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Hong Kong Airlines (HKA)

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.

Hong Kong Airlines (HKA)

Old 8th May 2017, 10:47
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Gerloz
Posts: 238
Are you signing copies in the China Club ?
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Old 28th May 2017, 08:18
  #42 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: shenzhen
Posts: 25
Upgrade Requirements HKA

Here you are. Good Luck!
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Old 29th May 2017, 01:46
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 37
USD21,000 for a Captain position? That seems like a good deal.

Thanks for the good info. I think I will start applying soon.
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Old 29th May 2017, 02:00
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: London
Posts: 1,611
Yup, really good deal. Come on in, the waters lovely.....
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Old 8th Jun 2017, 09:35
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Accross Europe
Posts: 70

Very informative and well written and after reading it I reaffirmed decision to stay clear as life is too short.

I think I'm better off in China, at least there you get good cash, better commuting options and cost of living is lower.

Who wants to live in the most expensive city in the world to be paid and treated like when there are loads of jobs out there?
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Old 8th Jun 2017, 12:20
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: 1st Floor
Age: 29
Posts: 72
You talking about Ka ��
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 17:25
  #47 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: shenzhen
Posts: 25
So, Is it really a day off if it's an "O" Day:-)

Flyer25, what's an "O" Day? Well, I will try to explain since I was asked in a private message. I have previously posted that HKA lost a labour case in Jan 2017 due to their use of unpaid STBY's days. Previously, STBY days were not paid days. You simply had to be ready to head to the airport when called and it was an 8 hour duty at various time slots. It's a bit like Emirates' old system of having a month of reserve duty except here you had STBY days every month. When I was there you can have as many as 11-12 days of STBYs, unpaid and even 6 days in a row of STBYs.

Why so many STBY days? Listen, I don't think many people quite get it when they are from the Americas or Europe or Australia where having time off and work rights can be imbued into the culture. Don't get me wrong these former places are changing in the same as you find in Asia.

But every time I mention that I worked for HKA to a Chinese Pilot, they say," oh you worked for Hainan. "

Why, because HKA is a Chinese company in Hong Kong plain and simple. As such, it's governance and corporate culture follows. So, time off is not a right. It's a privilege. Let me say that again, it's a privilege HKA is a very controlling company, they want to micromanage every aspect of your life. You live to work not work to live. You live in accords to what HKA grants you and you should be happy with the master's generosity because without them you would not be flying a A320 or A330 or A350 and walking around in your pilot uniform struggling to survive in Hong Kong.

Listen, I have always said HKA is a fantastic training company, a place to pick up a type, but not a place to stay. If you need a job and willing to grind it out a bit, please it is a place you can land and regroup and try to escape when you are healthy again. It can be a very difficult place to escape because you will have just enough to keep you coming back to work but not enough to really mount a happy escape. But if you have options, chose to be happy and work somewhere else or stay with the evil you already know.

I just read a post of a guy waiting for his call from HKA. He said they were very friendly and so nice and so good to him. I guess for the guys that have been around a long time and changed a few companies. You just have to laugh. I keep saying, it's like a first date with a woman or guy. The first date tells you nothing really about the other person; you just met! Same with interviews, it almost always feels good. The company rolls out the most handsome or prettiest or the nice training facility. [Oh by the way, HKA is building training facility in Tung Chung. From what I remember, it was to have 10 bays. But most would also be leased out to Hainan and other entities.]

It feels good. What I and most of the guys and gals talk about from these post is really the experience that comes after you are hired and get to look behind the curtains or under the covers. And what lies at HKA, is not a grass is greener type of operation, fews places are really. But if you are young, full of piss and venom and you need a start in your career, you can try HKA. But if you are older and with a family; then you will probably have less tolerance for a place like HKA. Plus when you are in you raging 20's maybe early 30's.....god I miss those days. You can afford a few adventures. But as you get older, it not so easy to land at places that just stresses you and your family out. So, back to how the "O" days impact that happiness!

The court said to HKA, you can either pay the pilot group more vacation time and/or pay for the days. So, HKA being defiant, went back into there conference rooms and engineered a way around the court order. Hence, the "O" day. Effectively, it keeps in place the STBY days without looking like STBY days.

