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What's it like at Virgin...?

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What's it like at Virgin...?

Old 27th Nov 2002, 13:56
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Question What's it like at Virgin...?

I am working as an FO on the 757 and I want to apply to Virgin to try and get on the 400 or the A340. I would appreciate some feedback from some VS Flight Crew if poss

Whats the rosters like?
Is the Pay any good?
Is the Pension any good?
Whats current Moral like?
What routes do the 400's do?
What routes does the A340 600 do?
Most of all are the girls as much fun as they say they are *Grin*

I heard the FO's on the 400 are doing just a couple of routes and doing back to back US flights with no time off and that their morale is at an all time low?

Most important I know the time to Command used to be approx 3 yrs but I heard its much longer than that now - How long from date of joining to Command these days?

Would appreciate any feedback

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Old 27th Nov 2002, 14:38
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try here: http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...threadid=71470

It's an awful long time to command.
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 20:39
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Search this forum. There is a great deal of information about Virgin here, much of it quite recent. It would save us reiterating it all yet again!
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Old 28th Nov 2002, 07:40
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Thanks gentleman,

I have indeed searched and found some good info but no one mentions how long it is to Command now? I am on the 757 with quite some seniority and just about to get a Command.

So whats the time if anyone knows?

Much appreciated...
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Old 28th Nov 2002, 09:03
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The time to command is long mate, I'm about 2 years away (prob ) if all goes well, and the industry stays ok! there are about two hundred behind me at least and balpa said recently 13? scheduled retirements pre 2013? figures from memory, scroggs will now exact he's that type of chap.
Morale is low towards management, many, many broken promises and a face off is only a short way away. The girls are not the same, five years ago each trip was like a dream but now their appalling pay and shocking cabin crew management have made it so that they save and shop just to get by. The 5'10 blonde beauties all cashed in a while ago and married footballers.
On the plus side I get to fly with an uncommonly good bunch of rotters. I imagine though you probably do the same though.
My advice? Stay and get your command, many of us SFO's are ACTIVELY looking for work elsewhere, dragon, ek etc.
Pay? 2200 after pension cont. MONEY PURCHASE!!! Thats after 5 yrs service
Staff travel? good but a bit of a con really, most seats filled by last minute etc
perks? lots of candy floss but very little substance.
A command will pay you a lot more, and will keep you out of port Harcourt for 6 day slips.
Its up to you.
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Old 28th Nov 2002, 23:24
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Terry, I thought it was a few more than that, but I believe you're in the right ballpark!

I don't think that anyone could accurately predict the time to command for a new entrant just now, because things have changed so much since 9/11. The airline hasn't yet had time to really settle down and determine just what expansion profile it wants to follow - and the worldwide economic uncertainty doesn't help in that process. Someone calculated that we needed 37 new aircraft to promote all the FOs we have now. We currently run about 30 aircraft total!

Retirements, early and scheduled, those who move on to other firms (probably a fair number, but fewer than rumour would suggest), sickness and expansion (constrained by the economy) will all have an effect on command prospects. My best guess is that command is about 8 years away for a new entrant now. That's a lot worse than it was, but a lot better than many other companies - and, remember, this is for B744, A340 and A380 commands, which will be significant for many readers of this thread.

Hopefully, the pay will soon reflect the responsibility of commanding the world's largest, longest-range aircraft.
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Old 29th Nov 2002, 01:06
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There really is no decision to be made. You cannot join Virgin. The pay is low, the morale is lower, the fun has gone and everybody is looking elsewhere. So what the jets are big? You never get to fly them much if you are Airbus and you are worked so hard that you don't want to get on them if you are Boeing.

Virgin is a marketing brand and not an airline, certainly not an airline that puts its employees anywhere near the top of the list of priorities.

Ask yourself why a company has to recruit so many crew, some 900 in the cabin and a significant amount on the flight deck, at a time of little expansion and depressed markets.

You will live to regret it if they throw everybody out again at the slightest risk of war.

Enjoy your command!
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Old 29th Nov 2002, 06:58
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Terry, Scroggs and Dicks,

Thanks very much for all the info - Wow Virgin certainly seems to be a different airline from what it was just 3-4 years ago. Back then everyone was breaking their backs to get into Virgin and felt real proud if they did too!

I too worry that if I do apply and get in, then what if there is a big Gulf war? It seems Virgin were ruthless Post 9/11 and laid off a bunch of guys some who recently decided not to go back!

I have also applied to some big payers like DragonAir and if the IFALPA recruitment ban is lifted Cathay Pacific - Maybe I shall venture down that route instead...

Best wishes

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Old 29th Nov 2002, 16:01
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8 years? More like double that!

I was at the bottom of the seniority list. At 8.5 captains an aircraft, Virgin needed 34 additional aircraft (with forecast retirements) for me to be considered for a command. How long for 34 additional aircraft? More than 8 years I suggest.

With the 20 years I had to go before mandatory retirement, I considered my getting a command to be unlikely - or for just a few years before drawing my pension.

Which is why I left.
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Old 29th Nov 2002, 17:07
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As you say, a few years ago everyone seemed to be busting their b***s to get into VS, and I was one of them.
However, post 9/11 it all went pear shaped and I have moved on. One of the things that worried me is Virgins vulnerability to trans atlantic traffic. I think they still have something like 50% of their routes going West from the UK and a hiccup there could still cause major or even terminal problems. I hope not, but it is something to consider. Of course, it depends on where you are at the moment! Commands are quick at Dragonair and Emirates!
Good luck.
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