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I am looking for some advice as I have been invited to stage 1 of the famous CX SO scheme and strangely I am debating if it is worth it or not. I have a JAR FATPL and just under 600TT so am eligible to enter the advanced 32 week scheme with CX. The issue I have is, I am currently 32 and work as an accountant and have been advised that the position as a SO at CX is not very rewarding and could take 5 years to become an FO.
While working as a SO you are not offered a type rating so if you hated it after 3 years and wanted to leave you are no further ahead!
My main aim for advice is, would it be better to stay in Europe instruct and hopefully things will be better within 5 years or bite the bullet and stick it out on low money making bunks beds for the captain at CX as an SO?
Any advice much appreciated.
P.S I am not a P2F troll and won’t ever pay for a TR
My opinion only, It's a tough call, but remember most of the new S/O's haven't thought about this situation at all, nor will many in the future. That means that there will always be enough taking up the cadetship, ensuring it is popular and ensuring that people like you, who are waiting for a better deal, miss the boat. The current influx has ensured that no better contract needs to be offered. If you can afford to, go for it.
Good questions, but my personal opinion is that the European situation isn't going to get any better in the next 5 years. If it does, the beneficiaries will be the P2F brigade, which you admirably insist you won't be a part of.
The SO position is unexciting, and isn't about flying. Most miss the flying, but love the time off. You'll be off about 18-20 days a month, and SOs typically get their fill of travelling, etc.
Most enjoy it, and see it as a means to an end. Upgrade time is about to drop (short term, at least) by 2 years.
It isn't for everyone, but my belief is that industry-wide, conditions are getting worse. The Cadet SO package is grossly inferior to the DESO package, but that's no longer relevant. One must compare to what is about now, not what was available before. I'd say that coming from most parts of the world, the cadet package knocks the bells off most options available.
If you can afford to live on the despicable low wages then it's still a great job in terms of places to go and people to fly with, high operating standard, living the "long haul" dream and all that. But the SO package is truly appallingly bad for an expensive place like HK.
If you are single and like eating pot noodles and sharing a tiny flat with your mates, then rip into it my son!
If, however, you have a better half who likes shopping, or kids that might need an international school or something in the next few years, then think very hard and budget very very carefully.
Shame that CX has come to this, in the 60s and 70s it was THE gold plated standard of all great airline jobs
Give it everything you've got then ask yourself this question again after completion of stage 4 (or however many stages there are). At the very least the experience of the interview could be invaluable later on when something else comes up.
You do realise there are plenty of folks on the 777, averaging out 94+ hours of credit a month in their first 12 months of flying?
This will pay around US$95,000 in those 12 months. You'll probably get a 13th month paycheque. You'll pay but a tiny fraction of the tax you'd pay in the UK. You won't worry about council tax, cars, car insurance, petrol, etc. They'll cover 90% of ESF school fees.
Now, it looks fairly enticing, no? All of a sudden, actually, the Cadet SOs I know are having a blast. travelling at least once a month, during their 18-20 days off.
HK real estate is expensive, there's no doubting that. However, so is NYC, Central London, etc. I have a little credibility here, because I've lived in both of them. However, living here can be as cheap as you can imagine, all the way to grotesquely expensive. But, compare to the hideously over-taxed UK and neighbours, I wouldn't be so quick to harp on about cost of living. Everything else other than real estate can be had for very little.
So, if you cant beat em, join em; buy a piece of real estate, as many cadets have, and have at it.
You're right, it isn't what it once was. Neither is anywhere. Try not to cry about it. It still beats the crap out of what's on offer in the UK, financially.
If you want advice, I'm happy to give you the rundown. I have a close friemd who is a Cadet SO, who can answer your Qs. There are large numbers on here, who think they have the foggiest clue about something which they do not. Shocker, on this yellow site, I know.
Spend an hour or two over in Fragrant Harbour, grain of salt stuff, but you'll soon see those who are on the inside trying to give advice versus those who are crapping on about what their mate said while waiting for their facebook page to update.
ETOPS240 best you run along, your opening paragraphs are a tad on the rosy side to say the least. As for the last...you taking the piss out of yourself? Or just lonely?
Simply put, with regard to the current contract on offer....
Age :20 = yes Age :32 = no
I agree with GFT though, make the decision with a start date put in front of you. Until then, treat the process as research.
I'm as informed as anyone on this. There is nothing rosy about it. It isn't for everyone, but for financial purposes, everything I have said is true. If you would like a breakdown, do advise, and I shall produce one.
Otherwise, run along now, you sanctimonious prick.
While the company is fine, airplanes great, life in HK not bad for the ones liking it, you will still have to deal with the pilots, a bunch of sissies spending their free time complaining on PPRuNe (while not leaving the company...), expecting this way less people will join so they will be able to negotiate more perks, behaviour that made the management accelerating the process of hiring local pilots instead of foreigners.