multimark
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AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:10 am

Sounds like a small group of Air Canada pilots has gone rogue and is trying to instigate a mass sick-out for April 13:
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/...tinue-to-worsen-at-air-canada?bn=1
 
YYZYYT
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:54 pm

yup, looks like it is happenning. It's on a limited scale, but there are flight disruptions:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/04/13/air-canada-pilots.html

Last month it was ground employees, this month pilots.
Air Canada Ground Employees Walk Off Job At YYZ (by lnglive1011yyz Mar 22 2012 in Civil Aviation)

Shall we start a pool on who is next?
 
bmacleod
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:21 pm

Could AC do something like President Reagan did to striking ATC workers in 1981 and fire these "crybabies"? Or does regulation prevent AC from doing so?

[Edited 2012-04-13 08:22:30]
The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul.
 
polaris
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:35 pm

Before anyone starts firing "crybabies", let us all consider what corporations pay their executives and CEOs and then let us consider what these same corporations expect from their employees. There is inherent unfairness when someone receives multi-millions in compensation and bonus payments while "staff" is expected to work longer hours with no pay raise and no pension security.

The same can be said for government representatives. These people are elected to public service but, it seems, they are now elected to corporate service. How much are we paying our government representatives out of our pockets and how are their pension plans?

The pilots are causing great inconvenience for some but it is time we all started looking at the bigger picture.
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:00 pm

Quoting polaris (Reply 3):
Before anyone starts firing "crybabies", let us all consider what corporations pay their executives and CEOs and then let us consider what these same corporations expect from their employees. There is inherent unfairness when someone receives multi-millions in compensation and bonus payments while "staff" is expected to work longer hours with no pay raise and no pension security.

The same can be said for government representatives. These people are elected to public service but, it seems, they are now elected to corporate service. How much are we paying our government representatives out of our pockets and how are their pension plans?

Right, so CEOs and other executives never seem to work. Interesting logic considering AC has thousands of employees. They must just all decide where they want to fly to next and what aircraft to buy  . You elect those people to the government. If you don't like them, vote em out.
These sick outs are starting to get childish. Everybody and their mother wants more from their jobs, just because you fake a cold doesn't mean you should get what you want. People complain about executive pay and probably rightfully so, but when these guys get a raise it is a small drop in the bucket compared to what it would be granting it to the whole company. Again does it mean the employees are less worthy? Of course not.
Blue
All of the opinions stated above are mine and do not represent Airliners.net or my employer unless otherwise stated.
 
pnd100
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:11 pm

Quoting polaris (Reply 3):

The media is quite good at portraying the "fat cat" image of corporate management. The image of the union worker as "lazy" or "self-entitled" usually comes from the public in response to these scenarios because they grow understandably irritated with some tactics employed by unions. The unions often use terms like "fair wage" but they are always making more than the market rate for their positions. The non-unionized public would naturally see that as unfair. The vast majority of workers would be fired justly for pulling actions like this rogue AC group but a union worker seems to do so with impunity. Also the media rarely portrays unions negatively because it is better for their business to appeal to masses. Perceptions are skewed on all fronts.

You may be surprised to learn the reality, I certainly was. I have had the fortune of being part of a union, union management & corporate management so my experience has given me a different outlook than what the media says. Basically we need to all work together & co-operate to make any organization run efficiently. Corporate management is a lot more caring than is portrayed. Unions are far more professional than what is portrayed. When loyalty comes before what is good for the business the union has gone too far. When greed overtakes the desire to maximize profits, the management has gone too far. I wish that the media would report the middle more & the extremes less.

To be fair the Air Canada Pilots Association has publicly stated the following:

"If the allegations are accurate, they have not been initiated or sanctioned by ACPA" Jean-Marc Belanger
 
KAL7478
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:02 pm

Both Air Canada and its employees need to grow up and put the company first, everything else will take care of itself with a bit of maturity....
 
pnd100
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:11 pm

Quoting KAL7478 (Reply 6):

Both Air Canada and its employees need to grow up and put the company first, everything else will take care of itself with a bit of maturity....

  
 
YEGer
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:46 pm

As a super elite AC flyer, having gotten caught in this pilot tactic twice now, I am starting to consider a switch to another airline. I know the issues are complex, but pissing off customers is going to hurt the bottom line, and neither the airline or the pilots will benefit from that.
 
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airportugal310
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:55 pm

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 4):
Quoting pnd100 (Reply 5):

Well stated folks. If anyone is evil in all of this, it's probably the media. It's the first source of information for too many people, and as such they are way to powerful and irresponsible for their own good.



Quoting YEGer (Reply 8):
As a super elite AC flyer, having gotten caught in this pilot tactic twice now, I am starting to consider a switch to another airline. I know the issues are complex, but pissing off customers is going to hurt the bottom line, and neither the airline or the pilots will benefit from that.

I feel for you. Doesnt matter though if you are super elite or a casual "once a year" vacation flier, you still get screwed from the brats you think it's OK to screw up someone else's life. Especially the once a year flier...probably saved for a while to take that vacation and now what...vacation off to a lousy start.

No one wins.
I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:31 pm

I hope Lisa Raitt realizes what she has caused here. By interfering in a collective bargaining process, she has removed the right to strike thus increasing the frustration of pilots, and she has removed any incentive for AC mgmt to bargain in good faith. Had a short strike occurred a month ago, it could have forced AC mgmt and unions together to hammer out an agreement that could be in place now. Instead, all Lisa Raitt has created is a simmering disagreement that will just go on and on and on. What a train wreck she is.

Quoting bmacleod (Reply 2):
let us all consider what corporations pay their executives and CEOs and then let us consider what these same corporations expect from their employees. There is inherent unfairness when someone receives multi-millions in compensation and bonus payments while "staff" is expected to work longer hours with no pay raise and no pension security.

Forget about the executives. The total cost of their salaries in all expenses is small, but yes -- it is symbolic. Fred Lazar, a university professor, recently wrote that a primary problem with AC is overstaffing at the total management level -- all those 'professionals' at AC that are non-union and make $50k-150k.....these ranks can be cut by 50% he claims.....that is where the real cost savings will come from. They need to go thru the AC HQ with a sledge hammer and seriously cut the ranks down. The problem at AC begin and end at the notorious AC HQ building at YUL.

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 9):
If anyone is evil in all of this, it's probably the media.

Leave the media out of this. They are benign. They report good news and bad. It just happens to be bad now. When AC received its first 777 and when it retired its Gimli Glider, all media wrote feel-good stories about this. When AC has something good to report, then the media will report it. If they don't, they won't.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
Thenoflyzone
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:08 am

The government opened a huge can of worms by intervening in a private airline's affairs.

AC will soon realize that what Lisa Raitt did actually hurt them more than anything else. She should have just stayed away from all of this and let the negociations run their course, like the rest of the civilized world does.

Baggage handlers, pilots and flight attendants of a private airline are essential workers all of a sudden, but the 2400 employees AVEOS just layed off are what, chopped liver? We don't see Lisa Raitt talking about that, now do we !

One thing is for sure, all this negative press will really hurt AC. I just hope our government is not stupid enough to bail AC out yet again once it fails, and fail it will !

Good riddens. No pain, no gain !

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2012-04-13 17:10:36]
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
 
threepoint
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:14 am

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 10):
Fred Lazar, a university professor, recently wrote

What are his credentials other than being "a university professor"? Does he (or you, since you've quoted him repeatedly) have any stats to demonstrate how overstaffed AC may be in middle management, and what the optimal vs actual ratio of staff should be?

