Condor Pilot Training oddities

Icarus melt his wings aiming for the sun? Pilots could melt theirs, aiming at the eluding first job in rumors that emerged early 2016 of extended delays after having paid initial sums to Spain-based Condor Pilot Training (not to be confused with Condor -German airline- and its ab initio program).

The usual start - a job "offer"

As seen on AviationCV, proposals include a 737 or A320 Type Rating, payment of up to €79,9k to work 500 to 1000 flight hours and an alleged 2 years renewable contract with a never-revealed airline partner in South America (Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador). At times, a $2.000 monthly salary is provided during the pay-to-fly scheme.


Will this give you pause?

CEO Jesus Funes Navarro also introduced a waiver for all cadets to sign to surrender their rights to claim, attempt recourse or otherwise sue his company. Unfortunately, internal sources report:

  • A320 P2F programs at €40k are suffering long postponement (up to ten months) although pilots paid 5 to €6k to book their slot.
  • 737 cadets that renounced the LT over similar delays were not refunded their deposit pay allegedly because they didn't sign the waiver (while signing it purposefully forfeits the claim).
  • Baltic Aviation Academy has been a €27k A320 TR provider (different invoice prices were given depending on the individual) for which the corresponding €27k LT didn't occur to this day.

Adding that management has reportedly disappeared become increasingly difficult to reach and you have, arguably, cause for concern. Pilots, you have been warned.

Edit Oct.4th 2016: attorney communication received for alleged defamation.

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Atypical EMPL – 1 year and a half later

ECA - atypical employment in aviation

We witnessed first hand and covered the exposure of Ghent University's work to the European Parliament back in May 2015, however we also intended to cover the February 12-13th ECA conference that occurred beforehand (picture above) on Atypical Employment. Given the cheer amount of information to process at the time, today we will lay back and offer instead a list of notable worldwide articles that were influenced by said conference and, most importantly, the Ghent University study.

Spreading awareness

For future reference and research purposes, there goes a non-exhaustive list of subsequent articles, triggered by Yves Jorens' team, IRIS director and Ghent University author of the atypical employment study.

Articles marked with an X are more geared towards P2F specifically

To be updated as new articles arise.

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From the inside: CEO perspective

From P2F enabler Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS). Source: internal.

Words from the CEO: Safe Summer Operations
Published:22.06.2016 By:Helene Løken

We are moving into peak season for our operations. As our May traffic figures show we continue to have a record number of customers on our flights.Norwegian is now the world’s sixth largest low-cost airline and with our global expansion plans, we will continue to climb that ladder.

20 years ago we started flying a tiny fleet of Fokker aircraft on a few domestic routes in Norway. In just four years from now, we will have a long-haul fleet of more than 40 Dreamliners and a solid fleet of 737s. This creates opportunities not only for the customers, but also for us working for Norwegian. We have a growing number of dedicated and competent crew operating from 19 bases in 10 countries, as well as competent and dedicated technical personnel, ground handlers and administration staff ensuring that our more than 26 million customers get a high quality experience.

As you are aware of, we are facing some challenges in our summer operations well explained on Red Nose by our Chief Operating Officer Geir Steiro. The top management team and I are doing everything we can to reduce the impact on our vacation-ready passengers.

Our battle to open the U.S. skies for one of our two EU air carriers (NUK or NAI) continues and I am confident that we will get our lawful permit. We got the provisional approval for our Irish carrier (NAI) in mid-April, and we are waiting for an answer for a permit to fly to the U.S. on our UK carrier (NUK). We continue to meet massive support on both sides of the Atlantic. Even Boeing, which normally does not take a public position on political issues, came out supporting us. The EU has stated that they share our impatience, and has encouraged the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve our application without further delay, arguing that declining to do so violates the Open Skies Agreement, an agreement set up to enable more competition in transatlantic travel. When our EU carrier receives its U.S. foreign air carrier permit, we are closer to fulfilling our vision of offering affordable fares to all by connecting our transatlantic routes with future Asian, African and South American routes. By seamlessly connecting the continents, we are able to build a strong and competitive global operation, in line with our strategy.

