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-   -   Cathay Dragon interview. (https://www.pprune.org/fragrant-harbour/577998-cathay-dragon-interview.html)

michaela74 23rd Apr 2016 09:24

Cathay Dragon interview.
Question aimed at the Dragonair people.

After a very, very long wait, I've been invited to attend an initial interview next month for a co- pilot position on the A330.

Can anybody please shed some light on the precedings.

Please feel free to PM me, I don't know anybody at dragonair so I have a few other questions to ask.

giggerty 23rd Apr 2016 11:30

Mmm. That's interesting. The last word we have from the fleet forum was that we have virtually no expansion planned for the next couple of years and that our pilot numbers are just about right. Normally any attrition would be covered by cadets in this sort of scenario. KA now only employs direct entry FOs when commanders are needed fairly rapidly. Could be a sign of a change of plans at KA.

Michaela you usually don't get to choose what fleet you go on. You could just as likely end up on the 320. Not that that's a bad thing. First commands are on the 320 so experience on type is a big advantage.

I'm sorry I'm not much help with the interview process. It's probably changed quite a bit since I did mine.

Good luck.

michaela74 23rd Apr 2016 11:43

Thanks for the reply giggerty,

I found it strange as well. I haven't even been able to update my application recently, then out of the blue this.

I do have a fair bit of experience on the 330 and command time but I think there's a lot of co- pilots at dragon waiting for commands.

Avinthenews 23rd Apr 2016 11:45

31st May the dreaded deadline!
Well brushwinger, (officially that's what new joiners are referred to now in CXKA & CX)

You see after the 31st of May all of CXs problems will be solved and you will be part of that solution.

Perhaps they are interviewing not for CXKA but for CX D scale to fly the freighters as the freighter handover is gaining momentum....

Dragon Pacific 23rd Apr 2016 12:59

Cunning Plan
The cunning plan post 31 May plan is to give 6 more 330 to the Red brushwing. Most 330 trainers aren't doing much presently as all command training is now on the 320 so training of CX pilots will help crew some of those. DEFOs will still be required. Expanding the KA training department will be the next step.

TSIO540 23rd Apr 2016 14:01

It's very standard:

1) Non-technical Interview with head of HR who is very good at extracting detail from logbooks.
2) If successful, then a final technical interview with head of HR, and two pilots (expect aerody, current aircraft, Airbus info, company info, & HKG related questions)
3) Sim session in either a 320 or 330 with all of the automatics disabled. It is raw data, no autopilot (hand flown) at a generic airfield. There will be some kind of engine related failure, just fly it safely and don't worry about the ECAM. If your scan rate is okay and you can fly an ILS you will be fine.

Hong Kong is very expensive so be ready for a small apartment.

Good luck

Epic 76 23rd Apr 2016 16:53

It makes sense Giggerty. They're supposed to send 3 330's our way in response to their crewing issues. Rumoured to be mostly for Indo & probably the SIN midnight turn. Hopefully not anywhere in the Middle East.

Best of luck Michaela74. I can only 2nd what TSIO said. T/O, initial climb, general handing, return for a landing, go round, engine problem on downwind (handle generically), land. All hand flown, all raw data. Don't cut corners (i.e. intercept the ILS from the heading they give you, not a creeping Jesus approach). Fly smoothly and accurately but if you're A330 qualified already this should be a walk in the park.

There's nothing I can tell you about the interview that isn't common sense. I think more people fail the personal side than the technical.

hkgfooey 24th Apr 2016 05:17

Epic 76,

If you look at the annual report you would have noticed that 3 KA A330s leases finish this year, the additional 3 mean zero growth.

airdualbleedfault 25th Apr 2016 03:45

In the non technical interview Micheala, you just have to convince them that you don't care about breathing fresh air and you'll lurv living in one of the most crowded, expensive cities in the world.(my way of saying you'll have to convince them you want to live in hk

Epic 76 25th Apr 2016 06:33


If you were still at the company, you'd know that it's three additional that are being spoken of. That 3 aircraft are approaching lease-end is insignificant, when it's not known if their leases are being renewed (yet again) or are being returned. Also, you don't hire direct entry pilots for zero growth.

Now shouldn't you be studying Skywest/VARA reports instead of those of the company you left in a huff from? #timetomoveon

hkgfooey 25th Apr 2016 07:33

"Also, you don't hire direct entry pilots for zero growth."

KA does not need any more airframes to do more hours. KA A330s average less than 8 hours a day of flying, they do less flying on average than the A320 fleet.

KA could fly around 80 hours more a day with their current A330s to reach the same daily utilization as CX. That is equivalent to 12 HKG-SIN-HKG flights a day, or 720 nights of lost sleep a month for your crews if your crew started turning up to work when it is dark and going home before the first set of flights into China.....and that is with zero nett growth in airframes.

Why would anyone throw more airframes to KA when they cannot efficiently utilize what they have already ?

