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Old 23rd Jun 2023, 08:38
  #281 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PilotRichard
That being said, I find my self indecisive about where I want to end up, for what I hope is a career job. I never saw myself going LH this soon, as I view it as unfulfilling in comparison to SH and would like to be home more often than not. That being said my biggest worry and possibly my main gripe is job security (term used lightly given the sh1thousery of this industry), probably a paranoia grown from a double whammy of redundancies. Iím not asking for anything directly, just if anyone had any honest guidance/advice or insight into these companies and/or this point in my career. Thanks lads/Ladettes
In addition to what the poster above said; each and every large legacy carrier showed their true colours during the pandemic. In the LCCs there's constant chatter about company finances and sheer number of flight cancellations being unsustainable etc. No job in aviation is 100% secure, and most LHS pilots or trainers in major airlines have a patchwork past of different airlines going bust or making them redundant. That being said we do seem to be on a bit of a boon at the moment. If lifestyle is what you're chasing, get to an airline with a base in/close to a city you want to live in, reduce your time on the motorway and commuting expenses. At the end of the day it doesn't really matter who you fly for, the legacies will keep you away from home in hotels, the LCCs will have you operating through the night to the east Med where you may as well be stopping over somewhere for how much use you are at home the next day.

Find what you enjoy the most about the job, lock in on that and the closer you can do it to home, the better. Enjoy the ride whilst we're still on the top of the wave.
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Old 24th Jun 2023, 00:20
  #282 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PilotRichard
Hi All,

Apologies for the long winded comment.

For context Iím a young(ish) FO, made redundant by a certain poorly run uk regional airline. Iíve a start date as an SO with VAA later this year, and have assessments with Tui and potentially others.

Iím instructing for the time being to see me through till VAA, and by no means do I want to come across as ungrateful of my situation, Iím extremely chuffed Iíve got a job to go to.

That being said, I find my self indecisive about where I want to end up, for what I hope is a career job. I never saw myself going LH this soon, as I view it as unfulfilling in comparison to SH and would like to be home more often than not. That being said my biggest worry and possibly my main gripe is job security (term used lightly given the sh1thousery of this industry), probably a paranoia grown from a double whammy of redundancies. Iím not asking for anything directly, just if anyone had any honest guidance/advice or insight into these companies and/or this point in my career. Thanks lads/Ladettes
I hope I can offer some ruminations. I canít be prescriptive. Some of the concerns you mention remind me of me, when I was in your shoes but with another large UK airline with LH

A thing that gets glossed over when taking jobs in this game is being honest with who you are as a person and how the place and the way it goes about things would fit you.

Listen to your gut instincts. That isnít hocus pocus. Ask me how I know. I ignored mine. I just had a baaaad vibe about the direction I was taking. Like bad juju about the place even driving through the gates to join (not VS Iíve never worked there). But I ignored it using stupid piloty good for nothing in the real world logic

VS has a track record in the nasty behaviour redundancy stakes as do both the legacy carriers . And hotels and Legacy carriers go together.

If you think being away in hotels is not going to be you then full time LH is going to lean right into that particular corner of your brain long term and amp it to ďare you crazyĒ. It never goes away. Thereís no escape from that disconnected on the road feeling and half packed suitcases and majority missed weekends. Modern Full time LH isnít the job many think it is. My outfit itís trip 2 off, 5/6 trips a month. It wears thin after about 5 minutes. I personally think choose an airline that has part time options available from the beginning.


You could join VAA, and if you hate it, apply elsewhere but itís not like switching jobs is easy int his bloody job. Itís months of stress and test and your personal life tipped upside down yet again for months. What a pain in the arris, especially as youíve been through enough. You could stick out instructing and wait for Tui assessment. How would that feel? If Tui offered you a job now and you had a choice between that and VS how would that feel? Iím just playing with it but donít be afraid of your own doubts. Stare right at them
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Old 24th Jun 2023, 22:02
  #283 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for the response!

I think if TUI came knocking it would be hard to turn them down vs VAA, again I'm just nervous about the financial position of TUI, whether that be justifiably or not. Knocked off the throne by Jet2, the sole charter airline still going, still making losses since pandemic (who isn't!), a large boom in hiring, especially lower hour pilots which on the face of it is seems good, but all seemingly on these full time yet part time contracts, which doesn't scream 'we can afford to hire full time crew'., something doesn't sit right with any of the options (if I were to have them). IMO the safest jobs are either BA, Ryanair or Jet2.

I feel like I've become a pessimist in looking for a reasons to doubt in every company, Dammit!!
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Old 27th Jun 2023, 21:34
  #284 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PilotRichard
Thanks for the response!

