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Old 02-18-2006, 10:50 AM   #1  
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Default Virgin America, Netjets to hire hundreds

Pilots in Demand: Virgin America, NetJets to Hire Hundreds

Virgin America, the U.S. stepchild of Richard Branson's Virgin brand, has started hiring pilots for its base in San Francisco. The new airline is looking for six experienced pilots right now to help with starting up, then will hire more than 100 pilots later this year to staff its fleet of 33 Airbus 320-family jets. At least 5,000 hours are required, and a type rating wouldn't hurt. Branson also is interested in getting into the air-taxi business with a fleet of Eclipse jets, Andrew Broom, public relations manager at Eclipse, confirmed for AVweb, yesterday. Meanwhile, NetJets says it will hire 450 pilots in 2006. Last year, NetJets pilots represented by the Teamsters achieved a new labor agreement with substantial increases in salaries. NetJets' new hires will be based at Columbus, Teterboro, West Palm Beach, Los Angeles and Dallas. NetJets operates a range of aircraft, including Citations, Hawkers, Falcons, Gulfstream 200s and Boeings, and on international routes, Gulfstre! am large-cabin jets. Rapid growth in air travel is creating a pilot shortage in India and China, where training of new pilots is not keeping up with the demand. Air China is planning to look for experienced pilots from overseas to fill its seats.
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Old 02-18-2006, 11:03 PM   #2  
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The Asian pilot shortage will last for about 2 more years. Alteon is building a huge facility (in Changi) to serve the Chinese and Indian airlines. Many will use ab-initio programs and place low time pilots into their operations.

If overseas ownership rules are relaxed for US airlines the US [pilot] labor conditions here could change dramatically.
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Old 02-19-2006, 01:52 AM   #3  
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Originally Posted by HSLD
The Asian pilot shortage will last for about 2 more years. Alteon is building a huge facility (in Changi) to serve the Chinese and Indian airlines. Many will use ab-initio programs and place low time pilots into their operations.

If overseas ownership rules are relaxed for US airlines the US [pilot] labor conditions here could change dramatically.

I'd have to politely disagree. The Asian pilot shortage is going to last for at least 7 to 10 years. It is just now starting. It will take at least 7 to 10 years for the pilots starting the process today to be ready for upgrade on narrow body jets. It is going to be a good market for contract captain opportunities for quite some time to come.


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Old 02-19-2006, 02:27 AM   #4  
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I'd have to politely disagree. The Asian pilot shortage is going to last for at least 7 to 10 years. It is just now starting. It will take at least 7 to 10 years for the pilots starting the process today to be ready for upgrade on narrow body jets. It is going to be a good market for contract captain opportunities for quite some time to come.
Glad to hear from you, and I defer to your opinion/insight. I was told [from a source I respect] that the Changi facility, when finished, will have enormous capacity and is being booked now. I hope I'm wrong
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Old 02-19-2006, 03:55 AM   #5  
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Glad to hear from you, and I defer to your opinion/insight. I was told [from a source I respect] that the Changi facility, when finished, will have enormous capacity and is being booked now. I hope I'm wrong
Here is Alteon's press release:

Alteon Breaks Ground with Its Newest Training Center in Singapore



Singapore, Feb. 16, 2006 - Alteon Training, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company (NYSE BA), broke ground on a new regional training center in Singapore today.

The Singapore Training Center is located near Changi International Airport in the eastern part of Singapore. Upon completion in October, the approximately 7,000-square-meter state-of-the-art facility will have the capability to train more than 6,000 pilot and flight attendant students per year.

The Guest-of-Honor at the groundbreaking ceremony, Mrs. Lim Hwee Hua, minister of State for Finance and Transport, said, "Alteon's decision to set up its regional training center here, and its experience and leadership in the field, will continue to strengthen Singapore's reputation as a key aviation hub and attract other aerospace-related companies to invest in Singapore."

"Today's groundbreaking ceremony marks a significant milestone in Alteon's expansion plans in Asia-Pacific," said Alteon President Pat Gaines. "We recognize the high-growth potential of the region and at the same time increased demand for pilots and operations crew required to operate and maintain the new aircraft ordered by many airlines in the region."

