Well, I tried to do some comparisons on joining CX, EK or QF today.
I assumed command in QF in year 14(currently 14-15), CX after 9 years(will slide out to at least 12+ with RA65) and after 5 years in EK(currently 3-4years). Note, both EK and QF already have RA65 - but QF's only allows the older pilots to fly domestic and not all older long haul guys do the type transfer.
A career model is only as good as your assumptions. I tried to keep it 'apples with apples'. With QF I assumed the CX guy went on a base as soon as he cleared the JFO hurdle and then, later, only spent 1 year in HKG as a CN. I don't think that last assumption is valid now as RA65 will most likely reduce the availability of Aussie CN basings for quite a while - 10 years+ probably. No science to that assumption, just personal belief! ANyway, in the QF CX assumption the CX guy would have been in Oz for more than half of his first 10 years subject to the same aussie taxes but not enjoying free parking and long service leave;-)
For Emirates I think it only fair that I 'gross up' their earnings to equate with CX salaries. That is, $100K HKD equivalent tax free is really $119K (ie $119K less 16% tax is $100K). I have not included their ERP(Exchange Rate Protection) pay which is up to 7.5% of their salary. This is paid regardless of when you joined. It is paid if your home currency has appreciated over the last 5 years versus the USD(Dirham is also pegged to USD at 3.66). At the moment, Aussies, Canucks, Kiwis and Poms are getting the maximum of 7.5% ERP and have been for the last few years. Like I said, I have NOT included the ERP in these calculations.
In simple terms, ignoring tax etc and using recent exchange rates.
After 10 years in QF you would be 25% ahead in gross earnings vs CX. After 10 years in EK you would be 28% ahead in 'net' earnings vs CX - with ERP it is in excess of 30%(7.5% applies to salary, not their HDP).
Note - EK and CX career comparison is more accurate as both treated as expats - assumed constant 16% tax in HKG.
EK profit share averages more than 4-5 weeks a year. If you apply current CX profit share formula to last 15 years, you get an average of 10 days profit share.
It is very difficult to accurately compare different airlines with different pay/rostering rules in different tax jurisdictions. For example, I(with the help of an Aussie based friend) recently did an analysis of 10 AIrbus aussie based CX CNs using QF rostering rules and payments. Their average pay would have been $260K vs their CX pay around $205-$215K. Now, QF guys of that seniority would have defined benefit schemes vs CX 15.5%. And QF get free parking, free taxis for about half of the trips and long service leave which has NOT been included in the comparison.
Why did I choose 10 years? Because over 2/3rds of our pilots have been in CX less than 10 years. I can easily do the calculations for 5 years or 25 years. But how many of us plan to be in HKG for 25 years?
a_a320busdriver, i got a couple of mates in EK who really enjoy it, i know there are stories to the contrary though. Also Etihad are a good bet from what i hear. F/O job at CX is not the holy grail by a very long shot.
I just love PPRuNe. You can write any innuendo you like and it must be true as anything written in response is just validating the original statement's veracity.
Mini Cooper. Approx 94 guys left EK last year before retirement age. That equates to less than 5% of their total pilot workforce. A huge percentage of their CNs are Direct Entry - I think it is of the order of 20-30%. WHy have DECs? Because they have had trouble getting everyone to upgrade. The EK salary was so low a few years ago that they had to cast the net far and wide to find people willing to work for them. The consequence was that many that joined are not suitable to be upgraded at the 3-4 year mark.
Work rate - well, with that 5% leaving and rapid expansion some of the AIrbus guys were pushing 900 hours. This year the annual hours will be much closer to 700 hours.
So how do you raise the standard of new joiners - you pay more. EK gave a 17% payrise this year(6% on base salary, 11% in newly introduced HDP). EK payrises have been in excess of 40% over the last 5 years - or in excess of 50% if you include the effect of their Exchange Rate Protection.
If an EK pilot did up to 84 CX style credit hours, he would currently be getting $63.7K HKD(grossed up for HKG tax) as a year 1 FO and if he gets his command in year 5 he will be on $100.3K. I have not included profit share as we can just assume it is the same as our 13th month and profit share combined - well, actually it is more but not worth worrying about. They have rent free or buy schemes like CX. Apart from free utilities most of their benefits are on a par with CX.
Why do people leave - FOs don't like having DECs? Long term CNs want to return to Australia/home country?
By the way, since EK have 3% increments vs CX's current 1.8%, the gap between an EK and CX CNs' salary continues to increase with time!
So EK pilots leaving in masses heh? Will be interesting to see how many this year versus how many leaving CX after the announcement of the pay rises! I think the CX historic rate was less than 1%(not counting retirees). I know from some mates in Virgin Blue management that a bunch of their pilots have done interviews with EK - wonder how many Virgin Blue guys did CX interviews?