I think if TUI came knocking it would be hard to turn them down vs VAA, again I'm just nervous about the financial position of TUI, whether that be justifiably or not. Knocked off the throne by Jet2, the sole charter airline still going, still making losses since pandemic (who isn't!), a large boom in hiring, especially lower hour pilots which on the face of it is seems good, but all seemingly on these full time yet part time contracts, which doesn't scream 'we can afford to hire full time crew'., something doesn't sit right with any of the options (if I were to have them). IMO the safest jobs are either BA, Ryanair or Jet2.

I feel like I've become a pessimist in looking for a reasons to doubt in every company, Dammit!!
no job is ever 100% safe. Jet2 certainly are not in that bracket, do not get distracted by the aggressive expansion and bright shiny adverts. You need to be clear what you want from a job for your home situation, forget the flying side of things. That will wear thin after 2 mins unless you are a keen bean. Furthermore it wonít matter unless youíre happy with what the airline gives you. Good luck.
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Old 28th Jun 2023, 10:17
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Originally Posted by PilotRichard
Thanks for the response!

I think if TUI came knocking it would be hard to turn them down vs VAA, again I'm just nervous about the financial position of TUI, whether that be justifiably or not. Knocked off the throne by Jet2, the sole charter airline still going, still making losses since pandemic (who isn't!), a large boom in hiring, especially lower hour pilots which on the face of it is seems good, but all seemingly on these full time yet part time contracts, which doesn't scream 'we can afford to hire full time crew'., something doesn't sit right with any of the options (if I were to have them). IMO the safest jobs are either BA, Ryanair or Jet2.

I feel like I've become a pessimist in looking for a reasons to doubt in every company, Dammit!!
TUI have always had a winter summer imbalance. It was also a Last Choice trick of hiring permanent-part-year. In the past the imbalance had been smoothed by detachments: Scandianavia, Canada.

Iím not sure what the latest is, but the Canada contract is/ has ended. The, recently stepped down DFO, was trying to use that as stick.

TUI was good, the crew 99% brilliant. VS doesnít sound like a particularly happy ship, but thatís only from a couple of people I know there. VS were brutal over covid, TUI didnít make any redundancies.
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Old 18th Jul 2023, 08:25
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Iím not trying to Shi# stir , but a friend of mine in the company said that potential strike action is on the cards ?
me being nosey wanted to see if this is the case ?
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Old 18th Jul 2023, 16:29
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FTA process currently between the CC and management, indicative ballots on potential future action are always part of that process to provide leverage for the union. It's good to see though that union membership has recovered, indeed it's stronger than it has ever historically been at VS, and that the CC are fighting hard to get back to pre-covid Ts&Cs.It's a long game though and as always, management don't like spending money....
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Old 19th Jul 2023, 07:50
  #288 (permalink)  
 
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Couple of questions about working for Virgin:

1. What is the % union membership at the moment?
2. What is the union fighting for? reduced hours, Increase pay or also other issues?
3. What is the Check and training culture like in the company?
4. What are some of the major issues facing the pilots at this time?
5. How many people are leaving or looking to leave? Where are they going?
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Old 19th Jul 2023, 10:30
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1. Good, at a historical high (VS pilots had been split across 2 unions in the past) and improving all the time. Actual numbers/% are confidential, for reasons of industrial strategy.
2. Yes. But the current FTA is about lifestyle protections, some of which were given up for Covid but not yet restored, and introducing others to mitigate fatigue/improve sustainability away from the covid-survival-mode of 2020-2022.
3. Subjective, but overall positive in my experience, and certainly light years away from the bad old days; significant focus on training and development, and extra support is always there if needed in LIFUS/CMD etc. No ‘chop’ culture and no tw@ts in training that I’ve come across - mates on the other fleet tend to confirm the same there.
4. See 2.
5. Confidential; management won’t say (except to say ‘not very many’) and it’s just anecdotal on the pilot side. A few have gone to the ME, and as always pilots are full of talk, but in my peer group numbers leaving seem small. People always have different reasons for leaving, especially when lots of recruiting is going on elsewhere; more often than not it’s the pull rather than the push (ME salary, Jet2 northern bases etc).

Last edited by Rostermouse; 19th Jul 2023 at 14:13.
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Old 19th Jul 2023, 10:37
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Originally Posted by Rostermouse
1. Good, at a historical high (VS pilots had been split across 2 unions in the past) and improving all the time. Actual numbers/% are confidential, for reasons of industrial strategy.
2. Yes. But the current FTA is about lifestyle protections, some of which were given up for Covid but not yet restored, and introducing others to mitigate fatigue/improve sustainability away from the covid-survival-mode of 2020-2022.
3. Subjective, but overall positive in my experience, and certainly light years away from the bad old days; significant focus on training and development, and extra support is always there if needed in LIFUS/CMD etc. No Ďchopí culture and no tw@ts in training that Iíve come across - mates on the other fleet say the same.
4. See 2.
5. Confidential; management wonít say (except to say Ďnot very manyí) and itís just anecdotal on the pilot side. A few have gone to the ME, and as always pilots are full of talk, but in my peer group numbers leaving seem small. People always have different reasons for leaving, especially when lots of recruiting is going on elsewhere; more often than not itís the pull rather than the push (ME salary, Jet2 northern bases etc).

