hey there, i am a F/o on A320 with close to 2800 hrs on type, age 27, to be upgraded on the 320 in couple of months and now caught up in a situation of luxuries of sorts as i have recently cracked the EK process. i know there cannot be any right or wrong decision, and ultimately depends on me, but need u guys to throw some light on the matter which will decide my career trajectory.
Money is not an issue as it will be the same for a 320 capt or EK f/o, few considerations are that i love to fly 2-4 hr sectors on 320 and getting command on this is very exciting and personally i might find long-haul flying less enjoyable but widebody/international experience would definitely count. need some views on this. Moreover im not sure of life in sandpit. if i decide to move on then returning back home in few years is not an option as goal will be to be a wide body capt some 5-6 years down the line. and to be a co-pilot for so long might just get on me...
My personal inclination is to take the command as it is on offer, and then forget EK for gud but MOST of my seniors advise me to go for EK as it is d best and they advise me that in the long run i wont regret, and i have 30+ yrs to fly if all goes well. your views fellas...
Emirates. You say you are currently 27 years old. Assume you will upgrade in 7-8 years - you would be an Emiartes A330/340/350 or 777 Captain at age 35-36. Can you imagine flying a 777/A340/A350 as a Captain in your home country at age 36? Probably won't happen. If you are indeed Indian, why would you want to be caught up in that airline mess? IMHO, go to Emirates and enjoy a long career flying the world.
I was in the same Position to make a decision a few years back, well in fact exactly the same, I turned down a definite YES from EK, to take a command on 737CL (not in India, but not an ideal employer by any means).
All I can say is, although your machine is a lot better and marketable than mine, but 4 bars is not going to aleviate the constant and ongoing mental pressure working for An airline in a non developed country, especially in my case, being pressured to break rules by the so called mgmt pilots on a daily basis.
Long story short, I wish I had taken the EK FO instead...... If I did, I would have been into my fourth year, and I dont think I am too optimistic if I say I would have been atleast close to half way to EK command.
Another thing is, Maybe anyone could answer me, I submitted my application to DEC position @ flydubai, and immidiately received a reply saying thatbthey cannot proceed further with my application.... Anything to do at all with me turningbdown EK offer few years back??
And by the way, I had another go at EK before applying to flydubai, and the system simply prevents me for applying.....
Back to topic. So I suggest, considering your age, I would strongly recommend you to accept the offer from EK.
You would be well advised to take the upgrade. As has been pointed out command experience is definitely at a premium. If you join EK now you may love it. But if you don't where do you go then? If you have reasonable command experience it gives you many more options if you decide the sandpit is not for you.
Also as has been posted elsewhere, the upgrade in EK is not automatic. I would argue that your chance of success is much greater if you already have command experience. Short haul builds that much quicker with multiple sector days. I would be amazed if EK tell you that you can never reapply because you turned them down for a command. However either way you are a lucky guy.
You say your plan is to gain PIC time before going to EK so as to have the option of returning to Europe in, say, 5 years time as a narrowbody DEC?
Exactly which European airline do you envisage in 5 years time will be hiring DECs? How many European EK FOs do you think have a similar plan? Do you think airlines offering narrowbody DECs are really going to want a B777 rated pilot with only long haul recency? Do you think an airline will be salivating at your P1 time being 5 years+ out of recency?
I asked myself these questions a year or two ago and took the command.
EK looks like a great job, but you have to accept it's a one way ticket to Dubai for all but the lucky few.
I disagree. It doesn't make sense at all to join EK if you don't plan to stay there. Should you leave, you are at the mercy of contractors or at the bottom of a seniority list somewhere else. Direct-entries are scarce, legacy airlines never offer it anyway. Where exactly does one go after Emirates ?? Name one outfit that is somewhat stable and has better terms and conditions.