So flyer25, why not go back to court and fight it? because the last case took a few years to begin with....plus most people I think are pretty beaten down and lack any will to fight the system.

Now, you get about a 100 USD a day for your STBY days now if you are a CAPTAIN. But HKA doesn't want to pay that money to you. If you can imagine, that would give you an extra $1000 a month for STBY days for your 8 hours/STBY days.

They still have STBy days as codes on the schedule. But STBY days can be converted to "O" days. So, you see 10 STBY days and you start planning what you will do with the extra $1000 USD. But if your STBY days are suddenly convert at anytime HKA wants, then your new "O" days are not paid JUST LIKE THE OLD SYSTEM OF STBY's before the court case. The "O" day is in effect until the last day of your flight duty. In other words, the "O" is generally placed at the end of a block of flight duty days. At the end of you last flight duty day, you will see 1 or 2 days of "O" days or you can have STBY days converted to "O" days.

When you finish your flight duty, if the crew schedule has not called you after your duty, then the "O" day because a day off. If you have 2 "O" days together, if you are not given something for the first day, then the second is also a day off; so both go to days off. Again, "O" days are not PAID days. You just have to plan to be called until 30 minutes past your last flight assignment blocks in. Then if not called, you can tell your kids that daddy or mommy can come to their soccer game or you can plan your day off with your wife finally. Keep in mind, with a STBY day, you have an 8 hour block to wait on STBY and are paid for a few pence for it.

Like I have said, you can't make this stuff up. But my friends that are at HKA say, they get a lot of STBY days converted to "O" days.

So, now you know and can make a more informed decision or ask about it at your interview before you join.
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 04:29
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: N/A
Age: 38
Posts: 32
I was planning on staying out of this thread, but I am one of those "from the Americas" you are speaking about so I had to speak up. Everything you say is more or less true about HKA, but you sure can put a negative spin on it. I came from a US regional that treated me like a prisoner. They truly felt like they owned you and routinely worked you to the point of sheer exhaustion. The schedules were horrible. I certainly have a lot more time at home here at HKA than back home. At my regional airline you were under a lot of pressure to fly their horribly maintained aircraft. There is none of that here. The HKCAD has things so much better organized than the FAA.
I've found that management here treats you good here as long as you return the favor. Yes I have only been here 3 years, but i've never had a situation where I thought they handled something inappropriately. I only make waves when I see something unsafe, and that just isn't happening here. Otherwise you smile, nod, and be polite to everyone no matter what you have heard, and things go OK. So as a guy from the Americas, i'm OK here.

Last edited by sewerpiper; 14th Jun 2017 at 04:51.
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 07:13
  #49 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: shenzhen
Posts: 25
Well, I would say this, you are absolutely right about this and I have tried to allude to this in my previous post. Europe, America, and other parts are experiencing changes that are a function of the changes in Capitalism or shifts in the economic realties of those areas; and that is a separate thread for this all together. The regional industries have never been good, and that's being generous, in North America, Europe, Australia, South America or even Asia. I join here with a guy from Brazil who told me about things in the South American market that would make regional flying in the US look like paradise. I know guys who have flown for Vueling, Wizz, Easy, Translates airlines, Go Jet etc etc I get it. I do agree it is possible, and I said this in my first post, if you keep your head down stay off the radar, don't try to change anything and bow appropriately, life at HKA can be manageable. But don't think for one moment, underneath all the money that Hainan can throw at HKA in certain areas, doesn't lie this under belly. My apologies, I also get you work there now and I no longer do and there maybe a measure or desire to defend certain things.