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 10):
the notorious AC HQ building at YUL.

Ah, more adjectives that add credibility. How is the building notorious? Are there ghosts in the basement?

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 10):
Leave the media out of this. They are benign.

In a perfect world filled with sunshine, fluffy white clouds and lollipops, perhaps so. Sadly, few of live there.

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 10):
When AC has something good to report, then the media will report it. If they don't, they won't.

No, the media will descend upon the 3 mouthpiece passengers who have venom to spew rather than the remaining 150 that take any irregular operations in stride. They know what sells papers & airtime, and passengers shrugging off weather or mechanical delays doesn't make good copy.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
pnd100
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:19 am

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 10):
Leave the media out of this. They are benign. They report good news and bad. It just happens to be bad now. When AC received its first 777 and when it retired its Gimli Glider, all media wrote feel-good stories about this. When AC has something good to report, then the media will report it. If they don't, they won't.

The media always plays up corporate greed. There is no illusion from my side, I know that corporate greed is there but it is far less prevalent than what is portrayed. Same with union corruption. This applies not just to this issue but to everything. Today's media gets their ratings by being more sensational than their competition. One way they do it is to continuously show ad nauseum whatever suits their point. After watching this it becomes difficult to say that the media does not have any agenda. I agree that they report good & bad but the stories they feature are always slanted to suit their opinion rather than reporting of facts.
 
toltommy
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:02 am

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 10):
Had a short strike occurred a month ago, it could have forced AC mgmt and unions together to hammer out an agreement that could be in place now.

Or it could have forced AC to file bankruptcy again, possibly opening ALL contracts to renegotiation. Another trip thru CCAA could have cost thousands of AC employees their jobs.

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 10):
Fred Lazar, a university professor, recently wrote that a primary problem with AC is overstaffing at the total management level
Quoting threepoint (Reply 13):
What are his credentials other than being "a university professor"?

University professor where? In what field? With tenure? Anyone with a job that does not have checks and balances, or even annual performance goals can afford to be critical of "management".
 
Whiteguy
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:24 am

Quoting toltommy (Reply 15):
Or it could have forced AC to file bankruptcy again, possibly opening ALL contracts to renegotiation. Another trip thru CCAA could have cost thousands of AC employees their jobs.

You mean ALL contracts they've been negotiating for the last year????

Why would CCAA make it go any quicker?
 
Jerseyguy
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:08 am

Quoting polaris (Reply 3):
The pilots are causing great inconvenience for some but it is time we all started looking at the bigger picture.

Yes and that big picture is that the people that they are causing great inconvenience to are the people that make their jobs possible the customer.
Webmaster of an unoffical TTN page see profile for details
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:17 am

Quoting threepoint (Reply 13):
3 mouthpiece passengers

Oh you mean those mouthpiece passengers that pay your salary as a pilot? How inconvenient of them to have an opinion.

Quoting threepoint (Reply 13):
who have venom to spew

And cash to spend to keep pilots employed.

Quoting threepoint (Reply 13):
fluffy white clouds
Quoting threepoint (Reply 13):
the 3 mouthpiece passengers

Ah, more adjectives that add credibility.

Quoting toltommy (Reply 15):
Quoting yyz717 (Reply 10):
Fred Lazar, a university professor, recently wrote that a primary problem with AC is overstaffing at the total management level
Quoting threepoint (Reply 13):
What are his credentials other than being "a university professor"?

University professor where? In what field? With tenure? Anyone with a job that does not have checks and balances, or even annual performance goals can afford to be critical of "management".

Google him, or read his editorials in the other post. You will see his airline industry credentials. He outlined numerous problems recently with AC, including unionized employees being over-paid, overstaffed mgmt, unsustainable pensions.

The fact is that every incremental job action annoys more passengers, who will trickle, perhaps imperceptively, over to WS, PD, AA, DL etc.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
lnglive1011yyz
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:45 am

This is going to cost us Canadian Taxpayers more money than I'm personally willing to pay.

These strikes, while I can understand the frustration of the employee's, are ultimately going to cost us more money in the long run, because when AC goes back into bankruptcy, the Government will rush in to assist in whatever way it can, and as we all know, Government costs way more than it would if it was privately run.

Oh well, par for the course.

I personally know 3 people who were GOING to be travelling with AC this summer, and all three made the decision today to change their air carrier to WestJet. Same price, less worry.

The other major impact will be all the lower-seniority people at AC. A LOT of people are going to loose jobs now.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

1011yyz
Pack your bags, we're going on a sympathy trip!
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:19 am

Quoting lnglive1011yyz (Reply 19):
when AC goes back into bankruptcy, the Government will rush in to assist in whatever way it can, and as we all know, Government costs way more than it would if it was privately run.

Let's hope the Govt does not get involved when AC goes into bankruptcy (or liquidation). The private sector can solve the problem on its own.

Quoting lnglive1011yyz (Reply 19):
I personally know 3 people who were GOING to be travelling with AC this summer, and all three made the decision today to change their air carrier to WestJet.

This is likely to repeated over and over a million times. Westjet will gain a new, loyal customer base.

Quoting lnglive1011yyz (Reply 19):
The other major impact will be all the lower-seniority people at AC. A LOT of people are going to loose jobs now.

But jobs will be gained at Westjet, Porter. These companies have strong and positive corporate cultures. So overall, it will be a win for the airline industry, and for Canadians as AC shrinks, and others grow to take market advantage from a retreating, troubled, and money-losing AC.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
zkokq
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:24 am

Quoting polaris (Reply 3):

Before anyone starts firing "crybabies", let us all consider what corporations pay their executives and CEOs and then let us consider what these same corporations expect from their employees. There is inherent unfairness when someone receives multi-millions in compensation and bonus payments while "staff" is expected to work longer hours with no pay raise and no pension security.

I am sorry, but I think the money paid to CEO's by most companies is acceptable. The company hinges on their decisions not by a pilot flying a 77W. He risks his livelihood and things like jail on a daily basis based on their decisions. They worked for years and have done what ever study it takes for them to get there.. They are on the chopping board everyday from the board of directors shareholders and company owners. They dont have 9-5 jobs and then go home.

I dont think you know how much effort CEO's put in. So don't tell us that they have not earned it.
 
avek00
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:44 am

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 20):

Don't be fooled - on account of Canada's large territorial size and population dispersion, there is NO purely private sector option to address Canada's air service needs. Never has been, never will be.
Live life to the fullest.
 
Air77
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:26 am

Quoting YEGer (Reply 8):

I agree. By no means am I an Elite or Super Elite passenger. I have enjoyed AC in the past, and they have treated me very well. It is nice to fly domestic on a 763, 773, or 333 from YVR to WS and the usual 73G. However, if I had to book now, I would avoid flying AC at all cost.

[Edited 2012-04-13 21:30:59]

[Edited 2012-04-13 21:31:43]
 
tribird1011
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:35 am

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 20):
Let's hope the Govt does not get involved when AC goes into bankruptcy (or liquidation). The private sector can solve the problem on its own.

It is an unwritten fact that the government will NEVER let AC go bankrupt. If the private sector were to in fact resolve this problem on it's own, AC would have been dead an buried a long time ago -- back in 1991/1992 when AC was in bad shape and CP made the offer to take-over AC, the government stepped in to block the acquisition and bailed out AC. nearly 10 years later with the situation more or less reversed, and we all know how that turned out.



