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The new airline thread


FUSEPLUG

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True, most of the fleets were parked just over 6 months like that initially, but thankfully quite a bit have been brought back on line except for the ones that were to be slated for the chopping block within a few years anyway. Iron is laying around more sporadically than before but still very much around. Heavies are where it hurts regarding international movement. They are still very much stacked in clusters overseas. Good review of how bad it really was. Domestic heals a lot faster although what are we at currently - 40% perhaps, have we past 50% consistently? This will take some time and the world has changed a few things around to survive.

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  • 1 month later...

Looks like some of the low cost carriers might start to do some hiring in the next few months, starting with Frontier. Any updates on the general state of the industry from those flying commercially?

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FedEx Update (December 2020) - We will be opening two new bases in 2021, a 767 Oakland (OAK) base and a 777 Anchorage (ANC) base. OAK is slated to open in the fourth quarter of FY21; ANC is forecast to open in the first quarter of FY22. We’re excited about these new locations and the operational flexibility they’ll provide in both the domestic and international markets. Both bases will provide opportunities for pilots as well.

Speaking of opportunity, I’m pleased to report System Bid 20-02, which closed December 3, was successful in filling nearly 400 captain and over 500 first officer vacancies.

As mentioned in previous communications, we plan to hire nearly 900 pilots in the next 18 months. It’s an aggressive plan reflecting significant business level increases we’re seeing across the system. At the same time, new pilots will be needed to cover normal attrition due to retirements and departures, as well as the need to staff new 767s and 777s joining our fleet.

Got those apps in!

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Cargo outfits have been able to secure new business rapidly due to the 2020 debacle. Far faster than any plan any of them had in play; therefore, their acceleration of hiring has been above and beyond normal induction/attrition. More aircraft being ordered, delivered or converted to include a few pulled back out of the desert this past year just to fill unprecedented demand. Belly freight that normally Pax carriers had fell to pure cargo assets literally swamping the landscape initially. FedEx was quick to secure several long term contracts with prior belly freight customers as did a few others. Pax carriers revitalized some of their assets to move cargo however they could. Even Amazon for the first time purchased 11 used 767 aircraft from Delta and Westjet above and beyond its current leasing strategy. They are slated for freighter conversion.

We carry pax but not everyday fare based options, mostly charters and AMC. Our NFL has ratcheted down on schedule and our FedEx/UPS peak support is finalizing per seasonal requirements and AMC continues for now. Atlas will continue to hire (hired hundreds upon hundreds in 2020), especially with the available resources of much higher qualified candidates while the opportunity exists. Granted it’s always been harder to keep them with FedEx/UPS/Majors poaching them consistently and who could blame them. Just too easy - We hook’m, clean’m and fry’m then serve them to higher paying customers if you will. FedEx and others hire for longevity/expansion while we get some longevity some expansion but honestly attrition beyond retirements has been the primary issue it seems. We do have more demand as Atlas Air Worldwide holdings has recently placed an order for 4 more 747-8F’s to most likely finish the production line by the end of 2022. Good place to start, stay or move on to greener pastures that meet your needs. Come on in, the water is fine. 

Any Pax carrier folks out there care to share their hiring plans for 2021-22? This information will be a decent measure of the recovery of our economy. 

Edited by AirGuardianC141747
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17 hours ago, AirGuardianC141747 said:

Any Pax carrier folks out there care to share their hiring plans for 2021-22? This information will be a decent measure of the recovery of our economy. 

 

I have almost zero faith that we'll see any hiring this year at DAL, but words from our crew resources dude, "it's not off the table."  We just posted a small bid that brings back 400 of our unassigned pilots that they hope to have up and flying for summer.  If (big IF) the current growth continues, they plan to post a bigger bid in May/Jun to staff for summer 2022.  For that bid, they said they'll need 100 WB Captains due to all the early outs we have.  That should generate some movement and bring back quite a few more of our unassigned pilots.  Of course this depends on the world not losing their minds, the effectiveness of the vaccine and the policies of world leaders as we move forward.  I've been out on MLOA for 6-7 months for a deployment and I'm again reminded why I love part time...I can only "MIL" full time for so long.  

Edited by SocialD
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I would expect a significant increase in domestic passenger flying by this summer.  Especially if the J&J one shot vaccine gets out there.  It seems to me likely that international passenger flying will take longer to pick back up, because a lot of countries, including ours, will continue to be reluctant to allow a lot of international  visitors for a while longer.

My grandson is begging to go to Disney World, and I'd like to take him before I'm too old and decrepit. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only random dude  who is itching to get out of the local area as soon as I can.

