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Tigerair Australia short on flight crews?

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docjames

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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

I'm reliably informed that due to a prior hiring freeze in order to contain costs, followed by higher than expected resignations, Tiger is currently relatively short on flight crews. Adding to the complexity is the medium-term plan to switch to the 737 across the fleet, and the need to get sufficient hours / cycles into the transitioning crews there may need to be a significant aircraft shuffle and have the 737s that are currently operating some of the longer routes being re-deployed onto the short cycle eastern seaboard routes to get cycles into transitioning crews. This means the A320 redeploying onto current 737 routes, which in turn means re-routing as the A320 cant economically do eg. MEL-DPS so a new schedule of eg MEL-PER-DPS may be in th works.

As an example of one of the issues, crews are getting very close to hitting their 28 day maximum flight hour limits (eg. by 20-30mins), whereby if outbound legs are delayed (eg. transcon), the crew will have to go for sufficient rest period (8-12hrs) to clock over into the 29th day and "reclaim" duty hours from the first day, meaning significant delay(s) in return flight. I wonder if some of the cancellations and/or delays relate to this.

So you could argue it's "efficient" scheduling to maximise crew use, or a sign of difficulties in maintaining on time performance with crews flying routinely to the max.
 
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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

docjames, a fascinating contribution - many thanks - it shows the complexities of staffing, especially when there is a change of aircraft type.

Regional Express is one other airline that has had huge problems with high flight crew resignation rates in some financial years. That company's response was to establish a training school for aspirant pilots.

TT556, the 1010 from MEL to OOL is expect to depart at about 1300 hours while TT524, the 1215 hours MEL - BNE may also depart at 1300 or so, while TT562, the scheduled 1300 hours from MEL to OOL has become an expected 1500 hours departure.

With unpunctuality like this and as shown a couple of posts above, TT's timekeeping will crash in the BITRE monthly figures for December 2016.

docjames, are we looking at months before the situation resolves itself through a combination of retraining of existing staff and hiring of new ones?

When flight crew transfer from one airline to another (assuming they are already 'rated' for the relevant particular aircraft type), how long is it typically before they commence flying after becoming an employee?

One or two AFFers some months ago asserted that JQ was also having problems with staffing.
 

docjames

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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

docjames, are we looking at months before the situation resolves itself through a combination of retraining of existing staff and hiring of new ones?

When flight crew transfer from one airline to another (assuming they are already 'rated' for the relevant particular aircraft type), how long is it typically before they commence flying after becoming an employee?

.
No idea on either of these two but i'd assume months.
 
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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

A few months ago an AFF member or two stated that they believed JQ had either flight or cabin crew shortages.

JQ's timekeeping has been abysmal in recent months - on most routes, worse than TT, QF or VA. Perhaps the 'old, unreliable TT' is set to make another showing?

As disclosed in the TT delays/ cancellations thread under 'community resources' and 'airline delays/ cancellations' on AFF, TT's performance on the MEL - SYD - MEL route today (FRiday 30 December) is appalling, with four return flights cancelled. How does it or VA accommodate 600 plus passengers in each direction who suddenly find themselves without a seat?
 
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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

In further on Friday 30 December, TT471, the 1720 hours afternoon flight from MEL across to ADL, the 1815 hours MEL - OOL (TT572) and TT272, the 1940 hours from MEL up to SYD have all been cancelled.
 

Boris spatsky

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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

The domestic industry is hurting - CX and EK hiring with lower minimums has meant a lot of recent resignations. For example, EK used to have a minimum hours to apply of 2000 jet airline (no turboprop) which is now 2000 or so turboprop.

Specific to Tiger, i have two friends who left when told they had to do another type rating course onto a Boeing (from Airbus), which philosophically is a major change. To stay on the Airbus, they both now work overseas (one at Qatari and one on a contract with an Asian carrier).
 
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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

Specific to Tiger, i have two friends who left when told they had to do another type rating course onto a Boeing (from Airbus), which philosophically is a major change. To stay on the Airbus, they both now work overseas (one at Qatari and one on a contract with an Asian carrier).
Boris, if you don't mind me asking - I'm assuming that the person cannot be identified by third parties reading this as there would have been multiple resignations - to which 'Asian carrier' does the second friend's situation refer?

Is it the opportunities for advancement, the prestige, the extra money including allowances, a more attractive nett pay regime (less tax) or the 'glamour' of being with a bigger airline or being based in say HKG that sees individuals resigning (in this case) from Tigerair? If they are married or in a relationship (especially with children, although many might be fairly young and dare I say it still single, it is a major step as the 'better half' has to be consulted - unless it is analagous to a FIFO arrangement, in which case the aviator is often not home for days or more at a time.

What should an airline do in this situation? Have a new training school a la Regional Express and try (much as it might be unenforceable) to 'bond' trainees to the airline for a few years?