If AC is not an essential service, they should have the right to strike. If they cannot legally strike (due back to work legislation), what incentive does AC mgmt have to bargain in good faith??
 
cayman
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:22 am

YYZ717 will say let the market decide if AC fails completely but the fact is, and we all know it, that WS will not/cannot and won't be flying 2/3 class intl services to Asia, Europe, Oceania, Latin America--forget about it. So if AC shuts down Canada suddenly becomes a much, much harder place to come/go from, less so for the really big cities like YYZ, YUL and YVR but good luck to the passengers from anywhere else.

Should we as a nation just wave a white flag, ( pun intended), and give up our only legit intl flag carrier?

There are some very interesting posts on this thread on both sides. And some of the oh so predictable AC bashing. I try to avoid anecdotal stories but some I cannot avoid. Recently awaiting the late AC FLL YYZ departure the flight was cancelled, as were ALL other FLL departures every airline, general aviation, whatever, owing to a switch/lighting issue. This was announced in a loud PA system airport wide. The only remaining AC flight that day was the late NBnd YYZ dep; Delta still had 4 or so departures and other airlines were embarking too. Admittedly it was late night at FLL things were winding down but all flights all airlines even private aviation was shut down as a result of a taxiway lighting issue and safety concerns. Yet as a passenger on the AC YYZ flight I had to listen to the incredible thunder of AC bashing, again a national Canadian pastime, like somehow AC bore the moral, ethical and business responsibility for a late night technical/lighting problem at a secondary airport--that affected all carriers the same. It's like watching an episode of the 3 stooges: the AC check-in area in T2 FLL is right beside Delta, and while Delta was announcing cancellation of several, maybe a half dozen flights, well the AC basher crowd--- mattered not a dam& to them that ALL flights were being cancelled like all other traffic at the airport—but the same folks were on their soap box airing every beef they have ever had with anything and focusing through that ‘passion to blame AC’ lens.

Every commercial airline has good points and bad points and one would think each strives to tip the scale in favour of the good. Some succeed, others do not, and still others remain a work in progress. AC is not beyond criticism nor should it be; but nor does it add value to the discussion-- the constant harangue of this passionate "I Can't Wait Until We Finally Destroy AC" that underlies so much of what we see in these forums, I just don't get it. But as a Canadian, lucky enough to travel fairly frequently, I can tell you that I cannot envision any betterment to Canada as a nation if AC were under any circumstances to be shut down, close its doors, take away what is (like it or not) our flag carrier.

My 2 cents is that unions, employees, management, all interested principals in this game share an incredibly important vested interest in not letting days like today happen: just another black eye for the airline and another undermining of confidence in it. Trying to remain objective I would say surely, even the most rabid union member or the most cut-throat H/O type cannot but see that only bad, bad results can flow from these kinds of disruptions. People will take SO much as consumers then they will move on.
 
boeingorbust
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:02 am

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 20):
Let's hope the Govt does not get involved when AC goes into bankruptcy (or liquidation). The private sector can solve the problem on its own.

Guess that would depend on AC's restructuring or downsizing. There are no carriers in the position to take over the capacity that AC has right now. They continue to be a red company, losing revenue at every corner or you could say quarter.. They have money in the bank but at this rate it'll run dry. Not even WS if they wanted to start long haul routes would be able to do so efficiently and in the timely manor needed to compete. I do think however that if WS one day started the long haul routes to compete with AC, it would only be a matter of time before AC dies and another competitor steps in to challenge WS... that is if the government even then would allow AC to die... probably not. Shame that our country is represented by the scar that is AC. It'd be nice to have an airline respected, like SQ or maybe EK without bickering back and forth between employees, company and government like little children fighting over the cookies in the cookie jar that don't even exist it would seem. What will it take to actually have an airline that is self sustained?
 
ElPistolero
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:44 am

Quoting toltommy (Reply 15):
University professor where? In what field? With tenure? Anyone with a job that does not have checks and balances, or even annual performance goals can afford to be critical of "management".

He's a Professor at one of the better Business schools in Canada (Schulich at York U, Toronto). He's also a longstanding advocate of protectionism for Air Canada (one of his papers was actually published by AC on their website and was probably funded by them).

Personally, I don't think he's an unbiased observer by any stretch of the imagination, even though he tries to affect a sense of balance on labor issues. I suspect thats largely because he doesn't want to face criticism for calling for the devaluation/destruction of Canadian jobs after strenuously advocating measures to protect them.

Undoubtedly a very, very smart guy, but one with a price, which AC was happy to pay not so long ago. Some of his arguments border on hypocritical, but that is a subject for another day.

Quoting ZKOKQ (Reply 21):
I am sorry, but I think the money paid to CEO's by most companies is acceptable.

Most companies. AC is not most companies. Most companies are profitable/sustainable. AC is teetering on the edge. CEOs are typically responsible for, amongst other things, company morale. I think we all know how AC is faring in that regard. That alone raises questions about his compensation levels. He couldn't have done a worse job with labor relations. And yet he walks away with a pretty package.

Quoting avek00 (Reply 22):
Don't be fooled - on account of Canada's large territorial size and population dispersion, there is NO purely private sector option to address Canada's air service needs. Never has been, never will be.

Amen. Time to nationalize?

Quoting tribird1011 (Reply 24):
It is an unwritten fact that the government will NEVER let AC go bankrupt

Actually, its a stated fact.

During the economic downturn, Harper said he sat down with Air Canada representatives who outlined concerns about their financial situation, asking for government assistance because of the dangers shutting down the airline would represent to the economy.

"I'll be darned if we will now sit by and let the airline shut itself down," Harper said

http://business.financialpost.com/20...ute-to-shield-economy-says-harper/

Quoting cayman (Reply 25):
Should we as a nation just wave a white flag, ( pun intended), and give up our only legit intl flag carrier?

Should we, as a nation, just wave a white flag and assume that our nation can't afford to lose a very questionably run airline and replace it, within the next 5 years, with a better run properly private company? The infrastructure is there. The workforce is there...

Heard those arguments before? They're the same ones being peddled by Rovinescu in the aftermath of Aveos. If Aveos can go....

Why not let it fail and liquidate it and let a real private sector entity emerge instead of this quasi-public sector, government protected, trouble plagued ailrine?

I may be wrong, but I think we should have a little more faith in Canada's ability to end a bad idea (complete with ACPPA and bilingualism and other hokey) and replace it with a properly run no-nonsense airline?

Quoting cayman (Reply 25):
"I Can't Wait Until We Finally Destroy AC" that underlies so much of what we see in these forums, I just don't get it.
Quoting cayman (Reply 25):
I can tell you that I cannot envision any betterment to Canada as a nation if AC were under any circumstances to be shut down, close its doors, take away what is (like it or not) our flag carrier.

Any airline that publicly advocates the blocking of competition to keep prices high is playing with fire in the public realm. To top it off, Canadian travellers are getting savvy enough to realize how badly they are getting ripped off relative to other nations. Removing the largest incumbent can have many positive effects - it will lower barriers to entry for new entrants - and the influx of new entrants to serve the newly unserved/underserved market may drive down prices.

Either which way, even if AC goes, what do we have to lose? On the international front, foreign carriers will jump at the opportuniuty to increase market share. On the domestic front, we might get a couple of new carriers that would never have succeeded if AC used all its clout (as it tried, and failed, to do with Porter). Sure there'll be short term pain. But how much worse can it get? At most, YOW-LHR will cost $2000 instead of the $1500 it currently costs during peak? Its just a case of going from very bad, to worse.

