Got a call from a buddy that is interviewing soon there, He stated that they are gaining some ground on where the majors are reducing service. But they only have one hub and it looks like they are planning some new cities. They have just added Austin, and more to come in 2002. So I am glad someboady is adding flights while the Majors focus on trying to just fill there reduced schedules. Vanguard Airlines, Kansas City's Hometown Airline, provides all-jet service to 15 cities nationwide: Atlanta, Austin, Buffalo/Niagara Falls, Chicago-Midway, Colorado Springs (beginning Dec. 20) Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale (beginning Dec. 10), Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The airline has a fleet of eight Boeing 737s and five Boeing MD-80-series aircraft. They have a new look also, I just saw some of there new paint schemes at LGA. Hope they are managed well. Hate to have another Midway shutdown and bailout situation.
Vanguard has been interviewing for the past month and plans a class in January for 8-16 pilots. These positions will probably be for the MD-80, since we are getting two more -82's in January. We made an application to the Feds for the loan guarantee program, and contingent upon receiving those guarantees have $60 million in backing lined up from one financing group. There has also been a deal inked with Boeing for 6-8 MD-90's along with $5 million in financing. We should announce a couple of new cities in the first half of the year, and more frequent service to some of the cities we currently serve.
Pilot hiring minimums continue to center around 1000 PIC Turbine. I tried to help my cousin get hired, but he missed the requirement (he has lots of large jet time, but only as FE or F/O) and they wouldn't even give him a courtesy interview. There are too many highly qualified pilots looking for work these days. Good for Vanguard, not so good for folks with marginal experience. There is a email link on Vanguard's web site to send resumes to, which got another friend of mine an application in about a week.
I am an F/O with Vngd and have several furloughed friends. They would definitly have to give up their seniority number if they come to Vanguard. There are a great number of high time pilots out there and it is a hirers market. Vngd is taking advantage of that and is not cutting anyone any slack.
I do not blame them for that either. Each airline has to protect its own intrests. It is definately an HR market and they can find many highly qualifuied guys from airlines that have had the misfortune of going out of business. I.E... Midway, Sun Country, etc.......
The pay at vanguard is bad. A new F/O will make about $28 per credit (based on milage of the leg but usually aproximates the number of hours). The pay only goes up about $3 after a year. Captains start around $65 but a career captain will only top out around $100k. You're not going to get rich at Vanguard. The contract is up in 2004 but I have heard rumors that F/O pay may be addressed before then. F/O pay never used to matter because people upgraded so fast but now that has changed a bit so they may bump second year F/O pay a little. Benefits are pretty standard. Medical, Dental, 401K. No stock program. The stock was de-listed from the NASDAQ but don't let that fool you. They have a very good business plan and if nothing else gets in the way, they should do well next year. 3 more -80's in the next few months and a deal in writing with Boeing for 6+ MD-90's with the first deliveries slated for April 2002.
The training contract is still in place. $10,000 over two years. It stays at $10K until month 15 and then begins to pro-rate $1,000 per month until it's gone in the 24th month. I didn't like it but now I think it's pretty academic. I don't expect to get hired anywhere else before my contract's up. You can't blame them. Training consisted of approximately 5 weeks of hotel bills in Long Beach, 2 weeks Flight Safety Groundschool, 6 md-80 sims, Checkride, 5 more md-88 sim sessions of differences. My Hotels alone cost them over $2500.