Or put another way, lower its 'hours experience on type' requirements and then have the likes of Airline Ratings looking to lower its perceived safety rating?

One thing's for sure...these airlines don't want to inform the community about flight crew shortages or relatively high attrition rates because in the minds of many prospective patrons that will be a reason, fearing flight cancellations, to book with a competitor.

Another tack might be to ask the Federal Government to put RPT flight crew on the '457' type lists (if not already on it) and hence bring in staff from southeast Asia.
 
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AviatorInsight

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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

Boris, if you don't mind me asking - I'm assuming that the person cannot be identified by third parties reading this as there would have been multiple resignations - to which 'Asian carrier' does the second friend's situation refer?

Is it the opportunities for advancement, the prestige, the extra money including allowances, a more attractive nett pay regime (less tax) or the 'glamour' of being with a bigger airline or being based in say HKG that sees individuals resigning (in this case) from Tigerair? If they are married or in a relationship (especially with children, although many might be fairly young and dare I say it still single, it is a major step as the 'better half' has to be consulted - unless it is analagous to a FIFO arrangement, in which case the aviator is often not home for days or more at a time.

What should an airline do in this situation? Have a new training school a la Regional Express and try (much as it might be unenforceable) to 'bond' trainees to the airline for a few years?

Or put another way, lower its 'hours experience on type' requirements and then have the likes of Airline Ratings looking to lower its perceived safety rating?

One thing's for sure...these airlines don't want to inform the community about flight crew shortages or relatively high attrition rates because in the minds of many prospective patrons that will be a reason, fearing flight cancellations, to book with a competitor.

Another tack might be to ask the Federal Government to put RPT flight crew on the '457' type lists (if not already on it) and hence bring in staff from southeast Asia.
The problem airlines are facing now is a shortage of experienced flight crews. The likes of Asian carriers attracting Aussie expats are weighing heavily on financial and 'upgrades' onto bigger equipment. The net pay (with tax paid for by the airline) is a substantial increase with anything that can offered in Australia. One such Asian carrier is offering a 2 week on 2 week off roster with confirmed business class sectors on the commute to work with all expenses paid for once they land. This still allows those with families to have some kind of life at home, but every body is different, in different situations and at different stages of their life.

With regards to the bond, airlines do this for new employees or they can pay for their endorsement up front with no bond. Usually the bond will be 24-36 months pro rata in an effort to keep crews from leaving before their bond is up. But if a better opportunity arises, it may not (and in some recent cases) hasn't stopped crews from following those pastures.

An airline lowering its "hours experience on type" may be a solution but you would want the airline to have a sound check and training department with solid SOPs, as can be seen in Europe with cadets flying in the right seat of a B737 or A320 in much harsher conditions than can be seen in Australia.

The 457 visas have been in place in some airlines already.
 
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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

I dislike the word 'fantastic' but it is appropriate for AviatorInsight's reply.

This must be an extremely difficult problem for local employers - in this case, airlines - to solve, because airlines and other employers are not responsible for the rate of personal income tax in Australia.

After Donald Trump is inaugurated on 20 January 2017, he wants to lower corporate and if I recall individual taxation rates in the USA, so while not directly relevant to Asia v Australia, it is one more lifestyle condition with which Australia has to compete.

If in HR and faced with this dilemma for which hiring inexperienced local residents was not an immediate solution (or a satisfactory one) I'd be trying to import the likes of southeast Asian flight crew members who speak excellent English and who can culturally fit in to Australia's social mores, because as in any job, it's not just about being a technocrat. If any of us sit next to someone else in an office - in this case two seats in a cabin - it assists if we can get along with the other individual. Filipinos and Singaporeans are examples of two nationalities who can probably fairly easily 'adapt' to the 'Australian way of life.'

No wonder CX appears to have so many Australians as pilots (although probably behind the British in numbers.)

AviatorInsight's summary is an example as to how for some specialised occupations, staff can be mobile and prepared to move nations (or at least the nationality or base of their employer) relatively quickly, at a cost to the previous employer.

While it doesn't affect every occupation, it would be prudent for our Federal politicians to be aware of this issue, particularly those from the historically in favour of higher taxation socialist side of the political spectrum.
 
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eastwest101

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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

Training to be a commercial pilot is time consuming and very very expensive, not much effort has gone into training and recruitment in Australia for flight crew in the last 10 years, and until recently the airlines/employers had the advantage or upper hand in setting pay and conditions. Remember the Rex pilot shortage about 5-8 years ago? Think about where that small cohort of pilots is positioned now. The demographics of a large baby-boomer retirement bulge, coupled with the lack of past opportunities for Gen X and Gen Y and the increased demand for pilots from overseas carriers has caught Australian airline recruiters on the hop.

