Old 24th Mar 2019, 03:38
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Wherever I go, there I am
Age: 38
Posts: 631
How's aviation in Canada doing at the moment ? Is Canada really facing a shortage of pilots right now ?
The industry in Canada is doing quite well. It is as close to a "pilots market" as I have seen in twenty years. There is, and there is not a pilot shortage. By that I mean the classes at the airlines are still being filled and while the minimum required experience levels are dropping, neither WestJet nor Air Canada is looking to hire 250-hour pilots any time soon. Their regional subsidiaries are a different story, with almost all regional airlines now actively hiring pilots with less than 1000 hours. With that said, the shortage is with experienced pilots. Quite a few of the open jobs still require 3000 to 5000 hours to apply and those companies either will not or can not accept a lower level of experience.

This can all end tomorrow with a recession, terrorist attack, health scare - you name it. Aviation is fickle and a lot of our junior pilots are in for a very rude awakening during the next industry downturn. And we are overdue for a downturn.

Are there any other opportunities than becoming an instructor to build hours ?
Lots. You can do scenic flying, traffic patrol, go up to the northern parts of Canada and fly in the bush, or apply to a regional airline and see if they'll take you. In this regard, the sky is limit. Instructing should only be a route for those who actually enjoy teaching, not those who just want to hour build. So if you don't think you'd be a good instructor, or you think you'll only think of yourself and not your student, do something else.

How does an employer differentiate between a Canadian citizen & a foreign national both with CAA license when they want to hire you ?
They don't because it is illegal. If you have the right to work in Canada and are qualified, an employer cannot discriminate for anything, including nationality. End of story. With that said, an employer does not have to hire you either. There are a lot of variables that go into hiring decisions, but where you come from is not one of them...or at least, it's not supposed to be.

Can a foreign national build his hours by being an instructor or any other way possible to enter an Canadian airline ? If so, how many hours does a regional & international airlines demand ?
Airlines don't typically care how you build the hours. Every regional airline is different, but most are interviewing or hiring pilots with less than 1000 hours. Jazz is currently the best bet as they hire 250-hours pilots and have been very successful in their program. Porter interviews at 250 and hires at 1000 based on the last info I have, although that is almost a year old so they may have dropped the requirements. Encore will accept your resume at 250, but won't hire until 1000, for now. Be aware though that you might also be put into a pool - a group of qualified applicants who have been successful in the interview process, and may have received the word that they will be hired, but at a point in the future. Some people sit in a pool for a couple of days, others for months. WestJet and Air Canada have had pools lasting 2 years in the past.

Is it true that airlines demand a degree in aviation ?
No. Air Canada used to, but the latest info I have says it is now preferred and they will take a person with a degree over one who does not. WestJet does not care about a degree, but you better have good contacts. In any event, a degree is not a bad idea because you can always lose a medical and flying is not exactly a transferrable skill.

I'm not going to answer your last question because that requires a little more research on your part. There are hundreds of flight schools and programs in Canada. You need to do your research into what cities you are willing to move to, then research the schools in those areas, and then ask about experiences at those schools. Otherwise, you're going to get a lot of data with no good way to sort through it. For example, there is a school in Yellowknife. But I doubt you want to move there.
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