The attraction of EK used to be quick commands (3-4years vs CX 12+ years with RA65). Now it is quick commands AND more money than CX.
Actually Mini cooper, I apologise. Maybe you posted that negative view of EK to feel good about being in CX? Maybe you are in EK and think the grass is greener in CX? I have a good friend who has worked in both so I have had some great insight.
Lets just say that when they are handing our awards for "Best Human Resource Management of Airline Pilots" it will be neck and neck between CX and EK - for the wooden spoon!
Forgot to mention for those types that don't remember numbers like me. Currently a year 1 FO(not JFO) in CX gets $67K a month and a year 1 CN gets $103K a month. Very close to EK numbers - except you get the FO 1 in CX about 4 years after the EK guy and you get the CN 1 salary about 7-9years after the EK guy!
Current CX payrates for FO1 and CN1 put us at 1991/92 A scale levels - can't wait to see what year we move up to after all the payrises.
Hmmmmm - 1992 for FO 1 and 1993 for CN 1 - still, I am only guessing;-)
By the way, the exchange rate in 1992 was 5.6 for AUD and 13.66 for GBP.
Why have I never included housing? Well for a couple of reasons.
Housing allowance is based on where you live. HKG is dearer than DXB. I get no more benefit from renting for $72K than I did 13 years ago when I rented for $39K. In both schemes I ended up paying around $5-6K HKD per month.
In both companies you can get a lesser amount for purchasing but presumably you will need to downgrade your standard of housing in order to pay it off in a reasonable time frame. That is a personal choice and should not be included as not everyone wishes to, or is capable of, downgrading their housing requirements.
I have been to DXB many times. I can assure you that EK housing is far superior to what you can get in HKG - they are usually partially furnished and free utilities to boot! To get close to EK standard you have to rent above the RFZ. So maybe to make the comparison fair, I should assume all CNs rent at the upper ceiling and therefore cost themselves $5-6K a month more than the EK package?
So no I never include lifestyle choices. I try to keep it simple and 'apples with apples' as much as possible!
NC, dont work for any of the afore mentioned so have no axe to grind, but am looking at, and do have friends in, HK. Dumbing it down to my level, to bank 100k in Oz you have to be paid ( roughly ) 140K to earn 100Kaud at CX or Dragon dont you only have to earn 100K ? ( due to 13 month bonus ?? and low tax ) Also there is no hsg allow in Oz, if you are lucky/unlucky enough to live in Sydney and dont want to live in a war zone or drive 1 1/2 hours to work you can conservitively kiss goodbye to 2000k net a month ( 24 a year ), also contrary to popular belief ( mainly from those " lucky " country die hards ) it is not a cheap place to live and in the top 5 ( overall ) taxed countries in the world ( consider that higher taxed countries look after you when you retire, not " pi55 off, you own too many things " ) I have friends at QF who would be on around 160-170K as an F/O ( more than 10 years of service ) and would be losing circa 50K in tax. That takes them down to say 110-120aud minus rent?
Personally I don't have a problem with someone earning 120K a year after tax for sitting in the right hand seat, I think it sounds quite fair for someone with a truckload of widebody experience who can probably save his/her company many times that by the wisdom gained in those years leading to good decisions in the air and on the ground. Having said that, I'm looking at both Cathay and Qantas at the moment, don't you love recruitment drives! The rental and schooling assistance that Cathay offers looks pretty good as a perk. How does it stack up in reality though??? Is it enough to get a place big enough to offset the loss of that Ozzie dream, a backyard big enough for a barbie and a game of touch with the kids??
Back on thread, QF are losing a steady stream of pilots to EK at the moment (many of them short haul guys) and even a few to Jetstar due to an agreement for sharing seniority numbers that would put a QF transfer in a left hand seat within 18months.
So is Cathay worth leaving Australia for even with the perks???
I can tell you right now that the great Aussie dream will take years in CX to recover (if at all) nowadays. If it's a backyard and BBQ area you want, then the HKG lifestyle will not be for you. As a S/O, you will be struggling to find a decent pad - especially if you have a family. Without a family, the housing allowance will get you a cute (read: small) pad in town. The touch will have to be played in a field shared with lumps of dog crap.
The education allowance is ok, but these days some parents are finding it increasingly difficult to get their kids into the good schools. There are other threads and web articles on this, but suffice to say that to guarantee a place in some schools, a hefty and upfront payment will be required.
Having said that, long term the housing is ok if you can weather the initial dump in lifestyle. That is of course, unless CX decides to play with that again!