"6000 airline jobs...created in 2002"

enigma

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Re: Slander, fraud and Kit Darby

bobbysamd said:


I appreciate Enigma's opinion that the oversupply of pilots has kept wages down. But, consider this passage from page 248 of Flying the Line: "In the face of an almost constant oversupply of pilots, ALPA has somehow managed to protect the minority of pilots from the 'iron law of wages.'" (emphasis added). This book was written in 1982. Food for thought. Since then, airlines have demanded and received givebacks from pilots, and pay has been affected. The author does not provide statistics to prove a pilot oversupply, but his observations recognize that historically there has not been a pilot shortage.


Thanks for the proper definitions of slander, fraud, etc.

Now to your phrasing in the paragrah I quoted above, you said you appreciate, But. ..... As if one fact overruled the other. I don't see any conflict in my statement and that of "flying the line". The oversupply of pilots has kept average wages down and ALPA has managed to protect a minority of pilots from that market pressure. That fact supports one of my personal favorite theorys, that being that unions don't really protect us from management, they protect us from those who would work for less. The corollary to that theory is that management is not the enemy, the enemy is those who would work for less, or free, or even pay for a job. The only flaw to that theory is that management attempts to prove it wrong on a daily basis, so I conceed that we need protection from management as well. :)

One of the points that I was aiming at in my Union Mindset string was that the unions have lost the economic protection that regulation afforded, but continue to act/negotiate just like pre 1979. Before deregulation, the unions held an iron fist on jobs. A new airline couldn't use the available cheap labor because they couldn't get permission to fly a route and the established airlines were willing to give what the unions demanded because in the absence of competition, they could just raise faires to make up the increase. After deregulation, we have seen the business cycle at its worst. Soaring highs and depressing lows, with very little stability.

As for a pilot shortage, I've used this before, so for those of you that have heard it already, I apologize; but Charles Lindberg wrote in his first book that it was hard to make a living as a professional pilot in the twentys because of all of the pilots who were willing to work for nothing. I'm paraphrasing, but you get the drift.

regards
8N
 

enigma

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Hugh Jorgan said:
It's a free country, free market, Kit has a product and a market for that product. Naturally, he is going to market that product in such a way as to attract more business. I think anyone spending the coin on that product is under no false illusions. Nobody is twisting your arm to join Air, inc. I'm just happy I don't see Kit on here plugging his product in this forum daily.

Hugh, I agree with your point about Air,Inc.s product. I'm not down on Air,Inc.'s product, and if I needed such information, I wouldn't hesitate to send in my dollars.
Where I differ with you is your contention that people that spend coin on the product are not under false illusions. I keep up the industry enough to know that many new entrants were enticed by the rosy predictions published by the job help industry. I conceed that most wannabees don't need AIR, Inc. to get them interested in flying for a living, (there's one for ya Publisher), but I do believe that they only actually decide to enter the profession after hearing all of those misleading stats. I started this string after I found a AIR, Inc. news release in FLYING magazine that implied there would be 6000 pilot jobs created by the airline industry in 2002. You can bet that there are student pilots out there who were getting discourage after 9/11, who read that and thought "well maybe I'd better stay in the career. After all, FLYING just printed a statistic saying there would be 6000 new jobs this year".
I remember what it was to be a student pilot with stars in my eyes, except I had glasses on those eyes, so I didn't start my career thinking that I would ever be an MD80 Captain. I just wanted a good job that included flying an airplane. However, the highlight of the month for my fellow students was the arrival of the FAPA magazine/newsletter, etc. They would pass one around all day while they counted the money they would make once they got out of college.
regards
 

bobbysamd

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Flying the Line

No, Enigma, I wasn't implying that the passage in the book trumps your comment. I was just adding the quote to try to give a sense of history and perspective to Kit's supposed pilot shortage. Even twenty years ago, Flying the Line's author, George Hopkins, was pointing out by inference that there was no pilot shortage, and there had not been a pilot shortage.