"Our new facility in Singapore is another example of our commitment to working with our partner airline customers by providing them with cost-effective and geographically convenient total training solutions to match their requirements," he added.

The three-story training facility will house seven full flight simulator bays. The training center will host a cabin emergency evacuation trainer and other advanced-technology training devices such as flat-panel trainers (FPT). Pilot and flight attendant training will employ workstations equipped with self-guided computer based training, allowing students to progress at their own pace. The center will house six classrooms, a computer based training room and a student lounge.

Initial plans call for the installation of six full-flight simulators: one Boeing 777200ER/300/300ER; one Boeing 747-400; one Airbus A320; one Boeing 737-300 EFIS Classic; one 737 NG; and one Fokker 100 to support the region's burgeoning airlines. In addition, a suite of A320 Safety Emergency Procedures equipment will be installed.

Alteon has four other training centers in the Asia-Pacific region, including Brisbane, Australia; Seoul/Inchon, South Korea; Kunming and Tianjin, China.



It would look like they are tapping into the potential for contract training for the newer airlines in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore itself. I'm sure they'll get lots of business and be successful, but it doesn't address the need for new pilots to make the numbers.

The other day I was reading that Indian Airlines own ab-initio program only graduates 50+ pilots per year. The Indian market needs significant capacity increases for basic training and they haven't even really started yet. China is doing slightly better, I forget the numbers they could train in a year, but it was well into the hundreds.

From what I see with Emirates ab-initio program it takes two years+ to train a guy from the word go until he is sitting in the right seat of a widebody. Then it is another 8-10 years until he could entertain upgrading to Captain.

It's all good for us as there will be plenty of opportunities for both expat Captains and First Officers in the region with the wild expansion plans in India, China, and the Middle East. Hopefully it ratchets up the pay as well.


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Old 02-19-2006, 11:45 AM   #6  
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Thanks TP,

In this case I'm glad to be wrong.
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Old 02-19-2006, 11:53 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSLD

If overseas ownership rules are relaxed for US airlines the US [pilot] labor conditions here could change dramatically.

How would labor conditions change?
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Old 02-19-2006, 10:04 PM   #8  
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How would labor conditions change?
This is not directly true. The current propsed changes regarding foriegn ownership would only allow a higher (perhaps even controlling) percentage ownership in US airlines by foreign nationals and corporations. These foreigners would still have to play ball according to our rules...they would like to cut labor costs, but they have no more ability to do that than US managers currently do.

The potential long term threats are these:

1) Cabotage: This means that a foreign airline stops at more than one US destination to drop off/pick up passengers. Basically a foreign airline (with potentially REALLY low labor costs) could provide domestic US service. They would be able to undercut even SWA. This is illegal and is not likely to change soon for national security and safety concerns. Foreign airlines can obviously serve US cities from their own country (and possibly other countries), but they can only make one stop (well they can stop for fuel, but they can't pick up passengers at the fuel stop)

2) A foriegn owned US flagged domestic airline (Virgin America) might possibly try to hire really cheap foreign labor, but this is unlikely to fly politically. We already have WAY too many foreign nationals with visas or green cards flying US equipment as it is (while tens of thousands of US pilots are furloughed). I'm sure ALPA could get that shot down in congress.

3) Outsourcing: US Major airlines could outsource their own flying to a foreign-flagged airline. The foreign company would provide and fly the airplanes, which would be painted in the colors of US Major airlines. This is the next big objective of our major airline mangers in their crusade to rape and pillage the industry. It is very possible to see international flights sold under the colors of a US airline, but will require some new laws to get the domestic operations going. This would replace most US pilots with foreign pilots. There are obvious national security problems to this.

NWA is replacing US flight attendants on international flights with local FA's from the foreign destination (They work for far below US minimum wages). The next step would be pilots and then the airplanes. The US majors have very powerful brand names, but if they can paint their name on a foreign bird and sell the same product at much lower cost, they will not hesitate. Write your congressman.
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:48 AM   #9  
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hey, thanks. Maybe I will write something.
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