Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > Fragrant Harbour
Reload this Page >

Is the grass really greener? Perspectives from an escapee.

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.

Is the grass really greener? Perspectives from an escapee.

Old 10th Apr 2018, 15:22
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: HK-CRoC
Posts: 685
Unhappy Bottom of Barrel ??

Whaaaaat ??

I thought they were getting the pick of the crop from the Ballerina school.
I can just hear the singing in the cockpit "Hold me Closer Tiny Dancer"

Tic Toc, Tic Toc....
Flex88 is offline  
Old 18th Apr 2018, 02:28
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: In Sin
Age: 51
Posts: 84
Originally Posted by Ghost_Rider737 View Post
Don't worry folks, I don't think any pilots from SAA will be joining CX. Extremely low turn out at the road show
Nope, 'cos the majority were at the Cathay Dragon interviews.
Over 60 interviewed, thats what I hear from a certain KA People Manager in a slip of the tongue, after a few drinks of cx hospitality
TheGreenDragon is offline  
Old 19th Apr 2018, 07:26
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1998
Posts: 99
Just love the letter to the SO’s from PC. A rather obvious dissembling that attempts to convince the SO’s that they won’t be spending up to 6 years in that position. Just look at the numbers quoted: JFO upgrades this year – 10. JFO upgrades next year – 208. Who can possibly believe that? There is almost no chance of them increasing upgrades from 10-208 in just a year, as not only are they not getting new trainers, many of the current ones are resigning month on month. The company is desperate to keep people from resigning, but has managed to get the company to a place where there is no hope of a proper career for anyone who stays (fewer and fewer such people by the month). Note: they have to admit 10 this year as it is easily verifiable. For next year, and any year thereafter, they can make up whatever number they believe will keep people happy. (note: PC states that his numbers are dependent on the training ban being removed, highly unlikely based on the company's intransigence).

The letter goes on to emphasise the point that they can’t get much done with the Training Ban. Thanks PC for confirming that our strategy is having a big effect. The pilots of the airline realize that there can be NO softening of the ban until there have been dramatic improvements to our pay and conditions. We are all committed to waiting this out until this company starts treating ALL it's pilots with respect, and institutes major improvements to our conditions.

The discussion also speaks in detail about DEFO’s, and the fact that they are having trouble getting people to attend interviews, more less actually accept the job. The reason for that is that the word is out. The Internet has allowed the truth of CX’s appalling treatment of its pilots to be disseminated worldwide. Not only has that treatment caused the “Great Exodus” to begin, but it has also prevented many other pilots from causing themselves and their families’ unnecessary and avoidable grief by making the mistake of joining. Even the few DEFO’s that have joined are already making plans to leave (ask me how I know!).

PC, you say there will be a “steady reduction in time to upgrade”, when it is obviously apparent that with the increase in 2 SO flights, DEFO’s, the enhancement of the training ban and the company actually cutting flights and the number of aircraft (getting rid of 10 777ER’s), there will actually be an increase in time as SO for many years to come. A simple look at the seniority numbers show that for most of the SO’s who foolishly stay, they will cripple their careers with years as a SO without being able to log hours, or improving their skills by actually flying an aircraft.

SO's, CX is using you as “cannon fodder” to put warm bodies in the seats so that the flights can operate legally. They don’t care about you, your careers, your families needs or your long-term best interests. They only care about you not resigning, and will do or say anything to facilitate that for as long as they can.

Since 2010, CX has decided that the career aspirations of their pilots don’t matter. They seem to think you will willingly live in HK in a shoebox (overpriced, so you waste money on that instead of paying for a home back in your own country), with wife and kids. They care not that you can barely afford to educate those same children, that you will have a completely inadequate retirement, pathetic travel benefits, and then, when you retire, they will demonstrate contempt and disdain for all your years of effort. Don’t make the mistake of crippling your true career potential. CX has already proved they are not worthy of your commitment.

Last edited by mngmt mole; 19th Apr 2018 at 14:23.
mngmt mole is offline  
Old 20th Apr 2018, 03:01
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 640
Talking mngmt mole

It's interesting that there is no mention in the letter of resolving the training ban....only that it will be mitigated. That doesn't suggest the author/company is actually interested in resolving the issues!

I believe your assertions on upgrade rate are correct. However PC is correct on one statement - yes time to upgrade will steadily reduce from the current rate. But that's because the current rate is 10 per year - so if we do 11 next year, that is a reduction from 50 years to upgrade to 45 - then if it is 12 in 2020 that will further reduce from 45 years to just over 40years.
Numero Crunchero is offline  
Old 20th Apr 2018, 04:48
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Somewhere Smelly
Posts: 46
Or stick around for your own little piece of paradise


Not that you will be able to afford it!
Babbalito is offline  
Old 20th Apr 2018, 05:32
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: I go, therefore I am there!
Posts: 194
Originally Posted by Numero Crunchero View Post
It's interesting that there is no mention in the letter of resolving the training ban....only that it will be MITIGATED. That doesn't suggest the author/company is actually interested in resolving the issues!
That word certainly did stand out.