What is the business case ?

"when it's not known if their leases are being renewed (yet again) or are being returned"

Who said that, the Beijing refueller ?

michaela74 25th Apr 2016 09:54

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Another concern is the pay. Looks like a like around 100k for a copilot. Does that include the education and medical allowance?

I was brought up in Hong Kong and go back a lot to see family, so know a fair big about the place but I'll be bringing two young kids and the Mrs. Could I afford an Esf school? Could anyone send me a "normal" roster for the 320 and 330 and (the old question) what's the time time to command at the moment?

altselect 26th Apr 2016 01:57

2 kids and a wife on C scale, sorry "standard contract" - forget it.....

TSIO540 29th Apr 2016 03:50

A standard contract FO makes about $100,000 per month before tax all up. A high percentage of Education costs are paid on top of that for each eligible child. The main trouble will be coughing up the large debenture sums to get your kids into an ESF school. They can be in the order of $100k per child. You can check the Australian school or DBIS websites. Their debentures are on the expensive end I think. You should expect to pay about 15% tax on every dollar you receive including education allowance. You can rent a place in Tung Chung for the low 20's but that is the place hope goes to die. Central or mid levels will be 30k+ for a small place (50 sq metres). A 70 sq m top floor village house in south Lantau can be 15-20k but you must have a car there. If your Mrs is frugal you'll be okay but if she wants to enjoy the Tai Tai life going out every day do up a good budget.

Dwesty 29th Apr 2016 05:04

Based on the C scale contract.

You get an education allowance per child of around $70k per year.

As you don't get housing you qualify for rental reimbursement as a tax deduction against your salary, provided your rent is less than 1/2 your base salary. In practice, the total paid in rent for the year is deducted from your total taxable income...or another way of looking at it is you get a 17.5% discount on your rent.

You get additional tax deductions for each child $100,000 and if you are married $264,000.

Rent in Kowloon for a 3br 950sqft saleable is around $30k per month. A car park varies but my building is $2k per month.

So if you got $100k per month and paid $30k in rent and had 2 kids at school, around 8k after subsidy and a helper for 5k. You would be left with around $57k.

Tax wise you would get a rent tax deduction of $360k,plus the others deduction stated above and your tax would be around $85k for the year with 2 kids. (7k per month)

So this would leave you around $50k per month.

These are rough figures...

pilotcpb 30th Apr 2016 08:16

You'll never afford raising two kids on that salary. Not even close. I mean no disrespect to those working at KA but the new joiner salary will only work for a twenty something with no responsibilities. HK is just too expensive. HK is a great layover but raising kids there? Come on....

qld330 30th Apr 2016 09:31

Make sure u have at least an extra 15% of the purchase price in your pocket if you plan to buy a property.that cash goes straight into the pocket of the HKSAR government for u to never see it again.
alternatively u can pay a chinamans mortgage for him for 7 years while u wait

If you plan to rent research what type of place 21k HKD will get you. maybe you can live in tung chung but not in central for under 30k.btw 21k is the special allowance for rent that the company deems acceptable to pay for an apartment to rent for you and your family. (note renting at 21k for 7 years is a lot of cash down the toilet. 21k*12 months *7 years= 155k sterling u have paid off some1 elses mortgage for them)

fyi. a recent resignation from the company joined late september 2015. 6 months service. got his 330 rating and resigned for the mid-east i believe. reality of cost really kicks in quickly for C scalers with family

mccauleyprop 9th Nov 2017 06:07

What about a single guy in his mid 40's living like he's a (responsible) 25 year old, with no jet or heavy time, but 3000+ hours TT in light turbo-props?
Is this feasible or am I having a mid-life crises?...lol ..I mean, I could easily stay in Country and get a job flying an EMB-175, in one of Canada's most expensive cities, making crap wages here too.

Trafalgar 9th Nov 2017 06:21

Yes, but here you will be living in 400 sq ft, and in a city that makes your 'expensive' Canadian city seem cheap by comparison.

TSIO540 9th Nov 2017 06:52

Originally Posted by mccauleyprop (Post 9951295)
What about a single guy in his mid 40's living like he's a (responsible) 25 year old, with no jet or heavy time, but 3000+ hours TT in light turbo-props?
Is this feasible or am I having a mid-life crises?...lol ..I mean, I could easily stay in Country and get a job flying an EMB-175, in one of Canada's most expensive cities, making crap wages here too.

Commands are forecast to slow considerably next year so donít plan on a quickie.

As a single 40yo youíll survive on a FO wage as long as you donít have kids before you get a command. When you look at the cash here, divide it in half then convert it to your home currency to get an idea of what cost of living is like here. Eg youíll pay CAD$25/kg for grated cheese that may or may not last til the stated expiry due to dodgy shipping.

Lots of people are reducing their commitments to HK so they can resign quickly if the looming cost cutting gets nasty.

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