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Making ends meet from contract flying?

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Making ends meet from contract flying?

Old 13th Apr 2011, 17:39
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West Africa
Posts: 1
Making ends meet from contract flying?

Hi Folks

I would like to raise an issue that we could discuss on this forum. It pertains to contract flying in Africa, and if it is really worth it.

Please excuse my anonymity for obvious reasons I donít wish my employer to know who I am.

As a back ground I work for a major contract employer in South Africa. We are contracted to work for a Middle Eastern/German delivery service. For the privilege of flying their aircraft I shelled out $19000 and in return I received great training and a promise of working 2 months on 1 month off. The wages (SNT) at the time where more than acceptable to me. So what are you asking is the problem?

I would like to raise the present issue of what we really earn and send home to our families. The Dollar exchange rate at the moment is killing us. I realise this is beyond anyoneís control, but it should be bourne in mind by anyone thinking about joining us here in West Africa. The company we work for has since changed it policy of (2 on 1 off) to (2 on 2 off). This has had a major effect on our earnings as SNT is the major part of our wages. And this said the company continues to hire more Pilots that dilute our time in the field even more. To that end on average a FO on a 17 ton freight aircraft is earning $3000 a month. The exchange rate means we are converting to R20000 a month and after tax and medical aid this is R18000. We are also living in very expensive cities that cost on average R4000 a month just for the basics. So I am sending home R14000 a month to pay the bills, as you can see that is not a very good return on my R125000 investment on a type rating.

I fully realise that no one is pointing a gun at my head to do this job, and the truth is it is a very enjoyable career. It just seems that we are being priced out of doing the job. And that for financial reasons alone that most of us are looking to change jobs.

If anyone else out there has any stories then let us discuss it on this forum, maybe someone has a positive salary tale to tell about working in contract.
contract dogs is offline  
Old 14th Apr 2011, 06:48
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Gauteng
Posts: 131
That is the problem with doing contract work. If the R/$ exchange is good you reap the benefit but the way it has been the last few years it has not fluctuated that much and thus the earnings has declined as mentioned. Did you pay your own rating or did the company bond you? If you had to make a loan then you still paying interest on top of that and that will take awhile to recuperate that money! If you on a bond it helps but you will be doing the contract thing for 2/3 years as per the bond stipulation. THe best you can hope for is command upgrade but it may take time! Unless you can fly here in your 2 months off the crew should just petition the company and ask them to reconsider the 2 on/off thing! On the flip side of the coin, count yourself lucky that you do have a perm job, there is not much work in SA so any income is better than nothing! With the airlines in SA getting more acft, SAX, Comair etc, put your CV in and pray for the call, in the not too near future the companies are going to start feeling the strain as the airlines start reaping their crew. If you didn`t sign a bond you have the benefit of walking away if you get into an airline! I think even @ Link you will earn a little more than the R14000.00 you currently taking home, and that is every month, so worth getting your CV in!
Malagant is offline  
Old 14th Apr 2011, 07:46
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: The Great Southern Land
Posts: 109
I feel your pain mate.
It's about time contractors started to take 'exchange rates' into consideration as too many go under for this reason.

Unfortunately when it comes to the time to tender to provide a service, there are too many companies willing to take on jobs for what sounds good at the present time without looking too far into the future.

Are you in Nigeria ?
Flightsimman is offline  

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