Qatar leasing A320 to BA to cover disruption

Back to Forum

Tagged: , , ,

This topic contains 100 replies, has 28 voices, and was last updated by  goalie11 23 Jul 2017
at 11:13
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 102 total)

  • JohnnyG
    Participant

    Announced today on Jethros fleet listing that BA are to lease 09 (nine) A320 from Qatar Airways
    for the period 01 Jul 17 – 16 Jul 17
    This is to cover planned operational disruption by its Mixed Fleet cabin crew.
    Additional periods may be added


    greyhawkgeoff
    Participant

    At last a decent 2×2 business seat in BA European short haul fleet! If only it were a taste of good things to come.

    let us hope that the lucky few to experience this can persuade Alex Cruz to sign the checks to re-equip the whole fleet pronto.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    I believe that BA has applied for a permit to wet lease these aircraft, however, EC1008/2008 states

    (8) In order to avoid excessive recourse to lease agreements of aircraft registered in third countries, especially wet lease, these possibilities should only be allowed in exceptional circumstances, such as a lack of adequate aircraft on the Community market, and they should be strictly limited in time and fulfil safety standards equivalent to the safety rules of Community and national legislation.

    Is the 8th strike in 7 months, by part of the cabin crew really exceptional? Are there no community sourced aircraft available?

    Not sure if this application is a slam dunk, as attractive as it would be to QR senior management under the present circumstances (who own a slug of IAG). If it goes through, there should be some great headline opportunities for the press, ‘strike breaking, oppressive regime, banned from flying to other Arab countries for funding terrorism, human rights etc. etc.’. (for the avoidance of doubt, I’m not saying the above is true, but just visualising what the UK press may float).

    I wonder how much it would cost v restoring the cabin crew travel concessions?

    Time to buy some popcorn and watch this space.


    openfly
    Participant

    The 18yo BA work experience kid who signed this contract thought it was a good idea at the time without knowing or realising the implications of involving anything associated with Qatar! The comedy or errors continues…..


    Flightlevel
    Participant

    It does ofcourse cost nothing to restore travel concessions in fact airlines make good profits from the activity.
    QR A320s maybe at cost only since they would otherwise be grounded and the staff redundant. A wise financial move for both airlines, ‘though not politically?


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    It does ofcourse cost nothing to restore travel concessions in fact airlines make good profits from the activity.
    QR A320s maybe at cost only since they would otherwise be grounded and the staff redundant. A wise financial move for both airlines, ‘though not politically?

    If they are allowed to do it, I agree. Given QR’s stake in IAG, it makes complete sense.


    StephenLondon
    Participant

    Well, given QR crew will be brought in as well, it will be interesting to see how BA people react to the on-board service. QR normally have six cabin crew on an A320…BA have four, I believe, unless the CE load is extremely high. Time will tell if they will be serving a normal CE product / BoB…although the latter could be an issue given lack of training on BoB. Will Qatar staff be happy to cook and hand out bacon rolls?
    What a time for the Head of Customer Experience to be sent packing…he could just have learned a thing or three about service. Oh well.


    Edski777
    Participant

    Isn’t this “breaking a strike” and are there no laws against it?
    I agree that QR is an improvement and letting QR taking over all of BA and implementing QR standards right away would certainly be an improvement for its passengers.

    I wonder when the union decides to let a court take a look at this. Or maybe they wait until the QR planes land.


    openfly
    Participant

    According to theBAsource.com the application to the CAA for this “foreign” wet lease is for a period of “up to 2 months”.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    Isn’t this “breaking a strike” and are there no laws against it?
    I agree that QR is an improvement and letting QR taking over all of BA and implementing QR standards right away would certainly be an improvement for its passengers.

    I wonder when the union decides to let a court take a look at this. Or maybe they wait until the QR planes land.

    Edski777, don’t rely on this as advice :-), but IIRC the UK allows strike breaking, though some other EU countries forbid it.

    On the other hand, doing some rational thinking, is this really a smart move by BA?

    – how much will this cost (if allowed by the CAA) versus the cost of settling?
    – mixed fleet is currently small as a % of of the cc, but over time will grow and become more critical – is it wise to rub their noses in the dirt – unions have long memories

    It is difficult for me to escape the feeling that senior BA/IAG management seem to love a fight.


