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Heston Airlines

Old 11th May 2023, 10:39
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From all the multiple complaints about the working environment (apparently not just one or two individuals who didn't fit well but the majority of present and past employees sound disappointed), would you say that it's in any way different from other similar companies in the region? I.e. are Avion Express, Smartlynx or GetJet any better than what you're describing about Heston?
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 16:46
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Clowns

It would appear they are now offering CCQs from 320 to 330 and first officer upgrades to attract and retain” talents”.
Odd management policy the one that seeks to hire low hours and low experienced pilot to fill in the gaps left from employees resigning .
The big kahuna must be running shorts of puppets, accepting the unacceptable just to climb the ladder .
Attempting the reach the apex of the fame or the fame and of an ape?
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Old 12th Jun 2023, 11:48
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To be honest psychometric here , is a mystery to me. It is systematic and thorough, all right . But If a pilot with 7000 hours total with dubious track record can become chief pilot just for being friend with Gedimias ( no other merit , credit ,value , title, qualification or achievement) , and can make all his minion-ettes friends crawl steps in the hen-house ladder ( short and full of guano ) , then probably what is measured in the test is your ability to gutter crawling .
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Old 15th Jul 2023, 11:16
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How is the situation in the company, any honest review positive or negative (not destructive one but constructive criticism)? Any expectation of high turn overs for the coming season?
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Old 27th Jul 2023, 07:31
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To be honest: I do see only negative comments about Heston. I do know quite a few pilots working there, mostly captains. All of them are highly experienced and have been working for reputed airlines previously ( Gulf Airlines, Easyjet, Air Berlin, LTU etc.) Most of them have been furloughed from their previous company due to Covid or bankruptcy. So why do they stay with Heston as they could easyly return to their previous employer or to different companies? Opportunities are plentiful for experienced pilots. And as far as I know the conditions at Heston are not bad at all, good salary and rosters similar to other companies. Could it be some kind of frustration is shown in other replies, for whatever reason I don`t know.
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Old 27th Jul 2023, 08:09
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So why do they stay with Heston as they could easyly return to their previous employer or to different companies?
Because most are tax dodgers and they like money not taxed at source. There.
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Old 28th Jul 2023, 05:56
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Because most are tax dodgers and they like money not taxed at source. There.

So you are living in the MEA. You must be a tax dodger then. And BTW, what is wrong with tax evasion. Thats what most multinational companies do.
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Old 28th Jul 2023, 06:13
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Originally Posted by mumsilein49
And BTW, what is wrong with tax evasion. Thats what most multinational companies do.
Tax evasion is illegal. Tax avoidance is a very different thing.
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Old 28th Jul 2023, 11:18
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It starts from the top. First of all, in such structures such companies does not pay 3 items that is suppose to be paid to the tax office.

1st- Income tax 2nd-Social Security Contributions 3rd-Health Related premiums. Employees of such companies mostly does not pay any of those neither. First of all companies make a lot of profit by doing this. Imagine a airlines paying legal pay to its pilots. Lets say, captain salary is about 9.000 Euros net p/m, to receive this net amount in your bank account cost to the airlines is approximately 16.000 Euros in western EU countries. This amount of 7.000 euros in between is pure profit for airlines and they are making it on your shoulders.

Of course ACMI salary of 9.000 for captain is in reality is gross amount, and we are still not realising how much money we are losing and how we are helping those ACMIs to make money,

As a result, ACMI company evading tax from its tax office, which is complete illegal. Second of all, they are not paying social security contribution which is breach of labor law and labor rights.

Pilot job cannot be contracting job, we cant work for more than 1 airline in reality. In anywhere around the world if you do contracting job you receive much more than directly employed person therefore you can make these contribution to the state by yourself.
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Old 28th Jul 2023, 18:09
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Originally Posted by mumsilein49
Because most are tax dodgers and they like money not taxed at source. There.

So you are living in the MEA. You must be a tax dodger then. And BTW, what is wrong with tax evasion. Thats what most multinational companies do.
In ME you dont pay taxes, period. Its their policy.
But you still pay taxes in your Country if you want to mantain some benefits there or keep your family there.
ACMI like this one is pure tax evasion.
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Old 29th Jul 2023, 14:59
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Originally Posted by Big Tudor
Tax evasion is illegal. Tax avoidance is a very different thing.
It is tax evasion if you do it... As I see, many "startups" are/were "employing" contractors (eg RYR), but as they were growing, employment contracts were handed out. Once they grew to a noticeable size, these companies started to do "tax optimalization" so pilots could stop tax evasion....

(side note: taxes are needed, but in many countries in the EU this will amount to 50%+ deductions for income tax, social sec and the like. Once you have that money, VAT (=taxes) is around 20% - meaning that around 60% of your salary is taken as tax - not talking about the employer's contribution. I am not saying that tax evasion is the way to go, but working 12 days out of 20 just to pay the taxes is hardly fair either...)

