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.

Freighter S/O

Old 15th Jul 2019, 14:08
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: canada
Posts: 52
Freighter S/O

If one is to be so unlucky to end up an S//O on the freighter, what destinations will they fly to? How many days a month worked? Are upgrades to F/O any faster on a freighter?

Thanks
grind king is offline  
Old 15th Jul 2019, 15:11
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: All over
Posts: 130
Ya know, I think I’ll go out and hit myself on the head with a hammer. I have the choice not to hit myself on the head at all and have gotten this advice from those who actually work in the head and hammer business. But they all have to be wrong because I have high hopes that somehow my head and hammer are different.

Now i have to make the choice between sledge, ball peen, wooden mallet, or standard. Can you all tell me which one might be better if one is going to hit oneself on the noggin ?
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Old 15th Jul 2019, 15:17
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Honkie
Posts: 22
If you are the lucky draw winner You can enjoy lovely Anchorage all year around. Upgrade time from SO to JFO is same as everyone else, aka 5-7 years at current rate.
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Old 15th Jul 2019, 17:30
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: FUMOD
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And you can fly with the Chair of AOAE......yawn!

Originally Posted by AB335 View Post
If you are the lucky draw winner You can enjoy lovely Anchorage all year around. Upgrade time from SO to JFO is same as everyone else, aka 5-7 years at current rate.
Hugo Peroni the V is offline  
Old 15th Jul 2019, 19:37
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 338
Oh come on guys , the hotel is quite nice in ANC , the Brew House has good food and beer, the menu becomes a bit repetitive after the first 50 visits or so it there is always F Street . The weather is quite lovely in summer . Trying to get around in winter at minus 20C can be a little more challenging but the summers make up for it ,after all who doesn’t want 20 hours of daylight .
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Old 16th Jul 2019, 01:22
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: anywhere the job offer is!
Posts: 256
SO destinations have improved somewhat over the last couple of years on the 747, however you will find yourself passengering into destinations to pick the jet up the next day so minimum rest. You will also find yourself passengering on the 747 between destinations as you're not required to operate certain sectors. I heard the new rostering practises are limiting SO to 6 passengering sectors a month. The New Conditions of service is an absolute joke and I highly recommend you look for employment else where. You have been warned so don't say you havent.

Anyway some of the destinations that SO now operate to or from include,
LHR, AMS, FRA, MXP, BOM, DEL, MEX/GDL, NYC, ORD. ANC ANC ANC
There are probably a few others......

With regards to Upgrades, most of the SO's are upgrading onto the Airbus fleet at the moment, with the unlucky few staying on the 747. There is no rime or reason as to who goes to which fleet, it is all directed from the powers to be. Upgrades at Present are pushing 4.5 years and increasing. All upgrades are done in seniority so NO chance to jump the que. You can join as a Direct Entry First Officer,if you have the required time but once again you don't jump the seniority lists. Commands at present are sitting around 13-14 years. Expect that to push out further in time to come.

Once again, LOOK ELSEWHERE.....
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Old 16th Jul 2019, 13:37
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Asia
Posts: 510
How about PXing three sectors from ANC to GDL via LAX and MEX (total duty 18 hours!!!) to operate GDL-ANC the next day. All that for **** all credit
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Old 23rd Jul 2019, 18:36
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Amantido
Posts: 837
I currently fly cargo and I enjoy it at lot, but what really is stopping me from applying is the long wait to FO, JFO or whatever it is. So I am probably better off waiting to have the requirements for Direct Entry FO - provided the morale will improve. Reading PPRuNe makes it appear a misery... No offence meant!
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Old 23rd Jul 2019, 21:02
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: up here, everyone looks like ants!
Posts: 958
long wait to FO, JFO or whatever it is
is really the last thing that should concern you.

The relationship between the whole company and flight crew is shockingly bad, where massive strategic missteps costing billions are habitually and unfairly heaped on the pilots, staff are abused and shortchanged while our Swire masters take home ever increasing bonuses.

The rostering “system” is unspeakably bad - seniority is practically worthless, inefficiencies are everywhere and consultation and coordination with the aircrew body is zero.

Resignations are rocketing, a 10% turnover is possible.

