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Australia to give visas to foreign pilots to fix growing shortage

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.

Australia to give visas to foreign pilots to fix growing shortage

Old 29th Dec 2017, 12:32
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Australia to give visas to foreign pilots to fix growing shortage


jetjockey696 is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2017, 13:35
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CX: "....for whom the bells toll...it tolls for thee...
mngmt mole is online now  
Old 29th Dec 2017, 13:36
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Está servira para distraerle.
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Many years ago the Australian Pilots Association, or some such representative body, took out half pages advertisements in Flight International and other aviation publications. The purpose of these ads was to dissuade foreign pilots from going to work in Australia during a Qantas pilot strike. The content of the ads was quite vitriolic. Anyone who went to Australia would be a scab and so on and on.
Not that very long afterwards there was a serious pilot shortage in Europe and in particular in the UK. Australian pilots, many from Qantas I believe, went uo north in droves and found work flying far from home. This was considered quite an acceptable form of hypocrisy by those Australian pilots with whom i remonstrated at the time.
So all I have to say is whoopee! How about a little seasonal Schadenfreude!
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 19:56
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The action you refer to did not involve QANTAS, it involved the two major domestic airlines. A wide ranging industrial dispute resulted in a 'lock out' of Ansett and Australian Airlines pilots. The companies had placed recruitment ads in the major aviation mags, and in those primitive pre-internet days, the AFAP (union) had to respond with the ads you refer to, as many foreign pilots thought that they were legitimate recruitment ads.

Many Aussies who did not cross the line went overseas to take legitimate positions, with various degrees of success (many to Cathay Pacific). Others never flew again, and there were marriage breakups and financial distress. Enjoy your schadenfreude, even though you have dredged up an event involving a previous generation of pilots that happened almost thirty years ago. You must be easily amused.

For the rest of us, the current situation is like that of the regionals in the US, the bottom-feeding Australian regional airlines are not paying the $$ to attract quality, qualified crew. They are fishing to sucker in any desperadoes from overseas who would accept their conditions. There are also systemic problems with the decreasing volume of flight training in Australia which, inter alia, include a dreadful regulator, high costs, lack of motivation of young people to fly, ridiculous security requirements and ancient, clapped out training aircraft.

Cheetah's cavorting aside, this is more indicative of a global problem for airline managements, and Cathay Pacific may wish to take note.

Last edited by Captain Dart; 29th Dec 2017 at 20:31.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 20:41
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For CX to take note, they would have to listen. Hard to do that when you are reciting threats 24/7.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 20:47
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My goodness me, was it as long ago as thirty years! How time flies!
Thank you for putting the matter into some better perspective than my remembrances permitted. I think then that Schadenfreude on my part should be tempered with sadness that such a situation as you describe has arisen in Australia. What you describe is a great shame for aviation and the more so because it is in theory so easily rectified.
But my goodness me, I'd love to be an overseas desperado again though!
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 00:50
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The adverts against coming to Australia also stated that any agreement to end the strike would include the cancellation of contracts given to those who came over.

Australians going overseas usually took jobs where no locals were qualified to fill the position such as the Middle East or Asia, or they had rights to a passport through their ancestry.
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 03:33
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While acknowledging the surrounding cirumstances, the situation in Australia all those years ago involved pilots who resigned. It was an industrial tactic which had enormous consequences. It wasn't a pilot shortage as such.

The pilot shortage that is occurring now is a direct result of government bureaucracy, inaction and over regulation over many years. This permeates every area of aviation - airlines, general aviation, CASA, air traffic control etc etc.

The USA has its' share of problems, but it seems to manage aviation change a whole lot better than some of the so called 'experts' running this nanny state that we live in now.

As long as these 'experts' refuse to look at real world standards, regulation etc etc, nothing will change, and the quick fix of work visas is a shocking admission of failure to manage and nurture our own industry.
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 06:53
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Despite the bureaucratic issues surrounding training etc, there is still an excess of Australian pilots. The issue is, many of them aren’t prepared to work for the pittance that some Australian airlines offer so have taken their expertise to foreign countries.
If regional Australian operators want pilots, they could get them tomorrow.
The cheaper option of course is to start a media scare through the government mouthpiece (The Australian) closely followed by a government seen to be acting by issuing 457 visas.

