Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

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GATRKGA
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Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#1 Post by GATRKGA » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:14 pm

I'd like to generate a genuine discussion about how most of you guys see and/or feel about the present setup at big red.

It's the sentiment of many of us at Express, be it at Jazz, GGN, Sky, etc that the responsibility involved with performing our jobs are no different than that of a mainline pilot. If we all wear the same uniform (less wings/hat), operate on the Air Canada network, represent Air Canada in all of our customer dealings, etc; should there ever be a screw up, accident, mishap representing the "company" morbidly, it all would reflect and impact negatively on the mother ship's image. On the contrary, if we embraced good customer service, took the time to help passengers out at the Airport find their gate and baggage claim, yet again, Air Canada would get the "awesome customer service" award. Heck our grooming and uniform standards guide even refers to us as "Air Canada Brand Ambassadors" representing Air Canada. Indicating that obviously, express pilot's are "worthy" enough to represent the mother ship, but possibly not good enough to work for it after some time spent at Express...

I understand and agree that Air Canada is entitled to hiring whomever, whenever, and however they like. And all of us go into express knowing this. But it still leaves a bitter taste in ones mouth when you woke up on Monday morning seeing that "Air Canada is pleased to accept applications from all NON Air Canada Express pilots."

I am seriously looking for a genuine discussion related to the matter; as I think emotions are pretty churned up at express regarding this very topic. And the usual come back from anyone on the fat, dumb, and happy side is "suck it up butter cup, AC can do what ever they want and you knew this going in." Or "shame on you for being entitled" ... :rolleyes:

Yet I was on the train the other day, and the "my shit don't stink, very much entitled" attitude from this young kid wearing his AC uniform really cut through me; I've never been spoken to so condescendingly as I was by this 20 some year old. Clearly he has never seen the route most of us have seen to get where we are, and the respect didn't even seem to exist for another fellow "Air Canada Ambassador" just making an honest days pay asking him how his day was going... Likely he had a degree, and worked really hard in college.

Thanks and good night.
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Last edited by GATRKGA on Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Nista
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#2 Post by Nista » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:52 am

Remember the 10% rule? You're bound to meet some of them sooner or later...
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aerosexual
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#3 Post by aerosexual » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:55 am

Express pilots have an agreement with Air Canada, technically your application is already in. It's also much easier for you to get that spot at Air Canada than it is for an off-the-street pilot. At the end of the day, yes they can do what they want, and recent history has shown tremendous advantage for Express pilots versus off-the-street, but perhaps they've also gone too far in the sense that they've taken too many Express pilots too fast, at a cost to their operation as well. Enjoy the fact that the opportunities for pilots these days are amazing!
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#4 Post by goingnowherefast » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:26 am

Looking at it from the OTS perspective. Current Express pilots have accepted some of the worst regional WAWCON in Canadian history. Why shouldn't people who have stayed in great 704/705 jobs get a chance to join big red? Think of a 5 year Calm Air ATR captain vs a 2 year Jazz FO.

(Same argument applies to Encore/WJ, I'm not singling out the Air Canada system)
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#5 Post by JoeFly2 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:35 am

Where is it explicitly stated that only "NON express" pilots are eligible to apply?
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DH772
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#6 Post by DH772 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:10 am

I'm not sure exactly what you're upset about in your post? The hiring practice the last 2 years have been incredibly favorable to people like yourself working for the express carriers. If you are at one of these carriers you likely have had an interview or likely have your name in the cue.

Your argument as someone mentioned, can also be spun the other way. In fact, it likely has greater merit since I know many, and I mean many OTS pilots with years of 705 command time flying for airlines across Canada that have not even been able to get an interview, unlike someone with less than 2 years at say Jazz.

As for your argument of being an ambassador for Air Canada should hold higher priority, I think is very clear by the fact AC gives you a guaranteed interview at some point in time.
However, and I don't mean this in a condescending manor, you work for a company that works for Air Canada. I've found many people forget this fact and start getting in the belief that they essentially are already working for AC. (ex. Cargo jet has been flying for AC the last year. Have their pilots been given priority since they are also flying "for" AC?)

You are an ambassador for Air Canada and in turn you have been given priority at an interview.

This doesn't mean you are more qualified for the job then say a Transat pilot, Porter Captain, Encore Captain, Westjet 37 F/O, Military pilot, and the hundreds of 704/705 captains who have been waiting years now for their opportunity just for an interview.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#7 Post by TheStig » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:31 am

This is going to turn into an ugly debate between OTS and Express pilots because most AC pilots don't seem to care where the airline hires from. I know that sounds cold and before you accuse AC pilots of living in their own little bubble, ask yourself how much interest you have in which 703/704/705 operators Jazz, SR, and GGN hire from? All most pilots care about is that their organization hires the most qualified candidates who have good work habits and good character.