Last edited by seventhreedriver; 1st Aug 2023 at 02:59.
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Old 3rd Aug 2023, 00:46
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All those negative comments above have no grounds and come from ppl who either created an account for the sole purpose of those comments (they have no other comments anywhere in pprune), or left the company even before they started flying or so they say.. (April was a dead month still..).

Company isn't a shangri-la, and you have good colleagues and so-so colleagues (technically), though the great majority are good pilots. But one thing the company has is a good working environment, open culture, and 95% of the guys and girls, front or back, are just nice ppl to work with, and there is tolerance amongst piers, whatever their background. Lots of pilots with a respectful background, as well as Senior CC. A good bunch of them flew in Europe and Asia before. Thanks to COVID. Another good bunch come from Avion and Smartlynx (go figure).

Now, being a Lithuanian company, it is expected that most of the management positions are held by Lithuanians, as well as some key operational positions. If for naughting else, they've been in the company since the beginning.
Yes, there is politics play, JUST LIKE IN ANY OTHER COMPANY for ***** Sake... But it will only affect you, if you yourself decide to play that game and crawl that ladder.
If your goal is flying, you're golden.
Politics isn't my forte anyways.
The negative comments in previous posts are simply racist, to put it bluntly.

Relationship with the office is also OK. Open communication at all times. Very operational, functional, and no bul**** added.

Company is growing at a very respectful rate as well. 12 ac in 2 years of existence, 18 aircraft leased for 2024 operations ( A320. More if you count A330).
In 2 years got IOSA and pre approval on CAT3 ops (fully approved by end of summer after we all undergo OCC).
Contracts with clients are solid, some of them signed for 3 years starting 2023. Apparently clients are happy with our performance, specially compared with the competition, who couldn't keep up with their own goals. Just saying.

You can still choose bases of operation, thou not garanteed.
20/10 minimum, though it can go up to 30/15 by contract (specially when positioned out of europe), but the normal is maximum 22/11. If you ask to get the 20/10, crewing has no issues clipping the other days out. As in any other airline, we're also short on crew.
Aircrafts aren't new out of the factory, as in any other ACMI, but they are decent, and there's an effort to have decent maintenance actions from top management down.
Relaxed flying, OK pay, possibility to earn extra money in summer with extra duty, some time-off in winter, 20 extra days off in winter as well, 14 days of payed sick leave, work insurance (with medical), loss of licence insurance (100k top). Negotiating ID travel now.
Company is flying mostly for holidays flyers. That's like 7 to 9 days of flying per month, 70h. 10 more h if you're FO due to lack of FOs everywhere. 2 sectors only per day.
Hotels we stay in are decent enough, min 8.5 rating on Booking and similars.

Now. It IS an ACMI. There is no such thing as an employment contract, just like in ANY OTHER ACMI out there. Reason has to do with Industry risk. ACMIs take the other airlines risks away, and they can't take that risk themselves. Taxes are up to each individual and all pay is legal from the company side. If a specific person doesn't pay their taxes, that's their own responsibility, as it should be. All tax related information is provided by the company and the broker.
Despite this, the company does make an effort to treat crews with respect and decency, and we are treated as employees, not contractors.

Those are the rules of the game. Don't join if you don't like them. Easy.
My pay is all legal and I pay my own social security and income taxes.
Could the money be better? Yes!
Then again, I'm flying max 9 days a month, and have the prospect of spending 3 to 5 months at home with family... do your math.
At the end of the summer season new contract conditions will be offered. An improvement is expected.

Obviously, some guys will leave.
But the main reason will be due to either not coping with a commuting roster 20/10, or a dream job opens up again (home based, or back to ME or China or somewhere out there).

Assessment for pilots:
- 100 Q test, 90% technical, 10% ATPL
- Psycometrics, personality, etc. Nornal stuff.
- Panel interview (1 HR + 1 TRE)
- Psychologist interview
- Simulator assessment (LOE + PPC)
All done online except for the simulator.

ACMI is an interesting business to say the least.

Safe landings, and remember to flare once in a while.

Last edited by Madp1lot; 3rd Aug 2023 at 01:14.
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Old 3rd Aug 2023, 15:56
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Talking

Originally Posted by Madp1lot
All those negative comments above have no grounds and come from ppl who either created an account for the sole purpose of those comments (they have no other comments anywhere in pprune), or left the company even before they started flying or so they say.. (April was a dead month still..).

Company isn't a shangri-la, and you have good colleagues and so-so colleagues (technically), though the great majority are good pilots. But one thing the company has is a good working environment, open culture, and 95% of the guys and girls, front or back, are just nice ppl to work with, and there is tolerance amongst piers, whatever their background. Lots of pilots with a respectful background, as well as Senior CC. A good bunch of them flew in Europe and Asia before. Thanks to COVID. Another good bunch come from Avion and Smartlynx (go figure).

