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.

Cathay or SAA?

Old 26th Aug 2019, 13:22
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Cathay or SAA?

I was talking with a friend of mine few days ago, his brother is flying for a private owner in South Africa and he got a job offer from Cathay as Second First Officer, but at the same time looks like that SAA is interesting to have him to go for an interview and some tests, I believe psychometric and SIM.
He asked me my ideas and suggestion for his brother, will be better go and fly on a 777/350 based in Honk Kong or stay home and join SAA? I told him that I don't have all the right information to give a suggestion for his brother future career, and I was thinking if you guys can say something about it; the guy's girlfriend would join him in HK and she already found a job there, no kids, he has an ATPL and about 2000hrs TT and never flew a jet...
If it was me I would go to HK without hesitation, but I'm famous to be quite irrational
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 13:38
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Originally Posted by abezzi View Post
I was talking with a friend of mine few days ago, his brother is flying for a private owner in South Africa and he got a job offer from Cathay as Second First Officer, but at the same time looks like that SAA is interesting to have him to go for an interview and some tests, I believe psychometric and SIM.
He asked me my ideas and suggestion for his brother, will be better go and fly on a 777/350 based in Honk Kong or stay home and join SAA? I told him that I don't have all the right information to give a suggestion for his brother future career, and I was thinking if you guys can say something about it; the guy's girlfriend would join him in HK and she already found a job there, no kids, he has an ATPL and about 2000hrs TT and never flew a jet...
If it was me I would go to HK without hesitation, but I'm famous to be quite irrational
Been watching the news??? Not exactly perfect timing for a new career in HK. Iíd at least go to the SAA events...
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 13:49
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Originally Posted by cxorcist View Post


Been watching the news??? Not exactly perfect timing for a new career in HK. Iíd at least go to the SAA events...
1976 and Soweto - CX

2019 and Yuen Long - SAA
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 14:02
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Originally Posted by subsonicsubic View Post
1976 and Soweto - CX

2019 and Yuen Long - SAA
Precisely, my point! I know pilots are dumb, but letís not be ostriches...
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 17:39
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I answered this question on another website, so shall not repeat my message here.

What intrigues me is that a pilot should only consider those two pilot positions. Frying pan, fire, etc....

There must be better jobs out there in the world than these two basket cases. Not necessarily airline but better than his 2000 hour prop gig he is on now. Or is it that bad out there??
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 19:40
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No, but he received an offer from Cathay and some interest from SAA, so why he should go a start from scratch with other companies?
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 01:18
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Because....

Originally Posted by abezzi View Post
No, but he received an offer from Cathay and some interest from SAA, so why he should go a start from scratch with other companies?
Because SA and SAA along with it, is fast going down the tubes with high levels of cronyism, nepotism, ineptitude and pure outright theft. Also, the Africans will wake up one day and realise they have new colonial overlords with the names of Chan or Wan.

As for HK and CX, well, you can read the news as well as the next person and right now, the future looks rather bleak. To be frank, your friendís brother should be doing his own research and finding this out for himself.

There are much better options out there and he should be considering getting an EASA or FAA license and then looking what opportunities there are for him. Australia recently were taking in pilots on 2 year work permits (not sure if they still are?) to fly in regional Australia. Singapore Airlines is currently recruiting. These are suggestions off the top of my head!

The point is, neither SAA nor CX right now are good options and if your mateís brother really wants to make it in this industry, this is the legwork he should be doing for himself.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 01:45
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Abezzi,

you have to excuse my colleagues. They lived in a bubble for their entire life and are not really aware of what is going on outside. They think what is happening right now in Hong Kong constitutes as a major crisis. Some are still recovering from a 30 minute delay of public transport because of a demonstration last week. They never experienced real hardship except maybe missing the happy hour at their local. They have no idea about the job market, the wages or flight experience required. Plus they have absolutely no clue whatsoever what it means to have a passport with restrictions. For them it is a mysterious document you strangely have to show some dude in a funny uniform before the door in front of you opens.

At the moment things are so bad, some of my colleagues are now seriously considering looking for options. As a matter of fact, I know from a very reliable source, one of them even briefly thought about clicking on a job advert on this very website. He was luckily stopped at the last hour by a call from his helper who asked what he wants for supper, but it was really really close.

In short, if you want genuine information about life in Hong Kong and working for the local airlines you will have to look elsewhere.

Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 27th Aug 2019 at 02:13.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 02:17
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Originally Posted by Sam Ting Wong View Post
Abezzi,

you have to excuse my colleagues. They lived in a bubble for their entire life and are not really aware of what is going on outside. They think what is happening right now in Hong Kong constitutes as a major crisis. Some are still recovering from a 30 minute delay of public transport because of a demonstration last week. They never experienced real hardship except maybe missing the happy hour at their local. They have no idea about the job market, the wages or flight experience required. Plus they have absolutely no clue whatsoever what it means to have a passport with restrictions. For them it is a mysterious document you strangely have to show some dude in a funny uniform before the door in front of you opens.

If you want genuine information about life in Hong Kong and working for the local airlines you will have to look elsewhere.
This has to be one of the most self-righteous things Iíve ever read on this section.