But have a look at where many companies are concentrating their recruitment even HKA, South America, Brazil right. Why? Because I know many guys who came to China with me who said the training pay they received 9k at a Chinese Airlines was almost 2 times more than they made in Brazil, maybe! One guy I know, said this, it's more money that I need. This was just training pay, so you can imagine what he thought about full pay for a Chinese Airline, Wow! One of the things my friend said is, I try not to make them upset with me for anything, so I he never talks back and kisses ass appropriately to win a certain favourability he believes. But when we talk about things, he goes on and on about how many crazy things are with the company. But that's privately, because publicly here you keep your head down, pass your medical and PC and you get another 6 months of great pay. But these companies understand the desperation of pilots in these places and seek them out because they will be just happy to have a job and certainly more likely to go along and shut up

I NEVER hear doctors speak the way some pilot's speak. Doctors never say, well you should be happy with just having a job or stop complaining about the work life or rules etc etc or Lawyers, or foot ballers etc etc but who knows, I only know a few in those professions. But I know they all want the most money for the amount effort and dedication they put into their careers. They want to work at the best hospital or clubs or firms that treat them the best, certainly fairly. Clubs, Law Firms, Hospitals, go out of there way to recruit and keep the best people. Period end of story. EXCEPT pilots, they should go along shut up about it and bow your head, bend over and lube up. Why? I think some pilots don't know their own value. As I am typing, I have a QRH out in front of me, I am looking over the computer reset tables, next I will review some items in FCOM ATA 22, some SOPs, and I want to finish the day with a look at the GPWS modes and EGPWS functioning. Why? One, I want to pass my damn PC, not just barely, with no comments. It's part of being a professional pilot, just like Doctors, Lawyers, etc etc It's my day off. So, all I am saying is that, we should demand better from the companies that we work for, not just go along to get along. It's why I left HKA. The money that I make in China makes up for risk that I take by being in China and rules that I don't agree with that make life harder here and why I won't stay in the long run. This is also why I commute on my contract. If you are full time, the company can screw with you anyway they want to and you have to submit for approval when you want time off. Right now we fly 70-80 hours, in the high season it will be closer to 90 hours block. But that's ok, because that goes into my over time pay which is north of $200 per hour. If I fly over 53.4 hours a month, I get over time pay here. At the end of my duty time, I run smartly back to Europe and hang with my lady friend for multiple weeks, recover, and do it all again;oh by the way, the company reimburse my air travel, seriously. Again, I am just saying what was offered and what I experienced with HKA is less than what the pilot there deserve and my post are meant to highlight how that is for people who are thinking of joining. I justify my own bit of hypocrisy on the matter by saying, I am paid a shit load of money to put up with the B.S. other wise I wouldn't and why eat crap at HKA when you can do the same making far more in China. If anything, go to HKE first as your first pick if you just have to go to Hong Kong and burn thru your pay check.

There are not that many Americans at HKA to begin with, so I get it. You mentioned that if you smile and get along and don't try to change the system it's manageable on a certain level. But I would say again, it's where you are in life and what your expectations are for the company and career. I would say the perspective of a person who suffered life at say a regional especially a region first officer making dirt is different. So, for you, being hired by HKA, with the shinny jets, is a great opportunity to get typed and get heavy time fly the A330, A350. This sort of thing is very common for guys who go to many places. Beyond that, I think my posts are still quite valid if you take the time to read what I have posted;but this is also just from mine and my friends perspective on HKA. I get that some may decry maybe a bias, but I have spoken to guys who recently left HKA and who are still there and my own experience with HKA.

I said from the first post, I broke even with HKA. But not everyone does. But I say ask other guys that work for HKA or have been there. It's not about do I think they are the worst place, I have no love for other places from what I have heard. But I have knowledge about HKA and it's world. If I am going to say Emirates as I wanted to back in 2005 era, I sought out people who worked there or stopped and asked why. I got that it was from there perspective etc etc. But that's all it is, a perspective on the company from a fellow pilot which I think helps you decide what you will likely be getting yourself into.

I am planning another thread on my experience in China one of maybe 100 threads that have been posted over the years, it might be more of the same or different. But I am just putting the information that I found from my perspective that I think would have helped me before I landed. For me I have always said of China, the money can make the pain go away for a while but only for a while. Everyone has a different pain tolerance or threshold, so how long you stay in China depends. I think most people would be surprised at some of the dangers and pitfalls and penalties that can come from working in China. I will document it later for those of you who want a current perspective on things.