Edited by JimNtexas
typo
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20 hours ago, SocialD said:

they'll need 100 WB Captains due to all the early outs we have.

I think this will be the fuze that really kicks off the next hiring spree -- not just at DAL, but industry-wide due to numerous places offering or incentivizing early retirements during COVID.

There's a lot of pent-up demand that is hiding under COVID fears and governmental restrictions.  What remains to be seen is if how rapidly that demand is allowed to translate into ticket sales.

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We have also seen a lot of pent up demand. Everyone has been working for a year+ and has a ton of saved up vacation to use.

 

Problem is they have nowhere to go, if they can even go at all.

 

All airlines think business travel will be back, and all gave a similar example - the second someone loses a multi million dollar deal due to Zoom issues, the company will spend a grand to send the salesman in person.

 

edit: AA earnings call said pilot hiring might resume in the "not to distant future" ... whatever that means

Edited by xaarman
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Latest union email here at SWA said to expect the most robust schedule this March that we've had since last March.  By my quick napkin math, we started the pandemic with ~9800 pilots.  We lost ~700 due to mandatory retirements and voluntary early retirements.  So that leaves ~9100 on the list, but we probably have another ~1000 still out on voluntary extended time off that will trickle back in in the next 4.5 years.  They'll definitely recall every one of those pilots before running a new hire class, but I don't think there's any way those dudes/chicks will be out for a full 4.5 years.  I think everyone believes they will be recalled much earlier.  Gun to my head, If demand picks back up to anything close to 2019 levels, I can see us maybe hiring early next year, but I think that's best case scenario.

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Sooo...for someone who still needs to do the whole ATP CTP & ATP Practical, any recommendations for a good program?

In Colorado, so looking at FTI in Denver, but if there are better options (lower cost/same or better success rate), I'd love to hear folks' advice. 

Apologies if this is the wrong thread--did a search, and this seems to be the best place to ask. 

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6 hours ago, TnkrToad said:

Sooo...for someone who still needs to do the whole ATP CTP & ATP Practical, any recommendations for a good program?

In Colorado, so looking at FTI in Denver, but if there are better options (lower cost/same or better success rate), I'd love to hear folks' advice. 

Apologies if this is the wrong thread--did a search, and this seems to be the best place to ask. 

If you have any interest in Delta, they’re program guarantees your app gets pulled and scored ... and has been pretty successful for folks  

Chet Kreske is a strike eagle bubba and runs MIL2ATP.  One stop shop. Check it out  

 

 

Edited by HossHarris
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a regional guy here (gimmick a break, I was a fucking Nav), but I am flying for THE regional. Skywest flies for American, Delta, UA, and Alaska.  We are seeing a huge uptick in travel, and many of our jets have been full or nearly full. Now some of that is due to scope clause, but we are getting busier and busier.  I do see the industry picking up steam faster than they thought it would, and see no reason why that wouldn’t continue. Our company is talking about resuming upgrades this summer and new hire by fall.  Traditionally, the regionals are the first to see increase in flying. We are also adding cities right and left due to being scoped out of traditional routes. (Using a 737 at 60% capacity KDEN to KIND is a symptom of scope).

 

Side note:  if you are a USAF pilot, DO NOT go UQ in your last year, or you will be sitting here with me, yanking gear for a Nav.  

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2 hours ago, discus said:

We are also adding cities right and left due to being scoped out of traditional routes. (Using a 737 at 60% capacity KDEN to KIND is a symptom of scope).

Can you expand on this for those of us on the outside looking in? I think I understand the basics of scope, but not all of the implications.

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24 minutes ago, mcbush said:

Can you expand on this for those of us on the outside looking in? I think I understand the basics of scope, but not all of the implications.

Sure,

In a nutshell, scope basically is a union negotiated strategy to save mainline jobs. Since we are a dirty contractor flying under the banner of United, American, etc, it says that we can only operate xx number of 50 seat aircraft and yy number of 76 seat aircraft in the fleet. Additionally, it says that we can only fly a certain percentage of mainline narrow body routes. It’s cheaper for United to contract with us, and have us fly say the DEN to IND route, but we can’t do it because of union restrictions, so they have to put a 737 on it with a mainline pay flight crew, even though that route traditionally only has about 64 people booked on any given flight. 
 

Scope was further reduced after ‘Rona in the union contracts with their parent companies. There is nothing the regional companies can do about these agreements, they just have to eat the shit that’s given to them.