Now, being a Lithuanian company, it is expected that most of the management positions are held by Lithuanians, as well as some key operational positions. If for naughting else, they've been in the company since the beginning.
Yes, there is politics play, JUST LIKE IN ANY OTHER COMPANY for ***** Sake... But it will only affect you, if you yourself decide to play that game and crawl that ladder.
If your goal is flying, you're golden.
Politics isn't my forte anyways.
The negative comments in previous posts are simply racist, to put it bluntly.

Relationship with the office is also OK. Open communication at all times. Very operational, functional, and no bul**** added.

Company is growing at a very respectful rate as well. 12 ac in 2 years of existence, 18 aircraft leased for 2024 operations ( A320. More if you count A330).
In 2 years got IOSA and pre approval on CAT3 ops (fully approved by end of summer after we all undergo OCC).
Contracts with clients are solid, some of them signed for 3 years starting 2023. Apparently clients are happy with our performance, specially compared with the competition, who couldn't keep up with their own goals. Just saying.

You can still choose bases of operation, thou not garanteed.
20/10 minimum, though it can go up to 30/15 by contract (specially when positioned out of europe), but the normal is maximum 22/11. If you ask to get the 20/10, crewing has no issues clipping the other days out. As in any other airline, we're also short on crew.
Aircrafts aren't new out of the factory, as in any other ACMI, but they are decent, and there's an effort to have decent maintenance actions from top management down.
Relaxed flying, OK pay, possibility to earn extra money in summer with extra duty, some time-off in winter, 20 extra days off in winter as well, 14 days of payed sick leave, work insurance (with medical), loss of licence insurance (100k top). Negotiating ID travel now.
Company is flying mostly for holidays flyers. That's like 7 to 9 days of flying per month, 70h. 10 more h if you're FO due to lack of FOs everywhere. 2 sectors only per day.
Hotels we stay in are decent enough, min 8.5 rating on Booking and similars.

Now. It IS an ACMI. There is no such thing as an employment contract, just like in ANY OTHER ACMI out there. Reason has to do with Industry risk. ACMIs take the other airlines risks away, and they can't take that risk themselves. Taxes are up to each individual and all pay is legal from the company side. If a specific person doesn't pay their taxes, that's their own responsibility, as it should be. All tax related information is provided by the company and the broker.
Despite this, the company does make an effort to treat crews with respect and decency, and we are treated as employees, not contractors.

Those are the rules of the game. Don't join if you don't like them. Easy.
My pay is all legal and I pay my own social security and income taxes.
Could the money be better? Yes!
Then again, I'm flying max 9 days a month, and have the prospect of spending 3 to 5 months at home with family... do your math.
At the end of the summer season new contract conditions will be offered. An improvement is expected.

Obviously, some guys will leave.
But the main reason will be due to either not coping with a commuting roster 20/10, or a dream job opens up again (home based, or back to ME or China or somewhere out there).

Assessment for pilots:
- 100 Q test, 90% technical, 10% ATPL
- Psycometrics, personality, etc. Nornal stuff.
- Panel interview (1 HR + 1 TRE)
- Psychologist interview
- Simulator assessment (LOE + PPC)
All done online except for the simulator.

ACMI is an interesting business to say the least.

Safe landings, and remember to flare once in a while.
A very exhaustive and meaningful comment. Congratulation!
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Old 12th Aug 2023, 19:58
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Originally Posted by mumsilein49
A very exhaustive and meaningful comment. Congratulation!
Truth is hard to swallow isn't it?

Am with the competition and still agree with this guy as I have several friends there ( CAPT/FO/SCC/CC wide variety of opinions and all the same).

I could copy paste this guy's text as for Avion express.
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Old 13th Aug 2023, 06:13
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Originally Posted by Madp1lot

Now. It IS an ACMI. There is no such thing as an employment contract, just like in ANY OTHER ACMI out there. Reason has to do with Industry risk. ACMIs take the other airlines risks away, and they can't take that risk themselves. Taxes are up to each individual and all pay is legal from the company side. If a specific person doesn't pay their taxes, that's their own responsibility, as it should be. All tax related information is provided by the company and the broker.
Despite this, the company does make an effort to treat crews with respect and decency, and we are treated as employees, not contractors.
My bold quote.

