MSE News: Easyjet passengers told they'll have to fly on Latvian airline's planes

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  • edited 17 March 2017 at 11:41AM
    agarnettagarnett
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    edited 17 March 2017 at 11:41AM
    Dunno and it's relative, isn't it? How many aircraft have they had/got? How many Smartlynx flights have there been - lately/ever?

    Easyjet appear to have some 270-odd aircraft, Norwegian 120-odd, Ryanair 380-odd same type (more than BA who operate numerous types and sub-types).

    Once upon a time I might have said I prefer to fly BA in Europe. Thesedays I prefer to fly Ryanair when I can. I like the size, the consistency and the familiarity. I know what to expect and after years of maturing as a once very edgy offer, I am now pleased to buy into their current MO every time I can. I even have a couple of potential delay claims I could submit but I have resisted so far because in my two cases it was a bit unfortunate for the airline and I could see they swung into action to minimise the delays in quite impressive ways (wasn't always so, but I think it is so now). When I needed their special help a few months ago they again swung into action in magnificent ways - and no charge.

    I would be very surprised indeed to find a wet-leased aircraft on my Ryanair flight and would presume that if it happened it was a last resort decision on their part and not part of their low-cost strategy.

    Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer choice. All airlines are definitely not the same.
  • CKhalvashiCKhalvashi Forumite
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    agarnett wrote: »
    I would be very surprised indeed to find a wet-leased aircraft on my Ryanair flight and would presume that if it happened it was a last resort decision on their part and not part of their low-cost strategy.

    2x STN-based OM- reg'd 734s a few years ago. 180 and 188 seats I believe, so not exactly my idea of fun :)
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

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  • richardwrichardw Forumite
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    agarnett wrote: »
    ..All airlines are definitely not the same.

    There are major similarities though between most of them

    1 Maintaining aircraft is a win-win

    2 Having high safety standards is also a win-win

    Smart Lynx included.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • leylandsunaddictleylandsunaddict Forumite
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    CKhalvashi wrote: »
    2x STN-based OM- reg'd 734s a few years ago. 180 and 188 seats I believe, so not exactly my idea of fun :)

    and a Smartlynx in Summer 2015 :)
  • edited 17 March 2017 at 2:53PM
    agarnettagarnett
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    edited 17 March 2017 at 2:53PM
    CKhalvashi wrote: »
    2x STN-based OM- reg'd 734s a few years ago. 180 and 188 seats I believe, so not exactly my idea of fun :)
    Yes and that would indeed have been a few years ago whilst you were close to the action, Sir!
    richardw wrote:
    There are major similarities though between most of them

    1 Maintaining aircraft is a win-win

    2 Having high safety standards is also a win-win

    Smart Lynx included.
    Sure, if you've the cashflow to handle it and a sustainable business model. I refer everyone to the comment I made right at some posts back - investing a fortune in an airline is so often a route to smaller fortune.

    Repeated MA901(b) certification of airworthiness doesn't indicate to me that investment in the cost of full annual re-certification is seen as win-win, plus if you are dabbling with aircraft owned in the US and Ireland and your aircraft are aimed at Irish and British and Norwegian airlines, why register on a tiny national register in the ex.USSR Baltics? Where's the win in that? Is skilled EASA licensed labour so much cheaper to find there?

    If YL-LCN needs some line maintenance in Luton whilst with Easy, is an engineer from CAMO 1 in Riga going to come over to do it in order to maintain a controlled environment for the next annual MA901 airworthiness renewal certificate or will they accept an Easyjet engineer working on their airframe (CAMO 2) and take the hit on the cost having had a discontinuous control environment and thus of full annual re-certification later? Or can it be deemed a controlled environment satisfying MA901(b) at the end of the day?

    I have no idea how it works in practice - only what I have Googled and shared.

    Seriously, consistency is not achieved by regulation. In practice it can only be achieved by practical management control. Anyone know how it would work?

    I mean, think of the cowling doors that got left open on the BA Airbus that took off at Heathrow three years back. Pretend the doors got opened at Luton on a Smartlynx. Who would open them? Smartlynx? Easy? A third party engineer? Why would they open them? What work might they be doing when they were in there between Easy flights? In a year's time is that entire year certified as a controlled environment under the auspices of a single CAMO i.e. Smartlynx who sign off their own airframes?

    And what about the power units themselves - how might the arrangement with the engine manufacturer differ between a Smartlynx (of which there are a scarce few airframes and engines cf. Easyjet's own) and an Easyjet engine?

    I am genuinely interested in how these things might truly be the same as/similar to, or alternatively not the same as/different to the regimes in place with an Easy registered airframe and power units.
  • coffeehoundcoffeehound Forumite
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    agarnett wrote: »
    I would be interested if someone could tell us (and this is not rhetorical - I would genuinely be interested) why the last Aircraft Review Certificate (ARC) shown on the website for YL-LCN (the aircraft I read about in press releases relating to the Easyjet contract) expired in 2015. What does it mean? Website publication error? Presumably there will be a current Airworthiness Review Certificate?

