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Labor Problems Brewing In Copa Airlines?  
User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 4459 times:

I have now heard several rumors about the discontemp of Copa pilots with there current salaries, witch for captain are at only about 5-7K and for First officer are at just over 3k. Apprently their have been several resignations at Copa, an airline that already has a serious pilot shortage. A lot of pilots have left to fly on cargo airlines or private jets, and with 2 new air carriers starting in Panama soon ( no names or any info yet so dont ask!) The problem could get worst. I clarify, this is just an assumption based on the conversations I have had with several Copa pilots, but I am almost certain it is a general feeling among pilots. I hope Copa can resolve these problems soon and they Increase the salary of the pilots, who work so hard to make it the most on time airline in America and one of the fastest growing in the area. The problem could get worst with the addition of the Embraers, whos pilots will earn less than the 737 pilots do.

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineN77014 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 4439 times:

Typical pilot talk...it is the same the world over.

User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3350 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 4439 times:

How much is the cost of living in Panama when compared to the United States?

AAndrew


User currently offlineN77014 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 4432 times:

How much is the cost of living in Panama when compared to the United States?

AAndrew



Still a bargain, but since Panama has adopted the USD as an official currency, it has become a bit more expensive. CM bases costs, and salaries on the dollar.

Any Google search on expat living will showcase Panama; a stable democracy, well developed infrastructure, and amenities that US citizens will find familiar and comfortable.


User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4409 times:

How much do they prented to earn?

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17822 posts, RR: 46
Reply 5, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 4398 times:

", witch for captain are at only about 5-7K and for First officer are at just over 3k. "

Per month???



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offline2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 4392 times:

Quoting N77014 (Reply 3):
Still a bargain, but since Panama has adopted the USD as an official currency, it has become a bit more expensive. CM bases costs, and salaries on the dollar

Panama adopted the USD as official currency 100 YEARS AGO !!

One of the things CM Pilots and flight-attendants are angry about is the fact that now they've to pay US taxes for whatever they earn while on US airspace or inland.
CM personnel can't pretend to earn what their colleagues on CO make, they know that but every now and then it seems they always negociate a salary structure with top management without problems, it looks like they know from the company spread-sheet how far to go when asking of a raise.
They've been recieving brandnew B737 on a regular basis and those new planes have not disturbed their growth and pilot / cabincrews assigments to make the news.
On the other hand because Panama is a 3 million inhabitants country, from those only 150,000 may meet the qualifications to be elegible for a career in aviation as pilots, then - after studies and trainning - less than 100 pilots per year will be in the jobmarket, that's hard on an expanding airline like CM so they someday may face a pilot shortage.



I don't work for COPA Airlines!
User currently offlineN77014 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 4389 times:

So will we see expat pilots in CM...especially colombian pilots? Soon to be laid off crews from JM?

User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4379 times:

The minimun wage in Panama is 270 dollars per month, with basic (albeit Extremely basic) cost of living at about 200 dollars. Panama has the highest salaries in the region and the lowest cost of living.

Panama is the most modern country in central america but unfortunatly like most latin american countries, to enjoy most modern things you have to make at least 4 times minimum wage.

You have to take into consideration that the job market for pilots is currently underserved, with more demand than offer. My flight instructor just got hired as a 737 FO and he is only 22 and has 880 hours!. And with up to 30 new embraers and 2 new airlines opening up demand will go up, so copa HAS to raise salaries.

A fair salary for pilots in my opinion would be at around 4-5k for first officers and 8-9k for captains (yes a month, for those who were wondering)

Their is almost no chance of seing expat pilots, becouse labor laws are ULTRA protective in panama, and getting a comercial license from another country (except USA) validated takes forever, US licenses are easy to validate here. I think in the end copa will negotiate a fair increase, as management has always been able to do. Hats of for Heilbron, who always manages to keep both shareholders and employees happy. the most likely solution is to pay EMB190 pilots the same as current 737 pilots and give a raise to the 737 pilots.

BTW
the move from the US to try to charge taxes on foreign crews in the US is Highly unlikely to succed, becouse of the logistics problems and mainly becouse of the fact that they would most surely suffer a retaliation from other countries. and the US airlines represent most of the International travel. US airlines are the ones that are most against this crazy move, believe it or not.

[Edited 2005-04-17 09:46:25]

User currently offlineN77014 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4377 times:

That still goes pretty far...