Again, I have said in all my post about HKA, if you need a job. Get in there, you have to feed yourself and your family and/or loved ones and at the end of the day it's a job. It's always worth going to the interview; but like I said, it's a first date. You really won't know until you are six months in. I liked the vast majority of HKA crews and instructors I came across save but for the ones I highlighted in my first post; but that's pretty common anywhere you go in terms of instructors. Clearly, life has been good for you at HKA, but my experience when I was there was that it wasn't for many people and for many of the reasons I have listed in previous post. Just talk to certain guys who left to go back to Cebu or Philippines Airlines why they left and you probably know who I am speaking about. But at the end of the day, you have to decide what works for you and doesn't. I think of this forum as just that, a forum, you are still able to try to discern what you think you can handle or not handle. What you think is plausible or not plausible of what is being said. Would I do HKA again, NO. I wouldn't, but listen, I got 2 type ratings, I broke even, and made some good friends who feel much the same way I do. Ok back to the QRH and FCOM.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 04:18
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: far from home
Posts: 34
Any updates on the package from the roadshow yesterday?
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 14:55
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In someone pocket
Posts: 1,126
My CIs informed me it was a very full house on thursday.. they included schooling 5yr to 18yr HONG KONG SCHOOLING ONLY. $4000HKD or total school fee whichever the lower. with roster packaging other stuff same same. more widebodies are coming etc. same old spin. My CI. said that the DFO was mumbling when someone ask about ID/Interline travel, virtually none existent if you live outside asia. if you are from america or europe..expect to buy your own ticket home. There ID90/50 etc are only for CATTLE CLASS.. you need to pay for the upgrade to business...doesnt matter what Rank you hold.

- 2 day sick leave per month
- HOusing allowance, mobile phone bills, internet, massages with happy ending, mistress etc
. is the MBA(G) money. its your money. do as you please.
- 30 nights hotel accommodation for reporting pilots
- maximum subsidy of HK$34,500 for relocation expenses of household effects
- maximum of x4 one-way economy class air tickets to HK for employee/dependents ONLY WITH HONG KONG AIRLINES NETWORK
- Medical Insurance for employee and eligible dependents holding a dependents visa and residing in Hong Kong
- Group Life & Personal Accident Insurance of US$80,000 coverage for employees
- Employee's compensation insurance
- Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme

Option A
8 non-consecutive days off / month + 28 days of annual leave, including statutory holidays

Option B
2 blocks / month
1st block: 4 block days off
2nd block: 2 block days off + 2 annual leaves

Option C
8 block days off + 2 annual leave / month

SALARY.. is shown below. ALL PRICES are BEFORE TAX!! tax is 15-17% (I would use 17% tax to avoid surprises and disappointments) 1st april to next your march 31st. spend you money wisely dont forget to pay the Taxman..after a year.

Last edited by jetjockey696; 16th Jun 2017 at 15:20.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 15:16
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: hang on let me check
Posts: 493
Sorry, I must be doing this wrong..from this table a 320 capt >3000 hrs pic makes about 104.000 HK dollars NET per month?? provided he flies 50 hrs..
And a 330/350 capt 107.000 NET per month
Including housing allowance?

With what I had gathered before, I understood the average pay would be about 140.000 HK dollars net per month, and a bit more on wide body..

Last edited by bringbackthe80s; 16th Jun 2017 at 15:35.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 17:56
  #53 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: shenzhen
Posts: 25
Keep in Mind

For Option A, you can request certain days off per month, 6 to be exact and you can request 2 flight per month as well. You won't get six days in a row, maybe 4 occasionally. Much easier to get 3 days where you want during the month. But you can sometimes use your annual leave adhoc and combine it with that request ahead of time. So, You would take 5 days adhoc leave and the request 1 day off before or even 2 days off and maybe 2 days off after. You might then get 7-9 days off. Your request are not always available. You have to play it against the month of the request, much easier in say November, non-peak travel. For Option B and C, you don't get to choose the block of days off you want and you take a hit in the pay department which is complete BS.

Don't get worked up by the two days of sick leave, you still have to go get a doctors note on the same day of your illness in order for it to be paid. No doctors note and they will deduct pay and then a nasty note in your secret file.