 

to be fair, in my opinion I think it’s a good thing. There should never, ever be a contracted regional jet  carrying more than 50 PAX. Everything else should be at mainline pay.  But your ticket prices would reflect that if it were to happen. So, I continue to fly my regional 76 seat jet which has been “scoped” to 70 seats by the ‘Rona. 
 

TLDR; Unions

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4 hours ago, discus said:

Side note:  if you are a USAF pilot, DO NOT go UQ in your last year, or you will be sitting here with me, yanking gear for a Nav.  

 

I wasn't NQ, just a Guard fighter guy not getting enough hours and ended up at regional.  I actually had a good time, but then again I was home based, flew with Captains my age (mid-late 20s) and the FAs were mostly in the early 20s....good times.  Pay sucked, but I had lots of fun and learned a lot about the airline world.  That airline (Compass) is now no more...if you have to go to a regional, Skywest is probably your best bet.

 

 

1 hour ago, discus said:

TLDR; Unions Jobs

 

It's the most important part of the contract.  

 

 

 

To add to the thread, there seems to be more and more traction on bringing people back (and maybe hiring later this year), but we (DAL) may get more information later this week from a town hall.  Basically the airlines are expecting to be ~90% of pre-covid capacity by summer of 2022.  As Hacker eluded to early, the early outs will be a big help to get hiring kicked off as we recover.  In many (domestic) categories at Delta, there are TONS of overtime trips going out every day.  Some of that is because guys are NQ due to landings, part of it is because we have too many people out on UNA.  Either way, after your apps are put in at FDX/UPS, update your other apps...barring any major resurgence/pandemic part deux, hiring could happen fast and furious.   

Edited by SocialD
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13 minutes ago, SocialD said:

 

I wasn't NQ, just a Guard fighter guy not getting enough hours and ended up at regional.  I actually had a good time, but then again I was home based, flew with Captains my age (mid-late 20s) and the FAs were mostly in the early 20s....good times.  Pay sucked, but I had lots of fun and learned a lot about the airline world.  That airline (Compass) is now no more...if you have to go to a regional, Skywest is probably your best bet.

 

Don't get me wrong.  I love the regional gig.  Where else in the civilian world do you get to click the auto pilot off at 15K feet, cancel IFR, and hand fly a jet into Glacier National Park or many other NTA's out there on a regular basis? (And not have to haul your own Ice and snacks like the biz jet guys)  I thought I was retired for two years.  Turns out I was just unemployed.  It'll happen.  

 

+1 on the correction for "Jobs".  The unions facilitate some stability in an otherwise super unstable industry.

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54 minutes ago, hindsight2020 said:

I'm sorry, I missed the punchline. What do you mean by that?

I retired from the Air Force. I financially planned for 20 years to be fully retired at the age of 41. I sat around doing whatever I wanted for two years. Then I got bored, and the wife got tired of me always being around. So I went and found gainful employment that was also fun for me. 

09C1ED22-AF18-462B-A0BB-22F1A7D85744.jpeg

Edited by discus
Couldn’t resist meme
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10 hours ago, discus said:

Sure,

In a nutshell, scope basically is a union negotiated strategy to save mainline jobs. Since we are a dirty contractor flying under the banner of United, American, etc, it says that we can only operate xx number of 50 seat aircraft and yy number of 76 seat aircraft in the fleet. Additionally, it says that we can only fly a certain percentage of mainline narrow body routes. It’s cheaper for United to contract with us, and have us fly say the DEN to IND route, but we can’t do it because of union restrictions, so they have to put a 737 on it with a mainline pay flight crew, even though that route traditionally only has about 64 people booked on any given flight. 
 

Scope was further reduced after ‘Rona in the union contracts with their parent companies. There is nothing the regional companies can do about these agreements, they just have to eat the shit that’s given to them.

 

to be fair, in my opinion I think it’s a good thing. There should never, ever be a contracted regional jet  carrying more than 50 PAX. Everything else should be at mainline pay.  But your ticket prices would reflect that if it were to happen. So, I continue to fly my regional 76 seat jet which has been “scoped” to 70 seats by the ‘Rona. 
 

TLDR; Unions

There's one part that the company never wants you to discuss. Nothing stops them from buying as many regional jets as they want and flying them under mainline. 

 

The battle between labor and the airlines is a fascinating one for sure.

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6 hours ago, discus said:

I retired from the Air Force. I financially planned for 20 years to be fully retired at the age of 41. I sat around doing whatever I wanted for two years. Then I got bored, and the wife got tired of me always being around. So I went and found gainful employment that was also fun for me. 

09C1ED22-AF18-462B-A0BB-22F1A7D85744.jpeg

Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. I thought you were implying one couldn't gainfully retire as an FGO without the need for a full-time occupation; premise which of course I vehemently disagree with.

