19 Oct 2013

Nienke Groenendijk ‘Pilots are slowly strangled by their debt ’Netherlands...RYANAIR INVOLVED IN A BIG WAY.BROOKFIELD AVIATION ''sham;;

Many things are wrong with recruitment and training inside the aviation world at present with BANKS cashing in on FAKE pilot jobs that do not exist...You can read a great article below from Airobserver who will tell us more...

Nienke Groenendijk-Feenstra is a science journalist who investigated on the alarming unemployment rate of the pilots in Netherlands. She found murky links between banks, pilot schools and airlines, making profits at the expense of the dreams of young Dutch people aspiring to fly. Her book, De vervlogen droom (literally translated ‘the evaporated dream’), is a moving testimony of a lost generation of pilots. She accepts to tell us more about it in an exclusive interview for Air Observer.
Hi Nienke! Thanks a lot for accepting this interview on Air Observer. I must admit something about your book unsettled me right away. People usually believe that being a pilot is a glamorous, unique experience. But you seem to see things differently…
Hi Roman, thanks for inviting me to Air Observer. Unfortunately, lots of people still believe being a pilot is a glamorous job. I use the word ‘unfortunately’, because many young people dream of becoming a pilot and imagine themselves in a large jet, thundering down the runway, surrounded by pretty stewardesses and visiting all parts of the world. However, since the low cost carriers entered the aviation industry, this is no longer the case, except for flag carriers such as Air France-KLM or Lufthansa. The life of pilots that work for airlines such as Ryanair or other cheap airlines is not glamorous at all. It’s hard work, long hours, no flights to exotic destinations, just plain commuter trips. Their salary – if they are lucky enough to receive a salary and don’t have to work as a contractor – is barely enough to make a living, let alone  to repay the huge loans they had to take out for their CPL (editor’s note: Commercial Pilot License) and ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot License, ed.).
Can you describe to our readers the exact nature of the employment system you denounce in your book?
In my book De vervlogen droom, I denounce the system that a government owned bank hands out huge loans to young people that dream of becoming a pilot. These loans are based on a dream and a high school diploma.
In the Netherlands there are 65 flight schools, and about 11 of them offer an integrated training course. They are very expensive, more expensive than anywhere else in the world. The Dutch bank ABN AMRO is the only bank providing these so-called ‘pilot loans’.
Student pilots have to pay 800 euros per month to cover their ‘pilot loans’
FTO’s (Flight Training Organization, ed.) and the bank lure young people who dream of becoming a pilot and offer them loans of 125,000 euros, or even more if they need to pay for a type rating afterwards. The students have to pay an interest rate of appr. 6% from day 1. That is a lot of money: about 700-800 euros per month. This means the students have to borrow extra money in order to pay their monthly interest. Most of the students that have graduated since 2008/2009 have been unable to find a job as a pilot and they are completely stuck. They can’t start their own life and often end up in a lowly job, because nobody wants to hire a pilot. ‘Hire a pilot? You’ll be leaving us soon for your glamorous job!’
It seems to be one loan after another… Do they manage to cover their debt eventually? What happened if they do not find a job?
They are slowly strangled by their debt. The lucky few that are hired by an airline usually have to take out another loan to pay for their type rating, or in the worst case, to pay a dubious broker to buy them a cockpit seat somewhere in Asia.
I think it’s unethical and perverse that a state owned bank continues to provide these loans, since there is no security at all, except for the invented system with so-called ‘guarantee funds’. The students pay between 5,000 and 6,000 euros and if they can’t find a job as a pilot ‘the guarantee fund will take over their interest payments to the bank’. And that’s the catch: the student pilots, who often don’t get to see these contracts between the flight school and the bank until their first day at school or never at all, feel safe. They think they’ve paid a lot of money for this so-called security, that actually only protects the bank.

“Student pilots often don’t get to see these contracts between the flight school and the bank”

I think it’s insane this whole situation is still going on. Flight schools still recruit new students and the ABN AMRO still provides loans. Everybody is making money at the expense of these young people with a dream: FTO’s, the bank, the Dutch government (medical, exams)…
Some pilots consider themselves lucky because they were able to get a job via a pay-to-fly construction. Actually, to me that is not a job. A job is something you get paid for, not something you have to pay for yourself. It’s a perverse system. The subtitle of my book ‘De vervlogen droom’ is: Pilot, from hero to mercenary. Need to say more?
How many pilots and first officers are concerned in the Netherlands? In Europe?
At the moment, there are between 1,300-1,400 unemployed pilots and their number is still increasing. Most of them are pretty desperate, because they have to pay a huge amount of interest every month, they can’t find a decent job and they almost all still have to live with their parents because they cannot even rent a room.
I don’t know about the numbers in Europe, but I know the problem also exists in Belgium and the UK.
Why is such a thing happening?
Because there is too much money involved. The FTO’s make a fortune with their trainings, the bank charges a high interest rate and the LCC’s are thrilled that pilots are willing to pay for their own training. This not only saves them money, but to some airlines like Ryanair, the training of the cockpit (and cabin) staff is highly lucrative. In Indonesia, the locally trained new pilots are put on hold and the pay-to-fly pilots from Europe are welcomed on board. Of course, they first have to fork out a fortune for their training, gracefully lent to them – yet again by the ABN AMRO bank.
I would like to go back over what you said on banks and industry professionals. Could you tell us more about the links between the two?
I think there might be a conflict of interest. The FTO’s need the bank, because otherwise their students can’t afford the training. The bank needs the FTO’s, because the students are considered cash cows, and pay a lot of interest for their loan.
I think, but unfortunately I can’t prove it, that some FTO’s might pay incentives to the pilot desk, a special department of the bank. I know for a fact that one Dutch FTO hires freelancers to tell lovely fairy tales during their so-called open days and that those freelancers (who know next to nothing from the real aviation world) are paid a large amount of money for each student they manage to lure into this school. To me, this means the information provided is not objective, and even biased.