CoS 18 (conditions of service, 2018) is an affront to decency, paying substandard wages in the world’s most expensive city, so poor that married new joiners are leaving their spouses in their home countries because raising a family on CoS 18 is near impossible.

Labour laws are useless and protections are near zero.

Transfers from the 747 are so rare that once on the 747, resign yourself to a career on type. The shiny new 777 “X” and A350 will never be on your licence. Never.

Pollution in Hong Kong is life-threatening.

If you’re concerned about a five year wait for an upgrade, you’re standing too close to the picture. Step back and look again.

Last edited by Cpt. Underpants; 23rd Jul 2019 at 22:45.
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 05:13
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Gerloz
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Originally Posted by Cpt. Underpants View Post
is really the last thing that should concern you.

The relationship between the whole company and flight crew is shockingly bad, where massive strategic missteps costing billions are habitually and unfairly heaped on the pilots, staff are abused and shortchanged while our Swire masters take home ever increasing bonuses.

The rostering “system” is unspeakably bad - seniority is practically worthless, inefficiencies are everywhere and consultation and coordination with the aircrew body is zero.

Resignations are rocketing, a 10% turnover is possible.

CoS 18 (conditions of service, 2018) is an affront to decency, paying substandard wages in the world’s most expensive city, so poor that married new joiners are leaving their spouses in their home countries because raising a family on CoS 18 is near impossible.

Labour laws are useless and protections are near zero.

Transfers from the 747 are so rare that once on the 747, resign yourself to a career on type. The shiny new 777 “X” and A350 will never be on your licence. Never.

Pollution in Hong Kong is life-threatening.

If you’re concerned about a five year wait for an upgrade, you’re standing too close to the picture. Step back and look again.
Bollocks. The shiny new A50 is on my licence. Now. Granted had to wait a bit. !!
Globocnik is online now  
Old 24th Jul 2019, 09:03
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: up here, everyone looks like ants!
Posts: 958
As a matter of interest, how long did you wait?
Was that FO B747 to FO A50 or SO B747 to JFO A50?
Just curious. You don't need to be precise or disclose anything that you feel may compromise your identity BTW.
Is there anything else in my reply that you feel needs a rebuttal?
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 10:40
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Age: 51
Posts: 41
All SO's on the 747 currently upgrade on 777 or Airbus.

Cpt Underpants, I think you should talk to somebody. You sound clinically depressed, seriously.
Sam Ting Wong is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2019, 12:01
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Greener Pastures
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I think the vitriol and nonsense posted on this forum closely rivals Mumsnet for the title of most ridiculous forum on the internet.Capt. Underpants – you moan and complain, yet you still presumably work at CX. Deterring new joiners WILL NOT improve your COS or general working situation. COS 18 is undeniably poor, in comparison to A and B scales, but in the world market, it is still better than many, many opportunities available to low hour pilots.
Roy De Kantzow is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2019, 13:23
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Originally Posted by Cpt. Underpants View Post
As a matter of interest, how long did you wait?
Was that FO B747 to FO A50 or SO B747 to JFO A50?
Just curious. You don't need to be precise or disclose anything that you feel may compromise your identity BTW.
Is there anything else in my reply that you feel needs a rebuttal?
None of the above. Slightly more senior than that.
Globocnik is online now  
Old 24th Jul 2019, 15:24
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Valley of the Wind
Posts: 20
Can someone post real numbers how many pilots left form jun`18 to jun`19 and how many got hired.

There were couple of good posts in previous treads here,real numbers and crew composition.

Cheers
jakekenobi is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2019, 15:25
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Join Date: Jul 2018
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Posts: 130
Originally Posted by Roy De Kantzow View Post
I think the vitriol and nonsense posted on this forum closely rivals Mumsnet for the title of most ridiculous forum on the internet.Capt. Underpants – you moan and complain, yet you still presumably work at CX. Deterring new joiners WILL NOT improve your COS or general working situation. COS 18 is undeniably poor, in comparison to A and B scales, but in the world market, it is still better than many, many opportunities available to low hour pilots.
Although there may be some cynical tone (due to the multitudes of warnings yet still Pollyannas trying to rationalize making a bad choice), I think in many cases there is a genuine well natured intent to keep a kid from making a bad life decision. Similar to when an older adult might see a kid wanting to try drugs, drink and drive, vandalize property, drop out of school, or shoplift. Granted there is a level of frustration in seeing someone who is well warned continue to engage in behavior which will hurt him — hence the apparent sarcasm.