Remember you get training pay during all periods of training, so you have to do the dollar cost averaging to account for that fact.

Read all those insurance coverages carefully, they are pretty complicated and paperwork intensive. That's all I will say!

140k HKD is a bit high for average, closer to 126-27 on the A330, depending on the season. The most I made was 145k HKD based on 93 block.

You do get pays for red eye flights like Bangkok.

If you have kids, the school fees are no JOKE please account.

I am still holding my breathe for Myid Travel just because I keep teasing my friends that are still there. It's a really interesting carrot, but it's a program run by SAS I believe and they don't share your travel information with the companies is many understanding. Hence, I don't think HKA is interested in a program that they can't spy on you, control where you go, or observe when and where you are going. I know it sounds crazy but just wait and see when you get there.

Last edited by flyer25; 16th Jun 2017 at 17:56. Reason: typo
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 02:05
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1998
Posts: 747
HKA management. Continue to play your control games. You will end up with exactly what you deserve: either not enough crew, or only crew that are worth what you pay (and that is not meant to be a compliment). The industry is rapidly running out of competent and experienced crew, no matter what management may think or hope. Either you wake up and provide proper conditions of service, or you will have aircraft parked. A big F-off to all the management cretins who pretend that they are ultimately in control. From someone who used to work on the inside, I can assure you all that your day is at an end.
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 03:09
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: dowund
Posts: 91
[QUOTE=mngmt mole;9804433]HKA .....

Cathay & Dragon = Mismanagement & not happy !
HKA = Low pay & fringe benefits in H.K. !
HKE = Same as HKA plus no big aircraft !

Perhaps these choices:-
Hong Kong = Private Jet companies ?
China = Accept the culture environment ?
Middle East = Take the risk ?
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Old 17th Jun 2017, 13:48
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Vietnam
Posts: 28
If you manage to get the option C roster pattern, do you take a salary reduction on your basic ?
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Old 18th Jun 2017, 12:17
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In someone pocket
Posts: 1,126
No not on your basic.. basic covers up to 50hrs of flt time. you fly beyond 50 hrs. it the flt pay that will see your reduction.. since your be flying for about 2+ weeks. i guess your still be hitting around 70-78hrs per month. BUT I what I got told.. your contract states that the 10 days off can be cut short, if the see the need of crew. NOTHING IS GUARANTEE.
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 09:15
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Sunny Bay
Posts: 247
Rubbish - intentionally misleading people!
The BASIC PAY is reduced by 9,000HKD for Captains and 8,000HKD for FO's.

Regarding 'flight pay' - you are 'at work' for fewer days (20/10) but HKA policy is that everybody does at least the basic 50hrs per month, so you will do 50 hrs minimum, and that may mean you may have to work your ass off during the 20 days you are at work.
Double whammy - a pay DEDUCTION for the SAME productivity.

If you get to 78hrs in that 20 days (as the JetJockey suggests is possible) you'll be dead on your feet. Remember HKA is still mainly a shorthaul airline.

Oh, and don't forget, they take ALL of your Annual Leave away too.
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 10:26
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The lion city
Posts: 368

If one chose the 20/10 options does HKA provide housing during those 20 days on like Korean?
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 12:18
  #60 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Sunny Bay
Posts: 247


By the way - the Option C Roster has so far been given to only 5 'legacy' Captains since it began last October. There is a LONG waiting list of other people who have been in HKA for years and want this commuting facility. Guys with families overseas that they rarely get time to visit. They have been given numbers on a waiting list. They don't appreciate what HKA are doing here. They are being insulted by this company which has decided to solve a self-inflicted crew shortage by giving new joiners immediate priority access to these more favourable rosters, ignoring those on the waiting list.
People are rightfully angry! If you think you'll be welcomed by your new colleagues, whom you have usurped by your arrival - think again.
If you try to 'make up' the deducted pay by hogging longhaul trips it will be noticed and it will be vehemently protested to the GMF, who has promised(!) to stamp it out. His already weakened credibility with crews is yet again on the line. You're in the middle of it.

Last edited by Killaroo; 19th Jun 2017 at 12:33.
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