View Full Version : New states to join the JAA in May - What impact ?

5th Mar 2004, 02:02
Fellow Ppruners,

With several East European countries to join the JAA soon I was asking myself what does my future look like as a pilot ?
I'm wondering about the state of the job market. I have recently obtained my Frozen ATPL . As expected, I have to fight hard to get my first go at flying a public transport aeroplane. What can I expect to happen in the next coming months ? Will I have to face stiffer competition coming from my Eastern European colleagues ? Are there many type rated pilots there ?

Any view is welcome !


Dan Winterland
5th Mar 2004, 04:50
I expect the Ryanair starting salary will be going down soon!

5th Mar 2004, 06:56

There is a lot of type rated pilots (737/320/310/767/etc) in East European countries. But if you think that all of them are dreaming about moving into West European positions - you are seriously wrong.

1. Western equipment is operated either by national carriers or by solid airlines.

2. The salary level at these operators is very competitive if you count what you actually can buy for this money in these countries.

3. Some of East European countries has already started to face the shortage of pilots available (especially Baltic states), so the future for local pilots is quite clear in terms of stability and pay rise.

4. Being familar with many East European airlines and considering 1-2-3 above I would seriously doubt if we would see any serious impact from the East. Defenately, there will be some pilots relocating to the West, but we talking probably about several dozens. Not hundreds or thousands.

5th Mar 2004, 13:53
Does membership of the EU automatically confer right of entry into the JAA? I thought members of the JAA were ECAC signatories.

JAA info (http://www.jaa.nl/whatisthejaa/jaainfo.html#2.9.1)

5th Mar 2004, 19:08
thanks for your answers guys . SF

5th Mar 2004, 19:37
Cargo1 you're bang on in all the points except #2. I live in a ghetto apartment with real bad soundproofing and drive a four year old subcompact. I can't afford anything better on a Captains salary of 2100 euros take home a month. Our contract expires at the end of this year. If there are no substantial improvements in our paycheque, I will leave asap. With the exception of alcohol and cigarettes, everything is much more expensive here. As far as lining up at Ryanair or Easyjet's door for a fraction of the salary that they pay....I don't think so. Everyone here is aware that they will just prostitute themselves for less money and it's a lose lose proposition in the long run. On the other hand, we may require "foreign pilots" to come in and work on contract....which will help us tremendously in overcoming the classic communistic thinking that a streetsweeper and a brain surgeon are equal and must get paid the same. The thinking is that $14K for a contract pilot will get them to rethink their position on keeping us here and happy. Too bad Emirates is going in the other direction, it was one of my choices for the future but looks like the future is just a mirage there.

You splitter
5th Mar 2004, 19:46
Bus 429,

Membership of the EU has nothing to do whatsoever with being a JAA state. For example look at the Swiss. They are non EU but are still mebers of ECAC and JAA.

To confuse matters even more the EU has decided there should be a common regulatory authority for member states. This became operational from October last year and is called EASA. Presently it only seems to get involved in Maintenance matters.

So not only are do we have the CAA, JAA but now we also have this other mob!

A contact in the CAA actually confimred that they were all a bit confused by it too. The phrase "too many cooks" springs to mind!

5th Mar 2004, 22:26
About 75% of the direct applicants at the middle eastern airlines are from former east block states, (my unscientific estimate), if you only look at type-rated guys. They are perfect for these companies, because they will bring their wife and kids, enjoy a much better standard of living, and complain a lot less.
This unfortunately will force salaries down further due to the supply/demand nature of our business.
My Question is will these Eastern Europeans be required to pass the same silly exams and jump through the hoops that other ICAO licence holders have to jump through, or will they be grandfathered. I very much doubt if the average captain from LOT, for example, could pass the 14 JAR exams. Not a criticism of the captain. More a criticism of the pupose of the exams. To keep ICAO professionals out of the EU market, not enhance safety through higher standards. - Protectionism, actually.- normally a criticism levelled at the US , but not this time.

5th Mar 2004, 23:25

I agree that EUR2100 take home sounds like an average salary of the captain on western type in East Europe but then you should admit that real estate prices are 2-3 times lower as well, or even 4-5 times lower if comparing to LHR area.

However I believe that salaries will increase over next few years. It is the usual market game:
if you earning much less than you can earn in other country (having the right to work and live there!) then airlines will face serious shortage of pilots quite quickly, but then considering some of these airlines are ALREADY short of pilots, they will have no other choice rather than to increase the pay or to ground the fleet. You just need to survive for a few years in this turbulence :)

Good luck

5th Mar 2004, 23:52
The 10 new accession states joining the EU in April/May will not necessarily become members of JAA, they will however, definitely become members of EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), an EU agency which will essentially and eventually replace all JAA functions but for now is only assuming the aircraft type certification function (as of 28 sept 2003).

Within the next few years EASA will also begin to assume responsibility for FCL and OPs functions. EASA regulations will have the force of law, JAA regulations never had the force of law.

JAA may remain in some form to look after those members of JAA who are not members of the EU.