The first PML was a means for Jazz to reduce it's cost, some GGN and SR pilots were hired, as I'd suspect would have been the case anyways, and OTS pilots were all but blocked from joining. What is happening isn't the pendulum swinging the other way, but back to centre. Since the late 90's AC has hired from both feeders and 'Off the street'.

The issue facing Express pilots now is that their expectations aren't matching reality. Last year there was a post here with projected flow through times based on the size of the respective Express carriers. Did anyone really think it was possible to turn over the entire seniority list every 3-5 years? There are about 2000 Express pilots (correct?) and AC has hired an average of 140 pilots per year for the past 12 years. The only thing any one has every said about PML 2.0 and beyond is up to 80% from Express carriers.

GATRKGA, did you consider that the AC pilot who gave you attitude on the train was possibly a former Express pilot?
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#8 Post by Sharklasers » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:36 am

..
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#9 Post by Go Guns » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:43 am

Looking at it from the OTS perspective. Current Express pilots have accepted some of the worst regional WAWCON in Canadian history. Why shouldn't people who have stayed in great 704/705 jobs get a chance to join big red? Think of a 5 year Calm Air ATR captain vs a 2 year Jazz FO.
Because the carrot is what allows the lower WAWCON. That's the whole point. It's a recruitment and retention tool.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#10 Post by goingnowherefast » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:50 am

The carrot isn't attracting the 704/705 captains to Express, not in any credible numbers. Most just wait for OTS to Air Canada. If that doesn't work, they try for Transat, Sunwing, WJ. Some go overseas or stay at their 704/705 job. Look at the drastic decline in experience entering the Express carriers for proof.

Express pilots may be "brand ambassadors", and represent Air Canada. That means little more than wearing the uniform and behaving professionally. Jazz/SR/GGN management makes sure of that. It doesn't mean they think you will be a good fit within the Air Canada employee group.

Air Canada has a delicate balancing act to maintain. Hire too many from Express, and there won't be enough pilots remaining within Express. Don't hire enough and the carrot isn't there. Plus there's a great pool of pilots outside Express that are unable/unwilling to accept Express WAWCON. If AC doesn't hire them, then WJ, Transat, Sunwing will. There's a benefit in denying your competition excellent employees. Even better if you can steal them right from the competition. Do you think a WestJet 737 FO is really considering Jazz so he can get a chance of working at Air Canada?

Don't forget there is already is an apparent huge advantage for Express pilots. Of those I know going to AC, they were either Jazz FOs, 705 captains or military aircraft commanders (PIC). I don't have the stats, but I bet Express pilots are on average the lowest overall experienced pilots in Air Canada ground schools.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#11 Post by Victory » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:55 am

GATRKGA wrote:I've never been spoken to so condescendingly as I was by this 20 some year old.
What did they say?
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#12 Post by digits_ » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:15 am

It is a pretty smart set up from a management point of view. The dangling carrot tactics in a 705 atmosphere. Sucks from a pilot point of view. However, as it always goes: if nobody would accept the job, the conditions would change eventually :wink:
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#13 Post by Sharklasers » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:30 am

Victory wrote:
GATRKGA wrote:I've never been spoken to so condescendingly as I was by this 20 some year old.
What did they say?
Maybe it was an ex Jazz pilot and he was still bitter about how much Skyregional pilots lowered the bar?
Those guys are out there.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#14 Post by Go Guns » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:07 am

In that twentysomething year olds defense, he or she was likely feed that attitude from higher up the seniority list when the whole Sky Regional thing went down.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#15 Post by daedalusx » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:46 am

I'm still confused how operating a 175 for Sky is any different from operating a 190 for mainline...

Again ... The American pilot market is doing much better with true flow-through on most regionals as well as commuting policies, hotels, signing bonuses, retention bonuses...etc

But then again, they do have 14 CFR 61.159 which mandates 1500 hrs of experience for an airliner type rating ...
Wages have more than doubled versus the pre-buffalo cowboy era where the regionals were putting anyone on the seats.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#16 Post by FL-280 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:59 am

daedalusx wrote:I'm still confused how operating a 175 for Sky is any different from operating a 190 for mainline...

Again ... The American pilot market is doing much better with true flow-through on most regionals as well as commuting policies, hotels, signing bonuses, retention bonuses...etc

But then again, they do have 14 CFR 61.159 which mandates 1500 hrs of experience for an airliner type rating ...
Wages have more than doubled versus the pre-buffalo cowboy era where the regionals were putting anyone on the seats.
+1 man. Well said
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#17 Post by Kosiw » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:10 am

Seems AC's hiring practices are a type of "whipsawing" between the pilots at the connectors vs OTS (non formal entity).
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#18 Post by TheStig » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:35 pm

daedalusx wrote:I'm still confused how operating a 175 for Sky is any different from operating a 190 for mainline...
I'll go ahead and answer the rhetorical question. One has pilots employed by Air Canada the other doesn't. Thus, if you were to create two groups; 1 with Pilots employed by AC, and 2 with Pilots not employed by AC, they would be in the second group.

