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Old 16th Jun 2016, 07:31
  #18 (permalink)  
ROW_BOT
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: FL Whatever
Posts: 84
To all considering leaving CPG to join HKA;
Verbal promises from HKA management have NEVER been worth the paper they (aren't) written on. They will say anything they think serves their needs on the day, and shrug their shoulders afterward when they change their minds.
The Contract is littered with phrases like 'at the discretion of the company' and 'the company reserves the right' - so they can always legally cover their asses when they turn the tables on you.

Pay; The so-called 'loyalty' payment mentioned above is no such thing. It is a DISCRETIONARY annual bonus (DAB) which the contract explicitly states can be withdrawn (and IS regularly) if the company so wishes. It is in fact a good old China style 'punishment bonus' which is levied for any screw up you may make, from reporting 5 mins late, to going sick too often, to getting hit by lightning, or forgetting to sign some piece of paper you were required to sign. And unlike CX/KA where you may have the backing of a half decent pilots association to argue your case, you will have no such thing in HKA. YER ON YER OWN, MATE! So don't go spending that cash until you've been a good boy for a year and its safely lodged in your account.

Benefits;
Staff travel at HKA is crap. There's a lengthy and torturous ticket application process, the company routes are limited (for expat commuting) and Interline agreements are sparse. The ID90's tickets are often more expensive than a full fare flight with another carrier.
Refunds take months. No jumpseating in uniform allowed on PAX services. GD travel on freighters only - and with lengthy application process through DFO.

Commuting; If you've been told you'll get get a Commuting Roster you've been lied to. They binned the nascent commuting system a year ago, and lied for the last year about replacing it. They've recently begun dangling it again, but with a total of about 5 Captains and 5 FO's slots reputedly available. This is widely seen as a 'marketing ploy' to suck in the unwary new joiners who think they'll also get the promised commuting deal. Don't bet the whole program won't be cancelled again as soon as they've signed all the dopes they need. At the companies discretion, of course!
By the way, the commuting packages they've offered require you to take pay cuts, and to surrender your meagre annual leave (28 days) to get on it.
Hainan Group (of which HKA is a subsidiary) offers pilots in its China based airlines some generous and flexible commuting options and salaries way above HKA. Management at HKA say they can't afford to extend such benefits to the large numbers of expats in Hong Kong, so this situation will never change - as they'll always need large numbers of expat pilots here!

Housing;
No such thing. Pay your own.
Education;
Ditto

Respect; Rock bottom. Expect to be treated like an idiot, and held accountable for every error, even those created by the companies own policies. Collective punishments and generalised professional criticisms are de rigeur. A witch-hunt atmosphere prevails.
Senior Captain? Nevermind, expect to be hauled-up/called-up by every Tom Dick and Harry office clerk to explain yourself to him if you put a foot wrong. Soul destroying. Morale is in the toilet.

Rostering; You'll be granted legal minimum days off, with legal min turnarounds and legal min rest. If a flight is cancelled they'll put you on reserve, even if they have a million reserves already. Swops are near impossible. Want to commute on Days Off? They roster you to work up to midnight on the day before a day off, and you'll be started at 0600 on the day after your days off. It is company policy, intended to frustrate commuting on a duty day. By the way there is no contractual minimum number of Days Off, only an OM-A policy of 8, and the legal minima.

A350; Be careful of promises. Once you're hooked anything may happen. The long serving guys want those seats too, and there'll be hell to pay if they are pushed aside to attract new joiners. You may not care much, but think back to when CX set up the separate freighter fleet and ignored the seniority list. Not a pleasant working environment for many who availed of the opportunity.
Remember, if HKA do it to them today, they'll do it to YOU tomorrow.
And forget about bases. HKA have mooted it before on the A330, but always turned out to be more hot air.

HKA has become a flying school for guys who want a free rating or an upgrade. Its regarded by most as a stepping stone to their next (and better) job. A penance to be sucked up until you have the magic quals to move on. A bit like Ryanair in Europe. Not a career choice, just a job opportunity. If that's all you need, welcome aboard.
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