Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#126 Post by groundpilot » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:01 am

altiplano wrote:
What would have happened if Rouge had launched with a separate list? I imagine a lot of whipsawing and a bitter divided workforce.
They couldn't launch with a seperate list.
The flying is scoped and owned by ACPA pilots.
We voted "No" to second tier wawcon and then the government shoved it down our throats.

Make no mistake, there is still a divided work force.
One getting benefits from the other.
Rouge sees improvements in wawcon while the mainline gets diminished.

It's not personal and rouge has worked out great for some that are there, holding positions out of seniority, doing the best flying, getting $30k raise on the last contract...

... but it's fucked mainline 320 and 767 pilots who work way more and earn less than if that flying were still at mainline...

... it's fucked all the AC Pilots who's contract has to be diminished to try to bring rouge closer, including those rouge pilots who will one day want to come back to mainline and will find out it is less than what it was... it didn't get better, it went backwards during the days of record earnings and share prices because we tried to improve rouge.

Don't hate the player, hate the game... best move is to not let the game get out of the box (any further)...

It would be better for most AC pilots if rouge didn't exist...
If Rouge wasn't doing the flying it does, it is likely no AC pilot would be flying those routes. The company is only going to do things that make financial sense.

We left the door open for SunWing, Westjet and AT to expand. We finally get our stuff together and compete, with our weapon of Rouge, and yes we are profitable. Record profitable.

It is time to let go of that past...we are moving forward and we will improve conditions as a group but we are on a lengthy contract so we don't exactly have a ton of leverage right now....
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#127 Post by '97 Tercel » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:22 am

So if WJ pilots will do the Swoop flying where are they saving money to lower the fares? Adding a few more pax seats and charging for carry-on bags?
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#128 Post by True North » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:08 am

Dangerous Goods,

You could be forgiven for your total ignorance on this subject as you obviously weren't there at the beginning and have never actually, personally spoken to anyone that was. Your arrogance though, you'll have to take ownership of that.

I was there. I know a couple of the principals and had the opportunity to join at the beginning. I didn't because I had just landed my dream job but I invested in the company, have stayed connected and watched the WestJet story with great interest.
Dangerous Goods wrote:My "outcast" remark was probably inappropriate and I apologize - I didn't mean any disrespect by that.
Probably? You also stated they "couldn't get on at Air Canada or Canadian". Utter nonsense. Of the 26 original pilots, the vast majority were western boys predominantly from Alberta. Half of the original group came from Canadian Regional and at least half of those guys had roots in Time Air. They had no interest in working for Air Canada and anyone with half a brain at that time could see that Canadian was already on the ropes and not a viable career option.
I was trying to illustrate that "day oners" didn't come to WJ for a spot on a mainline list, and BE20 using them as a comparison to swoop wasn't appropriate or a good reason to continue lowering the bar. Talk to any day owner and they'll tell you - " we weren't sure this thing was going to work." or "I was overseas and Tim called asking if I wanted to work for an airline that they were starting". These guys came here with little information and a lot of doubt. What they DID NOT come for was a spot on a mainline list. They took a risk and were rewarded financially instead (options). That was their rewared, NOT unfettered access to a mainline pilot list AND options. However, in the process, they accepted work for lower than industry standard. Hence "lowered the bar"...
"Mainline list"? Gibberish. What has that to do with anything? The original pilots went to work for a startup, low-cost, short haul regional airline flying 737s, based on the Southwest model. They had plenty of information and very little doubt. One of the prerequisites for an interview back then was that the candidate had a job. They were not looking for people who were just looking for a job, they were looking for people who bought into the concept. I was, and still am good friends with several of the original group and met many of the others through my friends. Not one of them ever expressed any doubt about the concept. Just the opposite. Obviously no one can predict the future but they were all confident it would work. They also possessed an entrepreneurial spirit and embraced a revolutionary compensation model - also based on the Southwest model - where their personal financial success was directly tied to the success of the company. What a concept! In the process they became the best paid pilots in Canadian aviation history. Ever. I'm having a tough time reconciling that fact with your assertion that they somehow "lowered the bar". In the end, that original group helped lay the foundation for a company that has an international reputation as a first class operation, world class training, an exemplary safety record and now employs some 1500 Canadian pilots with very good wages and working conditions, despite what you and some others would have us believe. You should show a little more respect.

Finally, the original pilots didn't get rich off their options. They got rich by buying into the company before it went public and investing in their future.
I know nothing of history though
That is obvious.
Can't wait for my history lesson, teach! :D
Consider yourself educated.