How is operating a Dash-8 at Jazz different than at Perimeter? Or a 1900 at Wasaya vs GGN? They are different companies. If you have King Air experience does any Beechcraft operator owe you a job? Should the 767 Cargojet pilots be given special flow through arrangements, they already fly Air Canada's cargo on a type AC operates?

Even the title of this thread is disconnected from the true grievance of the OP. Getting hired at Air Canada has nothing to do with 'Express VS Mainline Pilots' and everything to do with Express VS Off the Street. Nobody operating at a non-Express carrier ever seems to suggest they deserve or are in any way owed a job at Air Canada because the paint scheme of their aircraft or uniform.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#19 Post by lownslow » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:45 pm

TheStig wrote:If you have King Air experience does any Beechcraft operator owe you a job?
Yes. Obviously.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=109430&p=968642#p968642
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#20 Post by Rupert_Pupkin » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:56 pm

The quicker people realize the express network has nothing to do with AC the better.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#21 Post by rudder » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:59 pm

The tone of this thread underlines why management is winning and the pilot profession is losing.

Keep it up. They are having a good chuckle in the executive suites reading this stuff.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#22 Post by PositiveRate27 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:08 pm

rudder wrote:The tone of this thread underlines why management is winning and the pilot profession is losing.

Keep it up. They are having a good chuckle in the executive suites reading this stuff.
Precisely.

Division among pilot groups has always been the goal of the executives. Look at AC vs Rouge vs Express. Look at Pre 2015 Jazz vs Post 2015 vs GGN vs Sky. WestJet was moving along nicely with pilots making more and more gains until finally management introduced Encore and Swoop. Instead of working together to better wages and working conditions for the pilot profession, we get attitudes of Us vs Them. Upper management loves this.

There has always been animosity toward “the other guys” and rest assured the next contract/flow/LOU will continue to stoke that fire.

If you truly want to see a change, don’t buy into it.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#23 Post by atphat » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:12 pm

TheStig wrote:
daedalusx wrote:I'm still confused how operating a 175 for Sky is any different from operating a 190 for mainline...
I'll go ahead and answer the rhetorical question. One has pilots employed by Air Canada the other doesn't. Thus, if you were to create two groups; 1 with Pilots employed by AC, and 2 with Pilots not employed by AC, they would be in the second group.

How is operating a Dash-8 at Jazz different than at Perimeter? Or a 1900 at Wasaya vs GGN? They are different companies. If you have King Air experience does any Beechcraft operator owe you a job? Should the 767 Cargojet pilots be given special flow through arrangements, they already fly Air Canada's cargo on a type AC operates?

Even the title of this thread is disconnected from the true grievance of the OP. Getting hired at Air Canada has nothing to do with 'Express VS Mainline Pilots' and everything to do with Express VS Off the Street. Nobody operating at a non-Express carrier ever seems to suggest they deserve or are in any way owed a job at Air Canada because the paint scheme of their aircraft or uniform.
Well said. That is a very nice way to put it.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#24 Post by Sharklasers » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:14 pm

Things are going in the right direction with the prospect of repatriating regional flying to the mainline like they are doing in the States.
There will be less terrible regional jobs and more mainline jobs for whoever Air Canada choose to hire.
A rising tide lifts all boats.
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Re: Express Pilots VS Mainline Pilots

#25 Post by Sharklasers » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:15 pm

TheStig wrote:
daedalusx wrote:I'm still confused how operating a 175 for Sky is any different from operating a 190 for mainline...
I'll go ahead and answer the rhetorical question. One has pilots employed by Air Canada the other doesn't. Thus, if you were to create two groups; 1 with Pilots employed by AC, and 2 with Pilots not employed by AC, they would be in the second group.

How is operating a Dash-8 at Jazz different than at Perimeter? Or a 1900 at Wasaya vs GGN? They are different companies. If you have King Air experience does any Beechcraft operator owe you a job? Should the 767 Cargojet pilots be given special flow through arrangements, they already fly Air Canada's cargo on a type AC operates?

Even the title of this thread is disconnected from the true grievance of the OP. Getting hired at Air Canada has nothing to do with 'Express VS Mainline Pilots' and everything to do with Express VS Off the Street. Nobody operating at a non-Express carrier ever seems to suggest they deserve or are in any way owed a job at Air Canada because the paint scheme of their aircraft or uniform.
Plus we look so good on the train with that leaf on the hat.
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