My friend..don't be fooled. Stay away and remain within the boundaries of civilization. Even England, quite incredibly, is better than the Kingdom of Camel Hot. QAFPS two years.. too short. Wait until you will have a taste of the real EK/Dubai. It will sure come ..just a matter of time.
You need to have an idea of what your timeframe is. If you're planning to stay till retirement then well and good, but most people dont plan to stay long term when they first go to the desert. My experience is that most people have a 10 year timeframe in mind. If that is the case then there are a couple of things to consider. Firstly, in 10 years you are extremely unlikely to have accumulated enough wealth to just walk away. If you have, then you a wasting your time as a pilot, you should be a Professional investor.
Therefore you need to consider what your escape plan is. After 10 years you are unlikely to find another carrier that you are in a position to join that offers anywhere near the conditions or security of EK. Accordingly, like many who came with a 10 year plan, you end up being a lifer. Not because you love it, but because you cant find an acceptable alternative. Having said that there are many who do love it. I've been gone 4 years and have an excellent job, but I'm still not sure i did the right thing by leaving
You need to weigh it up with what other offers you actually have. Ba won't recruit for another year and there's already a queue for a start with them so, you will be looking at around the end of 2013 at the earliest. Can you wait that long assuming that your successful in interview? Around 400 have joined since they began recruiting again in 2010 so that's a fair amount in front of you in a seniority driven company.
Apart from that and a small decrease in T&C's it's the best euro job around at the moment in my opinion. It's not perfect but it's close.
I've not been in Dubai that long and it is as I thought at time of interview, not perfect. It is as it says on the tin, not the UK. I accepted that and came here with eyes open and I'm not very often surprised by how things work over here. I know people that came thinking it was the bee's knee's and are so disappointed and so so desperate to get out.
The job ain't that bad and you can do the mix of long or short haul flying as you would at BA albeit all on the same aircraft type. Crews are nice although there seems to be a big them and us culture here and can be seen down route when the crew make plans and don't involve anyone not in their clique.
Having accommodation provided is a plus I think as my salary is mine to spend on fast cars, fancy watches and fast women if I so wish whilst in the meantime someone else pays the mortgage back home for my nest egg should it all go horribly wrong out here and I need out Other plus points. private education for the kids which I can't afford back home, relatively safe environment, large cultural diversity, cost of living comparable to northern parts of the UK, cheap fuel and during the winter 6 months of outdoor living.
If you want send me a pm with any questions and never base any decisions with what is here on PPRuNe. Everyone's situation is different and thus no one can ever question which way you decide to go.
Oh and remember, a holdpool is not a job. Don't place all your hopes and dreams into a holdpool.
I left a 737 command in the low cost world to come to EK to live the dream. Unfortunately it's not been the dream I've been looking for so I've resigned and am heading home after 2 years with the company. Another couple of gentlemen from my previous company have resigned in the last couple of weeks, with no flying job as such to go home to.
I think Kempus post above is spot on though. Everybody's situation is different and I can see why some people enjoy EK. My previous airline seems to be deteriorating to the point that guys are desperate to get out, and with the European carriers struggling at the minute EK seems like a fair alternative.
The biggest challenge to EK is DXB. I wont exhaust this point as its being covered well before. Its essential though that you can make Dubai work otherwise EK could be painful. The advice that most give is come out and experience the place first hand. That's all well and good but you cant do that for a year or two, and unfortunately that's around how long it takes to really know if you can do 10+ years in this place. People sight a lack of hobbies and interests as a reason that Dubai doesn't work for them. I have many and I cant make it work, specially in the summer when the temp hits 40+ deg.
The other point which was made well above is how long do you intend on serving in EK? 10 years does seem to be around average here. The pro company guys will probably be quick to point out that we have guys that are sitting around 20 yrs +. This is true, but I think they forget the meaning of average. 10 years is a long time to spend in a foreign country, unless of course you cant stand your own home abode in which case furry muff. However you are a guest in DXB, you hold a residence visa not a green card. If you find yourself in soapy bubble you can have the carpet pulled from beneath you feet pretty quickly.
Once you've done your 10 years and have your lovely 777 Command, where are you going to take it? I have another 30 years of flying in me (unless EK keeping sending me on ULR's with 20hrs rest in the hotel, i'll be lucky to have 15 years of life left in me lol ). The usual suspects crop up of course, Turkish, Korean and contracting in China. And as pointed out so well by the company lads several folk that have left for these places are knocking on the door for their job back.
I know guys that are very happy here and I'm glad they've found a place they can hang their hat up. Not for me though, I'm very lucky to have got a legacy job back in the uk and I'm not passing up that opportunity. As safe as EK? probably not. But I think i'd have left Mainstream commercial aviation if I had to stay more years in EK anyway.
Interesting that BA keeps popping up in these threads. Many comments about, " I wouldn't go to BA now if they came knocking on my door". I find these comments amusing as the vast majority of guys that came to EK from my airline had failed the BA selection lol... strange
If BA offered me direct entry on the 380, 3 flights a month, 3 year seniority, year round sunshine, a paid for house or flat with bills covered, transport to and from work, their old final salary pension scheme and up to 50% off hundreds of food and bevvy outlets in and around London, then I would consider it.
Instead I would get European short-haul for around 4 years and fleet frozen with it on the 319 or 737, working every weekend for your first 5 years (an important point when in your own country and quite frankly I'm too old to go through that crap) in a cold, grey and miserable climate riddled with recessionary cutbacks and rising costs everywhere you turn. How much longer can British Gas keep hiking up prices 10% every year?
With 32 EK flights per day in and out of the UK, if you ever feel like getting wet and depressed then its fairly straight forward to get back to the UK.
Craggenmore, BA wouldn't hire you now as they didn't hire you years ago. That is why you flew for that shite charter company you call an airline and think EK is a great airline. BA does not hire DECs because they are a good airline to work for. EK hires DECs and you see the terms and conditons we have here. Yes we all know you think that EK is better than that crap airline you worked for. Look around and see how many 777 pilots make more than us and work less but it is a good job for you though.