AC has, quite simply, and not wrongly, placed its interests before that of the Canadian consumers for too long. Some Canadian consumers have realized that and make no bones about it. Others insist that AC is offering them good value-for-money - which leads to questions about how much exposure this segment of Canadian travellers have to travel in the rest of the world. Either which way, the removal of a giant incumbent (in this case, a badly run one) is usually a good thing. Especially in a sector that, in Canada, is woefully short of global levels of competition.

Personally, I don't 'hate' Air Canada. I fly them when I have to, and have little to complain about, barring the odd non-operating IFE and extremely poor baggage handling (blame airports?). just won't shed any tears if they go the way of the dodo, if only because I m (stupid?) enough to belive that it might be a good thing for Canada and Canadians in the long run. Granted, my sole focus, as a consumer, is on airfares and value-for-money. And AC consistently ranks about the worst of all the carriers I've experienced on that key measurement - value-for-money.
 
gmonney
Posts: 2076
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2001 2:59 pm

RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:11 pm

Quoting cayman (Reply 25):
Should we as a nation just wave a white flag, ( pun intended), and give up our only legit intl flag carrier?

Yes we should....   If AC can't run an airline in good faith and profitable then don't. If other international airlines can run a profitable airline, let them in and fly these international routes you talk about. I am sure there are a lot of airlines that would love to take over AC's routes. Don't worry, if AC stops flying, international air travel in Canada will not stop!

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 10):
I hope Lisa Raitt realizes what she has caused here

Hey Neil, I had no idea who this Lisa Raitt was before she stepped in, now I have no respect for her, my wife is a government employed unionized employee and was recently (Sept '11) on strike. We talk about this issue all of the time, she would do the exact same thing the pilots are doing if she was legislated back to work. Its not fair and should not be allowed.

Quoting ZKOKQ (Reply 21):
I am sorry, but I think the money paid to CEO's by most companies is acceptable.
Quoting ZKOKQ (Reply 21):
He risks his livelihood and things like jail on a daily basis based on their decisions.

So the CEO can call a "friend" and ask her to legislate his pilots back to work so his airline doesn't stop flying.... ya thats a great business decision!   
Drive it like you stole it!
 
ba97
Posts: 348
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:42 am

RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:56 pm

I think we could check discussions back to the early 1990s and the same discussion will be there. I fly betwen 50- 80K with AC a year and another 40K or so with other carriers each year. They are not much more expensive for the benefits I desire. I expect to hit 1 million total miles with them in a year or so, so I have lived a long time in their seats. As with all companies, I encounter bad staff, bad service and I also encounter fantastic people who go beyond the standard. When you fly, connecting flights is an adventure one will pay extra to avoid when your business depends on you being somewhere. Thus AC offers something out of YYZ that is only available in a few airports in the world.

Cutting through the noise, I have some simple questions and thoughts-

I wonder how much different is AC to other carriers around the world in the labour side. Excluding BA and the US carriers which have well documented problems, how do they stack up? We all know the revolving door of issues with BA. I am thinking pay, benefits, nature of work. Why are some ok and some not.

Then I wonder how do they stack up with similar carriers with a country with small population, long distances, democracy and first world position. SAS or South African comes to mind. You can not compare them to airlines supported by a government. You can not compare them to Luf as the population and inter-euro load is much larger. Are we just seeing the continual slide into global consolidation like we have seen in auto, electronics and other industry that only a few really should exist.

Finally I wonder- if Westjet had the same labour issues- what would happen? Can the same labour issues happen there? Would the government step in? Is it the unique domestic/international combination that separates AC from them?

On labour, everyone involved has gone too far. CEO pay in most companies in the western world is well documented to be out of line. The concept of unions and benefits is well documented to be in need of a change in a global economy. This is not the world of 1960-70. My father was a UAW person for 35 years and I appreciate the concepts and value of a union. I also understand the damage caused to many by labour disruptions with unrealistic expectations. lay the facts out. In most companies, if the math does not work, you cut hours, cut pay, cut people.

I wish someone would stop the hand waving and lay out the facts. The company needs x to run (ops, debt). They take in y. Some things the company does is not profitable. Some things are out of line with the industry (my quesitons above). Explain why it is out of line. Then cut it, or fix it if profit is expected. Legacy concepts (routes, beneifts, pay and other) may not work. If the math does not work and not fixed -company closes. If the company is really important to the economy, then government steps in and makes it run under a profitable formula. An Airlines present in Canada that serves the population domestic and international is essential-it need not be AC. The issue is the orderly unwinding of AC at the same time you spool up others to fill the gaps. Without that locked in at the same time, you return to the point AC is essential. If AC runs multiple flights a day to a destination and disappears (e.g. LHR) others do not "step" in overnight. It takes a significant shift to repostion routes, planes and other to fill that. That takes time. Saying, someone can just step to fill the gap is too simplistic.

If you look to manufacturing. Many corporations are reshoring work from Asia (GE announced a $1B investment to start making appiances in NA again). Why? Because the higher labour costs in Asia, supply chain issues and the dismantling of legacy wages and benefits has made is worth it. This leads be back to my first questions.
there is economy class, business class, first class...then Concorde..pure class
 
Oroka
Posts: 1070
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:16 pm

Time for WestJet to get some 787s and offer international service. People are really getting tired of this BS coming out of Air Canada.
 
threepoint
Posts: 1292
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:49 am

RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 18):
Oh you mean those mouthpiece passengers that pay your salary as a pilot? How inconvenient of them to have an opinion.

People who make assumptions based upon a lack of knowledge often appear foolish and inconsequential at best. I fly no passengers. None. Zero. Nor do I fly cargo. The world of commercial aviation has many facets to it, some of which you seem not to realize exist.

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 18):
Google him, or read his editorials in the other post.

Or...you could simply provide the sources you quote. Why place the burden on the reader?

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 18):
passengers, who will trickle, perhaps imperceptively, over to WS, PD, AA, DL etc.

It must be very imperceptible if the load factors keep increasing, hey? There never has been a problem putting bums in seats; AC actually does better than WS and PD in this regard. AC's woes do not include attracting people to fill seats.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
Skywatcher
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:19 am

RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:31 pm

As far as Canadian competition is concerned Air Transat already competes on most (all?) of the European routes flown by AC. The "vacation" routes are covered by Sunwing, Westjet and Air Transat.
Flights to the U.S primarily have only American competitors and/or Westjet.
The major regions that don't have other Canadian operators are to Asia/S.America and Australia. I would argue that these are areas that Air Transat should start to exploit. As AC continues to alienate passengers the result is that Air Transat/Sunwing/Westjet/Porter will increasingly thrive. As this process continues, AC will eventually be at a stage where they are not so "essential" and can be abandoned to the self destructive forces that are always close to a boiling point. AC is sowing the seeds of its own eventual demise due to the impossible to rectify labour relations situation. It's just a matter of time. I think that within 10 years AC will be finished in its current configuartion at least and that the market will have developed to the point that it won't really matter anymore.
 
9252fly
Posts: 814
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:19 am

RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:02 pm

Quoting Skywatcher (Reply 32):
I think that within 10 years AC will be finished in its current configuartion at least and that the market will have developed to the point that it won't really matter anymore.

The AC of the future will likely be very different from the one today. It cannot survive in it's current form and must go through significant changes to assure it's future. My vision of AC is a wide-body international carrier only with all narrow-body aircraft flown under contract using whatever branding is deemed appropriate.. It's anyone's guess as to who will do that flying. It will also need to be freed from any political interference as we see today.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 18822
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:16 pm

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 27):
And AC consistently ranks about the worst of all the carriers I've experienced on that key measurement - value-for-money.