Guys you should try to understand that a pilot is an employee not a business partner. Period. A pilot must have a direct employment contract and be paid as an employee so with tax retention at the source. Anything else is a business-to-business relationship which does not apply to pilots. If ACMI take risks by working for other airlines why should their “employees” get the downsides? If you pay a Cpt 10K come on we all know this fella won’t slash this salary into half to abide by the European taxation rules and will find “ideas”. Start paying 16-18-20K at least so people don’t have to worry about the tax man. All the people I know working at ACMIs own NOTHING; Cars, houses, etc.. all under the name of spouse, brothers, etc.. I won’t talk about where the Bank accounts are opened.
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Old 14th Aug 2023, 08:00
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Originally Posted by Madp1lot
All those negative comments above have no grounds and come from ppl who either created an account for the sole purpose of those comments (they have no other comments anywhere in pprune), or left the company even before they started flying or so they say.. (April was a dead month still..).



Now. It IS an ACMI. There is no such thing as an employment contract, just like in ANY OTHER ACMI out there. Reason has to do with Industry risk. ACMIs take the other airlines risks away, and they can't take that risk themselves. Taxes are up to each individual and all pay is legal from the company side. If a specific person doesn't pay their taxes, that's their own responsibility, as it should be. All tax related information is provided by the company and the broker.
Despite this, the company does make an effort to treat crews with respect and decency, and we are treated as employees, not contractors.

ACMI is an interesting business to say the least.
Some ACMI provided direct employment contract ( as Privatair in the past) with proper conditions. All these Baltic mafia airlines are working the same way and these kind of contract is chosen for obvious reasons as reducing cost and avoid paying Social contributions. We all know, staff is one of the top cost center after fuel. With a fee of 9000 euros/ month for Cpt is well too low. This should be the fee for a First officer and captain at least 15K during High season.
One of the main issue on these ACMI airlines you don't have home base. EU regulation is pretty clear on this that you have to pay social contributions in your home base country. Your positioning country is not your home base. If you are working on several bases ( different countries), it's your tax residentship country ( social welfare office) that determined where you should pay your contributions ( this included for freelancer/soletrader).
You are treated as an employee but your are not an employee. Your contract relationship is the most important. In good time you are an employee, when the downturn will come, you will be a contractor, simple as this... As long as you are aware of this, no surprise...
The main issue is the pilot himself/herself. The majority of them are playing tax evasion.
I personally settled down my sole trader company as a freelance pilot and paid my social contributions and tax in my residentship country.
The downturn of these contract, it's not stable and if you want to invest, buy your home/house, Banks are less entitled to give you a loan ( specially now with high interest rate) compared to permanent contract ( more stable). For those willing more stability ACMI is not the best choice.
For those who have everything and don't need and want to work part-time, live in the country where he/she wants ( In Europe at least) ACMI can be a good choice. This is the only advantage...
Personally, I enjoyed my time in some of them, but the worst one was smartlynx. Now working for a proper airline with proper contract, but if I wanted to carry on ACMI airline, Heston would have been on consideration.
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Old 14th Aug 2023, 22:40
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All it will take is one crash - and these companies are done as feeders for the majors. Hopefully Union will not miss the opportunity to expose these cheap ACMI´s with substandard CoS - that some pilots accept on their way up - or can´t get better. Yeah, not a popular comment, but that doesn´t mean it´s not right, live with it!
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 05:37
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They follow-up.
https://www.linkedin.com/posts/latvi...member_desktop
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Old 21st Aug 2023, 10:59
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Heston Airlines

Originally Posted by davidjohnson6
Heston Airlines is a new proposed ACMI carrier in Lithuania, run by the former Chief Commercial Officer of GetJet, another Lithuanian ACMI

It would be easy to label this as a company run by somebody who doesn't know what else to do with their career, but I'm wondering what a new ACMI airline can do post Covid that other ACMI competitors cannot do. Is there really much of an advantage in being a new company with few liabilities anf all the inherent risk around being a startup compared to being an existing company known to other airline customers ? The fact that so many A320 / B737 aircraft are grounded makes me think demand for ACMI will be weak for a long time
as for Heston, I would not recommend this place to anyone! The training Department is extremely poor. Fear culture, you should know it, it is online. No training support, lots of pressure is imposed to you from day 1. At the moment, the only project is flying from Tashkent to Istanbul and Dubai on a 30 days ON 15 days off roster.
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Old 21st Aug 2023, 19:33
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Total lie.

Originally Posted by rocky 3
as for Heston, I would not recommend this place to anyone! The training Department is extremely poor. Fear culture, you should know it, it is online. No training support, lots of pressure is imposed to you from day 1. At the moment, the only project is flying from Tashkent to Istanbul and Dubai on a 30 days ON 15 days off roster.
This is a total lie...

Tashkent - Air Uzbek
Podgorica - Air Montenegro
Brno/Budapest - Smartwings
HAM/MUN - Marabu
DUS/HER - Condor

Company actively asks for reports to be made when there is a situation to report, and no "prosecution" is done.

You my friend, are a liar.

Last edited by Madp1lot; 21st Aug 2023 at 20:36.
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