Can anyone please describe what life would look like for a new hire (FO) at the YUL Base ?
- I have been talking to a few ex-sunwing guys and I am receiving different information: Some tell me it is mostly turns at Sunwing, but others say that as a Junior I will go on long pairings often. What would the schedule look like for the first 6 month?
- How many off days on average per month? How many grey days?
For example, the most junior F/O in YUL in March had 4 days of turns, a 4 day pairing, 6 Reserve Days, 5 grey days and 11 GDO's.
The most junior F/O in YUL in August had 2 days of turns, 2 short pairings, 9 Reserve Days, 2 grey days and 11 GDO's.
Getting called in on Reserve is hit and miss. Some people get called often, others can go for days without being called. Then it switches around. It's just luck of the draw.
We always get 11 GDO's per month, and any other days not assigned as flying, Reserve, SIM, groundschool, etc are assigned as grey days. Grey days can be assigned up until you checkout after your last flight preceding the grey days. For example, you can fly today, have 3 GDO's and then 2 grey days. They can assign a flight on those grey days up until you check out at the end of your flight today. Once you're checked out, those grey days essentially become GDO's. So, now you have 5 consecutive days off (3 GDO's plus 2 grey days that are now "off"). I never schedule anything really important on grey days just in case I'm assigned flying on those days.
As a junior F/O, I would plan to work 14-15 days per month over the busy winter season, and 8-10 in the summer.
Long story short, with some seniority, you can have whatever type of flying you like. There are some pilots who haven't done an overnight in years and come to work with just a small flight bag. Others prefer the long 6 or 7 day pairings because the per-diems are much better or they enjoy the overnights down south.
Some choose to deploy to Europe for the summer and bring their family with them (paid for by the company!) while others choose to stay in Canada. The variety at this company is great and gives you flexibility to really do what you like best.
Any other questions, just let me know.
Thank you so much for your post! I am sure everybody interested in joining Sunwing will appreciate your help. The last question I'd like to ask is if you can give us 5 pros and 5 cons of working there?
Thanks a lot!
1. Great people to work with.
2. Lots of variety in where you fly (short turns, long pairings, Europe, etc.)
3. Working high credit turns or pairings have you work 8-10 days per month, even in the busy winter season. But, you need decent seniority for that.
4. You know your base before you're hired. I wanted YYZ, and they offered me a G/S with a YUL spot. I declined, and they said they would call me for the next course with a YYZ spot. A week later, they called with YYZ. The company doesn't want to hire people and make them move or commute to a place that they don't want to be.
5. European deployments are very popular, and the company provides you with a furnished apartment, rental car and will even fly your family over to be with you, or pay for your flight to come home during deployment if you have a decent stretch of time off or vacation. Lots of people bring their spouse and kids over and essentially get a paid working-vacation to Europe for 3 or 6 months. Bases this summer were Belfast, Dublin, Leeds, Norwich, Amsterdam, Warsaw and Katowice (Poland). Past bases have included Edinburgh, Nice (France) and some others I'm forgetting, but they can change from year to year.
1. The 737 is cramped, and can get uncomfortable on a day of 10 or 11 hours of flying.
2. Grey days: You can't schedule anything important on them since you might be assigned to fly, and you only know if they are "off" once you're done your last flight before the grey days. So while they may become a day off, it limits your ability to schedule personal plans since you're "hostage" until you check-out.
3. We don't get per-diems while in the aircraft (since we have hot crew meals) or on southern overnights at all-inclusives (since they provide food and drink).
4. There is the possibility of being forced to deploy to Europe if you are junior, but there are provisions in the contract to limit the time that they can send you (Maximum 30 days if I recall). It's been a few years since anyone has been forced to deploy since the company tries to keep everyone happy.
5. Decent benefits but no pension.. only RRSP matching plan that takes a while to reach the top-tier.
Grey is different from reserve. All ye need to know is in the CBA
http://negotech.labour.gc.ca/cgi-bin/re ... &p25=&p34=
Must have Canadian Airline Transport Pilot License / Frozen ATPL or CPL with IATRA written
Must have a valid Category 1 Medical Certificate
Must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada
Minimum 2000 total pilot hours (Note: Pilots with lower than 3000 hours will be considered on a case by case basis considering flight experience and education)
Excellent interpersonal skills, positive work ethic and possess a safety above all attitude
No Accidents / Incidents / Violations in last 3 years
Each base is just as junior, as the recent groundschools had positions for both YYZ and YUL. YVR is a "seasonal" base but it's much more senior.
Upgrades have been offered at both bases with as little as one year in the company, provided you meet the upgrade qualifications (5000 TT, 2000 Jet, etc.). There have also been a few Direct Entry captains hired recently as not enough F/O's either had the hour qualifications or chose not to upgrade.