I rarely see much difference between AC and WS fares on comparable routes. If AC is uncompetitive, why do they have more than twice the WS capacity and frequency (and generally slightly higher load factors) in major markets like YYZ-YVR and YYZ-YOW/YUL (and many others)?
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 1128
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:46 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 34):
I rarely see much difference between AC and WS fares on comparable routes. If AC is uncompetitive, why do they have more than twice the WS capacity and frequency (and generally slightly higher load factors) in major markets like YYZ-YVR and YYZ-YOW/YUL (and many others)?

Hmmm? Where do I begin?

I spoke of value-for-money. Lets start with load factors - how much of that travel is on company dime? I find that there is a significant difference between how individuals and companies approach value-for-money. When I go on vacation, I can't justify a high airfare on the basis of a big payout from a business deal. A company, on the other hand, can afford to pay $1k for YOW-YYZ and consider it good value for money if that airfare is a misc cost in ensuring the success of million dollar deal. Therefore, I won't read too much into ACs load factors. All it means is that there is a non-price sensitive market that has to travel when it has to travel. AC, WS and everyone else are entitled to cash in on that. The only time I fly domestically is when I am travelling for work. I have flown AC on work only once in the last 15 months (YYZ-YQB). The rest (YYZ-YUL/YOW/YHZ) have been on WS and Porter. Mostly WS (which is an airline I hold in low esteem - its an overpriced Easyjet).

FWIW, there is a significant price difference between WS and AC on one of the routes you mentioned. I recently flew YOW-YYZ on my own dime( first personal domestic flight ever). Booked tickets 3 weeks in advance departing friday after work, returning sunday night. WS was charging $261. AC was charging $411. Thats a pretty significant difference. I went with WS. And yes, like almost all other fliers in this country, I am *Gold. Incidentally, I flew that route because I was planning on trying out TKs Y+ product (I think they're currently offering 'special' fares, but that was some real value-for-money right there).

On a personal note, most of my domestic travel is limited to the YYZ-YUL-YOW triangle where Via Rail always wins (despite the 1 hr extra transit time door-to-door). I have not visited YYC or YVR in the past 10 years. Probably won't be doing that soon either. I thought of visiting YYC in Feb. Unfortunately, on a whim, I looked up prices for DFW too, and despite the trip being of similar duration (1 stop via YYZ or ORD), DFW came in significantly cheaper (the equivalent of 1 night in a 5 star hotel). The last time I thought of travelling to YVR, I ended up in SFO. Pity really. I m sure they're very nice cities. I've just been priced out of tourism in my own country by the duopoly. I suspect you can understand my frustration.

I travel internationally a lot. Having worked abroad, my network is spread out and I embark on madcap trips across continents at least 3 times a year. I can safely say that, of the three countries I've lived and worked in - one developing, two developed - airfares ex-Canada are the highest by a country mile. That, and not domestic travel, is what inspired my statement about AC's awful value-for-money. I mean, not only is it expensive, but the onboard product is distinctly mediocre.
 
WestJet747
Posts: 1950
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:43 pm

RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:21 am

Quoting gmonney (Reply 28):
So the CEO can call a "friend" and ask her to legislate his pilots back to work so his airline doesn't stop flying.... ya thats a great business decision!

Well if you know anything about the AC corporate structure, it's actually the COO Duncan Dee who is responsible for government relations, so your blame is a little misdirected.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 30):
Time for WestJet to get some 787s and offer international service. People are really getting tired of this BS coming out of Air Canada.

If WestJet made that decision tomorrow, it would be a couple years before it got any legs under it. You can't just grab a 787 off the market. They'd have to wait their turn just like everyone else. They would also have to sink a significant cost into re-branding their onboard product, because I don't think there's a market for a single-class transcon service. Lastly, every Canadian on A-net should know about WestJet's regional start-up, so I can guarantee they have nowhere near the resources to also begin plans for international service.

Quoting Skywatcher (Reply 32):
I would argue that these are areas that Air Transat should start to exploit.

I agree. I don't think it is "if" they start westbound service, but rather "when". But again, like WestJet, they will have to rework their international onboard product since they don't have a F/J product like the legacies do.
Flying refined.
 
threepoint
Posts: 1292
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:49 am

RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:43 am

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 35):
Lets start with load factors - how much of that travel is on company dime?...A company, on the other hand, can afford to pay $1k for YOW-YYZ and consider it good value for money if that airfare is a misc cost in ensuring the success of million dollar deal. Therefore, I won't read too much into ACs load factors.

I'm a bit confused with your correlation between load factors and the number of people flying on a company-bought fare. What are you saying here? Are you saying that AC for example enjoys 81% load factors because many of the passengers have their tickets bought by the employer/client? Or, what are you saying?

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 35):
And yes, like almost all other fliers in this country, I am *Gold.

Um, I suggest you research the number of AC Elite, Super Elite and Star Gold members flying in Canada versus the total number of passengers on just AC alone. You will soon see that your assertion is nowhere close to correct.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 35):
WS was charging $261. AC was charging $411. Thats a pretty significant difference. I went with WS.

For every snapshot anecdote you can claim where one airline is priced higher than another at that moment in time, I will bet we can counter that with a direct reciprocal in which the 'higher-priced airline' offers a flight for less than the 'lower-priced airline'. I often choose AC over WS because they charge less than the 'low-cost' carrier.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 35):
I've just been priced out of tourism in my own country by the duopoly. I suspect you can understand my frustration.

I suspect your disposable income does not allow much leeway for extracurricular activities then, as air travel within this country is still priced well within reach of the average income earner. Even with all the surcharges and add-on fees, it becomes cheaper in relative terms as the years pass. This contributes directly towards the sustainability issues that AC has faced for a long time.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 35):
I can safely say that, of the three countries I've lived and worked in - one developing, two developed - airfares ex-Canada are the highest by a country mile.

Are you comparing Canada to two other countries? I respectfully state that your sample size is much too small for any reasonable comparison. There are no "airfares ex-Canada" as you like to tidily classify them. Fares are priced according to supply & demand and by what the market will bear, and differ from destination, time of season and a hundred other variables. If fares are higher ex-Canada than with other countries, it's because the flying public will pay them.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 35):
AC's awful value-for-money. I mean, not only is it expensive, but the onboard product is distinctly mediocre.

As compared to what exactly? Please define how you would assess value and besides whose onboard product AC pales.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 36):
I agree. I don't think it is "if" they start westbound service, but rather "when".

If there's going to be leisure-based or charter service to Australia as we're referring to here, then we'll see the likes of Virgin Australia or JetStar before Air Transat crossing the Pacific. And I'm not holding my breath for either of them soon.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
ElPistolero
Posts: 1128
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:44 am

RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:34 am

Quoting threepoint (Reply 37):
I'm a bit confused with your correlation between load factors and the number of people flying on a company-bought fare. What are you saying here? Are you saying that AC for example enjoys 81% load factors because many of the passengers have their tickets bought by the employer/client? Or, what are you saying?

Its because you're reading the quote out of context. If you read the entire chain of posts, you'll notice that this started out as a discussion about why people have a negative view of AC. I attributed it to value-for-money. The other poster suggested that this wasn't the case due to load factors. I then clarified by stating that value-for-money has varying meanings for individuals and companies. Therefore, Load Factors were not indicative of value for money. Its pretty straightforward within the context in which it is set.

Quoting threepoint (Reply 37):
Um, I suggest you research the number of AC Elite, Super Elite and Star Gold members flying in Canada versus the total number of passengers on just AC alone.