You also have to remember that new joiners (as well as those extending on POS18) are being used and manipulated as pawns — useful idiots as it were — to denigrate working conditions, pay, and opportunities for everyone else in the workforce. Their ignorance and selfishness has a tangible impact on everyone else working here. Even if their personal intent was to do a couple of years and then bugger off, their actions have hurt others who might be mid career with a great deal of seniority in a seniority based business. As such, I believe a level of scolding is in order.

Last edited by Slasher1; 24th Jul 2019 at 15:49.
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Old 24th Jul 2019, 19:06
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Back of Beyond
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Have to 100% agree with Slasher. Well said.
Flying Clog is online now  
Old 25th Jul 2019, 01:40
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Age: 51
Posts: 41
100 % disagree.

Condescending, patronizing, ideologic.


Grind King, Jakenobi,

as you probably realize by now, and Slasher's comments are making it obvious, there is a vociferous group of pilots in CX who don't want you to join. They believe that if the company would not be able to recruit on current terms this would somehow shield their own contract.

I think this is nonsense. In my opinion Cathay has to respect the market and every company that is as ignorant as Slasher would go under sooner or later. So, to be fair, I am not neutral either.

Wether Slasher and the others truly believe their statements regarding life in HK and CX, or if they deliberately paint a gloomy picture I don't know. What I do know is it ain't true or at the very least is highly subjective.

Wether or not the current offer is sufficient or not I can't judge. It would not be acceptable for me, but naturally it all depends on your options. My advice would be: do your homework. Check the cost of living, especially housing and school fees if applicable. Being single or having double income helps. Most junior pilots have partners with jobs, the generation of Slasher and Cpt Underpants mostly don't. It is in the end all up to your personal situation. A lot of expats do not like to live in Hong Kong, they eventually start a long haul commute, a fool proof way to misery in my opinion.Or they decide to stay for 25 years because it is actually the best option ( but still moan on PPRuNe how miserable life here is).

If you can, extend your stay during the interview and see for yourself.

As for the numbers I don't know for sure, but low three digits in new recruits every year, mainly cadets.

Attrition might be higher among low seniority guys at the moment, but not because CX became worse. What changed is that Quantas, Air NZ, UPS etc started to hire again and/or they have now the hours to apply.

The new contract on offer, as I understand it, does not give you a guaranteed income, it all depends on the number of hours you work. Naturally, you can't influence your roster. If you work as much as current pilots your income is at the same level, but only then. I have no idea how many hours you will get to work.

Time to upgrade is guess work. Nobody knows. Currently 4 years from SO to JFO. The type you will upgrade on will be decided on the day. Again, nobody knows. At the moment all 747 SO transfer to other fleets.

The 747 is probably the most undesirable fleet at the moment.I personally would rather fly passengers and I hate most of the hotels. On the upside, I would argue the 747 gives you the most consecutive days off due to longer rest requirements after a week on the road. My average number of days off is currently 14 plus leave, hence I would not take any other type even if it would be offered to me.

Good luck

Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 25th Jul 2019 at 08:36.
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 07:08
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Back of Beyond
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Opinions are like arseholes though aren't they STW? Every plonker has got one. Management apologist or Stockholm Syndrome? Or just plain old management?
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Old 25th Jul 2019, 13:22
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Polar Route
Posts: 1,816
Regardless of whether you think HK is great place to live or not (it’s definitely not on low income or if you value your pulmonary health), CX is a good company or not, the freighter is horrible or not, etc.; joining on CoS18 is NOT a career move. It may be a resume builder, but it’s nothing more than that. CoS18 is designed for the local HK Chinese who plans to continue living with his parents and not have children of his own. In short, CoS18 is simply a low paying pilot job for the video game generation, not much different than scores of service sector jobs. It’s not for career aviators or anyone seeking to generate wealth.
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