Industry Outlook:

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
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I read somewhere that the 717's are one of the cheapest operating airplanes per seat mile, even cheaper than the regional jets. Has anyone else heard this?


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Actually, MD-80s and 757s have a lower seat cost per mile than an RJ.

DCI RJ's are around 14 cents and an aircraft like a 757 is around 9 to 10 cents
 

BrettInLJ

Well-Known Member
What are everyone's thoughts on what would happen if the average airline pilot's salary was half of what it is these days? Lets say budget airlines with much lower payscales and less pilot-friendly contracts dominate the industry in five to ten years. Do you think there would be a shortage of pilots?

Personally I don't think so, because there will always be people waiting in line for an airline job because it is such a passion for so many pilots. Maybe the average experience level when they are hired will be lower, but I don't think safety would be compromised given proper training. I grew up in an airline family and I know pilots are not overpaid, so I don't know what the result would (will?) be.

I hope the economy gets even more global after it recovers and people start making friends overseas more so there will always be a growing demand for the big-iron transoceanic flights. That way after flying CRJ's for 15-20 years, a senior captain can hope to move up to those flights and start making a salary in the low 100's (scary thought but that's what the future may hold).
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
I dunno, if I was paid half of what I earn, knowing what I know now and seeing what I've seen over the years, I'd probably look into a different field.

This job is hard on your personal life, physical condition and most airline pilots only live a few years after mandatory retirement. The "Death Notice" boards at work are filled with captains that retired a few years ago that died of various reasons.

$50,000/year seems like a lot of money to kids fresh out of college, but considering a Honda will run you $30,000 and an average starter home in PHX is roughly $200,000, $1,300 every two weeks after taxes doesn't go very far.

Yes, I still have a burning passion for aviation, but by no means am I going to let my desire to fly be manipulated by some geek MBA that wants me to work for appreciably less money so he can get a bonus from the board of directors.
 

A320_DUDE

Well-Known Member
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I dunno, if I was paid half of what I earn, knowing what I know now and seeing what I've seen over the years, I'd probably look into a different field.

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You know when I tell people (non-aviation folks) what I plan to do for a living....thats exactly the what they tell me...."look into something else". When I tell people that are in the industry what my plans are.....the reaction is totally different. They're telling me their own stories,and give out some great advice. Hell I've made more friends in the last 4 years than I can count! That's one thing that will help this industry pull though.....the people. No matter how bad the news is....layoffs,paycuts,bankruptcies....whatever we still bust ass to keep our planes flying.

That's why I'm really not worried.....UA ans US may fall,nobody wants to see that but it is a possibilty.....but the industry as a whole will stay somewhat intact. What people don't relize is that this happens every 10 to 15 years....the industry goes though a very bad slump. The last time Pan Am and Eastern fell. But the industry got better and stronger. It will happen again.......sure the pay will be lower than before,and will be flying smaller airplanes than before....but the industry will survive.
 

secretapproach

New Member
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This job is hard on your personal life, physical condition and most airline pilots only live a few years after mandatory retirement. The "Death Notice" boards at work are filled with captains that retired a few years ago that died of various reasons.

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Whoa! That's a new one for me. Hey, I'm all for low pay, and eating mac and cheese (mmmmmmm...mac and cheese) for a while because I think I would enjoy the private to instructor to airline route. But death!?! Are there any statistics on that anywhere? What are they dying of? Any specific diseases? Loneliness after having a tough personal life? Being alone can make people sick.
 

mpenguin1

Well-Known Member
One of the Boeing 717 instructors is standing over my shoulder, here is a little bit about the 717, Cliff you are on:

Major differences on the 717,
Full Glass Cockpit with six 8"x"8 liquid crystal displays.
FADEC controlled Engines (tremendous fuel savings).
Primary Navigation provided by Two ADIRU using satellite
Unlinking communications.
Dependent FMS Aircraft (FMS must be functional for
Dispatch -Boeing Style FMS- No European).
Totally re-designed Electrical System.
Totally re-designed overhead, center instrument, pedestal
Panels.
Factory equipped with mandatory installed Cargo Smoke
Detection system.
Alerting system is incorporated in the Electronic Display
System on DU (Display Unit) # 3.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Well, the theories are:

a. Extreme amounts of "basic?" radiation
b. More exposure to UV radiation
c. Bad effects of having a broken circadian rhythm (especially true with me)
d. More exposure to pathogens (de-ice fluid, passenger-borne viruses, etc)
e. Big time stress.
f. Diet (or lack thereof)
 
Not to mention the basic day of a pilot...