    Mark Caswell
    Keymaster

    Unite has issued the following press release regarding BA’s plans to wet lease the Qatar Airways aircraft:

    Aviation authority urged to block British Airways leasing Qatari aircraft to cover strike

    23 June 2017

    Britain’s largest union, Unite today (Friday 23 June) is calling on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to turn down an application by British Airways to charter or ‘wet lease’ nine Qatari registered Airbus that it wants to provide cover for a two week strike by mixed fleet cabin crew.

    Writing to the CAA, Unite warned that the lease could be in breach of aviation law, if British Airways was unable to demonstrate that an equivalent level of safety standards would be applied to the aircraft.

    Under European Union law, British Airways must demonstrate to the CAA that ‘all safety standards equivalent to those imposed by the community or national laws are met.’ As part of this a thorough examination of all applicable records, training and maintenance must be sought and provided for aircraft, engineers, pilots and cabin crew.

    Pointing to Qatar’s inferior flight duty time limitations and rest requirements, Unite warned that unless these had been ‘transitioned’ to meet EU requirements and a standardisation visit had taken place by the European Aviation Safety Agency, the ‘wet lease’ would not be compliant.

    Additionally, Unite warned that if a bi-lateral international agreement between the EU and Qatar covering ‘wet leasing’ does not exist then approval for the lease would not comply and should be automatically refused.

    Unite members working for British Airways’ mixed fleet are set to strike from 00:01 Saturday 1 July to 23:59 Sunday 16 July amid accusations that the airline was operating a ‘blacklist’ by sanctioning cabin crew who took strike action in a long running pay dispute.

    Commenting Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “The Civil Aviation Authority must refuse British Airways’ application to ‘wet lease’ aircraft from outside the European Union as it is doubtful the airline can demonstrate it is compliant with aviation law covering safety.

    “British Airways should be focusing its energies on resolving the dispute instead of seeking to lease aircraft from half way around the globe at an estimated cost of £5,000 per hour.

    “That it is leasing the aircraft from an airline found to have breached international standards on labour and human rights by telling female cabin crew they would be sacked if they became pregnant is doubly shameful.

    “It is an entirely avoidable waste of resources on behalf of British Airways and would not have happened, if the bosses had accepted our compromise offer on the outstanding issue of sanctions.

    “Instead, British Airways faces the disruption of a two week strike and legal action on behalf of over 1,400 mixed fleet cabin crew over the way it targeted striking members of cabin crew.

    “We would urge British Airways’ bosses to come to their senses and think again.”

    A ‘wet lease’ is a leasing arrangement where one airline, the lessor, provides an aircraft complete with crew, maintenance and insurance to another airline. Previous strike action by British Airways’ mixed fleet cabin crew led to the airline wet leasing aircraft from European compliant airlines, such as Titan Airways, Vueling and Thomson Airways.

    Unite is ‘vigorously’ pursuing legal action against British Airways on behalf of 1,400 cabin crew, who were sanctioned for taking strike action in a long running pay dispute.

    Central to the claims will be the accusation that British Airways has formed a blacklist to impose sanctions on striking cabin crew. Sanctions have included cabin crew seeing bonus payments worth hundreds of pounds taken away and the removal of staff travel concessions.

    ENDS


    Mark Caswell
    Keymaster

    And here’s our news piece, with a link to the CAA application notice:

    British Airways applies to wet lease Qatar Airways A320s


    canucklad
    Participant

    Two things spring to mind here…..

    As I suggested on another topic, this BA management team have been expecting ,possibly even spoiling for a fight and seem to have prepared a “War room” mentality at Waterside.
    In Scooby Doo terms they are the Caretaker desperately trying to get one over on those pesky kids. A pathetic,self destructive and totally unsustainable way of managing industrial relations in the 21st century.

    Possibly more concerning, for us all , is that the Qatari’s also seem resigned to losing 9 aircraft for a period of time. With yesterdays 19 day ultimatum, potentially this should be more worrying for us?


    mkcol74
    Participant

    Has anyone heard if the CAA have approved the application?


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Speaking in Brussels today, CEO Willy Walsh (when asked about the Qatar Airways aircraft) is reported by Reuters as saying “I’ll be pleased to say that those airplanes will fly … ”

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUKKBN19K2FK

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 102 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription

To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below

Polls