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Royal Brunei Airlines Mass Firings

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Royal Brunei Airlines Mass Firings

Old 17th Oct 2020, 12:37
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Malaysia
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Royal Brunei Airlines Mass Firings

Royal Brunei Airlines recently made all but a handful of expat pilots redundant.

The facts
  • Roughly 75% fired including 787 and 320 FO's and Captains.
  • Seniority not taken into account when decisions made about who was going to stay or go. Airbus trainers kept and a certain social group of Irish pilots who are in a clique with the Irish head of HR and another Irish SVP all kept.
  • Company changed contracts in April which took away bonuses meaning the pilots got just 3 months pay instead of 3 months plus bonus. (SIA gave 1 months pay per year of service!)
  • Company put pilots on forced leave in April and May, some pilots went into a negative balance and are now being charged for the leave out of their final payment.
  • Many pilots have been with the company 20+ years, no recognition by the company whatsoever for their loyal service over the years, no compassion, no empathy.
  • Lots of Australian pilots and their families stuck in Brunei and unable to travel to Australia due to travel restrictions and the company completely washing their hands of them after their last day.
  • Now the company are asking pilots to pay for their own flights home.
  • Shipping not being paid, some pilots have big allowances as they have been in the country for so long and now have families to repatriate. The company are now only prepared to pay a portion of their entitlement.
  • Pilots forced to fly despite being made redundant - some pilots are hoping they may keep their jobs or be called back so the airline is currently flying around with pilots who will be unemployed in a few weeks.
  • Company have changed their own manuals to fit their cost saving agenda and have changed the requirements for pilots who haven't flown in the last 120 days. Previously they needed 4 days in the sim and a line check. Now just a 1 day LPC, a day in the classroom and then back on the line despite some who haven't flown for 6+ months.
  • The Bruneian DCA who oversee's the airline is in no way independent so will happily sign off whatever they are told to.
This is an awful airline, terribly run with a genuine fear culture. It is worse than many Chinese airlines however without the money in return for the shitty conditions.

Many horror stories of the bully Chief Pilot who likes to stamp his authority by shouting and posturing. Last year calling crews mid-flight and demanding that the Captain's rest is interrupted so he can be balled at for leaving some cargo behind in favour of taking extra fuel for weather.

Such a shame to see a once great airline go down this path, even more of a shame for all of the families involved, for the careers they've so brutally ended and for the kids who've only known Brunei as their home to now be uprooted and kicked out of the country.

Unfortunately the airline is only going in one direction and now with the majority of experienced pilots leaving the airline they will be very vulnerable going forward.

King JongTad is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2020, 13:32
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A well written piece that describes what can happen and will happen to many more families in the industry. Tough times for many.

Last edited by knackered IV; 17th Oct 2020 at 23:09.
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 17:01
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Agreed. This is a horrendous scenario that we are seeing over and over again with these expat airlines.

A) they're going to have trouble ever recruiting again

B) there will be a prang with the decimation of experience in the ranks

C) now we know what they're really like, when the gloves come off - absolutely no thanks or respect.

Flying Clog is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2020, 17:12
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It would be handy at the end of all this to have an unofficial black list of world airlines for pilots to give a swerve of in future.
Sick is online now  
Old 17th Oct 2020, 18:30
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Posts: 43
Good luck if you think that will ever happen! In nearly all of these countries in Asia and the Middle East, you are simply the “Hired help!” They have a need and you satisfy the requirement. When that need is no longer there for whatever reason, it’s “Bon voyage!” At the very first hint of the “Vacanies” sign going up again the resumes will come flooding in from those whose indigenous employers went bust. From those looking to stash away some tax free savings. From those looking for an opportunity to fly some new shiny metal. From those looking for an adventure!

Nearly everyone who makes this leap knows most of the obvious pitfalls as well as the potential advantages. It’s just human nature to believe that you are establishing roots and a stable home. That is usually an illusion in reality.
GDAJB is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2020, 21:21
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Join Date: Aug 2016
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While I certainly feel very sorry for all our colleagues who lost their jobs and wish everyone as quick and painless a solution to their situation as practically possible, I also back the thesis that there will never be a shortage of applicants for any ME carrier.

Sources of said applicants? Well, in the first place, there are plenty of people who don't have many good opportunities in the aviation industries of their respective countries. Even in Europe there are countries where your only chance to get your hands on a wide-body is moving to either the ME or further east into Asia. Let alone that, globally, there are plenty of third-world places where even narrow-body flying is shambles (and life in those places in general is even worse than the flying). To this we add all the people who are simply looking for some variety in their lives and careers and would be glad to get off the beaten track for a couple of years and try something completely different. There are also those who want to quickly save up for a home, a more comfortable retirement, their children's education or whatever else and would be happy to give up social life for a while for the sake of it. Not to mention that, sadly, there will be many of those who would happily take anything in the near future as they have already been unemployed for up to a year now, with no end in sight yet.

The opportunities will be there. Whether they will be suitable or not for you, depends on what you're looking for. Today's situation is major eye-opener to those who expect to go to the sand pit once and spend the rest of their working lives there. This might easily not be the case for many. But, for some looking for a couple of years of variety, it will be just fine, as it has always been.
PilotLZ is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2020, 00:56
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PilotLZ/Flying Cog/GDAJB. Absolutely correct. There maybe a bit more trepidation and some thought to having an out but when jobs are offered but people will put their hands up. I don’t believe anything as widespread as this has happened before. SARS and 911 caused a bump compared to this. Memory like media headlines only last a week particularly when it is not you that is part of the headline and in 5 years’ time this will all be forgotten with expats working all over the world again. It would be nice to think there will be some ramification to airlines/countries that have treated their employees with such contempt but …….
finestkind is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2020, 09:59
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They could offer jobs that paid $100/month and get literally thousands of applicants, this won’t change anything.
VariablePitchP is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2020, 11:23
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Join Date: Oct 2020
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And Let's not forget

And let's not forget a contingency from RBA is currently engaged in writing policy for the Brunei DCA. Are the inmates writing prison policy? On the upside the BWN-CAI-BWN turn arounds will soon be legal. Hopefully a good Orthopaedic surgeon there to help out with pesky Avmed issues.
aTADshort is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2020, 11:43
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Granted, some will not want to return even if called back. Following a job loss, people eventually move on in one way or another. Nobody is going to put their life on hold for potentially a couple of years waiting to be recalled by whatever airline. Some will observe the situation from aside, re-evaluate their own priorities and decide to stay put in their home countries if moving to the sand pit was in their plans for the coming years. But, for many others, it will still be a desirable option for all the reasons listed in the previous posts. And many others will not discriminate between countries and companies as long as they're flying something and getting paid for it.
PilotLZ is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2020, 14:01
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Originally Posted by Flying Clog View Post
Agreed. This is a horrendous scenario that we are seeing over and over again with these expat airlines.

A) they're going to have trouble ever recruiting again

Keep dreaming. Have you looked around you?
plikee is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2020, 09:18
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
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This is an awful airline, terribly run with a genuine fear culture.
Thank you for this well written thread start. The only dissappointment imho is that these kinds of honest contributions should have been made much earlier, because they are the foundation on which people can make qualified decisions upon.

Brix is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2020, 10:20
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: EUSSR
Posts: 1
When it comes to the expat lifestyle, it always amazes me how people expect the same treatment like home in countries which have no civil society, no basic labour laws, no rule of law, not even basic human rights. You name it. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Last edited by wondering; 22nd Oct 2020 at 12:15.
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