Good inside info, thanks a lot! Much appreciated.

Is the union trying to get the 750 hour limit back?
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Old 19th Jul 2023, 14:13
  #291 (permalink)  
 
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A return to a credit hours system is on the wishlist but not in danger of happening soon. Crewing are moving to AIMS next month which promises some better rostering functionality in future, but no-one’s counting chickens just yet. That said, I’ve never done more than 700hrs in a year on the post-covid 900hrs contract, and that’s with extra trips/working days off.
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Old 19th Jul 2023, 21:33
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Originally Posted by Rostermouse
A return to a credit hours system is on the wishlist but not in danger of happening soon. Crewing are moving to AIMS next month which promises some better rostering functionality in future, but no-oneís counting chickens just yet. That said, Iíve never done more than 700hrs in a year on the post-covid 900hrs contract, and thatís with extra trips/working days off.
Different fleets, different beats. My logbook app hasn't shown less that 850 in 12 since October last year and is frequently >890. With no extra trips worked
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Old 19th Jul 2023, 23:22
  #293 (permalink)  
 
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RARA9 -
a friend of mine in the company said that potential strike action is on the cards ? me being nosey wanted to see if this is the case ?
Our virgin mate in the pub last friday said big balpa recently shut down the individual company councils 'bulletin board' forum's that members regularly used to exchange rants views and knowledge. Replaced by some useless disorganised twitter-type can-of-worms nonsense. He says posts can be removed by nameless mods, without trace or explanation, but its difficult to be sure when you can't find anything anyway.

Some half-baked reasons given but widely believed, especially by the BA members, that it was because the forums were being used to express public criticism of the NEC. No forums = no criticism = rosy garden. Management heaven.

As a result, angry members are resorting to private whatsapp groups to vent their anger express their views.

He said it is difficult to know what is going on unless you are in a group but they tend to be one-fleet ponies. A bonus is - you can be in a group without being in balpa.

In his view, the upcoming rumpus at VS should include pay, intolerable scheduling and use of inexperienced second officer cruise pilots to fiddle the FTLs. But a very long way off a strike ..... especially if you were around in 2011, or looking over the fence at BA in 2018.

LFH
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Old 20th Jul 2023, 08:01
  #294 (permalink)  
 
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The BALPA comms revamp has been really badly handled by the NEC. Possibly for the reasons you suggest, however the old VS forums are still working, it’s just the BA ones and the ‘general discussion’ boards that have closed. New website is crap though.

0/0 yeah I hear you. My 700hrs is all 2-pilot/no crew rest, and 4-5 trips a month (guess the fleet ). So fewer hours but still flat out, maybe just (slightly) shorter flights perhaps.
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Old 20th Jul 2023, 08:06
  #295 (permalink)  
 
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a few more questions please:

-Whatís the best fleet to be on in Virgin right now if you want days off?
-How long of a wait for lifestyle rosters on that fleet
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Old 20th Jul 2023, 08:19
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Can’t see typical rosters for every fleet but it’s a rostered-days-per-year airline now, not target-hrs-per-year as per pre-covid, so days off seem roughly the same everywhere. You now get blocks of standby or rsv if you are rostered up to your hours target, unlike the old days when you got extra days off. One of the reasons VACC is advocating a return to a credit hours system, but company not enthusiastic, unsurprisingly.

Lifestyle contracts - expect to wait years. Hints that they’ll ask for expressions of interest again sometime in 2024, but no other timescale offered.
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Old 20th Jul 2023, 12:58
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Thank you the info, very helpful.
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Old 21st Jul 2023, 06:56
  #298 (permalink)  
 
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Ok, this is interesting.. You're required to do online courses prior to your employment with Virgin. Unpaid? Very odd.
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Old 21st Jul 2023, 10:14
  #299 (permalink)  
 
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I see virgin have reopened hiring and this time open to EU citizens with visa sponsorship. UK citizens are at a huge disadvantage on the job market if more UK airlines start to do this because I can't see any European carrier doing it.
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Old 21st Jul 2023, 15:20
  #300 (permalink)  
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But only for Boeing. Seems quite odd. Quite agree though UK first!
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