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The Demise of Hong Kong Airlines

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

The Demise of Hong Kong Airlines

Old 14th Feb 2011, 06:27
  #1221 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: kundu land
Posts: 42
no, they are looking for people with no pride or self-respect, willing to prostitute themselves for substandard wages and conditions, who will recite the company mantra on demand.
With all the winching moarning and groaning is KA, AHK, SQ, CX any different?

KA, CX, SQ pilots are still unhappy of their wages and conditions, right? Guess its typically human never happy or contented.

Good luck guys!
MD330 is offline  
Old 16th Feb 2011, 04:30
  #1222 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: home
Posts: 359
They are winching and moarning in HKA now
Is that winching madam wu wu's coffin into the grave and moarning (sic) his demise
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Old 16th Feb 2011, 04:31
  #1223 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Asia
Posts: 23
It's very tough struggling to find work but don't jump out of the frying pan into the fire.

Bonds (HKA call them "training grants") HKA's contract says:
Type rated pilot, US$15,000
Non-type rated pilot US$30,000
Training grants are repayable in full for resignation or "dismissal with cause" within 1 year of final line check then prorata after 1 year. "Dismissal with cause" according to HK labour law is almost anything including for "commercial reasons".
Note that time from joining to completing final line check has never been less than 6 months and has been as long as 12 months.
Until your final line check you are paid "training pay" (equal to pay before duty pay) which is monthly;
Capt >3000 hrs jet HK$40,000
Capt < 3000 hrs jet HK$30,000
FO >3000 hrs jet HK$22,500
FO >1500 hrs jet HK$20,000
FO < 1500 hrs jet HK$17,500
Some pilots who have left were told by lawyers that "there is nothing in HK Law preventing training bonds being imposed on employees through their contracts".
It is true that many pilots having felt badly treated and lied to, simply left without giving notice and without paying their bond. They lost at least 1 and a half months pay because the company owed them this. Upsetting your employer could also affect future references! The company of course, is unable to pursue the pilots for any remaining bond.

Cost of Housing
Quote from South China Morning Post 16 Feb 2011
Last month, a survey conducted by Savills ranked Hong Kong as the most expensive city in the world for housing in 2010.
"Residential rents are trending upwards," said Alva To, head of consultancy for property advisers DTZ in Hong Kong. He expects residential rents to rise five to 10 per cent this year in line with the estimated 10 per cent increase of home prices. To said apartments on Conduit Road, Mid-Levels, a favourite with expatriates, leased at an average monthly rental of HK$30 per square foot. A 700 sq ft two-bedroom flat would cost about HK$21,000 per month, which was close to ECA's survey finding, he said.

Jamie J is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2011, 03:43
  #1224 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hong Kong
Age: 55
Posts: 28
Training Pay

During your 7 to 12 months of training you will get only basic wage.


JFO HKD 20000
FO HKD 25000
SFO HKD 30000

add HKD 5000 for 330

JCPT HKD 40000
SCPT HKD 50000

add HKD 10000 for 330

Thats all

Ciao


XOP'S...........The Only Way To Operate..........
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 16:35
  #1225 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Posts: 275
That is still sub-standard compared to many other operators. For example Fly Dubai are looking for pilots on the 737......

Monthly salary at Fly Dubai

Captain's projected total $51,800 AED = HK$109,000

First Officer projected total $38,700 AED = HK$82,000

+ 42 Days Annual leave, Educational support for kids, Dental and Medical cover, annual leave tickets for you, your spouse, and three kids to your home country, gratuity as per UAE law...

Far more enticing than what I see from sevenx3's previous post
How many hours you gotta fly at FlyDubai to make 109K ?
With 70 hours per month at HKA you'll make 120K HKD (A330 LHS).
Personally, I'd rather be in HK than the sandpit. Since I've been meeting many sandpit refugees out here I guess I'm not the only one thinking that way.

But hey - it's a new start, and there's always room for improvement. If HKA don't do better by this time next year there'll be a lot of empty seats. The pendulum is swinging. Time will tell.
Algol is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2011, 14:31
  #1226 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Posts: 275
On 80Hrs a month at HKA you'd be on something north of 127K HKD. Thats a 25% income hike. And frankly - I don't care how much they might pay me to bust my ass in the sandpit anyhow. They could double it, I'm not interested.