There's no conflict at all in your statement and the book's. It's true. Consider the pitiful wages paid to commuter pilots. $12K for a new FO? Consider the responsibility. I have no idea how much regional equipment costs, but that FO is responsible, at least in part, for that airplane and for the safety of its passengers. Think about it. It's an awesome responsibility - and first-year pay is $12K. And, the commuters get away with it, because of the oversupply of pilots and management having noooo problem finding people to fill those seats.

I appreciate your logic. Management is still the enemy, though. Given management's druthers, it would still prefer to pay squat and work pilots to the bone (and grave). It can, because there are so many pilots available. Consider the likes of Frank Lorenzo and Carl Icahn. Go back into history. E.L. Cord.

Actually, I, too, looked forward to receiving my monthly copy of Career Pilot. I looked forward to reading about career help and to receive some job app and interview gouge. Also, to learn about companies. I never went into to flying for the money, but because I loved aviation. I was telling my wife and mother tonight at dinner that people should go into aviation for that reason only, and not because Kit proclaims the beginning of another pilot "shortage."

I guess Pub is right. I'll get off the soapbox, again. :)
 

pilotyip

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Management view

Your view of management is too narrow, true there company's management that fits your profile, but there are many companies that value there employees, Jet Blue seems to be one, Fed Ex, SWA may be others. There has never been a shortage of pilots wanting flying jobs, but as I have said before the experience level of the new hire had dropped to all time lows last year. We were hiring pilots who made Captain in 3 months, who two years before we would not have even interviewed because they did not met our minimums. Kit does a good job with his shows and it his job to promote his product.
 

publisher

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one more

Let me throw one more element into the equation that does not get enough recognitrion on here.

That is passengers pay for this whole thing and they are willing to pay so much. In the end, that drives the system.

To greatly simplify for the point, there is a pool of money that is available for crewing aircraft. What the complaint on the one hand is that the guys on the bottom of the rung do not get paid enough. Obviously the guys on the top like the deal and the guys on the bottom want to be like the guys on the top. Trouble is that there is just so much available.

This is not a supply demand problem, this is a distribution problem as the public will only pay so much.

To change this systemic problem is very difficult. This is especially true as the business traveler is getting tired of paying proportionately more than every one else.

As that travelor says no more, I am going over here to SWA or Comair or somewhere else, the situation will continue to deteriorate. It needs to be addressed.
 

enigma

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Re: one more

Publisher, This IS a supply and demand problem. Especially in a deregulated industry. Before 1979 it wasn't specifically affected by s & d, but now it most surely is. You confuse me, you are from a business background, yet you don't see the plain reality of s & d. While the MEC's at the major airlines can limit the effect of s & d at their specific airlines with their LEGAL contracts, they can't affect the overall business environment. For instance, the DALMEC can prevent DAL from hiring pilots at market wages, but they can't prevent AirTran from hiring pilots at market prices. The effect of this is clearly seen by anyone who flys into ATL. AirTran has made significant inroads into the market.

An oversupply of cheap labor and the lack of an entrenched "high cost" business structure has enabled AirTran, JetBlue, etc to offer a service to the traveler and those companies have grown. In the pre1979 airline economy, new entrants were effectively barred from the industry, a condition that allowed wages to rachet up with the concurence of both management and labor.

The solution to the problem is not really that difficult to see; it is manifesting itself right now at USAir, DAL,etc. Those carriers are doing whatever possible to access a pool of cheaper labor. Ignoring scope, making deals with their mainline MEC to "allow " their regionals to make less, spinning off their regionals so as to avoid any seniority list staple, etc.