In Norway we had an important win in our overall battle to secure fair and equal competition. The Norwegian government has finally confirmed that the national rules will be harmonized with EU rules and practices. Our opponents have argued that following EU rules allowing our Thai and US colleagues to work on Norwegian-registered aircraft is a safety issue. This is of course absolute nonsense. Fortunately, the Norwegian government has made its ruling based on facts, which for us specifically means that our U.S. based and Thailand based crew can stay overnight in Norway when flying on Norwegian registered aircraft. In addition, the current restrictions on wet leasing foreign-registered aircraft will be repealed. Through this law amendment, the Norwegian government finally gives a green light for fair competition, which is what we truly believe in.

On another note, I am also very pleased that our UK pilots now have a collective labour agreement in place. At Norwegian, we respect the right to third party representation and work towards establishing local agreements in all markets we operate – if our staff so desire.

Going into peak season, I would like to ask you all to think of what you can do to reduce risk and improve quality in all our operations be it in the office, our technical halls or up in the air. We have strengthened our Group emergency response preparedness by placing it as a Group function. I would like to underscore that all crisis communication and management is based on Norwegian as onebrand. This is important as we have an obligation for the care of our passengers as well as our co-workers and all of us have an important stake in making sure that happens.

I wish you all safe summer operations be it in the air, or on the ground, working together to make sure we together continue to deliver award-winning service to our customers!

Best regards,


The Words from the CEO is open for questions and comments. Comments and questions will be read and answered in a separate questions and answers document in due time.

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‘Europeans for Fair Competition’

...urges the European Commission to enact the Aviation Package

Luxembourg, 6 June 2016Europeans for Fair Competition (E4FC) is a coalition of concerned Europeans who have unified across EU member nation boundaries and labor-management lines with the goal of establishing a level playing field with countries that subsidise their airlines in violation of European air service agreements, notably the United Arab Emirates and the State of Qatar.

Evidence shows

...that the nations of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have injected over €39 billion (between 2004-2014 alone) in government subsidies and benefits into their state-owned airlines. These nations and their subsidised airlines have used these funds to develop services and massive capacity between Europe and Asia via their hubs and are proceeding with a certain number of strategic investments in European airlines to feed their own operations, capture, and shift market access. European airlines and their employees can compete with Middle Eastern airlines directly, however, it is an entirely different matter for them to compete with Middle Eastern governments that heavily subsidise their state-owned airlines.

The "European Aviation Strategy"

In December of 2015, the European Commission introduced a comprehensive strategy for the European aviation sector. This strategy, commonly known as “European Aviation Strategy”, includes “fair competition” principles and language introducing new methods of addressing unfair practices from third countries and third-country operators through adoption of comprehensive EU- level agreements.

Call for action

It is vital that the EU continues to pursue a comprehensive policy that strengthens the accessibility of European hubs to safeguard connectivity and consumer choice long term. We, therefore, call on the EU Commission and Transport Council to deliver to the European Commission a mandate to negotiate with third countries EU level Aviation Agreements that include strong provisions guaranteeing fair competition. We also call for the inclusion of the oversight and enforcement procedures necessary for any future air services agreement to be concluded between the EU and third countries, notably the State of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, where massive government subsidy distortions are already wreaking havoc in the European aviation market. We finally call on the Commission to implement its Aviation Strategy by promoting the adoption by the European Institutions of a new defence instrument guaranteeing protection of EU air carriers against subsidisation and unfair pricing practices from third country airlines

To learn more and take action visit:
Like them on Facebook:
Follow them on Twitter: @CompetitionEU

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Royal Air Maroc : lies exposed

Following our previous coverage of Royal Air Maroc's (RAM) refutation of P2F collaboration, despite already proven deals, the time has come to probe the existence of its ties with the rampant cartel involving P2F advocate Baltic Aviation Academy (BAA).

RAM Initial claims

"Slanderous allegations aired on the "Pièces à conviction" TV show. [BAA's] claims according which [our] company resorts to foreign pilot training without "requiring prior evaluation", are untrue [as we] never collaborated with [them] [...] The producers relied on a bogus testimony to bolster erroneous conclusions [so we] will sue"_source

Testimonial credibility

We contacted Julien Fournier that agreed to share his mail exchange with anonymized BAA Projects Manager Renata Kudabaitė, prior the release of the TV show. We enhanced authentication with the provision of Ms Kudabaite's business card collected on site (both recto and verso):

"Regarding your questions: You are right, [€62,5k for RAM] are only for line training [...] during [which] there is no salary [...] To start any of [these] programs, pilot needs to have TR already [...] For [...] RAM and Vietjet, pilots can apply with TR from other ATO's [than BAA]".