    <snip>

    So ... not sure whether YL-LCN is currently on an MA901 extension. As I said earlier - these website documents look so much gobbledegook to most readers, but to others, they tend to raise further questions (which I have no doubt Easyjet have asked - and more!).

    Yes ARCs are reissued every three years with extensions issued by the CAMO in the intervening years.
    agarnett wrote: »
    As a further aside, and from the documents on their website, I note that as at earlier this year at least, Smartlynx themselves seemed to be leasing YL-LCN from an owner registered as a Delaware company. A number of the others appear to have Irish owners. As regards the aircraft operator, Wikipedia says that as of 2016, a Netherlands-based investment fund became the owner of the company.

    It is very common, if not the norm, for operators to lease aircraft through finance houses, especially during times of expansion.
  • fifekenfifeken Forumite
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    agarnett wrote: »
    . . . . I think I know enough about aviation, its risks and trends to argue the toss with most on here . . . . .
    It doesn't come across like that.
    agarnett wrote: »
    I have no idea how it works in practice - only what I have Googled . . . . . .
    It comes across like this.
  • edited 17 March 2017 at 5:38PM
    agarnettagarnett
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    edited 17 March 2017 at 5:38PM
    Well fifeken, I don't have to be any kind of expert to come here to MSE and question areas in which I have a long-standing interest, and I don't have to give you my unique CV so you can see where I come from!

    For the avoidance of doubt, I am not employed as a licensed engineer, nor as licensed commercial pilot, nor have I ever been either, nor am I a journalist, nor do I have any agenda other than improvement in the industry for the benefit of theconsumer. However, I am used to reading documents including aviation documents and understanding broadly what is going on with the aircraft at every stage of every flight I take. That's a lot more than most MSE'ers and the general public, unless they are airline managers, aviation engineers or pilots.

    Personally, as a regular passenger at 11 and 12km up who has in the past been involved in two or three separate branches of aviation as a day job, I am disappointed to find airworthiness certification apparently reduced to self-certification year after year by MA901 given that we know that some aircraft like those in question are operated specifically for mixed short term use for different airline principals. How is the maintenance control achieved if the aircraft is away? Perhaps the control is via the pilots, because at least they work for the CAMO?

    I think in such an operation I'd much prefer to see full renewal certification every year, especially if many parties get involved with maintaining the aircraft on the line in the course of the 365 working days of each intervening 12 month period - or does the blessed thing return to Riga to roost every night?

    By my reading between the lines, the (up to) three year cycle of re-certification by extension does not appear to me to have been intended to be used as a norm other than for the major consistent operators. It appears to be an allowable exception if compliance can be certified with MA901 - an exception allowed for aircraft which are operated under a consistent continuous maintenance regime involving only one CAMO (sorry that's in German but Google Chrome will translate) for the entire 12 months prior to any period of extension - is that correct?

    Even large airlines like Ryanair cannot justify their own line engineers at every destination - far from it, but at least they have a closer interest in the day to day operation of the aircraft via their own SOPs and flight profile monitoring, and they have multiple bases. But how does an ACMI outfit deal with the problem of likely discontinuity of maintenance control whilst aircraft are away for weeks? Is there some kind of mandatory continuous operational review that demands a second signing by the main CAMO of every piece of maintenance done away at the earliest opportunity after the aircraft returns to CAMO base? Do they perhaps rely on their own pilots to maintain better than average control of fault reports and to obtain better than average fault rectification documentation from third party line engineers?

    If this was BA I wouldn't be asking in quite the same way, would I? With them, we kind of assume that their own maintenance arrangements at Heathrow and elsewhere are fully integrated with the day to day operations of their own aircraft, and that they are not anywhere near so much reliant on other maintenance organisations - but I appreciate that there are many flavours of outsourcing in any international airline business in 2017.
  • edited 18 March 2017 at 4:30PM
    agarnettagarnett
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    edited 18 March 2017 at 4:30PM
    I think MSE were spot on by starting this discussion.

    If you buy Easyjet you don't expect a tiny Latvian outfit to be given your business. Same as when I flew Virgin just the once in the early 90s and we expected their Jumbos, my missus did not expect parts of the cabin trim inside a World Airways DC10 troop carrier to fall on her head on rotation.

    So - that one was Business Class on the way back and a letter from the other Richard himself!

    What's changed in customer big brand expectation terms since then? And what has changed in terms of the laws regarding fairness to consumers? These are the bigger questions for this forum, but my point is to demonstrate that not all airlines are the same so the services bought ought not to be switched at will to a lesser product operated by other airlines.
  • richardwrichardw Forumite
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    OMG! easyJet have advised me of an aircraft change on my flight from Gatwick! Something different at the back of the aircraft.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
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