I ate up the word "regularly", but that said, AC Elites and Super Elites tend to be a dime a dozen on the flights I am on, especially in the J cabin. In fact, I can't think of a single AC flight I've been on without at least half a dozen Elites. And those are only the ones with the luggage tags on their hand baggage.

Quoting threepoint (Reply 37):
I suspect your disposable income does not allow much leeway for extracurricular activities then, as air travel within this country is still priced well within reach of the average income earner. Even with all the surcharges and add-on fees, it becomes cheaper in relative terms as the years pass. This contributes directly towards the sustainability issues that AC has faced for a long time.

Disposable income? No. Do I have enough disposable income to travel within Canada? Thing is, I could take the same amount of money and get a better product elsewhere. Thats the issue here - that the fare difference between travelling to YYC and DFW actually manages to pay off a full night at The Joule in Dallas. This is about value-for-money - bang for the buck. Its not that I can't afford to travel to YYC or YVR - its just that I get a heck of a lot more out of each dollar if I spend if I go elsewhere. The issue isn't the amount spent. The issue is the amount spent for a certain product versus the amount a similar product costs elsewhere. Like many Canadians who have lived abroad, I am tainted by experience outside Canada. We know we are paying inflated airfares. It is very hard justifying AC's $4000+ for YOW-LHR in J when LHR-DEL (approximately 20% longer) in J on VS and 9W cost closer to CAD 2400. My last ticket on VS in J cost GBP 1395. It becomes a no-brainer then - fly Y on AC (for about 20% more than it costs ex-US, as I have shown on other threads here on anet), and then get onto a J cabin ex UK, DESPITE the horrendous APD on premium travel there.

Canadian airfares probably are within reach of most disposable incomes if people travel only once or twice a year. More than that and it will hurt the wallet. Of course, the end result is that Canadians are nowhere nearly as well travelled as the Aussies or Brits. The lack of exposure to the rest of the world can make working in Canada...interesting.

As for airfares getting cheaper, I am not entirely convinced but I will accept it. In that case, I will simply argue that is very likely (probably certain) that airfares are becomeing relatively "cheaper" in Canada at a lower rate than they are elswhere.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/12/05/sky-high-airfares/

Quoting threepoint (Reply 37):
Are you comparing Canada to two other countries? I respectfully state that your sample size is much too small for any reasonable comparison. There are no "airfares ex-Canada" as you like to tidily classify them. Fares are priced according to supply & demand and by what the market will bear, and differ from destination, time of season and a hundred other variables. If fares are higher ex-Canada than with other countries, it's because the flying public will pay them.

We've seen the studies and we've heard the same arguments over and over again. The whole thing about airfares in Canada was put forth by some think tank in Calgary not too long ago.

http://www.fcpp.org/files/1/PS91_Airlines_JN24F1.pdf

The cold hard numbers are all there. I'm sure there'll be more justifications, as there always are, for overcharging Canadians on everything and anything. Canada's unique apparently - and we need to pay a premium because of it. Its baloney - as any comparison with Australia would show - but a lot of people who've never lived outside Canada believe it.

Are airfares in Canada higher? As far as I am concerned they are. No matter how big or small my sample size is, the simple truth is that I pay more for similar products ex-Canada than I do ex-LHR etc. Perhaps the sample size is too small, but that is a reality that many Canadians who have had the (mis)fortune of living abroad have to deal with. Like me, many of them end up living in the same handful of cities/financial centers where airfares are (mysteriously?) cheaper.

I don't have any issue with AC charging what the market will bear, but that does skewer the value-for-money component as far as I am concerned. That others are willing to pay higher fares doesn't mean that the value-for-money component fares favorably with other countries. It just means that Canadian consumers either lack information, or aren't the brightest. Allegory of the cave, if you will. It doesn't help that AC is actively attempting to sway public policy decisions on demand and supply. Thats where part of the negative perception comes from.

Quoting threepoint (Reply 37):
As compared to what exactly? Please define how you would assess value and besides whose onboard product AC pales.

For simplicity's sake, I will narrow it down to VS and 9W J. I ll leave catering out because its subjective, but apart from that, same seats, better hard product (amenity kit, pyjamas etc). Lower prices. And not by 2 or 3% either. If a 8 hr journey costs me close to 30% less than what a 6 hour journey costs me in a nearly identical product, then the value I am deriving from each experience is very different. When a $2300 trip in J offers more amenities than a $4000 one, its not hard to figure the value you're getting for the money you've spent.
 
ba97
Posts: 348
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:01 pm

ElPistolero
You hit many thoughts and realities I experience. Try getting a J upgrade on the LHR run out of YYZ. You would think 30% of the plane is Elite/Super Elite. I too jump carriers for the cost/product. After the check-in /customs process and seats, the rest is noise.

Any company would charge what people are willing to pay- good business. The AC planes I see are full.
I pay more to fly AC non stop to HK or LHR instead of cheaper fares connecting. The value for money works for me, I dread connecting. My formula may not work for others.

This comes down to my question/comment- the customer base to warrant someone coming and offering a comparable/better product is not there. If it was, why after all these years someone has not? If Virgin, Air Transit or BA offered cheaper fares to LHR, would people jump and they would be running 4-5 flights a day out of YYZ- experience shows no.

People are talking out of both sides of their mouth. Wanting cheap fares and wanting points/connections/service....
You can not compare an Air Transit to AC other than they both fly A330s. You do not get business travellers (who I think make up the most valuable revenue to AC) on vacation planes when working. Subtle differences make a big impact on choice (flat bed, electricity in seat, departure/arrival lounge, checkin process...)

Which back to the question I have-- who is profitable with a similar catchment and offering to AC?
there is economy class, business class, first class...then Concorde..pure class
 
User avatar
yyz717
Posts: 15689
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:41 pm

Quoting cayman (Reply 25):
So if AC shuts down Canada suddenly becomes a much, much harder place to come/go from, less so for the really big cities like YYZ, YUL and YVR but good luck to the passengers from anywhere else.

Other carriers, Canadian and otherwise, will quickly add capacity. Yes, there will be short-term mayhem but it wont last long. Other countries have lived thru their inefficient "national" or large carriers collapsing -- Mexico, Switzerland, Belgium, Greece, the US (don't tell me PA, EA were small fry) -- they all survived and are better for it with more efficient carriers ion place now.

Quoting cayman (Reply 25):
But as a Canadian, lucky enough to travel fairly frequently, I can tell you that I cannot envision any betterment to Canada as a nation if AC were under any circumstances to be shut down, close its doors, take away what is (like it or not) our flag carrier.

The airline industry is a commodity business now. The spoils go the low cost provider, just like most industries. It does not matter where the carrier is based. We buy clothes made in China, cars made in Korea, it's only logical that low cost carriers (based in Canada and elsewhere) will increasingly fly int'l pax to/from Canada (it's already happening -- Jet Airways to Brussels, Etihad/Emirates/Qatar). There is no room in this industry for emotional heart-strings for an inefficient "national" carrier such as AC.

Quoting Skywatcher (Reply 32):
I would argue that these are areas that Air Transat should start to exploit. As AC continues to alienate passengers the result is that Air Transat/Sunwing/Westjet/Porter will increasingly thrive. As this process continues, AC will eventually be at a stage where they are not so "essential" and can be abandoned to the self destructive forces that are always close to a boiling point. AC is sowing the seeds of its own eventual demise due to the impossible to rectify labour relations situation. It's just a matter of time. I think that within 10 years AC will be finished in its current configuartion at least and that the market will have developed to the point that it won't really matter anymore.

