South Asia and Far East WannabesA forum for those applying to Cathay Pacific, Dragonair or any other Hong Kong-based airline or operator. Use this area for both Direct Entry Pilot and Cadet-scheme queries.
When you're in Adelaide you don't get paid a salary, you get about $100 AUD each week as an allowance.
It's only when you return to HK will you start getting that salary.
The cadet program has a 'forgiveable loan' for around $1.1 Million HKD, of which the 55 week cadets will use it all up to cover training costs.
For AE candidates they will actually be able to get part of that $1.1 million as a lump sump payment once they finish training (pro rata'd) because they only spend 32 weeks in Adelaide, so naturally they will not use up the whole $1.1 million that Cathay 'loans' to the candidate, and as such will receive the balance.
I've just joined CX as an SO myself, I signed a six year contract to 'pay back' the HK$1,100,000, the starting salary is HK$36,200, + pilot allowance HK$10,000, + hourly duty pay (assuming 84 hours) HK$3,500. Total HK$49,700.
I thought I'd research the cost of living in HK sufficiently to know what I was getting into before I even went to my first interview roughly two years ago. Things have changed since then, in particular the cost of renting a place of a similar size to Oz is unaffordable these days on the starting salary. Also for anyone who'd had savings and was planning to buy now cannot as you need 15% stamp duty on top of a minimum 10% deposit. I'm hoping over time the pilot allowance will be increased but in reality I suspect that the housing allowance of the senior pilots will be reduced over time in line with the HK pilot allowance.
I've come to the conclusion that this is a good way to get into aviation, but Cathay is likely just a 6 year stepping stone for many. The Swire guys will have done the maths and figured out that after two years of a cadet replacing an FO, we will have become cheap labor. If we leave after two years but before six, it's an additional bonus as they're lawyers will come calling for the training costs.
So far the job is good, the guys you fly with are good, after a short time though HK looses its charm.
Agree with 'gimpfeatures' on basically everything he has said there. I have been at Cathay for almost 2 years now and there is no real desire for 99% of the cadets to stay at Cathay for the long term. Even putting cost of renting a place aside the general cost of day to day living in Hong Kong is fairly high.
For now I'm fairly happy just to have a job, and the staff travel is a pretty nice bonus compared to alot of other carriers. But for me the reason I will end up leaving Cathay is even though once you upgrade to FO the salary is actually quite good, I'm not going to spend the next 30 - 40 years of my career potentially being payed a hell of alot less than a guy who joined 2 years before me. But hopefully CX will at somepoint in the coming years realise this and bring the benefits packages alot closer together....
Also just to add us cadets who joined 2 years ago never had to sign anything saying we'll pay back the 1.1 million if we leave so clearly the conditions are getting worse and not better..
Last edited by DDobinpilot; 1st Jan 2013 at 14:25.
Finally we are getting some opinions from real and current C scale SO's rather than speculative posts from potential applicants telling everyone that eating noodles and living in a shoebox won't be a problem...
KIDS...LISTEN TO THESE GUYS such as DDobinpilot or GimpFeatures...only they got the full story...
Guys you will never stop them coming... its human nature. Just see CX as Pied Piper of Hamelin.
There enough information out there about the T & C, the workings of CX etc... Just let them be... a person learn by making mistakes...when they do, you have the privilege to say "i told you so". You cant keep holding there hands for ever, its dog eat dog world, besides in a few month they be flying a Big shiny jet.
I think you mean, 'flying IN a big shiny jet'. They will only be making radio calls, filling in the CFP, carrying the blue bag and possibly manipulating the autopilot of 'the big shiny jet', IF the Commander or Relief lets them, while working off their bond...erm 'forgivable loan'.
And the jets don't stay shiny very long in the filthy South China air.
Last edited by Captain Dart; 5th Jan 2013 at 05:32.
There are usually only 3 groups of people who would take the scheme. The cadets, the hopefuls and the informed. Sad to say not everyone is experienced or are able to make a critical judgement if comparisons are made to yesteryear. Time and again its been proven its worse in the outside. Plus for those trying to get into CX is almost like a brick wall for some. Despite unhappy people, very few leave. SIA has asked everyone to take unpaid leave from FOs to Capts. Cadet hiring has stopped. They have been using cadets for the longest time and many families in CX has traveled with them some time or other. Mind you, there is no apprentice phase like the CX SO programme. The SIA SOs are probationary first officers. No JFOs there. But there are less critical comment on those guys who are also predominately Asian. Just in a different playground. When guys come in and say they wanna leave after 6 years. It's good news no? For the ones that DO stay.. Upgrades speed up. Perhaps packages improve (when people actually leave vs saying it) Older chaps on A scale who won't take RA65 will all be looking at what's gonna happen to the first round of 55 year old guys. Most hope to see how the company will manage an there is always a wait and see behaviour. For the cadets. Where are they gonna get free training these days? Look around and surplus guys floating around. Pay to fly jobs etc Hopefuls on basings a well as getting the HKPA raised don't see thereality that you can't get into this marriage hoping your 'spouse' is gonna change just because you hoped so. Join with both eyes open and that doesn't come naturally. Similar to common sense. I think what would be beneficial to most thinking of joining is for those who have articulately described how bad it is to be in CX to put forth a better argument of WHERE is the best place to apply to today. Even the guys who were pro Middle Eastern airlines have been rather quiet of late. Cos all u have to do is read their forum and you know what is going on in Emirates and Qatar. To be fair, my conditions on joining we're informed and I have done my fair share of military flying and instructing. Granted the system is not perfect. Granted that SOs aren't 'pilots' but apprentices. Even if it's just radio calls,carrying the blue bag etc. it's also another body to let the senior guys get rested, to earn the trust cos none of us were born pilots. It is an incremental approach, to be shown the ropes. For SOs to emulate the professionalism and observe standards that is renowned around the world. Arguably, the pool of 'experienced pilots have shrunk around the world. Similarly Air travel is affordable by all which no longer makes it 'premium' as such. Premium wages are long gone and where the line is drawn, you can't blame the system if you are in the wrong side of the line. For most parts. I think most guys would be happy to see the ones that whine and whinge actually leave after 6 years or at 55. Most people tend to néed 6 Cs Cash, Condos, Cars, Credit ratings, College degrees and Comfort but increasingly the new generation has added 2 more Cs. Compare and complain. It's a WIFM mentality out there. I have had my training experiences with these 'entitled' lot and have trained with some over the past year. What's In It For Me. (WIFM). Sign of the times.