines of the near future from the bankrupt has beens …
Pure and raw common sense !
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 22:43
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Having been laid off and no prospect of another gig in the near future, the single piece of advice I'd give is to get a very tight understanding and control of your finances. We have mostly been used to a fairly or even generous income with little thought on what it is spent on. Pair it to the bone to see what your minimum to exist is, then work up from there.

With regard to recency, I cannot praise the help that UK sim operators have offered unemployed pilots over the last year enough.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 22:45
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All very valid points Xulu.
Would be nice to have airline managers read this thread for its true intrinsic worth.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 23:05
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This is a cracker of a thread - I hope many PPRuNers share their thoughts on it.

I too chose the wrong time (in hindsight) to move to a job closer to home. After less than 2 months at the new gig, they sent us all on LWOP before terminating us a couple months later. By us, I mean all the expats. It was my dream job, and I was devastated that it turned pear shaped so quickly! No word or hint or suggestion on whether they'll take us back if / when the market picks up.

So, I too feel the anxiety of the fast approaching, dreaded, '12 months since last flight' date. Having said that, it makes sense that when the market kicks off again, agencies/airlines will have very little option but to consider pilots who haven't flown since early in the pandemic. Else the only pool will be newbies with little experience - and I doubt the insurance companies will be happy with that!

However, it is concerning to see some airlines (well...one only that I've seen) recruiting for pilots at rates that are nothing short of offensive! The flag carrier of a far east nation is after TRI / TRE / LTC candidates at the princely sum of US$400 / MONTH base pay! No, I have not omitted any zeros - it is four hundred greenbacks of base pay. This is inclusive of the first 25 hours of flying. Thinking this was some kind of printing error, I contacted the agency. I was politely informed that the total monthly package, inclusive of per diems, for an average 80 to 85 hour month, would be between $3000 and $3500/ month.

Unbelievable! Never did I think I would see such unashamed devaluing of our profession. To offer that to First Officers would be bad enough. To line Captains, insulting in the extreme. To experienced training department pilots, it is just appalling.

I haven't seen (or heard of) any other companies trying on the same thing. I would hope that they get no applications, but we all know that there will be enough truly desperate guys and gals who will not be able to see past the benefit of recency. They will not see that they have given the wider industry an opportunity to join said far east flag carrier in bringing down Ts and Cs to ridiculous levels.

Hopefully the industry will get up and running again before this kind of thing becomes more widespread.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 23:10
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Lucifer786

True that. Right now, you can get excellent flight crews and all sorts of top-notch ground personnel, together with very good and relatively new aircraft at more than competitive lease/purchase rates. Whoever manages to set up a meaningful startup airline now will be lightyears ahead of those who will wait for the crisis to be completely behind us to start a similar project. The same goes for expansion. The same goes for any sort of recruitment. Whenever you have a good choice, picking up the best people/aircraft/routes/slots gives you a competitive advantage over those who would rather sit on their hands and wait.
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Old 28th Aug 2020, 00:07
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While waiting for travel to pick up, some find employment in different fields just to make ends meet, and some start small businesses or go into agriculture etc.

Returning to flying jobs may be easier for those who view their current gig as temporary to tide things over. But those who put in a lot of effort into starting something new and get it up & running may be reluctant to abandon it to fly again, especially if the new endeavour shows promise.
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Old 28th Aug 2020, 02:12
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In airline flying for 30 years. Nearly 6 months on No Pay Leave now.

This period gave me a chance to ‘live’ a little despite social distancing and the covid negativity. The privilege of sleeping in my own bed nearly same time every night, waking up same time every morning, going to the toilet with the morning newspaper nearly same time everyday is truly a blessing! Able to take a stroll in the evening sun, explore the menu of little eateries that I never have time to, having the time to chat with people I had never bothered to, all these, has been my living that I never have time to.

As long as there is enough food on the table, we shall just smile and live another day. Work will always be just work. Be kind to yourself. Best wishes to everyone!

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