The network - insider revelations

Comes the story of John.

Instead of accepting a P2F proposal with Blue Air in Romania, John, B737 Type Rated at BAA's in july 2014, settled for 500 hours with RAM like 27 other pilots, as shown in his communication with BAA Project Manager Ingrida Reket:

Vilnius-based aviation conglomerate Avia Solutions Group (ASG) trading in Warsaw since 2010 (€12m turnover in 2015) oversees 20 services firms in Baltic countries mostly, Russia, Cyprus and the UK (Storm Aviation Ltd) as well as Indonesia (Avia Technics Dirgantara). Chaired by Lithuanian oligarch Gediminas Ziemelis, since 2013 the group capitalizes on Deputy CEO Daumantas Lapinskas's network, former Lithuanian Vice Minister of Economy.

Pilots can also come from AviationCV, the advertising platform (50 hiring partners)...
... and benefit from loans via Cypriot Pilot Management Services (PMS - known for blackmailing pilots) as these documents attest in a deal with Small Planet Airlines, also owned by ASG until 2013.
BAA's Project Managers, such as Mrs Reket (L) & Mrs Kudabaité (R), relay necessary communications to the pilot...
...under the supervision of their Deputy Sales Director, at the time of John's agreement, a Simon Portnoj.
The tripartite 1st agreement involves the pilot with Tritar Consulting Services (TCS), a firm based in Sousse, Tunisia, to which is due a downpayment of €27.5k prior starting ground school...
...TCS being led by Tritar Mansour (that John met Jan.3 2015 in Casablanca), a Sousse local personality (former Rotary club President) and Flight Administration Manager of low cost Nouvelair.
The 3rd party in the 1st agreement is administrated by Zied Zerelli, a former Deputy Consul of the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, namely...
...Type Line Training (TLT), registered in Casablanca, Morocco, to which €10k is due upon airline enrollment, another €10k prior starting the sim sessions and €8k after the first flight.

The 2nd agreement is between TCS and Royal Air Maroc. The airline "enrolls" John by screening his titles and selling the flight hours as training.

Another Sousse LLC registered in sept. 2011 was officially aquired by TCS in July 7 2015: Type and Train (TT), that also provides p2f pilots...
... and works "very closely" with Brookfield Aviation, Ryanair's former p2f dealer, selling the job worldwide to this day.
Thus, Tunisair also makes pilots pay to work since 2012 (at least), as shown in a contract edited by Mr Tritar, where 300h sold 56,950€.

RAM then uses CasaAero, its 2005 joint venture with Boeing Flight Training (a Boeing subsidiary) where ground school and sim sessions are performed.
Mr Tritar already working for Nouvelair, it is no surprise TT sells them p2f, as was done as early as 2012 as shown here and there for €62,5k and €59,65k respectively.
Along with Karthago Airlines, also from Tunisia...
...the 3 Tunisian airlines founded ATCT in April 2005 with 2 banks (BH et BNA), EASA TRTO granted in oct.2010, notable stockholders Thales and Airbus, processing P2Fers within this facility.
Since 2012 at least, RAM express also sold 500 work hours €14k via the Toulouse base of the Hong-Kong-registered Malaysian ETOPS LTD
John met CasaAero Technical Director Abdel Ilah Zamrane, that coordinated his ground courses between Jan.6 and 17 2015, a test on Feb.4, other courses between Feb.11 and 23, and the final exam the 23. The sim check didn't take place until May 19. Due to several delays, John rated Mr Zamrane's services as "disorganized, disrespectful and unprofessional".
ATCT gave rise to indivuals like Tarek Benaissi, Quality Manager and contact of the firm. He can be seen "pimping" pilots for Qatar Airways, on social networks here and there, and "recruiting" platforms such as DirectaeroJobs for Lybia or even... on AviationCV of course (see above) !

At this point, every middle man providing no discernible services whatsoever, walks away with a commission... except for the actual pilot. Mercifully, we omitted the involvement of RAM with EagleJet, yet another P2F broker...

Defrauding "customers"

Worst, by May 19,
John and his colleagues waited for
their moroccan licences, badges, uniforms
and be transfered from CasaAero to RAM. One last training day took place in June 9, after which flights were supposed to happen. Mr Tritar tried to reassure his "customers" in June 12, only for John to figure out in Aug.25 only 3 or 4 Captains were willing to fly with them.