School is out.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#129 Post by altiplano » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:51 pm

If Rouge wasn't doing the flying it does, it is likely no AC pilot would be flying those routes. The company is only going to do things that make financial sense.
Still buying that line, eh?

The difference is in the seat density.

I agree we have to move forward, but you are a fool if you forget the past or think a few bucks saved up front make or break the route.

The value to corporation was dividing the pilots and setting in motion the long term erosion of the entire mainline contract. Now that they have their extra planes and new hires have their pension, it's time move forward and stop giving up anything, and don't forget what we already lost.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#130 Post by infiniteregulus » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:43 pm

Forgive my ignorance, but why and how did the government force the contract onto the pilots? If all the pilots said no to the creation of Rouge, and some government crony says get back to work, why can't the pilots just remain on strike? How is it forced?
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#131 Post by True North » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:28 pm

infiniteregulus wrote:Forgive my ignorance, but why and how did the government force the contract onto the pilots? If all the pilots said no to the creation of Rouge, and some government crony says get back to work, why can't the pilots just remain on strike? How is it forced?
Seriously? :shock:
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#132 Post by altiplano » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:16 pm

The pilots voted down the TA that created rouge and gutted the pension for new hires among other things and AC management threatened to lock them out - Lisa Raitt and The Harper Government came up with the Protecting Air Services Act in the name of protecting the economy.

The Act specified that under Final Offer arbitration it was winner take all and basically specified that the arbitrator HAD to side with Air Canada... Voila - B-scale in, Pension out, and a host of other real gems... 3 years later AC is making record profits and the Pilots are left holding the bag...
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#133 Post by infiniteregulus » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:04 am

Interesting...

"Enforcement

Marginal note:Individuals

34 (1) An individual who contravenes any provision of this Act is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable, for each day or part of a day during which the offence continues, to a fine of

(a) not more than $50,000 if the individual was acting in the capacity of an officer or representative of the employer, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers or the Air Canada Pilots Association when the offence was committed; or

(b) not more than $1,000 in any other case."

I never knew you could be fined for the government for exercising your right to strike. Seems like us pilots are slaves...
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#134 Post by Coast-dog » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:27 am

Anyone sign up for the mailing list to get job fair info? I'm not optimistic that WAWCON will be more than anticipated but hopeful that someone somewhere figures out they can't keep screwing the workforce...
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#135 Post by DropTanks » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:09 am

Coast-dog wrote:Anyone sign up for the mailing list to get job fair info? I'm not optimistic that WAWCON will be more than anticipated but hopeful that someone somewhere figures out they can't keep screwing the workforce...
I assume you're talking about cabin crew positions? Flight crew will be Westjet Pilots.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#136 Post by Maritimer » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:52 am

This has obviously been a very hot topic in the flight deck as of late. While its true that we know absolutely nothing about the WAWCON or anything else for that matter there is one very large constant in all of the conversations I've had. The overwhelmingly majority (that I've spoken to) feel the same way.

1. Swoop flying is to be done by WS pilots at no discounted rate

OR

2. Any pilot who leaves Encore or Mainline to go fly for Swoop should lose their spot and any benefits of being on the one-list. All association with the WJ pilot list is nullified. Further lowering of the bar cannot go unnoticed.

Rip this apart if you wish. THIS IS how, from what I can tell anyway, MOST WJ pilots feel.

Flame away.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#137 Post by twinpratts » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:13 pm

DropTanks wrote:
Coast-dog wrote:Anyone sign up for the mailing list to get job fair info? I'm not optimistic that WAWCON will be more than anticipated but hopeful that someone somewhere figures out they can't keep screwing the workforce...
I assume you're talking about cabin crew positions? Flight crew will be Westjet Pilots.
Hmmm. It doesn't say that anywhere...
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#138 Post by DropTanks » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:48 pm

twinpratts wrote:
DropTanks wrote:
Coast-dog wrote:Anyone sign up for the mailing list to get job fair info? I'm not optimistic that WAWCON will be more than anticipated but hopeful that someone somewhere figures out they can't keep screwing the workforce...
I assume you're talking about cabin crew positions? Flight crew will be Westjet Pilots.
Hmmm. It doesn't say that anywhere...
Considering both the company and ALPA are stating that the flying will be done by pilots on the WPDL I feel pretty safe saying that. Furthermore the Swoop website hiring page only shows positions other than Pilots.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#139 Post by seriousflyer » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:46 am

The problem with removing the pilots from the "one list" because they accept a position at swoop is that it creates "whipsawwing". The pilots at swoop will start to compete with Classic pilots (westjet) pilots for routes, aircraft, contracts, expansion.