It would also be worth noting that any resolution to the TB, would surely see our company put measures in place to try and prevent that tool from ever being effectively used again. Not sure what that would be? Maybe over-staffing the T & C positions and only paying "train by the hour"? I'd like to see the reaction to that proposal. If the issues are eventually resolved and the TB lifted, it better be worth giving up the main leverage the pilots have.
arse is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 09:20
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Mostly Harmless
Posts: 100

As an ex CX guy, I thought I'd add my tuppence worth. I was terminated 17 days before my 10th anniversary with the airline. My health started to give out 2 years before and after several failed attempts at returns to work, it wasn't happening. I understand CX's decision and have no objections to their reason.

Shortly after I joined CX from the military, 49 pilots were fired to scare the rest of us in to line. Having worked so hard to fly the aircraft of my dreams and one of the best airlines in the world, I didn't realise how much it had affected me. The fear of loss stayed with me for many years.

Around 5 years into my CX career, I regained my UK ATPL and it was at this point that I should have left. Flight deck chat was invariably about Ts and Cs and who had left to fly for whom. There was an excitement around the latter as if a fellow colleague had escaped from a prison camp.

As a based FO doing 3 HK trips a month, the commute was difficult at times and my sleep began to suffer. We gave up 5-4-3. I began having "micro days" where I'd sleep for 2 hours then be awake for 6.

I clung on, ignoring my health, and passed command assessment on my second attempt. The first was with a dinosaur BM who grilled me for 90 minutes on the obsolete Vol 4 - we'd moved on to FCOMs - with encouraging phrases like, "You've just killed 400 people." I had a chat with the fleet head of training who replied, "We really must find out what goes in in these assessments." We could debate the "training" system at length.

Finally, my health gave out and I left aviation.

Friends, for what it's worth, my opinion was and is that CX is gradually being turned into a local airline in preparation for 2047. There's no longer as much of a requirement for ex-pats as there used to be and the erosion of Ts & Cs will continue. At the risk of being branded a racist, the SE Asian mentality is not compatible with some other cultures. Yes, you can operate within it but HK is all about making money. Do not and do not think you can interfere with the process. From random firings through failing SOs' upgrades to illegal basing operations, the proof is there.

I'm in the process of returning to aviation but the journey is already around 28 months and difficult at times. Monetarily, I've "lost" over 1M in earnings but I don't give it a minute's thought. I sleep, I dream and still love that point where someone says "rotate" and we slip the surly bonds once more.

New pilots at the flying club will invariably engage me in a what-should-I-do conversation and my reply to each of them is the same: follow your dreams. If you want to fly short or long haul, it's up to you. I had always wanted to fly 747s and I did it: tick VG.

I'm now at several crossroads at the same time in my life and feel rather like Tom Hank's Fed-Ex guy at the end of the film. My only regret is that I didn't leave CX sooner.
Buttie Box is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 15:28
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 171
'Preparing for 2047'.This is something at the back of my mind too.

As an aside all property leases will revert to China at 2047.Think about that.
wongsuzie is offline  
Old 10th May 2018, 21:29
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Delta of Venus
Posts: 0
HK is all about making money.
Of course it is. It's always been a "pirate's play den" from day 1. Dreadful place, if you go to work there you deserve all you get. The thing is that the "pirates" don't need to charm the pilots anymore. Supply outstrips demand and will continue to do so because people have realised that flying an aircraft is not mega difficult & better than working in an office, a factory or planting a paddy field. The old timers got lucky, right place right time, but that was then.We all live in our own era and you'll never change it. Sorry to sound so pessimistic but I like to tell it how it is.

Last edited by Private jet; 10th May 2018 at 22:02.
Private jet is offline  
Old 11th May 2018, 00:32
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1998
Posts: 99
Private Jet. ..."supply outstrips demand"... hahaha, what planet are you on? You obviously haven't seen the sudden and accelerating deterioration of major airlines pilot staffing. Only in the world of a "wannabe" could someone make such an ill-informed statement in the present day. And from someone who is an insider, "that is the way it is".
mngmt mole is offline  
Old 11th May 2018, 18:30
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: HK-CRoC
Posts: 685
Talking For The Canuks Supply vs Demand

Yup, it's becoming the same everywhere. Talking to those I know, signing bonuses are beginning to be discussed in the shadows for now however not for long. US counterparts already paying...

