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HoldenCaufield 18th Oct 2021 11:55

Exit Strategies
For me and many others, as a result of the pay and conditions changes - including conditions in the city itself, HK is no longer a suitable, pleasant or safe place to work.

In discussing exit strategies with colleagues, I note that applications CX crews are being welcomed at some US and ME carriers.

Rumours of commuting options for some, anyone able to confirm?

Jnr380 18th Oct 2021 13:20

US citizens are welcomed with open arms with US carriers, As for ME, EK and QR still working through furloughed pilots, EY has nothing on the Horizon, FZ had a rush of applicants that they’re probably good for a good couple of years.

Everyone is waiting out this pandemic for the hope to move on to greener pastures.

herewego75 18th Oct 2021 14:53

Very good question.
Undoubtably CX will be losing more pilots as this fiasco unfolds before our own eyes. The utter ignorance of the HK government is astounding.
Cx has been digging its own grave. They have just gnawed away at everyones conditions throughout this pandemic. I am not a local HKer, if I was I would be very disappointed in this "HK company" as I am sure many are. Imagine my government giving a company 40B and they cut your earnings (future earnings by 40% PERMANENTLY)! But I guess some people are suckers for punishment.

Back to the question - I definitely think lots of pilots (expat and local) are looking for an exit strategy, and if they are not they really should be. Be it, if you are employed by HKE,AHK or CX! The shortage of pilots in the USA market at this moment is apparent, and we not even over the pandemic. Europe will be short soon as well because NEWS FLASH, the world is moving on!

ME carriers will be hiring from mid next year. Thats from the mouths of instructors in QR. Lots of airlines are waiting to see if the winter wave is anything to be concerned about, if due to the vaccines the death rates drop over the winter they will be planning a very profitable summer season. All airlines except HK and China that is!

Honestly before Covid many pilots in CX were talking about big money jobs in China for a few years and then retiring. I really think that China will have to pay people even bigger salaries now to get western pilots there. The way they have treated their western pilots at the start/throughout this pandemic is ....(you can decide for yourself). The way the are blindly trying to handle this pandemic is the biggest joke of the century! China will have a massive shortage of pilots in the near future. You can always go there... I know I won't for obviously reasons.

All of this is of course in my own opinion.
Good luck on your decision. Don't get caught with the handcuffs on in HK because trust me they are not golden anymore. Go where you wanted and where you enjoy living. I will be doing this for sure.

Oasis 18th Oct 2021 15:42

Lack of flexibility is a big one for me.
You can't visit family overseas at all due to the quarantine and on top of that the roster only comes out on the 27th or thereabouts, no reduced roster option (god knows why, would save them a heap of cash and give them flexibility), very late notice of unpaid leave so you can't plan on it, and its only given out one month at a time apparently.

'They' don't seem to care, beyond the empty words.

gipilot 18th Oct 2021 16:42

Please wake up
I think most of you are still 2-3 years behind on Cx management. These people know exactly what they’re doing. Just have a chat with anyone on a base that’s been laid off, the effort,precision,timing and money that has been put in getting rid of these pilots has to be one for the record books. The company’s future is now more secured than ever. They know where they want to go and it just doesn’t involve westerners, period. The final move starts next year when the benefits end and people start leaving, I’m sure they can’t wait. I understand it’s hard to hear but that is a fact.

As for pilot shortage, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN AND THERE WILL NEVER BE a world pilot shortage. The ones that believe in such fallacy might as well believe in unicorns. Cx can easily get local pilots and/or in the future mainland pilots, why the hell would they need anyone from the west ever again?

I do understand everyone’s sentiment and regret and sense of despair etc etc but guys it’s not your local airline, nor your culture. These people accelerated what they were gonna do 10 years from now. Again, you are not part of their plans.

Jnr380 18th Oct 2021 17:31

a lot of great theories there, unfortunately none are true, did you know it’s virtually impossible for Mainland Chinese pilots to leave their mainland employer? they signed a 99 year work contract and for another company to employ them, they’ll need to negotiate a payout figure with his/her existing company.

As long as Swire is in the game, there will be expats, and Swire is not going to give up grandpa’s toy planes without a fight.