These changes are significant and the consequences not yet fully understood or indeed visible. After all, this is the EU.


6th Mar 2004, 11:44
For a while I had the chance of doing some work with few Eastern Europeans pilots and I could say that they are more prepaired than their western counterparts. All of them had to go through 3-4 years College to get their pilot license. Majority have both military and civilian experience. Excellent pilots and good guys. Flying a bunch of Migs and Tupolevs doesn't make you a bad pilot. A plane is a plane (yoke and rudder) and do not forget that those d#%n russians are still building good airplanes.
We fly all over the world for every possible company. Why do not accept someone else coming fly in our background?
Now let's be rational about. New countries will join EU. They have a pilot group (military and civilian) from maybe 100 pilots(the smallest country) to maybe 800 pilots(larger country).
Everybody in his country has the right to learn to fly and to become a pilot. They do speak many other than english languages and unless those pilots fly international, english language is not a necesity. So only this issue will eliminate maybe 90 percent of their pilot force as a possible competition.
Rest of 10 percent with type ratings(provided by their company they have no private money for something like that) are employed by their national airlines and they are willing to stay for the safety of the job and retirement. OK!....some of them are out of jobs and looking. That reduces their number to few tens. Are we afraid of few tens well qualified pilots? If that is the case sorry for ourself.

6th Mar 2004, 23:29
I have been visiting the EASA web-site since it started and am very confused! Seems like the legislation also has requirments from Parts 145, 147, 66, 21 et al included to some degree.
Have a look at the CRDs (Comment Response Documents). Seems like confusion is the norm.:confused:

7th Mar 2004, 05:47
airBaltic, the Latvian national, just announced the need for profesionally trained pilots. The airline is expanding rapidly with direct Riga flights to Amsterdam, Brussels and London. They are also cutting air fares, so don't expect wonders, but the accent is on conversational English knowledge.

Now, I don't have any idea how much they pay pilots or F/Os, but they are eagerly looking. Stable consists of 3 RJ70s, 4 F50s, and one B737-500.

Anyone interested should loook at www.airbaltic.com and then go to jobs or some such thing.


8th Mar 2004, 01:32
I have to agree with Click. I donít want to make this forum a real estate site, but the facts are that maybe with the exception of the U.K. the real estate prices for quality real estate ( not those commie ghettoís) is the same ball park as other capitols west of us. I am in the process of buying property with a mortgage, and let me tell you the conditions are NOT the same as in our neighboring countries. I also have the experience that the further you go East the less money you make, and the REAL costs are NOT cheaper, but usually higher. The facts are that as a narrow body mainline jet skipper, I make very little if anything more than what click. Besides cheap booze and other things not really important to a family man, my costs of living in relation to my salary is not even close to being commensurate with the conditions. I hope as we enter the E.U. at least some counties will grant us employment. Most of the younger generation have the Full JAA license with type ratings (including all those garbage tests), and command the English language well enough to work and live in another E.U. country. I can only hope that the Ryanairs, and such donít start some kind of ďBĒ scale and drive the market down. So the next time a former Eastern European Countryís airline has an industrial action, take note, if requested and able ( as per your contract) , do your part, your job might literally be riding on it!!! Wish us luck on our up coming contract negotiations.

8th Mar 2004, 12:36
wait and see...
Open the flood gates and thousands of eastern bloc pilots will come.They all cheated on the JAA exams and got the typeratings in a supermarket,with a discount.
Poor westerners...

8th Mar 2004, 16:38
I don't think that these countries joining the EEC will make a great deal of difference. There are many former eastern block pilots flying in the uk on national licences with a JAA dispensation.

9th Mar 2004, 03:02
Wouldnít it be ironic if we had a thread here in a couple of months about the deluge of people lining up at the door of rapidly expanding ex-commie airlines. If we donít have a level playing field then obviously there is a cost advantage. Rather than bring the rest of Europe down, give us a hand in bringing our wages up. Support our industrial actions, donít scab the market, and in turn give us the information if our companies put extra capacity on to replace your flights. Keep the information coming in this great forum, thatís the only way we can put pressure on our companies to give us the industry standard. But thatís getting carried away with the original question here. Iíd agree with Cargoone and say that the people leaving will be a few dozen at the beginning and then our companies will smarten up. Besides, any F/O here will put his nose to the grindstone and get more experience before he moves to greener (or oranger) pastures. This means that your competition, Superfly, will most likely be a very experienced type rated Captain. Given that the F/O is usually a local, this should leave you plenty of opportunities for your first flying job.

Good Luck

Kelly Hopper
9th Mar 2004, 16:44
Sorry but your info regarding Air Baltic is somewhat out of date.
They certainly were recruiting a few months ago but are now fully crewed with a desire to maybe start looking at the situation again later in the year. Besides, Riga is a little on the side of the back of beyond.

10th Mar 2004, 03:14
Could this be a start of a beautiful friendship? What a timely advertisement for this discussion. Easy is looking for cabin crew in today's #1 national paper, and offering 20-25 k. Wonder what the going rate is for a pilot. Purely speculation of course:}