User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26131 posts, RR: 50
Reply 10, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 4364 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 8):
BTW
the move from the US to try to charge taxes on foreign crews in the US is Highly unlikely to succeed, because of the logistics problems and mainly because of the fact that they would most surely suffer a retaliation from other countries. and the US airlines represent most of the International travel. US airlines are the ones that are most against this crazy move, believe it or not.

Well the IRS is certainly trying. Basically they are starting to enforce a law that has been on the books for quite some time. In absence of a reciprocal tax treaty with the US (which 50+ countries have , but only Mexico and Venezuela do in Latin America) income earned by foreigners in the US is subject to US income tax.
The theory is that for those crews that spend time on layovers, and working aboard a flight from the US are subject to a portion of their income to be taxed, as it was earned while in the US.

Certainly this will become a paperwork disaster for airlines, however this could be a way of the US government to coerce countries to sign tax treaties with the US.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offline2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 4327 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 8):
Their is almost no chance of seeing expat pilots, because labor laws are ULTRA protective in panama

The only cases when Ex-pat - if one could call them like that - would be eligible to work in Panamá as pilots would be: (1) Foreigners born or raised in the former US Canal Zone, i.e. zonians - almost all US nationals, who because they come from the Canal Zone could claim Panamanian citizenship, and (2) Foreign children of one Panamanian parent, since naturalization laws are quite soft when it comes to those cases.



I don't work for COPA Airlines!
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 4325 times:

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 10):
Basically they are starting to enforce a law that has been on the books for quite some time. In absence of a reciprocal tax treaty with the US (which 50+ countries have , but only Mexico and Venezuela do in Latin America) income earned by foreigners in the US is subject to US income tax.

And tax evasion is a very serious crime in the U.S.. So the enforcement is justify by the IRS.


User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 4315 times:

But the move from the IRS is the most stupid move they have ever come up with. As a US citizen it shames me to see such stupidity in the goverment. Is the bush admin directly involved in this or is this a move from some lunatic burocrat?. If the Bush admin is involved in this I am gonna start regreting my vote!.

I hope that if it does pass All countries that have airlines that fly to the US retaliate and then we will see the already not doing so great US airlines cry to the lord in heaven for help.

In general Naturalization laws are very very soft, what is hard is getting the legal residence here, except for US nationals, they have it very easy. Although they do hire foreign pilots, My instrument simulator instructor just moved from Ukraine two years ago, once he got legal residence here he validated his licences (ATP with 4000 hours, 2000 on the AN74) but they only validated up to commercial and isntructor, ATP is reserved for panamanian citizens, so he will have to naturalize in order to become captain.

[Edited 2005-04-17 19:06:14]

User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3350 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 4304 times:

Whoa! I just found this.

But in Panama, a ticket to see a first-run movie in English can cost as little as $2.25. A nice dinner with wine can be less than $10 a person. Cocktails in a nightclub with live music can be $2 or $3 apiece. A taxi from Casco Viejo into downtown Panama City is less than two bucks. We stocked our apartment with the essentials last week...water and soda, eggs and bread, butter and cheese, olives, nuts, ham for sandwiches, the makings for pancakes...four bags of groceries, and got change from a 20 dollar bill.

If everything is that cheap, $8k a month isn't bad. Then again, ~$80,000 is a little low for a Captain. That's about $114 an hour, and if that is the top out, that is very low.

What are union laws like in Panama?

AAndrew


User currently offlineGhost77 From Mexico, joined Mar 2000, 5236 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 4290 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 8):
Their is almost no chance of seing expat pilots, becouse labor laws are ULTRA protective in panama

You sure? Two mexican friends I know [1 f/o, 1 capt] are currently flying for CM and they still are mexican. They have also told me that they are not the only mexicans in the airline and that they have argentine, brazilian, colombian and several other nationalities on board [same goes for f/a`s].

Ricardo APM



Ricardo Morales - flyAPM - ¡No es que maneje rapido, solo estoy volando lento!
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week ago) and read 4255 times:

Quoting Ghost77 (Reply 15):
You sure? Two mexican friends I know [1 f/o, 1 capt] are currently flying for CM and they still are mexican. They have also told me that they are not the only mexicans in the airline and that they have argentine, brazilian, colombian and several other nationalities on board [same goes for f/a`s].

At least three [ex LACSA] pilots work as a captains in Copa. They are costaricans [a costarican can't resign his/her nacionality according to our Constitution] living now in Panama City. And it's nothing new nor bad. I said that several times in different threads some time ago.

