Direct to mainline WestJet

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172_Captain
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Direct to mainline WestJet

#1 Post by 172_Captain » Mon May 29, 2017 5:02 pm

I'm currently working as a Captain on a multi engine turbine aircraft under 12,500lbs in a 703 environment. My goal is to stay with my company for awhile and enjoy the ride. Once ready to move on though, I'm hoping to make the job directly to mainline WestJet, and I'm wondering how realistic that is. Please note that my times below are not a reflection of what I have at this moment, but rather what I'd have when I'm ready to move on (1-1.5years).

TT: 3,500
ME: 2,300
Turbine PIC: 1,560

All 703, all under 12,500lbs, no degree.

Possible?
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Shady McSly
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#2 Post by Shady McSly » Mon May 29, 2017 5:06 pm

You're fired.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#3 Post by fish4life » Mon May 29, 2017 5:09 pm

1.5 years from now mainline WJ might not have any hiring since the flow might be 100%
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#4 Post by Heisenberg666 » Mon May 29, 2017 6:28 pm

Lots of guys with more time than that only getting on with Encore. Good luck.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#5 Post by JBI » Mon May 29, 2017 9:56 pm

It's extremely difficult to predict what will be happening in a couple of years. I can say right now that everyone I know who has been offered a position in the pool at mainline has 704 Captain time and even some training Captain time (most have some 705 time as well) - this is only for the ones that I know and is by no means a definitive response. However, I would be surprised if you got on at Mainline with only 703 time.

Most, but not all, of the new hires at Encore have at least some 704 time (many have 705 time).

So, while the job market for pilots continues to improve, and it's tough to predict what will happen in the next few years, I still think it's not too likely that you'd go 703 directly to WestJet mainline.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#6 Post by JTrain » Tue May 30, 2017 5:50 am

A better option would be to apply to WS Encore right now. I look at your total times and even subtracting for 1-1.5 years worth of flying - you would be competitive for an Encore job. Let's say you were to start at Encore within the next 3-5 months....you would be on the WS seniority list, you'd start accumulating 705 time, upgrade would probably be 15-18 months on the Q, and flow would probably be within 3-5 years of your start date, or 1.5-3.5 years after you'd hoped to apply to WJ mainline and you'd have a guaranteed number, versus off-the-street hiring which is quite competitive and offers no guarantees. It has taken countless people with significantly more credentials than you a lot longer than 1.5 years to get into WestJet.

You seem to be having fun in your 703 job.....but seniority is everything in this business.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#7 Post by Axial Flow » Wed May 31, 2017 11:57 pm

I'd say get out of aviation, get a law degree and never look back... :)
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#8 Post by FOD_Vacuum » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:32 pm

To answer your question, yes, I think they could and you should be in that mind set, because the industry is moving towards that way. I really don't think they will do 100% flow through from Encore...the training costs will be too high re-training a Q guy to a 737...and based on movement, that's a lot of training for just one guy and a lot of money from Westjet's pocket.

I am doing the same right now, hoping to skip the regionals and go straight to mainline in a year or so. I am also at a 703 just enjoying the ride, the pay and schedule. In a year or so, I can see them take 703 pilots. I heard of one Bearskin (704) guy to straight to mainline a couple weeks ago. They do still prefer pilots with 705 time, but I can see them take 703/704 pilots in the future.

If Sunwing and Sky Regional, both Jet 705 aircraft operators are interested in guys with times like yours and mine, I would not be surprised to see Wesjet doing the same since they operate same aircraft. Yes, Sunwing or Sky don't have sub carriers like Westjet with Encore, but still.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#9 Post by BTyyj » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:17 pm

It seems to me that to get to a major these days, your best chance by far is to go through one of their subsidiary/express carriers (ie. Encore/Jazz). I would think that almost everyone hired directly at Westjet mainline these days has 705/military time.
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180
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#10 Post by 180 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:18 am

FOD_Vacuum wrote:I really don't think they will do 100% flow through from Encore...the training costs will be too high re-training a Q guy to a 737...and based on movement, that's a lot of training for just one guy and a lot of money from Westjet's pocket..
So it's cheaper to train a guy off the street than it is to train an Encore Q captain? That makes no sense.

Pilots don't go to Encore because they want to fly for Encore, pilots go to Encore to get their foot in the door at Westjet. And when their time comes, 99% of them will choose to flow to the 737 and then the 767/787.