Especially when some of those colleagues have spent a great deal of time living in tents, getting shot at (and shooting back as well) in sandy hot places where a cooked hot meal was a treat. Sleeping on radio pallets or a track without a heater in the winter ó you name it. Away from whatever family they might have wondering if and when they might make it back. So they know good and bad and austerity. Much better than a cynical keyboard warrior.

To the OP the key for me would be to go somewhere where you will be happy and productively spending your time. Contrary to what STW says there ARE plenty of decent pilot jobs out there ó and a strong demand for pilots. Itís never been better in the US market, and in any case pay is one aspect of the job only. Donít sell yourself cheap. And DO realize that raw numbers tell a person very little ó the key is the fun you have at work and what it takes to live to a certain standard of living at the place you are going to live (HKG is crazy expensive and there are much cheaper places where a person can make more relative to the cost of living).

I would start by getting a real picture of the culture and work environment at a prospective employer. Are the people happy there ? Do they form a cohesive team ? What has the trend been ? What is the likely future ? Are the people there giving or selfish ? Do they want to be at work ? Do they enjoy showing you around and what they do ? Are they happy or afraid ? Do they stand together or are they divided into factions ?

Your most valuable asset in your life is your time. Donít waste it in the wrong place. Or doing the wrong thing.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 02:31
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Which rating would he get ? A Cathay P2X rating isn't much good outside HKG and S/O time doesn't really count. A proper type rating on an A320 with SAA and F/O time would make him much more employable. At the moment neither airline is a good long term option but without children and having a working partner, HKG might be possible for a few years. Time to upgrade to F/O might be reduced as well if CX pilots start jumping ship in increasing numbers.

Realistically, either option would be a transient step before moving on.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 02:34
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Slasher,

you just recommended US jobs to an African passport holder.

You must see how that proves my point.

If not you are beyond hope.

Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 27th Aug 2019 at 02:49.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 02:49
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Sorry STW, the only bubble being lived in is the one some of my colleagues have provided for spoilt brats like you. Ever been shot at STW? Ever lived in a tent for weeks on end eating MREs and picking sand outta your teeth? Ever shot guns or dropped bombs on contested areas wondering if you were on the right side of the war? Nope, you havenít because I know who you are... Just another low time wannabe who thinks you deserve to share a cockpit with the guys in the left (and some still in the right) seat who have earned it. Itís sad actually. Youíre a seat warmer posing as a pilot, probably putting in for the CRM facilitator job so you can become a management lackey. Donít worry, weíll all be laughing at you in CRM and then again if you ever achieve your goal of running fleet forums. Donít confuse our blank, pale stares for anything other than pure boredom and nauseousness at the ridiculity of it all.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 03:10
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Originally Posted by Sam Ting Wong View Post
Slasher,

you just recommended US jobs to an African passport holder.

You must see how that proves my point.

If not you are beyond hope.
Actually, I hear quite a few non-American accents flying for US regionals. Some of those might be married to Americans, but many are on work visas. So Slasherís comments arenít quite as ridiculous as you claim.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 03:19
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With a few exceptions the US pilot market is largely closed off to the rest of the world. Many Canadians would be jumping at the chance to work for an American regional if we could.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 13:51
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How did he manage to get an interview with SAA with 2000 hrs TT and no jet time?
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 15:49
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Originally Posted by cxorcist View Post
Sorry STW, the only bubble being lived in is the one some of my colleagues have provided for spoilt brats like you. Ever been shot at STW? Ever lived in a tent for weeks on end eating MREs and picking sand outta your teeth? Ever shot guns or dropped bombs on contested areas wondering if you were on the right side of the war? Nope, you havenít because I know who you are... Just another low time wannabe who thinks you deserve to share a cockpit with the guys in the left (and some still in the right) seat who have earned it.
Can I just check that I understand your point correctly? Are you saying that airline pilots are somehow better pilots, and/or deserving of higher pay, because they have fought in a war and that those pilots who have never fought in a war are somehow inferior?
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 16:43
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Originally Posted by Paul852 View Post
Can I just check that I understand your point correctly? Are you saying that airline pilots are somehow better pilots, and/or deserving of higher pay, because they have fought in a war and that those pilots who have never fought in a war are somehow inferior?
Nope, my reference was to a bubble, which the new generation of pilots has lived their entire lives in without any acknowledgement or respect to where it came from. That said, most newish CX pilots do not deserve to sit in any seat of jet airliners, much less widebody international airliners. If you are sensitive to that fact, itís probably because you know itís true.

Ask yourself a simple question... Have CXís standards gone up or down in the time youíve been here? Why do you suppose that is?
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 11:06
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Geez, get over yourself, Chuck Yeager.
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 13:47
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Cxorcist is completely correct. Nothing to do with "chuck". Simple recognition of where this airline has gone over the past 25 years. Or do you think it acceptable to have almost '0" hour SO's and JFO's with barely more time than that flogging wide bodies across some of the most dangerous terrain in the world? BTW, don't bother answering...it was a rhetorical question.
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Old 29th Aug 2019, 00:01
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Originally Posted by Oddball77 View Post
How did he manage to get an interview with SAA with 2000 hrs TT and no jet time?
Not sure if HKA/HKC will allow him a shot for interview as they seems to be the gig with lots of $$$.
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