To bring it back on topic of the airline talk, as someone who will be circa 46-49 with a check in hand, a kid out the house, and a working spouse, I'm going to be wanting to prioritize time-off over pay, full stop. I've debated a lot what potential avenues I'd be willing to take at that time (GS stamp licking job, FW EMS, part 135/91, sim jobs, even expat .mil contracting), and so far have come up fairly empty-handed for one reason or another. 

The only construct I've been able to research that remotely touches on the kind of work-life allowance I seek in a  post-mil pursuit, is some airline outfits. But a place where I can't readily drop trips/schedules as a **perma-junior guy and still eek out 70-80K, is just not worth the trouble for me. 

(**not working past 60, so less than 11 years longevity from .mil to when I quit all work life full stop)

 

-break break

 

Congrats on AD retirement btw! I have two things I rather be doing right now as a young man that my work impositions are getting in the way of: (1) The hobby  and (2) more time back home. Suffice to say, the wife is tripping over herself to partake in both, which is probably why she's my second wife and not my first one. 😮 And I digress. Cheers! 🍺

Edited by hindsight2020
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2 hours ago, hindsight2020 said:

Congrats on AD retirement btw! I have two things I rather be doing right now as a young man that my work impositions are getting in the way of: (1) The hobby  and (2) more time back home. Suffice to say, the wife is tripping over herself to partake in both, which is probably why she's my second wife and not my first one. 😮 And I digress. Cheers! 🍺

So I never spend my AD time PLANNING to go to the airlines.  I litaraly just got bored and had a friend applying to Skywest.  When he showed up for his interview, I decided to go through class with him, so I applied.  (Keep in mind that this is 2017 pre 'Rona). I was in class two weeks later.  Here are things that I learned in the first six months, keeping in mind that I ignored all the airline talk in the squadron cuz I was gonna be retired and only half listened.  All advice I am about to give is based on your stated preferences, which are remarkably similar to mine:

-Living in base is EVERYTHING.  Commuting sucks.  Don't do it unless you just can't stand living in one of the bases of your desired airline.  I had to commute DEN to ORD for all of a month.  After that, sitting reserve at home was awesome!  Putz around the house with the phone on.  NBD.

-Once I got a line, the advantage of a regional is that there are a lot of kids who are super hungry for hours, so I gave away enough trips a month to work 30-40 hours (8 ish days away) per month.  That was also perfect for me.  Working just enough to still enjoy it just became easier after COVID.

-Disadvantage is pay.  Skywest starts out at $50/hour when a major airline doubles that.  But, I was a Nav, so I didn't have the turbine time requirement to go straight to the "Majors".  I think the same work schedule is possible at the Major Airlines fairly quickly, but I can't speak to it, I only have second hand knowledge, which is probobly the same as you have from the beat up old reserve LtCol who works for Southwest that you hang out with.

-Huge advantage is travel benifits.  My wife and I have produced no crotch fruit and don't plan to.  Kids out of the house is same thing.  Wanna go hang in Hawaii for the weekend?  The price is zero.  Want a beer in Germany?  $Free.95.  You get the idea.  We actually ran the calculations, and with my time off to free time ratio, we hit the road so much that the math said it trippled my paycheck in '19 in that benifit alone.

YMMV based on crash 9/11, crash of '08, 'Rona, Godzilla attack, etc.  Bottom line is that I love it.  Best part is going into work, getting on the jet, doing airplane things, and walking off with about 5 min of time spent on briefing/debriefing.  You go to work to go FLY.  The way God intended it.  Appologies to anyone here for my threadjack, I hope it's good info.

 

Come stop by my airpark home with your fancy RV sometime.  I'll provide the beer.  7CO0 is the airport ID just NW of KDEN.  

 

 

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13 hours ago, hindsight2020 said:

I'm going to be wanting to prioritize time-off over pay, full stop. 

The only construct I've been able to research that remotely touches on the kind of work-life allowance I seek in a  post-mil pursuit, is some airline outfits. But a place where I can't readily drop trips/schedules as a **perma-junior guy and still eek out 70-80K, is just not worth the trouble for me. 

 

I'm sure you've heard this before, but if you choose to go to the airlines, you'll want to get to a wide body ASAP.  It's about as close to retirement as you can get while still gainfully employed.  

 

 

 

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It’s amazing how many WB guys I’ve talked to who haven’t been to work in 60-90 days, only flew 6 days in a month (and went to somewhere awesome), all while getting paid great money. I can’t wait...please don’t fuck this up for us Rona!

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