Flow last year was 75%. Flow this year is back down to 50% solely because Encore continues to take tails and they need the pilots to fly them. Once Encore stabilizes, flow will go back up again. The goal has always been 100% flow.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#11 Post by mbav8r » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:13 am

180 wrote:
FOD_Vacuum wrote:I really don't think they will do 100% flow through from Encore...the training costs will be too high re-training a Q guy to a 737...and based on movement, that's a lot of training for just one guy and a lot of money from Westjet's pocket..
So it's cheaper to train a guy off the street than it is to train an Encore Q captain? That makes no sense.

Pilots don't go to Encore because they want to fly for Encore, pilots go to Encore to get their foot in the door at Westjet. And when their time comes, 99% of them will choose to flow to the 737 and then the 767/787.

Flow last year was 75%. Flow this year is back down to 50% solely because Encore continues to take tails and they need the pilots to fly them. Once Encore stabilizes, flow will go back up again. The goal has always been 100% flow.
My goal was to retire at 50, I guess I still have that as a possibility, if I win the lottery.
How long has Encore been saying the goal is 100%? You might see 100% flow if WJ is only hiring enough to cover off retirements, hint not a lot of those in the near future, imho
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#12 Post by Oleo 4 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:56 am

To be competitive for one of the few direct entry positions to WestJet I would suggest you get yourself on something above 12 500. I was in the same spot before getting on years ago and was given some sound advice by a credible source who frequents this site often. Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to minimize what you have accomplished in your career thus far. It is simply easier to successfully complete the 6 weeks of training if you have already been exposed to larger aircraft flight planning, performance factors, cabin crew, and high density airports.

For context when I had that same conversation, I had a BE 20, 30, 3B (350), C208 PPC, Bush flying, Medevac Flying, and a training background. I thought I was more than qualified to make that jump with nearly 4000 hours and a diversified background. I took the advise given to me and made the move to a busier airport and moved onto a larger aircraft that exposed me to lots of flight planning and operational considerations I didn't see in a 703 world.

- larger weight and balance considerations
- Net flight path performance calculations
- V1 adjustments for conditions
- Tighter fuel planning given weights and alternates
- Take off and Landing Calculations (factored vs unfactored distances)
- US and Canadian Customs
- Flow control ops
- cabin crew management

We don't build our flight plans, but we have to accept what was created after we verify that all rules have been followed, wx considered, and contingencies planned. When we enter our information into the FMC we have to have an awareness of Wx conditions, thrust settings, and runway conditions. Any and all of these can be adjusted to produce a greater safety net than what may be observed.

We manage these planes more than we fly them. But we have to know what to manage at the right time and still have the ability to fly them by hand at anytime. As for the training program at WestJet, it is a great program that can take two people who have never flown any jet to successfully pass 737NG rides within 6 weeks and become capable first officers. I'll put a caveat in their and say that while it's a great program it is not easy and requires dedication and a good foundation to be successful. We have had some with great backgrounds stumble and ultimately become unsuccessful for various reasons that will not be disclosed here.

What I'm trying to say is don't sit back and wait for someone to call you, we are entering a shortage yes but do not have a shortage of resumes at WestJet, and I know AC doesn't. Get yourself on a bigger plane in a high denisty airport, help your company in training, keep learning, and filling holes in the foundation. Some of the last direct entry pilots I know to WestJet have all come off of: 1900's, Dash 8, lears, and military.

Apply to Encore, Jazz!

Cheers
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#13 Post by Transonic » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:21 am

180 wrote:
FOD_Vacuum wrote:I really don't think they will do 100% flow through from Encore...the training costs will be too high re-training a Q guy to a 737...and based on movement, that's a lot of training for just one guy and a lot of money from Westjet's pocket..
So it's cheaper to train a guy off the street than it is to train an Encore Q captain? That makes no sense.
I believe they are alluding to the number of training events that are triggered when a flow through occurs. The recent Q captain who flows will require a 737 course. The upgraded FO to replace them will need command training. A new hire FO will be required to replace the upgrading FO. 1x 737 1x Q Capt 1x Q FO vs 1x737 FO when an off the street is used.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#14 Post by MortyBubba » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:28 am

FOD_Vacuum wrote:If Sunwing and Sky Regional, both Jet 705 aircraft operators are interested in guys with times like yours and mine, I would not be surprised to see Wesjet doing the same since they operate same aircraft. Yes, Sunwing or Sky don't have sub carriers like Westjet with Encore, but still.
Correct me if I am wrong. Sky Regional is a regional for Air Canada, like Encore for WestJet. Yes, Enore doesn't have jets but a Q400 is not a bad airplane to fly and if you stay at Encore you will eventually be at WestJet flying a 737, 767, 787.