I think that Luisca is wrong when he says that it's almost impossible for a foreigner pilot to fly for CM, due to the Panamanian Labor Laws. It's not true.

[Edited 2005-04-18 01:35:12]

User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26131 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (9 years 8 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4238 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 13):
I hope that if it does pass All countries that have airlines that fly to the US retaliate and then we will see the already not doing so great US airlines cry to the lord in heaven for help.

In reality much of the world has tax treaties with the United States so this enforcement action has nothing to do with those countries, and in no way affects them.

This enforcement action only deals with nationals of countries that do not have reciprocal tax treaties with the US, whom earn a portion of their income while physically in the United Stares.
Just happens that Latin America with the exception of Mexico and Venezuela along with some parts of the Caribbean have never signed such treaties with the US.

US is anxious to enter into further such treaties as it has provisions that make tracing of funds for both narco trafficking and terrorism easier of foreign nationals.

In general these treaties are not a particular significant revenue producer, but can provide significant benefits to the average citizen for instance if one decides to retire overseas. As an example Uncle Sam would pay the country you reside in to allow you to become a member of their national health program and or retirement programs.

With some luck if the proposed Central America Free Trade Agreement passes all member countries will be required to have reciprocal tax accords between each other.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 8 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4204 times:

What I don't understand is why the pilots of the Emb 170-90 are going to earn less than the B737NGs? Are they going to be new pilots or the same [or both] with new licenses to fly them? Because CM will be adding some new routes, but I suppose that CM will be covering some same ones actually covered by the NGs.

User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 8 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4197 times:

http://www.finfacts.com/colnamerica.htm [The higher is the "rank" in the left side of your monitor, the cheaper is the country. e.g. Asuncion, Paraguay, seems to be the cheaper one in Latin America].

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 14):
Whoa! I just found this.

But in Panama, a ticket to see a first-run movie in English can cost as little as $2.25. A nice dinner with wine can be less than $10 a person. Cocktails in a nightclub with live music can be $2 or $3 apiece. A taxi from Casco Viejo into downtown Panama City is less than two bucks. We stocked our apartment with the essentials last week...water and soda, eggs and bread, butter and cheese, olives, nuts, ham for sandwiches, the makings for pancakes...four bags of groceries, and got change from a 20 dollar bill.

If everything is that cheap, $8k a month isn't bad. Then again, ~$80,000 is a little low for a Captain. That's about $114 an hour, and if that is the top out, that is very low.

Check the above link, and will see that Panama is not as cheap as you may think.


User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (9 years 8 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4167 times:

Quoting TACAA320 (Reply 16):
I think that Luisca is wrong when he says that it's almost impossible for a foreigner pilot to fly for CM, due to the Panamanian Labor Laws. It's not true.

The only story I know for sure is the one of the russian AN74 pilot that I told you, and he has gone through hell to get those licenses and that job.

Quoting TACAA320 (Reply 18):
What I don't understand is why the pilots of the Emb 170-90 are going to earn less than the B737NGs? Are they going to be new pilots or the same [or both] with new licenses to fly them? Because CM will be adding some new routes, but I suppose that CM will be covering some same ones actually covered by the NGs.

There will be new pilots and some old NG FO will become EMB captains. But EMB pilots will learn less than ng pilots, of course a EMB captain will earn more than a NG FO, but less than a NG captain.

Quoting TACAA320 (Reply 19):
Check the above link, and will see that Panama is not as cheap as you may think.

I doubt very much that San Jose is cheaper than Panama, Ive been there


User currently offlineHR001 From Honduras, joined Nov 2004, 303 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (9 years 8 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4162 times:

Two hondurans that were hired by Aerohonduras for DC-9 flying that never materialized were recently hired by CM. and are currently training for 737NG's FO's.


Hr001


User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 8 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4153 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 20):
The only story I know for sure is the one of the russian AN74 pilot that I told you, and he has gone through hell to get those licenses and that job.

As far as I know, and I'm very serious about this, at least three costaricans are CM pilots. As well Ghost77 and HR001 [replies 17 and 21] knows about other non panamanians in Copa. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Quoting Luisca (Reply 20):
I doubt very much that San Jose is cheaper than Panama, Ive been there

I never said that. I really don't know which one is more expensive. But is totally out of topic. Nevertheless, if you check the link I gave in my reply 19, SJO is less expensive than PTY [according to the information in there, not according to me, because I really don't know, and I don't like to speculate]. Once again, it doesn't matter, is totally out of topic such comparison.


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