We are behind management, yes I’ll agree with that but that is because they don’t share information, yes they have a strategy in place, but I doubt it revolves around the pilots. They don’t care if you’re white, yellow, orange or blue, if they can hire you for next to nothing while you suffer shiny jet syndrome they will!

gipilot 18th Oct 2021 19:22

You see now that’s the problem. You think Swire fights? just yesterday the LON base was shut and the dissolvement of CxUk has started, there’s no fight here. Swire does not have that power anymore. It wasn’t SWIRE that threw 40B on the table it was a new hkg government and what they and Beijing say happens. If pilots of other nationality weren’t an issue, well then they would be handing over visas like it’s xmas.

Btw I never meant experienced mainlanders, I’m talking about cadets. And yes of course the strategy does not revolve around pilots only but they are part of that conversation, look at the efforts to dissolve bases while hiring locals it says a lot.

My point is more that as a Cx pilot you have to know the direction this place is going and it absolutely isn’t a expat route(e.g. Singapore Airlines).

Oddball77 19th Oct 2021 05:14

I agree with GIpilot there is zero shortage of pilots and never will be, 50% of commercial pilots worldwide are currently unemployed. Plus Air China can easily send some very experienced pilots down to HK to plug any potential shortage, which is exactly what they have done at a former Portuguese colony close to HK.

ZootBoot 19th Oct 2021 11:51

Prior to 2020 there were quite a few people who still lived blissfully ignorant, but even before that COS18 SOs were only here for rating, time and then a departure to something more sustainable. This is not just 'westerners' either; CX isn't appealing to those who are 'local' either. Aviation is no longer a safe choice of career in the city.

I don't know a single pilot who intends to stay here medium or long term including local HK pilots/cadets.

krismiler 20th Oct 2021 01:27

Basically the main options are:
1. Legacy airline - Mostly for F/Os who can wait the 10-15 years to upgrade, unless it's EK or QR who take DECs and they won't be looking at any for a while.
2. Contract pilot - In say, Vietnam or China depending on how well the airlines judged the numbers laid off last year and the speed of the recovery.
3. Low cost airline - Possibly back home or reasonable commuting distance. 4 sector days and bring your lunch to work with you.
4. Cargo - Less likely, freighter work will diminish as pax flights with hold space pick up.
5. Anything else, such as simulator instructor, corporate jet or air ambulance etc. Those with experience in these areas prior to joining CX have more chance.

stevieboy330 20th Oct 2021 04:43

They will never say "we don't want foreign pilots anymore" but yeah "we don't want foreign pilots anymore" if you are not working on your exit strategy already, that would be pretty naive.

AndyBrown350 20th Oct 2021 23:30

another crying post... could you please name the airline and benefits that we all could happily move to?

btrdux 21st Oct 2021 16:00

Maybe do some research, or rather, ask one of the ~400 resignations so far this year, many of which have found other flying jobs?

Nothing is handed to you on a platter.

VforVENDETTA 28th Oct 2021 06:40


Rie 28th Oct 2021 13:09

Everyone seems to be reposting this everywhere. They still have not recalled the thousand plus pilots from the 380. This will make up the bulk of these numbers. I cannot see any major external recruitment by EK just yet. The 350 is delayed so any chance of crew here jumping across to that is slim.

Sam Ting Wong 28th Oct 2021 13:40

EK is not really better anyway, why bother

SaulGoodman 28th Oct 2021 14:08

A valid exit strategy would be moving to a civilized place where one can expect long term stability. Therefore I would be very cautious calling EK (or any airline in the ME) a valid “exit strategy”. Just my 2c

VforVENDETTA 29th Oct 2021 20:04

For those who are facing upcoming visa rejections and decent jobs in their civilized world haven't opened up yet, the lesser of the :mad: options as a temporary measure makes perfect sense. Staying in cx and hk isn't a given choice for many (visa issue for one) and it's only getting worse. Hong Kong (china) is proving to be the silliest and craziest than any other. The ones who can put up with it all until it gets back to some normality are the ones with PR residency. The rest are pressured to take other options before they're suddenly rejected without a job. So yeah it makes sense for people in certain situations with much less invested in hk and cx to leave for a similar job which will last longer while civilized jobs become available.

SaulGoodman 29th Oct 2021 20:09

Forgive me my ignorance but what is the trainingsbond with EK?

Rie 29th Oct 2021 22:31

$40k USD 5 years I believe.

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