As for your argument that there is only so much money available to pay for labor because the public will only pay so much; I must say that SWA refutes that argument. SWA has made a ton of money off of making low fares available to the masses. When SWA enters a market, the entire market grows. I'm sure they do take some pax from the established carriers, they also bring new entrants into the economy. I should say that I jumpseat on SWA quite often and just in case there is a perception that SWA is only carrying trailer park trash, that is not the case. I would guess that SWA carries at least the industry average in business travelers, if not above average. In Texas, I would guess that well over 40% of their pax are on business, maybe 50%.

It is unfortunate that our unions choose to bury their heads in the sand. They've had opportunities to get all of us together and they choose to continue a system that you have properly identified; they want to keep all of the money for the senior guys at the majors. That is a honorable goal, but it ignores the fact that their airline employers must operate in a competitive environment; and it seems as if it might just bite them in the behind.

My basic argument is this: the deregulated environment allows new entrants into the airline market (JetBlue, Spirit, AirTran, etc. ) to access the available oversuppy of labor and then use that cheaper labor to make inroads into the market. If these new entrants compete directly with the established carriers (JetBlue, AirTran, and to a smaller extent Spirit) and gain market share at the expense of the more established carrier; then the over supply of available pilots has affected the pilots at the established carriers. Supply and demand.

A corollary to my basic argument is that the oversupply of pilots encourages management to treat pilots with disdain. Why should a manager treat a pilot well when there are 50 more standing in line to take his place. I am not a management basher, but I do see way too many examples of this type of management style to ignore it. To reiterate my credentials as a supply side guy, I don't blame management for the poor treatment as much as I blame the pilots who stand for it. We continue to be our own worst enemys. Now if Air, Inc. etc, would just quite encouraging newbees to enter a saturated field, we might have a chance to let the true demand speak.



regards
8N

BTW, I'm not advocating that we artificially limit the supply as happens in medicine. I only want to stop creating an oversupply, A situation I see as being somewhat the result of the efforts of the pilot hiring industry.

publisher said:
Let me throw one more element into the equation that does not get enough recognitrion on here.

That is passengers pay for this whole thing and they are willing to pay so much. In the end, that drives the system.

To greatly simplify for the point, there is a pool of money that is available for crewing aircraft. What the complaint on the one hand is that the guys on the bottom of the rung do not get paid enough. Obviously the guys on the top like the deal and the guys on the bottom want to be like the guys on the top. Trouble is that there is just so much available.
This is not a supply demand problem, this is a distribution problem as the public will only pay so much.

To change this systemic problem is very difficult. This is especially true as the business traveler is getting tired of paying proportionately more than every one else.

As that travelor says no more, I am going over here to SWA or Comair or somewhere else, the situation will continue to deteriorate. It needs to be addressed.
 
Last edited:

publisher

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sorry

Sorry, I do not think you are on track here.

One of the differences between the Japanese philosophy of business and American is that they figure our what the market is , what share they want, figure at what price point they have to be at to get that share, and then and only then figure out how to produce the product at the cost.

Southwest is a perfect example not the contradiction you seem to see. They are not cheap labor at all. They priced their product at what the pubic would bare and produce it at a cost they can profit while paying reasonable wages.

Frankly, at the wages they pay, there would always be the supply you are taking about.

There is no question that deregulation had a tremendous impact. What you are failing to see is that had that not happened, there would not have been the growth at the carriers in the first place. Sooner rather than later there would have been a passenger revolt.

This is why one list and these other artificial constraints are sure to fail in the long run. There will always be carriers that are not playing by the rules of the game everyone seems to think are required.

This is not a supply demand argument. There will always be sufficient supply for the average wages in this industry. supply will meet demand.

I will give you my standard example--- it is worth so much money to a bank to have their checks flown to the Federal Reserve. Airnet does a great job of that. When they have to pay $345,000 for a pilot to do it, it is not going to happen. No more Airnet.

The thing is that if I am willing to pay $40,000 for that job and it makes sense at that number, I will have pilots to do it. The supply will fill the demand because it is a good job at reasonable return for effort. End of story
 
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