Ironically, this from a government that believes in a “free market”.
Obviously “free” only for big business and virtual slavery for workers.
Progress Wanchai is offline  
Old 30th Dec 2017, 07:50
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Regional airlines in Aus pay their FOs about 60 grand Aussie (45k US) per annum. Median house price in Sydney is near a million AUD, more if you want to live within 30 mins of the airport you'll be commuting to daily if you're based in Sydney. I know CX has its issues but if you think this is a good deal, good luck. The reality is there is no pilot shortage in Australia, it's just that these regional carriers can't hang on to crew as they pay a relative pittance so their pilots disappear as soon as something better (pretty much anything) comes along. The adversarial IR and HR culture at many Australian carriers could also teach CX management a thing or two.
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Old 31st Dec 2017, 09:56
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There are dozens if not hundreds of Aussie pilots in the Uk ,can’t see why any of them would want to go home for that sort of money
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Old 31st Dec 2017, 19:16
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But you get to be a Aussienaught. That is priceless on ones CV😊
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Old 1st Jan 2018, 01:07
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Who would want to live 150 meters from a busy international airport?

Oh the serenity!

How many FO's would be based in Sydney on that?

If the pay were the same as a 737 FO (or slightly more) would the pilot stay a say REX or still jump ship to say Jetstar?

Another interesting thing in the article is that Australian pilots are going to China and America due higher pay. These higher pays are offered as these countries have pilot shortages, so who is responsible in the USA for this shortage and what is being done about protecting jobs for Americans?

The jet time and rapid progression seems to be the main reason that Australian pilots are heading to the USA (have not heard much on China), and the money being a secondary bonus.

Many years ago a few of my pilot friends got jobs with CX on the 74's - I think they were fairly early B scale. They tried living in Hong Kong but did not like it so then commuted from Australia for a while. The money was excellent but after a few years they both headed to Qantas on a pay cut and loss of seniority, but a better life. I heard they progressed slowly to captains and assume they are still there.

When things start to change in China and USA, it might be wise to cut and run. Better than getting cornered on a A or B in quicksand.
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Old 1st Jan 2018, 04:42
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"When" things get better in China or the USA? They already ARE better. CX is dead.
mngmt mole is online now  
Old 1st Jan 2018, 05:58
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A bit confused as to your comment mngmt mole.

If it were to my comment - I said when things stat to change.

The wages and hours being mentioned for the USA, would be lower ($'s) and more (days/hours) than a A scale CX today.

The people still on A scale at CX have been there a long time and at every opportunity having money as in bonuses and the like removed, giving them a continual reduction money and conditions. Many other places are seeing increases.

I expect B scale also in general be not financially worse off than the guys that headed of to the USA on the E3 visa. But these guys that are captains have the problem in aviation of a strong bond in the industry of seniority. So realistically for guys at CX to move out is FO jobs on the large pay reduction and climb that seniority ladder again.

Many at CX can not even seriously look at USA as there is no pathway to green card as they are married with kids. This will be the same issue if Australia only do the 2 year option, as it is a max 1 extension and no path to PR. So it is reasonable that Australia will put pilots on the 4 year visa that can lead to PR.

But the problem again, is that almost all - when thing start to change will need to change seats and reduce pay for a while.

All countries have visa requirements for work reasons and they are not scared to change them with changes of immediate effect when conditions change.

If you want to build and have your career in a foreign country, plan your plan b.

As for the unfilled positions vacant that caused this change to the visa program - anyone actually know what position and types are they?
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Old 1st Jan 2018, 07:12
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The position is the one where u bend over and hold your ankles.

Based in any of Australia’s cities on an FO salary for a regional will mean working a second job to survive. And the visa won’t allow a second job of stacking supermarket shelves as those jobs are reserved for real Australians.

There’s a reason there’s aussies in every polluted corner of the globe flying crap for tyrants. It’s still better than an Australian regional
Progress Wanchai is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2018, 07:34
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And why CX can remove everything and make like hell until they resign.

If they did the regional path to progression in Australia, they could be Captains with seniority now in a low pollution country. But seems that leap frog to a top job now was not the best long term plan and the sacrifice in pay to correct that is far to great.

But seriously what are the actual open positions and on what types?
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Old 2nd Jan 2018, 01:25
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Based in any of Australia’s cities on an FO salary for a regional will mean working a second job to survive.
Yeah, thats simply not true. Sure, if you're based in Sydney you're not going to be living in Bondi on an FOs wage, but an FOs wage in any Australian capital city doesn't require a second job to survive.
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Old 2nd Jan 2018, 01:53
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Are you serious ?

Possibly if the f/o is living at home with his parents. Try supporting a family even on a Captain's wage. The wife will need to have a decent paying job.
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Old 2nd Jan 2018, 02:04
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Oh, you mean like being a new SO/FO in CX? Got it.
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