Agreed. With every passing year, AC becomes slightly less dominant and slightly less "essential" as it continues to struggle and WS continues to grow.

Quoting 9252fly (Reply 33):
It cannot survive in it's current form and must go through significant changes to assure it's future. My vision of AC is a wide-body international carrier only with all narrow-body aircraft flown under contract using whatever branding is deemed appropriate..

A reasonable guess, but AC will need union support to shut down or contract out the short haul flying. The only way this will happen is if AC liquidates, and a new carrier using the same name grabs the int's routes. Also, don't discount WS's eventual growth into long haul markets.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 34):
If AC is uncompetitive, why do they have more than twice the WS capacity and frequency (and generally slightly higher load factors) in major markets like YYZ-YVR and YYZ-YOW/YUL (and many others)?

AC is playing a market share game, that has never worked. They claim they need to feed their int'l routes but they could still do that with much fewer frequencies in NA than they have now.

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 36):
If WestJet made that decision tomorrow, it would be a couple years before it got any legs under it. You can't just grab a 787 off the market. They'd have to wait their turn just like everyone else. They would also have to sink a significant cost into re-branding their onboard product, because I don't think there's a market for a single-class transcon service.

You can grab some used 763's and 333's quickly which are the same a/c that AC operates now. No re-branding is necessary. It's really just bums in seats with friendly service and seat back video. Easily and quickly done. WS could offer a business class product quickly if they chose.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
threepoint
Posts: 1292
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 10:49 am

RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:08 pm

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 40):
Other carriers, Canadian and otherwise, will quickly add capacity. Yes, there will be short-term mayhem but it wont last long. Other countries have lived thru their inefficient "national" or large carriers collapsing -- Mexico, Switzerland, Belgium, Greece, the US (don't tell me PA, EA were small fry)

I don't believe domestic capacity will be quickly absorbed by existing carriers at all. Some routes would notice a brief disruption, but it would take years in many markets. Mexico has a much smaller percentage of flying public than does Canada. The three European carriers mentioned have miniscule internal distances as compared to Canada and a host of ground alternatives to flying, plus proximity to international services from neighbouring countries with enormous route networks. Sure, PA & Eastern were large-fry carriers, but the US has always been spoiled for choice in that there were a dozen viable US airline alternatives (plenty of capacity) even after these airlines shut their doors. You have selected some poor examples to illustrate your point.

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 40):
it's only logical that low cost carriers (based in Canada and elsewhere) will increasingly fly int'l pax to/from Canada (it's already happening -- Jet Airways to Brussels, Etihad/Emirates/Qatar)

Are you suggesting that the Gulf carriers are low cost carirers? Perhaps some of these examples have more streamlined expenses than AC, but to lump them in with the Allegiants, Ryanairs and Southwests is a bit of a stretch.

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 40):
Easily and quickly done.

It is clear from this statement that many of us have really no idea of the complexities involved with running an international airline. If WestJet were to suddenly decide 'hey let's fly to Europe and Asia', it would be 2-3 years at least between that decision and the first flights taking off. One does not acquire financing, route authority, landing slots, ground infrastructure & employees, airplanes, hiring & training of pilots, FAs and maintenance staff, create SOPs & operating manuals and a thousand other considerations "very easily and quickly". Could they offer a few plum routes quickly? Sure. But to change their game on a large scale would take a lot of time.
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ElPistolero
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:34 pm

Quoting ba97 (Reply 39):
This comes down to my question/comment- the customer base to warrant someone coming and offering a comparable/better product is not there. If it was, why after all these years someone has not? If Virgin, Air Transit or BA offered cheaper fares to LHR, would people jump and they would be running 4-5 flights a day out of YYZ- experience shows no.

By that same token, EK, EY, TK and QR are all boasting high load factors. And they're flying some pretty large aircraft to boot - I believe TK, EY and QR flying 77Ws. EK is, of course, flyng 380s. And they all want more slots, which suggests to me that they believe they can fill more aircraft if they get the chance.

Quoting ba97 (Reply 39):
People are talking out of both sides of their mouth. Wanting cheap fares and wanting points/connections/service....
You can not compare an Air Transit to AC other than they both fly A330s. You do not get business travellers (who I think make up the most valuable revenue to AC) on vacation planes when working. Subtle differences make a big impact on choice (flat bed, electricity in seat, departure/arrival lounge, checkin process...)

I agree. I never have. This is the reason I bristle when people say Canada has adequate competition. TS is great, if you're flexible on time (ie not working) and can take advantage of TS' Monday only service to LHR.

But that said, people ARE getting cheap fares around the world. We're just not getting them here in Canada. Living in LHR, on the other hand, is like being in a dream. The options. The prices.

Quoting ba97 (Reply 39):
Which back to the question I have-- who is profitable with a similar catchment and offering to AC?

Qantas? Admittedly, they deal with a 30% smaller population and face far more competition domestically and internationally, but they re doing alright enough for AC to want to copy them.
 
ba97
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:22 pm

what you are saying is- open more slots in Canada for foreign carriers and this forces the hand of AC.
I do not know how that works in Canada and if it is as tight as LHR for example. I guess the hand are you forcing is the airline, and the public to get a better grip on reality.

If the servicing of debt, pension and lease costs and fuel make up rather non-flexible costs, then you end up at the pay structure and staff. They can cheap out on perks like the overnight kit but to those who fly a lot, that is not why we drop 6,000-10,000 on a J seat

You lower fares with competition. It can become a race to the bottom and who has enough cash to hit last.
This means less revenue.
To operate with less revenue, you a) cut routes which means staff. b) thin routes out lowering frequence or size of plane. This means less revenue potential and cut staff. c) lower costs to operate on a unit basis. This includes cut staff, lower pay.

The simple math is the question if lowering or restricting pay is the solution. My brain says no, but without dramatic changes, it is the only lever they have to buy time. Follow Qantas, keep key feeder hubs and focus on long haul.
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multimark
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:53 pm

How many pilots and crew does Jazz have trained on the 757? Enough to start up a transcon service with YYZ and YUL flights to LHR? Are there enough used 757's on the market to make that even feasible?
 
ANM604
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 27):
He's a Professor at one of the better Business schools in Canada (Schulich at York U, Toronto). He's also a longstanding advocate of protectionism for Air Canada (one of his papers was actually published by AC on their website and was probably funded by them).

I'm not doubting his academic credentials, or his intelligence, but unless he has been invited by AC/ seen the internal structures and numbers of employees, all he is doing is "guestimating". It's easy to sit here and say "cut AC's management ranks in half, that'll make it profitable again" but without giving sources and backing up his claims, it is no better then most of the discussions that occur on here. It is pure speculation, and does nothing to further any sort of meaningful discussion.

Quoting threepoint (Reply 41):
It is clear from this statement that many of us have really no idea of the complexities involved with running an international airline. If WestJet were to suddenly decide 'hey let's fly to Europe and Asia', it would be 2-3 years at least between that decision and the first flights taking off. One does not acquire financing, route authority, landing slots, ground infrastructure & employees, airplanes, hiring & training of pilots, FAs and maintenance staff, create SOPs & operating manuals and a thousand other considerations "very easily and quickly". Could they offer a few plum routes quickly? Sure. But to change their game on a large scale would take a lot of time.

You hit the nail on the head. Easily and quickly? Haha, right, that's why it's taking WS at least another 1.5 years to get a simple regional carrier going? Let's please try and stay within reality here.