“The FTO’s need the bank, the bank needs the FTO’s: in the end, pilot students are considered cash cows”

By law, the bank has a duty to protect people against borrowing too much money, but until recently the information about the flight training provided by the bank was unclear and incomplete. These young people trust the bank, and take out the loan to fulfill their dream of becoming a pilot. And even today, FTO’s tell prospects that there will be an enormous pilot shortage in 2034 or so. They conveniently forget to tell them what to do for the next 20 years.
Could it be that this system is a consequence of the pressure of airlines employing pilots with Irish contracts?
No, I don’t think so. Since there are so many unemployed Dutch pilots, the ones that can start working for Ryanair are thrilled. Moreover, the bank is happy to lend them the money for their type rating, and indirectly helps Ryanair boosting its profits. They don’t care, a job is a job.
I’ve spoken to pilots who had a job and also had a significant number of flight hours, but were still unable to pay back their loan because their salary is too low. I know a pilot who has a loan of almost 300,000 euros and works for an Asian company on the black list. How is he ever supposed to pay back this money? I just don’t understand why the bank doesn’t realize most pilots are underpaid nowadays. It’s like the bank still has its own dream.
What does the Dutch government plan to do about it? What about Europe?
Questions were asked in the parliament and ABN AMRO promised to restrict their loans to cadet pilots. They told the State Secretary they would only give a loan for one new student when the FTO in question has ‘placed’ two graduated pilots.
In an interview I asked the bank what they meant by ‘placed’, but their answer remained vague. In fact, they are not keeping their promise. Last month a FTO started a class with 15 new students and I’m pretty sure they have not ‘placed’ 30 graduated pilots from their waiting list.

“Europe should stop these slavery contracts that definitely affect the flight safety”

I have sent a copy of my book to our King Willem Alexander, who happens to be a licensed pilot, to draw his attention to this enormous problem. I received an answer from one of his representatives stating that my book and accompanying letter have been handed to the State Secretary ‘for handling’. I truly hope this will work and that the government will finally act. As for Europe? I think Europe should stop these slavery contracts that definitely affect the flight safety. I just can’t understand how they can invent all kinds of silly rules about the size of banana’s and just let this pay-to-fly cancer grow into our aviation world.
What will you do next? Do you have another book on tracks?
I’ve almost finished the Dutch translation of the French book ‘RYANAIR, low cost mais à quel prix?’ by the Ryanair captain using the pseudonym of Christian Fletcher. I read it when working on my book and decided to buy the translation rights and publish it in the Netherlands and Belgium. It will be published on 22 November and believe me, it’s a page-turner.

John said,
Great that journalist out there are printing these serious issues regarding pilots and banks.
Ryanair used Bank of Ireland for many years,who gave out training loans of £3000 to probationary cabin crew.With hundreds if not thousands not able to pay this loan.After i contacted the bank's ceo and others about this loan,in 2009 they stopped,well not really. Ryanair had gone to the Allied Irish Bank and set this loan up again.Again i contacted the ceo and others in 2010....December 2010

                    VICTORY ''Mr O'Leary''

18 Oct 2013


Photo of ''Bondo''David Bonmderman
''Hypocrite- Sociopath''
As you can see from the tracking on this blog,Rothschild Group New York have paid a visit.
You can see they are looking at my post about David Bonderman the Ryanair CHIEF who is responsible for EXPLOITING thousands of young Ryanair probationary cabin crew for profit.
Rothschild ( Label IP Address 0 returning visits
United States FlagNew York, United States    

(Encrypted Search) 
17 Oct18:27:26

14 Oct 2013


News today from Spanish press. Ryanair, which was supposed to pay a compensation to a passenger who was denied boarding, couldn’t pay the €2000 damages it was due. Ryanair’s Spanish account only has €67 to its name!
Upon reading the article of the Spanish newspaper El Pais, I cannot pretend I wasn’t a tad bewildered. The biggest European carrier, with over €570 millions of profits to its name, running out of cash? Sure, Ryanair is experiencing a bad time, but it couldn’t be that bad. It all sounded like a bad joke to me.
As the reading goes on though, one quickly realises what it’s all about. When the Spanish Tax office came to realise that Ryanair’s bank account, which was to centralise every cent received by Ryanair – remember that Spain is a federal government -, was desperately empty, they dug a little further. It seems that the money is sent back to Ireland. Therefore, there’s no way the plaintiff can receive it except if they send an international mandate to Dublin, a member of the Spanish Tax office said.
This isn’t the first time the airline resorts to crafty mechanisms to avoid having its profits seized by the law. Indeed, an investigation from a French journalist had revealed that the carrier would send money received from airports to tax havens, such as the Isle of Man and Jersey.Report from 

John said,
Ryanair use RED bags which are in the possession on Pilots who deliver the cash from all bases in Europe,to Stansted then on to Dublin Airport...Millions in CASH is delivered to the Ryanair head office and it would not surprise me to learn that the Bank of Ireland are moving the cash to offshore accounts..
More breaking news to follow regarding the RED bags next post....