The best way, IMO, is to keep everyone on the same list and have opportunities to "bid back" westjet or vice versa. Once Encore is certified, the NC is hoping to have all pilots be able to bid to any type or opportunity. The difference in flying for each operation will be a different contract pay scale. I understand encore has to be lower hourly rates, but Swoop should be equal to westjet rates. Same type = same pay. One list.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#140 Post by BE20 Driver » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:57 pm

Whipsawing is the elephant in the room. If it is not addressed right from the beginning, 5-10 years down the road, it will become a much bigger problem than any one particular pay scale.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#141 Post by pacman007 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:51 pm

You all forget that Swoop is a ULCC. There is only so much market for a ULCC in canada so we won't see 787s 67s flying at Swoop. If the Westjet pilots fly it fine, if they don't thats also fine. there is no way Swoop will turn into another major airline in canada. The problem is it will be nearly impossible for a pilot to go to mainline westjet anymore. If you are at Mainline you will have a good stable job with a good contract. Unfortunately Encore and Swoop pilots will be paying for it!
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#142 Post by Transonic » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:32 pm

BE20 Driver wrote:Whipsawing is the elephant in the room. If it is not addressed right from the beginning, 5-10 years down the road, it will become a much bigger problem than any one particular pay scale.
Whipsawing is front and centre. The consequences have clearly been shown through the past three decades. Everyone is aware of the threat.

In order to have a whipsaw, you need to have a competing group on the other side. The moment a WestJet/Encore pilot skips the cue to jump to the other side for personal gain, is the first movement of the saw.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#143 Post by Transonic » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:48 pm

pacman007 wrote: Unfortunately Encore and Swoop pilots will be paying for it!
That's a strange comment. If Swoop does exist with lower WAWCON it will always be a drag on mainline wages. WS pilots will be forever reminded of Swoop pilots doing more work for less at every negotiation.

But for now, all of this is hypothetical.

With respect to WS growth, the fact is 10 787s show up in the next 4.5 years. After which, it is highly likely the 10 remaining options will be exercised in the 3 years following 2021. If your optimistic, wide body growth will continue after that. There are still good opportunities at WS for many.

So sit back, relax and enjoy your spot in the cue.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#144 Post by DropTanks » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:40 pm

Transonic wrote:
pacman007 wrote: Unfortunately Encore and Swoop pilots will be paying for it!
That's a strange comment. If Swoop does exist with lower WAWCON it will always be a drag on mainline wages. WS pilots will be forever reminded of Swoop pilots doing more work for less at every negotiation.

But for now, all of this is hypothetical.

With respect to WS growth, the fact is 10 787s show up in the next 4.5 years. After which, it is highly likely the 10 remaining options will be exercised in the 3 years following 2021. If your optimistic, wide body growth will continue after that. There are still good opportunities at WS for many.

So sit back, relax and enjoy your spot in the cue.
The 10 options are a foregone conclusion. The number being thrown around is more like 40 WB would help us capture market share similar to our domestic market share. Take that as you will but I see the WB growth as a huge potential for WJ and it's pilots.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#145 Post by Jimmy2 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:06 am

All those saying that Swoop pilots are going to be Wesjet pilots working for the same pay and working conditions they had at mainline need to do some honest soul searching and ask themselves if they truly believe that. They are already an LCC so their wages are very umm... competitive, but when you add that U to the LCC there must be further cuts to costs. To think those cuts are going to come from everywhere but your department is quite naive (or narcissistic).

Let's not forget Jazz pilots operated 757's a few years back.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#146 Post by rudder » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:39 am

Jimmy2 wrote:All those saying that Swoop pilots are going to be Wesjet pilots working for the same pay and working conditions they had at mainline need to do some honest soul searching and ask themselves if they truly believe that. They are already an LCC so their wages are very umm... competitive, but when you add that U to the LCC there must be further cuts to costs. To think those cuts are going to come from everywhere but your department is quite naive (or narcissistic).

Let's not forget Jazz pilots operated 757's a few years back.
Rouge and Swoop are managements attempt to use labour discounts in pay, productivity, and benefits to compete in segments of the market where some operators are able to cover costs at a lower price point. If pilot labour costs were equal, then the price point would rise and the consumer would not be able to shop where labour concessions are imperative to offer the cheapest ticket. It is up to the pilots to figure out how to coordinate bargaining goals and stop being used as the essential ingredient to irrational competition.