1)Get up and report
2)do paperwork
3)do walk-around (the most physically strenuous activity of the day)
4)sit down and fly for hours
5)get to layover city
6)boy, I'm hungry; grab greasy prepared food
7)sure am tired...go to bed
8)wake up...start at #1 and repeat for 3 more days
9)Get home; eat 'real' food...go back to bed

It's a friggin' recipe for disaster
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
I think the worst part of the whole 'rest' issue is that when I get to a layover city, my brain is still traveling at 550 mph. So I get into Kansas City at 11:30pm at night, spend another 30 minutes deplaning and putting the aircraft "to sleep", usually arrive at the hotel at 12:15am (short layover hotel), then get checked in and get to the room (12:30am).

Then I spend the next 2 to 3 hours wide awake flipping thru the 8 cable channels the hotel has, or peruse the latest posting on jetcareers, force myself to go to sleep around 3:00am. Sleep until about 9am, sh*t/shower/shave, and be ready for pickup downstairs at 9:30am for a 10:55am pushback.

Keep in mind that my body is in west coast time and we do a lot of east coast flying at times! Ack!

Or my favorite is a 4:45 pickup in NYC for a 6:15am pushback. My body thinks it's 1:45am at pickup and 3:15am at pushback.
 

davetheflyer

New Member
Pretty much where we are now. I think that UAL and USAir will not be the only airlines in bankruptcy. I think that UAL will survive, no thanks to the machinists (according to USA Today, their current unofficial motto is "Highest pay until the last day"). The BK judge will probably approve pay cuts for UAL.

I think that there is no question that the regionals will continue to expand as the majors cut costs. Low fare, low frills outfits will also do well. I think that for much of the flying public, their choice of airline is based solely on cost of the ticket.

The full fare majors are obviously going to be hurting for at least 3-5 years. This is based on their high fixed operating costs, not just labor.

Wild cards are the current war fears, terror attacks, and how many pilots will flood the market if one or more companies fail.
 

Louie1975

Well-Known Member
Hey Doug(& A300 capt, or anybody for that matter):

Does the radiation thing ever bother you? I read that a transatlantic flight is equivalent to a chest x-ray. I think I also read that the actual cancer rate for airline crew isn't really that much higher than the general population, I think the concern becomes for pregnant women and maybe some other cases. But getting nuked a couple times a week(I'd love to fly transatlantic) isn't a comforting thought. I guess I'l deal with getting nuked if I get to fly a Boeing/Airbus JFK-Athens!

Those guys in the GV flying at FL510 must be getting fried. But I know they dont fly as much as airline pilots.
 

Snow

'Not a new member'
Well I'm trying to look at the bright side being a prospective pilot. Surely you think the benifits outweigh the bad aspects or else you wouldn't be doing it?
Sure it's a pain being out at hotels at weird hours but all the time off without having to write reports and such must be nice, not having to take your work home with you.

But isn't it a case of, if you love what your doing, then everything else will fall into place? You do love the flying don't you?

Me personally, I think what pilots have to put up with is a million times better than having a office job, that would drive me nuts.

Are you really unhappy with what your doing or just idly complaining? Maybe you'd be happier as a corporate pilot Doug?
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
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Well I'm trying to look at the bright side being a prospective pilot. Surely you think the benifits outweigh the bad aspects or else you wouldn't be doing it?
Sure it's a pain being out at hotels at weird hours but all the time off without having to write reports and such must be nice, not having to take your work home with you.

But isn't it a case of, if you love what your doing, then everything else will fall into place? You do love the flying don't you?

Me personally, I think what pilots have to put up with is a million times better than having a office job, that would drive me nuts.

Are you really unhappy with what your doing or just idly complaining? Maybe you'd be happier as a corporate pilot Doug?


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Nah corporate aviation is, in a lot of ways, worse than the airlines because you may be part-91 and all of the rules and protections of part-121/135 don't apply. Plus, I wouldn't be comfortable with the ever present possibility that the company would sell the aircraft and utilize a fractional to keep costs down.

We don't have to write reports on our off days, but we do have recurrent training, 5 1/2 hour poorly written recurrent groundschool on a CD-ROM... We have way more bulletins and memos than the law allows (and many conflict with one another).

Some are funny like "If you have a control malfunction in flight, please be sure to follow applicable procedures while noting flight control deflection, airspeed, altitude, throttle position, level of automation and atmospheric conditions and include that in your report".
 
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