I prefer to live in a modern international city, with a super modern infrastructure (that works), full of fine lookin' friendly girlies, and where my internet activity isn't censored and controlled; where I can have a pork dinner and a beer any time of the day or night at any time of the year in public and not worry about getting falsely arrested for looking askance at a local.

Yes, my personal freedoms mean a lot to me - small as they are.

I also travel full fare always. Its cheap these days. ID90 travel concessions don't really impinge on my consciousness. My time off is too valuable to beg cheeky check-in staff for a seat home.

What else was there?
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Old 20th Feb 2011, 17:09
  #1227 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Motown
Posts: 371
Well said Algol, As soon as I can Im dumping the shit pit and applying to HK Airlines regardless of the contract
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 15:20
  #1228 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Posts: 275
Look guys, it's a matter of taste, and personal circumstances. If you want a fast free widebody rating, and maybe a quick upgrade, the sandpit might suit. If you're young free and single it may be worth putting up with certain 'inconveniences' for a few years.

But, when you get a bit longer in the tooth, you become less tolerant of invasions of your personal freedoms and liberty. When you don't need an upgrade or another bloody type rating, and can pick or choose your contracts, other criteria come into play, and indeed become overriding. Money isn't everything either.

I had several other offers besides HKA, and to be honest - every one of them was inferior, based on the benchmarks I employ.

HKA may have its particular problems at present, but from what I've seen they are largely created by a local regulatory authority that is being unreasonable and quite ridiculous in its demands, and in the obstacles it is creating for this airline. I've heard nasty innuendos about the motivations and politics at work, and frankly I find it shocking if they are remotely true.

The people I meet in HKA are all trying hard to cope with a cumbersome, petty, and downright stupid system. The fact that they manage to work through it at all is testament to their perseverance.
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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 09:08
  #1229 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: where the jobs are
Age: 50
Posts: 10
Off Days

Hi Algol,

How many consecutive days off do you get a month for you to travel home?
jav8r is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2011, 09:50
  #1230 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Australia
Age: 35
Posts: 12
Hey fellas,

Based on what i collected from this thread, HKA is not worth joining and prolly going bankrupt soon ?

No housing allowance ? how those guys who just joined HKA survive with just basic salary ?
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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 09:56
  #1231 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yellow Brick Road
Posts: 1,132
prolly going bankrupt soon ?
Here's your lesson for the day : Mainland Chinese companies are not allowed to go bust. It's against the country's policy.
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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 10:26
  #1232 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: York International
Posts: 620
Huge

HKA are now effectively part of the huge Hainan airline group which in turn is part of a massive Chinese conglomerate. The money they are losing in HKA is small change and won't bother them for a minute. I don't know what their plan is but it is a bit baffling that they make no attempt to have a happy pilot workforce, I guess they just don't care.
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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 12:01
  #1233 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eagles Nest
Posts: 483
Which company is bigger Swire or Hainan?
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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 12:39
  #1234 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Posts: 275
How many consecutive days off do you get a month for you to travel home?
How many days off do Cathay Pilots get to 'go home'?
Same exact number.
Zero.
Home is Hong Kong. Love it or leave it.
This is not a commuting contract.

Based on what i collected from this thread, HKA is not worth joining and prolly going bankrupt soon ?

No housing allowance ? how those guys who just joined HKA survive with just basic salary ?
There's a lot of crap in this thread IMHO. I only recently had time enough to wade through the 60-odd pages of it. Most of it is grossly outdated because it goes back to Jan 2008, seems more concerned with difficulties at HKE, and gripes about a now departed management cadre. Just one example - if it says someplace 'there is no housing allowance' it's wrong, and you can safely apply the same benchmark to many other assertions contained therein.