All the Australian airlines can offer is a high cost of living, with fairly high tax rates and expensive real estate prices in a first world jurisdiction. With pay and conditions being improved overseas, and attractive FIFO arrangements allowing families to stay in Australia, all the major Australian carriers are going to have a major pilot shortage that is partly their own making and their own complacency. Some of the Gen Y and Gen X pilots with some experience still have large HECS and flying training debts to pay back, very low pay rates from charter and regional airlines and they only have a certain window of opportunity in their short careers to earn the $$.
 

jb747

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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

M1... the only people you're going to be able to hire with 457 visas will be the ones that the Chinese and Middle Eastern airlines don't want.

I think that train you think so much of might be a safer idea.
 

Boris spatsky

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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

Boris, if you don't mind me asking - I'm assuming that the person cannot be identified by third parties reading this as there would have been multiple resignations - to which 'Asian carrier' does the second friend's situation refer?

Is it the opportunities for advancement, the prestige, the extra money including allowances, a more attractive nett pay regime (less tax) or the 'glamour' of being with a bigger airline or being based in say HKG that sees individuals resigning (in this case) from Tigerair? If they are married or in a relationship (especially with children, although many might be fairly young and dare I say it still single, it is a major step as the 'better half' has to be consulted - unless it is analagous to a FIFO arrangement, in which case the aviator is often not home for days or more at a time.

Or put another way, lower its 'hours experience on type' requirements and then have the likes of Airline Ratings looking to lower its perceived safety rating?

One thing's for sure...these airlines don't want to inform the community about flight crew shortages or relatively high attrition rates because in the minds of many prospective patrons that will be a reason, fearing flight cancellations, to book with a competitor.

Another tack might be to ask the Federal Government to put RPT flight crew on the '457' type lists (if not already on it) and hence bring in staff from southeast Asia.
In the past 12 months i have had acquaintances or friends leave Australian RPT airlines for Emirates, Qatari, Etihad, Air Japan, Cathay, Air NZ, Vietnam
airlines and a plethora of others on contract (China mainly).

The majority of Australian airlines pay poorly for pilots who are not Captains (especially if you have a young family) and command can be tens of years away. Some guys went for the money, coupled with significantly faster path to command, which in turn increases your earning ability over time. Some left due to the monotony of flying to a handful of Australian domestic destinations (where they can go to Japan and fly all over Asia and to Hawaii etc. others left to get widebody experience to open up other doors in the future (unlikely to ever get a widebody captain directly from a narrowbody captain outside of major legacy airlines).

The lower minimums is not a concern for safety, provided we are talking the likes of Cathay etc where there is a robust and effective training system. And lower minimums should not affect public opinion of an airlines safety - pilots are still trained to the same standard which is monitored by the regulator.

The only 457 visas that i am aware of were VA setting up the ATR operation. I believe some European captains were employed on 457s.
 
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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

Thank you jb747 and Boris spatsky. Fascinating to note the large number of reasons attracting flight crew overseas.

As yet, it doesn't appear to be resulting in QF or VA cancelling many flights, but perhaps any effect is 'hidden' from the community in that both airlines have reduced some capacity on domestic routes or not expanded as fast as they were a little while ago, citing a soft economy. JB, whose airline is loss making, stated that 2017 will be 'challenging.'
 

Boris spatsky

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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

Note that most in QF mainline or VA mainline are staying as they are on a far better package overall with potential to progress than most others in Oz. None of the people i know who have left are from QF or VA proper.
 
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Cessna 180

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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

There is no pilot shortage in this country. To take an FO job with Rex , Qlink etc is generally a severe paycut for an experienced GA pilot.
Then they seem to want you to be under 30 with certain amount of experience but not too much single pilot time so one is still trainable.
Jet airlines are unlikely to hire anyone unless they already have multi crew time.
You then add to this to be successful, interview coaching, flights/accom for the interview and sim practice it adds up to a lot of dollars to even be in the running to sit in the right hand seat of a dash 8 or a Saab
Airline flying is not so desirable these days.
There are plenty of people with thousands of hours in GA who are either deemed not suitable by the airlines or who are just not interested in the hoops needed to jump through for the little reward.
 
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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

I only did a cursory, non-exhaustive check today (Monday 2 January) but from a quick look there didn't appear to be any TT cancellations. There is a chance I missed some.

Granted that no transport employer in Australia - air or surface - has identical operating conditions every day in respect of staff or fleet availability - but it seems a little odd (assuming it wasn't just an aircraft becoming defective) that recently TT had a massive number of cancellations for the size of its RPT operation and yet today there were not any in evidence at the time I looked, which was mid afternoon.

Is there a logical reason for this given the numerous above comments about TT's staffing situation?
 

Boris spatsky

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Re: Tigerair Australia Delays/Cancellations

Rostering is a complex beast. Some days my company would have 5 crew on standby, some days none (due leave/sick/sim/courses). It fluctuates.
 
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