Hi everybody, I am a teenager and have always wanted to be a pilot it has been my dream since I was 4. I just wanted to know if it was better to do the Cathay cadet programme or the Dragonair cadet programme, I've always wanted to do long haul flights and fly the 'big' aeroplanes (The 777 is my favorite aircraft followed by the 747). But I'm not so keen on being an SO (for 6 years I think it is now please correct me if I'm wrong) and there are lots of people complaining about how the pay is not enough to live in Hong Kong. Dragonair you go straight to FO and because of this the initial pay is better. Please can you tell me what exactly the pay structure IS for Cathay SO and cadet Dragonair FO and what you're opinion is on the best deal, as I said I prefer Cathay but if it means 6 years of not flying and not being on a very good pay then I'm not too keen. Thanks in advance for all your information and views. JJ
How long is it if it's not 6 years? What do you mean by Dragonair cadets are not ridiculed? Are Cathay cadets? On the Dragonair careers website it said a cadet can expect to get about $69,000 per month plus a $20,000 allowance however on the Cathay careers website it said a cadet can expect $45,000 per month with no mention of an allowance, can you explain the plan in more detail?
From seeing all the posts about the 'inferior' contract and people complaining about it, it seems money matters, to be honest I am much more leaning towards Cathay but I just don't want to regret the choice, and anyway both of them are flying aren't they? When I talked about Cathay and Dragonair, the first thing that attracted me to Dragonair was not the money but that it goes straight to FO which would mean I get more flying time.
Localcadetflyer - hats off to you for taking the time to write an informative post with a reasonable comparison. However, for the op, if you really want to fly, personally as the days of making reasonable money have come to an end, I'd be inclined to get a degree in something useful, get a real job where $$progression is possible, and use my excess $$ to fly for fun. People have this fixation that flying big a/c is fun. Let me ask you, what do you think you'd have more fun in, a racing car round a track, a rally car round the city, or a double decker bus on a deserted freeway? Seriously, apart from the departure and arrival, the job can be monotonous to the extreme. That's not to say it's easy - the bean counters who in conjunction with the circus clowns who run the circus think we should be paid less and work more as we appear to do little behind the locked door. However, as pilots we know we get paid for what we CAN do when a wheel comes off the trainset. Thankfully it seldom happens, and when a Surabaya or Sully type incident occurs, pilots become flavor of the month, for a week or so, until the bean counters decide they can't afford to pay mangement(sic) bonuses unless they can cut pilot costs even more. This is the sad reality of the downwards spiral of the profession at present where we have been dummed down to bus driver level - (with apologies to bus drivers). So, work on your subjects at school that will give you the best chance of uni entry, get a good degree, get a real job, fly for fun in your spare time, aerobatics and formation flying can give you a buzz, kick some parachutists out the door and beat them to the ground. If you want to drop other things, join an air force, they'll teach you how to fly(for free), visit different countries, met new people and bomb them. If that all fails to convince you to have fun, join CX over KA, security would be better, initial $$ not quite as good, but chances of flying bigger a/c is higher with CX than KA. Be good at eating sandwiches and making the bunks. Good luck. Oh, and did I mention consider getting a real job?
@localcadetflyer, thanks so much for the time and effort you put into your post, it really helps me and answers all my questions.
@longtimeincx, I understand that flying commercial airliners will not be as 'fun' as acrobatic flying etc. but it's always been my dream and I think I understand what flying an airliner is like, I play on flight simulators a lot (on the computer) and I recently did a week at Cathay and observed a flight sim session where the pilots were flying the plane like they would normally (I think it was for their retraining every 6 months). It has always been my dream to fly commercial jets and to be honest although I don't have much experience in either, strangely I find commercial flying seems more interesting and fun.
@whatsit doing now, I'm going to take that as a compliment but I was trying to seem a bit preffessional because if I write like a dummy then people people wouldn't take me seriously.