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 42):
This is the reason I bristle when people say Canada has adequate competition. TS is great, if you're flexible on time (ie not working) and can take advantage of TS' Monday only service to LHR.

There isn't enough competition to LHR, or in general?

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 42):
But that said, people ARE getting cheap fares around the world. We're just not getting them here in Canada. Living in LHR, on the other hand, is like being in a dream. The options. The prices.

You can't compare living in LHR to living in YYC, or anywhere in Canada, short of YYZ. Obviously there are going to be more options and lower prices in LHR, look at the demand in that market. It is probably more then the demand of all of Canada combined. I'm really struggling to understand how you can justify the cost of airfares out of LHR to those out of Canada, it really doesn't make sense.

Canada has a population of ~36 million, there simply is not enough demand to warrant the sort of competition you are envisioning. No matter how we cut it, Canada is a huge country with a small population spread out across the country, and coupled with high taxes, it inherently makes flying more expensive then flying from LHR to FRA. Consumers want the lowest price possible, but then support unions who strike because they aren't getting pay increases every year, or complain if they fly on old planes that go mechanical. Well guess what, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Running an airline is expensive, and lowering airfares in a race to the bottom is not healthy for the industry. You want competition? No airline is going to enter into a market where the airfares are at the point where they can't cover their costs; low airfares to the point consumers want is not going to encourage competition. There has to be a point where people recognize that airfares can't keep going as cheap as possible, and have healthy airlines making profits at the same time. The math just doesn't work, especially if the price of fuel continues to rise, taxes remain high, and unions continue to demand wage increases.

Quoting ba97 (Reply 43):
The simple math is the question if lowering or restricting pay is the solution. My brain says no, but without dramatic changes, it is the only lever they have to buy time. Follow Qantas, keep key feeder hubs and focus on long haul.

Lowering pay is not the solution for AC, but it could be part of one. Employee pay is not the biggest problem at AC.
 
ElPistolero
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:09 pm

Quoting ANM604 (Reply 45):
I'm not doubting his academic credentials, or his intelligence, but unless he has been invited by AC/ seen the internal structures and numbers of employees

Expert Witness (Air Ontario MEC, arbitration re. merger of Air Canada and Air Canada Regional Network pilots’ seniority lists)
Expert Witness (Canadian Air Line Pilots Association, Air Canada common employer arbitration, CLRB)

http://skip.ssb.yorku.ca/SSB-Extra/Faculty.nsf/faculty/Lazar+Fred#

I'll let you decide how seriously you want to take him.

Quoting ANM604 (Reply 45):
There isn't enough competition to LHR, or in general?

In general. I keep referencing LHR because that is where I fly most, but it applies in general. For instance, a Y+ ticket on AF to India ex-NYC costs 33% or $1K less than the flight ex-YUL/YYZ. Personally, I don't think Canada's high taxes account for much of that. Just weaker supply skewing the balance in AF's favor.

Quoting ANM604 (Reply 45):
You can't compare living in LHR to living in YYC, or anywhere in Canada, short of LHR, look at the demand in that market. It is probably more then the demand of all of Canada combined. I'm really struggling to understand how you can justify the cost of airfares out of LHR to those out of Canada, it really doesn't make sense.

High demand = high prices. Low demand = low prices. That's the standard supply/demand model. Granted I accept your point - I should have specified that I was comparing LHR (or, for that matter, any major hub around the world). Prices at AC. I would never compare YYC (or YUL for that matter) with a real international hub.

Quoting ANM604 (Reply 45):
Canada has a population of ~36 million, there simply is not enough demand to warrant the sort of competition you are envisioning.

That would only be true if airlines weren't requesting more access to Canada. I trust you've read what QR's CEO had to say in YUL a couple of days ago? If not, look it up. There are, apparently, some suppliers out there who believe that Canada has enough 'demand'. TK only just got a 4th slot and wants more.

Quoting ANM604 (Reply 45):
You want competition? No airline is going to enter into a market where the airfares are at the point where they can't cover their costs; low airfares to the point consumers want is not going to encourage competition.

Hmm. Lots of airlines jump at the opportunity to fly to LHR, which offers lower fares than Canada. Lots of airlines also jump at the opportunity to fly to India, which is well known for its price sensitivity. Even AC keeps floating the India canard everytime it discusses the 787. While I agree with the logic in your argument, it doesn't always translate out that way. It might be, as I contend, a simple case of overcharging Canadians, while being content with yields elsewhere.

Quoting ANM604 (Reply 45):
Canada is a huge country with a small population spread out across the country, and coupled with high taxes, it inherently makes flying more expensive then flying from LHR to FRA.

Aviation taxes in Canada may be higher than they are in the US, but I think Europe takes the cake on taxation. FWIW, domestic travel in Canada hardly offers the same level of competition as Europe either, so I don't understand what your point is.

Quoting ANM604 (Reply 45):
There has to be a point where people recognize that airfares can't keep going as cheap as possible, and have healthy airlines making profits at the same time.

I don't disagree with you, but if other airlines can provide the service more cheaply, then why are we bending over backwards to keep AC afloat? So that AC can keep charging high prices and 'surviving' (while simultaenously trying to shortchange its employees)?

[Edited 2012-04-15 14:12:30]
 
threepoint
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:39 pm

Quoting ElPistolero (Reply 46):
High demand = high prices. Low demand = low prices. That's the standard supply/demand model.

Except that you forgot to include 'supply' in your equations above.

High demand + high supply = ? prices. Low demand + low supply = ? prices. It's not as cut & dried as one might think.
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Viscount724
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:51 pm

Quoting yyz717 (Reply 40):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 34):
If AC is uncompetitive, why do they have more than twice the WS capacity and frequency (and generally slightly higher load factors) in major markets like YYZ-YVR and YYZ-YOW/YUL (and many others)?

AC is playing a market share game, that has never worked. They claim they need to feed their int'l routes but they could still do that with much fewer frequencies in NA than they have now.

But with load factors in the mid-80s and everyone saying AC's fares are high, how is that a market share game? There's obviously plenty of demand at those supposedly high fares.
 
ElPistolero
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:52 pm

Quoting threepoint (Reply 47):
Except that you forgot to include 'supply' in your equations above.

High demand + high supply = ? prices. Low demand + low supply = ? prices. It's not as cut & dried as one might think.

I really need to be more clear I think. It has to be read in the context of the statement it was responding to. I didn't bother putting in the supply angle because the assumption in that particular string of exchanges was that the default is supply=low in Canada.
 
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yyz717
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RE: AC Pilots Plot Sick-Out For Friday The 13th

Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:04 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 48):
But with load factors in the mid-80s and everyone saying AC's fares are high, how is that a market share game?

It's market share game that AC is playing b/c they are losing so much money and offering fares well below their level at which to generate investment grade returns, let alone cover costs. As you lower fares, more people will fly but if you cant cover your costs, you fill your aircraft and still lose money. A la Air Canada.

Quoting threepoint (Reply 41):
If WestJet were to suddenly decide 'hey let's fly to Europe and Asia', it would be 2-3 years at least between that decision and the first flights taking off. One does not acquire financing, route authority, landing slots, ground infrastructure & employees, airplanes, hiring & training of pilots, FAs and maintenance staff, create SOPs & operating manuals and a thousand other considerations "very easily and quickly".

It could be done much quicker. Within a month if WS wanted. Look at how quickly WS added a 757 to on a damp lease this winter to operate YYC/YEG-HNL. WS could just as easly add YYZ-LHR with leased 757/767 equipment along the same lines.
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