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I agree there to some extent Martyn, I personally am enumerated at a scale about 30% above the average for my profession, but not the highest paid by any means. Perhaps Fat Cats was a poor choice of words. What I was trying to say is that many pilots, particularly with the do called flag carriers were paid far more than was the average for that profession. I think it harks back in the UK to the old nationalised days of BOAC, where the BEA pilots were the poor relation (and those were Norman Tebbits words who was a BOAC pilot). It is still the case tht AF and LH are paying their long haul pilots salarys way out of kilter with the industry norm, and due only to the historical ineptitude of those who ran airlines in the 1970’s when being a pilot was considered a dangerous job. Of course I do not think pilots should be paid peanuts, and in most airlines they earn a decent enough salary that does not threaten the very existence of the airline they fly for. I mean for christs sale, Air France pilots hardly have a reputation for being very good, yet they are the highest paid in the world. Are they worth it…..NO.
Regarding the most skilful part of a pilots job being to problem solve…again…..agreed. But do you Martyn have higher expectations on. a 747 or 777 than you do on a 737 or a320?, I doubt it. if pay equalled skill I would only ever fly LH or AF long haul…..but I dont. I don’t even consider it, I expect the airline to ensure the flight crew have the requisite skills irrelevant of pay or aircraft type.