I posted earlier (see #89) about young Orville.
I wonder if his experiences can help clarify what is happening in the hold pool.
Orville is an A320 FO who interviewed in March in DXB. He has just over the minimum hours, so obviously no command experience and is currently employed and flying in Europe.
He is also one of the 24 who got pulled out of the pool this past week.
So a few things come to mind:
1. if there were 140/150 guys in the Hold Pool, then it would seem sensible that there would be roughly similar numbers of Airbus and Boeing drivers. So selecting 24 Airbus guys implies that maybe over 40 Airbus guys were left in the pool.
2. Based on Orville, there doesn't seem to be a bias towards unemployed guys as he is working.
3. Again, they don't seem to mind taking guys with lowish hours or without command experience.
For what its worth, this implies to me that there is a selection process to whittle down the numbers from maybe 70 ish (i.e. 50% of the hold pool) to the 24 they chose. The selection process doesn't look to be hours based (i.e. having lots of hours doesn't seem to count) and being unemployed also doesn't seem to count a great deal.
For the Airbus, they obviously would choose guys capable of putting on a CCQ course - but assuming most Airbus guys could be put on that course, there must be a further method of choosing the final 24.
What's left? Well, it could be completely random - "Congrats, you won the Lottery"
- but somehow, I don't think that is the way they do it.
Seems to me the only thing left is they use a selection process based on how well you did in the tests, and particularly in the sim. They deliberately didn't give a sim in a type you were familiar with, in order to make the session that much more difficult - but also to test how you handle adversity and unusual conditions. My suspicion is that provided you tick all the other boxes, they probably select based on your sim session and test scores.
Just my 2 cents worth.