View Full Version : Contract jobs...
VLS with ice
10th Dec 2011, 16:43
Been reading quite a bit of negative posts on contract companies lately, even on big names like Parc and Rishworth.
Would like to hear some more about contracts, good and bad, from experienced contract pilots.
Currently in the Middle East but looking at contracts (with Europe base)in a few years from now.
I know it's a while to go, but would like to get some info.
PM's would be appreciated.
Thanks for your time.
10th Dec 2011, 16:59
Just be advised that there's a lot more to contract flying than meets the eye, before accepting a contract position, I highly recommend that you make contact with a pilot on the contract, find out all the T&C's that they are on, compare that to the contract available to you.
Don't assume that you will be making the same amount of money as the next guy, it doesn't work like that, there's no seniority, it's all about money, time off and lifestyle.
10th Dec 2011, 18:04
Your payment, time off etc can vary , even in the same airline, depending on the agency you choose. One agency, a long way from Europe, was rumbled for not allowing its contractors to opt for a roster with more time off, as it involved a lower salary, & therefore a commensurately smaller slice of the pie for them. I have seen the same contract (in Turkey) advertised by multiple agencies, all on a different "deal". :=
Time off & salary have all gone West this last 10 years in the contract world & MOST agencies will leave you in the Sh1t if the airline (for whatever reason) doesn't pay your final salary (or if you are dismissed). If it all goes for a can of worms there are no industrial procedures/representation as you "may" have on a normal contract, basically you are out, often without your last salary, & in accordance with the contract, which in all likelihood gives them the right to terminate you immediately with no notice/pay in lieu.
Most contracts have no sick pay, get mugged on the way back from the pub ? . . . . lose a weeks salary whilst your face heals up enough to present yourself for work.
You will always face hostility/resentment from the full-time guys, in your face or covert, it is always lingering in the background as they stupidly assume your deal is better without looking beyond the "headline" figures, this sometimes extends to rostering staff etc, so in certain companies you can expect all the cr@<hidden> on your roster.
1 year contracts can also mysteriously cease after 4mths, usually at the very moment nothing else is available.
If you work for a Belgian company, they won't give you a Hat, as they are only for full-time pilots (take a bow Virgin Express :D ) or a Xmas hamper/toys for your kids on St Nicolas (well you are not Belge , what do you expect ?)
But. . . . . . .
Some companies however will make you very welcome & valued, you will be treated as (or better) than a local, your "attitude" may indeed be a breath of fresh air compared to what FO's/CC/Rostering etc are subjected to by the "locals".
If you do end up working somewhere you don't like, well, off you go to the next contract, it is not "all the eggs in 1 basket".
You can also end up getting to know many places if you regularly chop & change.
Then again. . . . .
Constantly having to perform OCC's & learn YET another way to fly a 737, & be yet again convinced "we know best",and sit through yet another "dangerous goods" initial :yuk: can become a little tiresome after a few companies.
Finally, the choice is yours, funnily enough it has ended up being mine too, & I actually don't regret it, but I have (recently at least) been lucky with both the company & agency I have been affiliated to. Twas not always thus, but I still have a lot more positive memories than negative, so cannot indeed countenance against it. Do your homework, on both the airlines & agencies that you are considering, & you won't do too badly.
Welcome to the Gypsy life, if/when you make the jump.
11th Dec 2011, 00:03
Also remember that you're on PPRUNE, and for every 100 guys that are happy keeping their heads down and getting the job done and enjoying their life, there is always one or two that rear their ugly heads, yell down all other opinions and b!tch like a baby every single time their pet hate airline / job / agency is discussed. They'll be along soon enough :hmm:
Some contracts are certainly fixed term but a lot of others, particularly with those two agency names you mentioned, and particularly with the flag carrier Asian contract jobs such as Korean, Vietnam, China Eastern / Southern - are effectively career jobs, but they can't be advertised as such, due to employment regulations regarding expats in the country concerned.
17th Dec 2011, 22:58
For every 100 guys that “keep their heads down” there will be one or two that raise their heads - ugly or not - and speak out when terms and conditions are not as advertised and the respective agency fails to deliver on promises made. By one or two speaking out, the quality of life may be improved for all - including those who would rather “keep their heads down”.
Remember too, this website is an open exchange of information, opinions and ideas. Those who may be along soon enough, on any thread, just may provide you with the missing information you are looking for. Such information, by definition, will not be provided from someone keeping their head down.