How the high-flying job of a pilot lost its glamour | CBC News
Flex88 is offline  
Old 11th May 2018, 20:37
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Delta of Venus
Posts: 0
Only in the world of a "wannabe" could someone make such an ill-informed statement in the present day. And from someone who is an insider, "that is the way it is".
With respect, you're really barking up the wrong tree there sunshine.
As long as any employer can put one bum on one vacated seat then there will never be a shortage, thats what I was alluding to in my rather non eloquent way.
I guess the only other point I thought I would make is that those who migrate wherever in the world to fulfill their career ambitions can't really complain about the system they willfully accept and continue to accept. If you're not happy, go somewhere where you will be happier. I'm really not sure what you guys have to negotiate with? If you think a bunch of Caucasians are going to outsmart the Chinese in their own back yard then you're hopelessly optimistic at best. Anyway, I really have no vested interest in your little Asian bunfight so I'm sorry I even bothered to comment. I'll stick to my own patch in future. All the best.
Private jet is offline  
Old 12th May 2018, 02:40
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Polar Route
Posts: 7

Comments like these highlight just how stupid many pilots are and why we have such an uphill battle against Management. We have to fight these morons as well as the actual enemy.

Stick to your private jet please. We don’t need more of you in our profession.
cxorcist is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2018, 14:50
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Straya
Posts: 9
Quick question. I have recently received a response from Mrs.Crawford about the upgrade time and this is what she wrote to me:

"The HKCAD will only licence a P2X rating for a maximum of 5 years from initial line check without an exemption. Therefore it is highly unlikely anyone would remain a SO over 4.8yrs, worst case scenario.


Kelly Crawford
Talent Acquisition Manager - Operation"

If what she said is true, that the CAD will only licence a P2X rating for a maximum of 5 years, then how come you guys keep throwing out the 6 - 7 years time frame? Is that even possible? Can someone explain to me please?
ChrissyPrezzie is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2018, 22:17
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: www
Posts: 521
KC's title is "Talent Acquisition Manager" ! It's crap like that that convinces me that this company has no future.
Apple Tree Yard is offline  
Old 15th Jul 2018, 03:23
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Asia
Posts: 522

Mrs Kelly Crawford left CX is now with Qantas recruitment.

What does that tell you?
AQIS Boigu is offline  
Old 15th Jul 2018, 08:12
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1998
Posts: 99
It tells me Qantas is going to streamline the hiring of CX pilots
mngmt mole is offline  
Old 16th Jul 2018, 11:04
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: HK-CRoC
Posts: 685

That sir is called Serendipity
Flex88 is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2018, 14:56
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Location Location
Posts: 99
FYI Mrs Kelly Crawford left CX is now with Qantas recruitment. What does that tell you?
And Kelly's replacement has a background in hotels and did a stint at Emirates. What does that tell you? Emirates hired a bell boy recruiter to scout pilots, but it must have worked for her, because now she's recruiting bell boys for CX cockpits.

You can only wish you were flying with ballerinas. You'll be flying with bell boys shortly. Be sure to leave a tip at the end of your flight.

Last edited by Shutterbug; 4th Aug 2018 at 15:34.
Shutterbug is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2018, 03:38
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 5
I personally know several former CX'ers now working at FedEx and Delta. Reach out to them if you know them about the current state of hiring in the US. If you are eligible for employment there, my experience has been your flying skills and work ethic honed at CX will be welcomed and well respected at US carriers.

I have enjoyed your product as a customer, but seeing the erosion of benefits and respect for the men and women who make it happen is depressing. I trust my family in your hands regularly, and respect the hell out of the effort you guys put into your training and work. I enjoy living here in Hong Kong, but unlike many of you I can leave without a loss of pay or seniority. I feel more like a tourist or long term visitor than a resident, and that makes the 2047 countdown and some of the day to day tribulations easier to take, because I know when it reaches my threshold I am out of here. Whether its the HKR closing the DB marina, another move to silence local politicians, or a new construction like the Lantau metropolis project going in despite the objections of the locals, there is a pattern to why things seem to happen here. It is "**** you--that's why!..." I don't harbor any illusions about the impending loss of civil liberties and the push by China to simply make HK another one of its cities. I have spent enough time in Guangzhou and Shanghai to know that while those cities have their charms, they will never be a place I want to call home.

We all have our own inertia, and I understand why many of you with years here are reluctant to leave. For some of you--its still "home" or "...a solid job...". What I will say is that if I can help any of you network with US carriers or assist in any way, I'm glad to do so. At least in our corner of aviation, things have been looking up and improving the last decade. Nobody wants to start over, but ask your contacts what they are making in year two at FedEx or Delta and at least for some you it might be an option worth considering. I can also say that the US supplemental carriers (Kalitta, Altas, Polar, etc) have been desperate for pilots and while their benefits won't make the elite jobs they are a solid place to go and make the transition.

In full disclosure, I run an interview prep service, primarily focused on US carriers although we've helped people prepare for interviews at CX, Emirates, Virgin, and some other places. That is NOT why I am posting. I'm not here to sell services--I'm here to help you network if it helps. Networking is free.

Again--if anyone wants to chat over a beer on South Lantau or in Central, I'm glad to offer what I can and help you expand your network. The best way to make a change at CX is for some of you to leave. Good luck to all of you....
Ahaganf15 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.