As for Jazz flying 757's, there are lots of threads from years past that properly explain that gross Jazz pilot costs allocated to that operation were equal to or greater than the pilot costs at Skyservice. There was no discount. If people want to have a debate that the Skyservice pilots were operating at a discount to the market, that is a different story.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#147 Post by Transonic » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:45 pm

Jimmy2 wrote:All those saying that Swoop pilots are going to be Wesjet pilots working for the same pay and working conditions they had at mainline need to do some honest soul searching and ask themselves if they truly believe that.
True. I suppose my statements were from the frame of mind that Swoop would pay Flair style wages of 95/45 for Capt/FO rate, 18-20 days max and a separate pilot group. Thus making the 737-800 the new Navajo for timebuilders to go overseas.

The ideal solution would be an agreement that keeps the normal flow of progression at WS. How so? Capped wage steps, no YOS within Swoop, max 16 days, no bidding restrictions and scoped only to the 10 aircraft that were *supposed* to leave the fleet in 2018. Essentially you get to a left seat 1-2 years earlier in the normal order at the same working conditions. The compromise would be wages however for the individual it would be a gain.

The above would be the intersection of mutual benefit. More left seat positions while providing a product that protects the bottom end from new entrants. The key is normal progression of seniority. That is something Rouge did not start out with.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#148 Post by KAG » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:49 pm

Jimmy2, none of the pilots I'm flying with have any interest in doing the same job for less pay, Faster upgrade or no. Sure, it might save on employee costs, but whats it cost to train a 737 pilot? 30K? If I were management i'd be seriously concerned about setting up a Air Canada training ground cause any pilot willing to leave the WJ master list has no loyalty and thus will leave at the first opportunity to fly for big red, China (insert name here) ETC. This is all assuming that there is infact a lower wage scale, and we don't allow them to come back. Lot of assumptions here. It may turn out to be WJ pilots working the flights for WJ wages. We'll see. Im not getting too worked up yet.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#149 Post by BE20 Driver » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:25 pm

Transonic wrote:
BE20 Driver wrote:Whipsawing is the elephant in the room. If it is not addressed right from the beginning, 5-10 years down the road, it will become a much bigger problem than any one particular pay scale.
Whipsawing is front and centre. The consequences have clearly been shown through the past three decades. Everyone is aware of the threat.

In order to have a whipsaw, you need to have a competing group on the other side. The moment a WestJet/Encore pilot skips the cue to jump to the other side for personal gain, is the first movement of the saw.
You're focusing on me as the embodiment of the enemy. I'll admit that I poked the bear earlier, but even if you succeed in preventing any current westjetters from going to swoop there will still be pilots on the street willing to do it. You'll still have a B-Scale even if I'm not part of it. Even if I don't go, there will be someone who finds the Terms and Conditions acceptable. Someone from Flair who doesn't see any future; someone at Cathay looking to come back to Canada who just wants something to get by until AC calls. The pilots are out there. Kicking people off of our list will only piss them off to the point of creating a desire to F*$k you back. It's an eye-for-an-eye mentality.

I think Transconic is onto something. The mutual benefit solution would be to give LOA's to people willing to go to Swoop (maybe like Encore, no one will take the offer and go). Have a strong scope agreement to protect the mainline flying (fleet size, expansion plans, route structure etc.) Have a further agreement that stipulates Swoop is never used to drag down the mainline wages (never used as a comparator, YOS at Swoop don't count to mainline while YOS at Encore does...)

Rouge happened regardless of how the AC pilots felt. Swoop will happen too, with or without our support. Might as well steer into the skid. The goal of preventing whipsawing can be accomplished through some creative agreements and acknowledging that everyone has a right to exist and choose their own path.
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Re: Meet Swoop - WestJet's ultra-low-cost carrier has a name, a home and a purpose

#150 Post by express315 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:52 am

HansDietrich wrote:
skypirate88 wrote:I sure hope the bank can give me a loan for my 737 type rating...maybe use my house as collateral. I'd really like to fly the 737 and don't mind pink.

How low are we going to go? I have never seen hiring like this in my career, and yet we have what I thought was a respectable company trying to drive down wawcon even further. I sure hope this isn't going to be a carrot dangled in front of the Encore group to stop them from joining ALPA
I agree with you to some extent, but remember, flying as an F/O on a Dash or Q at any of the "regionals" doesn't pay that great anymore. Anyone with half a brain would pick Jazz, Encore or Porter over Swoop, but as long as Flair can get 737 pilots, this Swoop will be able to get them too. Also, if your goal is to go overseas and fly heavy metal, a 737NG type rating and 500 hrs on type is almost a guarantee job, making over 150K a year somewhere in Asia or the ME.

So, it is an attractive offer but only as a stepping stone to those who want to move on quickly.
Flair is loosing pilots at the same rate as they hire them. Wonder when the pool is going to dry out.
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