Why put Sunwing in the same shoes as SkyRegional. Yes they are both 705 jet operators but isn't Jazz, and Georgian also jet 705 operators. I see that you failed to mention Jazz and Georgian. Sunwing is in my view a major airline in Canada not a regional.

How about apply to everywhere you want to work and see who calls first.

Maybe Encore will join ALPA too. Then you might have to go through Encore to get to WestJet.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#15 Post by mantogasrsrwy » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:23 pm

What does Encore joining ALPA have to do with whether you have will have to go through Encore to get to Westjet? ALPA or not Westjet will hire from where they want. The only thing ALPA might do, is make the Encore pilots go BOTL rather than Encore DOH. As it stands now I can't see why a pilot with the qualifications for mainline would want to go to there and have hundreds of 20 somethings ahead of them. If you have the qualifications for mainline, go to Sunwing.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#16 Post by 180 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:26 am

mbav8r wrote:How long has Encore been saying the goal is 100%? You might see 100% flow if WJ is only hiring enough to cover off retirements, hint not a lot of those in the near future, imho
Encore has been saying the goal is 100% flow since it's inception. And I think the fact that they maintained flow in 2016 at 76% while taking a new tail almost every month speaks volumes to that promise of achieving 100% flow. They are down to 50% flow in 2017 simply because the tails keep coming and there aren't enough Q400 SIM slots available in North America t keep up with training.

Once Encore stabilizes at 45 tails and they catch up with training, you will see flow go up again, and my guess is that you will see that 100% flow in 2018/19 when Westjet begins the task of filling all the 737 seats that will be vacated as they begin training for the first 10 787's.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#17 Post by snowcone » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:41 am

Any word on how the ULCC with affect flow through.


Would a newhire go encore, ULCC, mainline?

Thks
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#18 Post by Bede » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:08 pm

snowcone wrote:Any word on how the ULCC with affect flow through.


Would a newhire go encore, ULCC, mainline?

Thks
I don't think anyone knows that. The company has made it very clear that the ULCC is a separate entity. There is no flow through agreement with the ULCC and it's a separate OC. I don't even know if they'd have any representation. The way I see it, if you go to the ULCC you're on your own.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#19 Post by HansDietrich » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:36 pm

I think going direct to WJ mainline without some JET time would be pretty hard to get on with them. I know a few guys that flew corporate jets before (in the left seat) and went direct to Mainline WJ, but they had lots of PIC time on them too.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#20 Post by pacman007 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:28 am

Way to go ALPA! No hiring for the next 12 months at mainline (from what i have heard from friends)...the new encore pilots can expect 5 years plus before getting to the jet. Because of All the uncertainty the company has shut down hiring. could be years before things get back to normal and flow continues.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#21 Post by atphat » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:02 am

pacman007 wrote:Way to go ALPA! No hiring for the next 12 months at mainline (from what i have heard from friends)...the new encore pilots can expect 5 years plus before getting to the jet. Because of All the uncertainty the company has shut down hiring. could be years before things get back to normal and flow continues.
Well that makes no sense. Either there is attrition and expansion requiring new pilots or there isn't. That of course would have nothing to do with a union.
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#22 Post by PostmasterGeneral » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:33 am

It has absolutely nothing to do with ALPA. They have the pilots they need for this year, so they stopped the hiring. What's so difficult to understand about that?
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#23 Post by pacman007 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:49 am

well from what i heard westjet will make all the pilots they have work harder..yes only 16 days but 4 day parings starting at 6am and ending at midnight on the 4th day...also westjet had classes this year they cancelled....explain that?
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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#24 Post by Ex DC10 Driver » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:16 am

I am told WestJet cancelled one class of 8 that was scheduled for October.If you read Dave Pobrans posts you will see that there were still 4 classes of 12 being hired at Encore and next years numbers are being worked on and developed. Relax on the drama...geez.
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Last edited by Ex DC10 Driver on Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Direct to mainline WestJet

#25 Post by JBI » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:54 am

pacman007 wrote:well from what i heard westjet will make all the pilots they have work harder..yes only 16 days but 4 day parings starting at 6am and ending at midnight on the 4th day...also westjet had classes this year they cancelled....explain that?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE63y7ctAwA

“Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies and I saw one of the babies and the baby looked at me!” .... explain that!?
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