Disgusted, John left RAM in Aug.26, 2 pilots having left already with 6 others to follow a few months later. Over 27 pilots, only 3 had their agreement honored and flew with RAM. Judiciary action was attempted but rebutted.

Verdict: guilty

In an industry infested with parasites (such as P2F father Thomas Cooper, disreputable Jean-Marc Bollinger, delusional Michael Hickey, infamous Stephane Hoinville), a sad day has come when a national airline covertly indulges in villainy with pimps and racketeers of that ilk.

In the hubristic exercise of denial that followed, RAM flushed its credibility down the toilet, while the truth remained like the feces that wouldn't.

Edit June 10th: "to put out the fire, RAM had to halt their P2F, grounding several of their aircraft"_Source

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Frontrunning: May 16

  • Small Planet Airlines : German AOC secured 3 days ago to fly for tour operators TUI and Thomas Cook, echoing controversial strike-breaking wet-lease with Norwegian. Soon more p2f in Germany (in the footsteps of Cockpit4U and Germania) ?
  • Ryanair : internal sources reveal upcoming APCC agreement for new cadets. Roll-out date undisclosed.
    • 6-year agency pilot contract (no direct employment - turnover issue someone ?)
    • Type Rating + MCC + JOC to Ryanair standards
    • Cost €35,000
    • Initial deposit of €5,000, refunded after 6 years
    • To be paid in full if pilot leaves (!)
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Avia Solutions Group – sirens aren’t real

Already getting media attention for all the wrong reasons, one of our readers drew our attention on the Avia Solutions Group. As a reminder, the Lithuanian holding (overseeing 20 services firm) owns the largest eastern p2f cashing machine known to date:

Fake Linkedin profiles ?

Reviving Greek mythology, it seems Avia Solutions wants us to believe in Sirens, beautiful creatures luring nearby sailors pilots with enchanting commercial songs to shipwreck transfer money on the rocky coast of their island exotic bank accounts.

... or the copyrighted work of Russian Milles Studio for Shutterstock ?

... or a model from a New York based firm ?

Avia Solutions admin ? A make-up model ? Or simply american writer Sarah Dorn ?

... or a model on a wallpaper ? What about...

... who looks a lot like model Sydney W. Not convinced ?

... clearly Emma MacLaren, model for Burberry, Elle, Glamour, Vogue. Still in denial ?

Meet Finnish model Julia Johansen for Vogue, Elite, Giorgio Armani and Chanel Couture.

The Avia Deception Group

Well, we have bigger fish to fry. Either successful models are extremely playful, or someone somewhere understood 96% of pro pilots are male ! Mr Linas Dovydenas might want to check on the tooth fairy, this one is up to no good :

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Royal Air Maroc p2f scandal

This March 23 aired a French TV report about p2f notably (with our proud participation), exposing Small Planet Airlines, Vietjet and Royal Air Maroc among the offenders.

We knew since 2012 Royal Air Maroc (RAM) was involved in pay-to-fly, selling 500 work hours 14,000€ through its subsidiary RAM Express via the Toulouse base of the ETOPS intermediary agency (as proves this contract), but it seems media caught up to further facts only today, triggering a scandal long overdue :

Obviously, RAM denied everything altogether claiming "false allegations, fake testimonials and defamation" in an official press release the same day :

With a coming challenge to court against the TV report producer, we already know how they're going to spin this, arguing their pilots are screened against selection during the p2f program while the report stated accurately that to reach said program, you only have to pay (and not be screened).

We hope this technicality won't distract future investigators from the facts:
RAM does make some of their foreign pilots pay to work... while local pilots asked 2 extra years of education to reach engineer degrees remain unemployed for some reasons.

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Frontrunning: February 29

  • Pilot "shortage" : ABN AMRO to officially discontinue pilot training financing in Sept.2016 (after admitting weak pilot job prospects in 2012)

    "Under the current conditions, this activity no longer fits in with [our] product offering".

  • fd. : "The job market for pilots is so bad that the banks do not see much incentive to finance the training of new pilots".
  • De Telegraaf : "The risk is too big given the negative market developments, financing pilots in training is not profitable for us anymore"
  • In lieux of airline investment : Swiss Federal Goverment to subsidize pilot training as per a decree in force starting last jan.1st (French|German).
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