Which company is bigger Swire or Hainan?
It's rather a moot point. Does it matter?
Given the politics of the region - I think its unlikely either one will be disappearing next week.
Algol is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2011, 13:44
  #1235 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eagles Nest
Posts: 483
Only asked as I heard Hainan is actually huge and the generals in the PLA are owners? It's a rumor network after all!
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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 14:48
  #1236 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Posts: 275
Hmmm...nice.
I believe HKA has a future.
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Old 23rd Feb 2011, 01:38
  #1237 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Fragrant Harbour
Posts: 4,722
''HKA are now effectively part of the huge Hainan airline group which in turn is part of a massive Chinese conglomerate. The money they are losing in HKA is small change and won't bother them for a minute. I don't know what their plan is but it is a bit baffling that they make no attempt to have a happy pilot workforce, I guess they just don't care.''


It seems that HKA are mainly there to provide the Hainan Group with extra aircraft by circumventing the mainland China delivery quotas set by the Chinese Government. Thye have had lots of B738 delivered, but just seem to be operating a handful now as the others all get transferred to other airlines in the Hainan group. I will be suprised if they're still operating all the 330s ordered in two years time. And rumours of 320 arriving later this year would back this up as the 738s are unlikely to remain.

This would account for why treat their crews like pooh and don't seem to care about retaining them. There's no doubt they have had some truly dreadful relationships with their pilots and CC, and despite the starry eyed delusions of some of the HKA aspirants on this thread they still seem to be at it. As a friend of mine who recently left their A330 fleet would attest.
Dan Winterland is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 02:59
  #1238 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Posts: 275
Dan, are you mixing up HKA and HKE, like so many here seem to be doing?
They operate on separate AOC's and seem as different as chalk and cheese to me.

As to being treated 'like poo', let me tell you this - I joined from an established european carrier, and so far the treatment I've had at HKA is streets ahead of the kind of 'poo' I had to put up with back there. This company is struggling with huge challenges, no doubt, but none of the attitudes I've experienced so far are in any way vindictive - unlike the open anti pilot hostility and sheer begrudgery I experienced in my previous airline. I'm loving every minute of this - its a total breath of fresh air. No kidding.

Much of this criticism of HKA seems to be coming from people who appear to be somewhat spoiled, and have delusions about where the T&C's benchmark in pilot employment actually lies at present.

There are far far worse places to be right now, and this'll do me for a while.

Will it last?
Well, I think it will, but if it doesn't, so what? All the guys joining now with A320 type-ratings are getting free A330 upgrades and will be very much more marketable in two years time (your deadline) and by then job prospects should be far better elsewhere if you gotta go.
A Win Win situation.

IMHO the only way to up is if you buy a property in HK's crazy over-heated housing bubble now, and ruin things for yourself when/if the employment situation changes.
I'm not biting anyhow....
Algol is offline  
Old 23rd Feb 2011, 21:51
  #1239 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Asia
Posts: 86
Been reading this thread for a while now, seems to me that all the negative comments and all the wishful thinking of bankruptcy makes this company go on! perhaps they keep going just to piss off the workforce! Or perhaps, they are truly struggling in the hope to one day be in the black. Time will tell, and I bet another 2 years will go by and we'll be reading the same comments!!!
I sympathize with the guys who are in training for 6 months, but that's pretty much how most of the Far East carriers work, and they all have this bloody "training" pay which is absolutely BS! You should get your basic from the moment you get on the plane to join! The Chinese will never change! They try to u everytime they can! Guess that's the price to live in a great city!
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Old 24th Feb 2011, 13:32
  #1240 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: asia
Posts: 950
With 70 hours per month at HKA you'll make 120K HKD (A330 LHS).
On 80Hrs a month at HKA you'd be on something north of 127K HKD
So you only get 7000 for 10 hrs O/T ?

I guess the pay has gone up quite a bit since I looked at the T&Cs back in December, I reckoned about 120 K for 90 Hrs, then again ask the guys that were there during the GFC, the pay can go down just as quickly

Still I guess when you consider a CX/KA skipper is on 120K basic 0-75hrs/month ( not buying a house ) plus 13th month plus 15% gratuity plus profit share plus medical plus schooling plus staff travel plus travel fund it just goes to show that HKA are still bringing up the rear in HKG by a fair margin, even a corporate G5 driver earns more than a HKA 330 captain.

Guess that's the price to live in a great city
Tell me your not talking about the most expensive and one of the most polluted, crowded cities in the world, Hong Kong ?
hongkongfooey is offline  

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