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Freight Dogs Finally a forum for those midnight prowler types who utilise the unglamorous parts of airports that many of us never get to see. Freight Dogs is for pilots and crew who operate mostly without SLF.

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Old 9th Oct 2017, 06:24   #1 (permalink)
Syy
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Air Atlanta Icelandic

Hello

First post.

I have had a look at the info on ppjn regarding salary etc but I wonder if anyone can answer any of the following questions in relation to an FO position.

Worldwide contract is 3/2. So over a year that would be 10 rotations.
Are you likely to achieve that amount of work?

Salary on ppjn suggests 340usd/day plus 50usd per diem.
Is this accurate? And how is this paid? I assume that is gross and you must sort your own tax affairs depending on your domicile.

They are currently advertising for a JED base. I have found some info suggesting that you are living in a compound there. If so, what are your additional expenses whilst you are there (food, transportation etc)?

With regards to the operation itself, is it mainly Hajj flying or are there opportunities for other operations elsewhere?

And finally, in terms of long term thinking. The info I have read on PPRuNe suggests that as a contractor you can forget about achieving command and there seems to be a high turnover of crew.
What do people generally move on to and how long are people staying?

Thanks for looking.

Syy.
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Old 10th Oct 2017, 12:30   #2 (permalink)
 
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Syy

hello SYY,
From what I heard and know,
The contract you ll get joining Air Atlanta will be worldwide meaning they call you when they need you but at this time looks good because they have lots and lots of flights.

The main customer of Air Atlanta is Saudia so the base is Jeddah but if u fly for other contract u might be based in other places for some days.

The average flying time is around 450 a year

The average starting salary is around 250 usd plus 50 per diem .
Actually there is one type of rotation 16/14 so if you do the maths, 300x16=4.8K...that's let's say if you been working 16 days.
Day off are unpaied .
Food is at your own.
Salary are gross!!! You need then to pay your taxes!!!!

I have heard of some issues pilots have had with Confair adding extra and more restrictive clauses in the contract. While Airborne Personnel does not have these issues.


When I was thinking to join, after carefully revised all I end up with one and unique conclusion: Not worth...at least for me and....that's the main reason you see this high turn over!!!

hope this helps and clarify your mind.
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Old 10th Oct 2017, 14:49   #3 (permalink)
Syy
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Reveal1

Thank you for your reply to my post.

There seems to be a lack of up to date information out there at the moment.
The daily rate you quote is significantly lower than that suggested on ppjn. Perhaps it is dependent upon experience.

I am going through the same analysis as you have done and may come to the same conclusion. But for now, I will keep gathering information.

If anyone else can add to the above, please do.

Thanks
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Old 11th Oct 2017, 20:40   #4 (permalink)
 
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The above information I gave to you are updated...
just to mention that fro the above calculated monthly gross you have to deduct not just your home taxes but as well as the Type rating ! I think around 1500 USD monthly.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 13:03   #5 (permalink)


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The truth about AAI

I actually do the job. Here are the facts.

Use Airborne. Confair is bs and their contract is a joke. Drawn up by drunken chimpanzees.

Everybody starts on a so-called 'worldwide' contract, meaning you're available all the time unless you tell them differently. For example, with the exception of the Hajj (google it) where you're required to provide at least 75% availability, you can work as much or as little as you like. Rosters come out twice every month on the 10th/25th providing clarity from 1st-10th and 15th-31st of the month respectively. If you want to, say, work month on month off, tell them online that this is your availability and it will be respected. In essence, you can actually write your own roster. Bliss!

Non type rated guys will need to pay for their ratings. $25,000ish, with $10,000 up front (airborne) with the rest recovered at $1100/month till paid out. Very reasonable.

Traditionally, a lot of younger guys with big financial obligations and young families have found the time after Haaj difficult because they haven't been called on worldwide for, in some cases 2-3 months. This was difficult and many guys left because of it. There is a glut of B747 jobs around and people are readily taken up by other operators. AAI has put effort into addressing this and very recent developments are that there's a vibrant and growing freight operation developing out of our European bases (Belgium and Germany) and along with the now year-long Umrah (google) this now means extended periods without work is unlikely. Nominally you're based in Riyadh but will spend most of your time at a very good hotel in Jeddah. I had low expectations before arriving in Jeddah but I really like it now. I feel safer wandering around in Jeddah, day and night, than I do in Brussels or London!

Not only that, but there are also 3/2 contracts available, although it's unusual to be offered these in the first year. They provide predictable income and lifestyle and the daily rates are higher. A new thing coming is 3/3 contracts, which are lovely. Too soon to provide clarity on detail yet, but they're coming.

This is an Icelandic company and the backbone on the operation are the mainly Icelandic pilots who operate on their union negotiated contracts that are very generous. Much more generous than we contractors get. These guys are the first horses to drink, if I can put it that way, and personally I have no problem with this. There are those who object to a two tiered approach to pilots, but there are whiney, clueless dickheads everywhere in our profession, and AAI contractors are no different. The terminally aggrieved tend not to last long here, which is a self-cleaning oven in effect.

On the Icelanders, they are a great bunch of highly qualified, personable and professional airmen. The good guy to ******** ratio is excellent and the training and trainers in this company is the best I've ever had. I an NOT Icelandic but I enjoy flying with them very much. It's THEIR train set though, and if you can get your head around that without getting your panties in a wad, you'll have a very good time here.

Oh, and it's flying the Boeing 747-400, Queen of the Sky, and greatest machine ever created by the hand of man, did I mention that? This company provides opportunities to fly the queen unheard of in the rest of the world. There's good and bad in every company, but if you want to work with good guys and girls flying the greatest aircraft on earth, in a well-trained, safe and pleasant environment, this could be the job for you.

I actually do the job (captain) and absolutely love it. Best job I've ever had.
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Old 18th Oct 2017, 22:53   #6 (permalink)
 
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Question

Without meaning to cause a thread drift from the OP's initial question regarding FO recruitment, would one consider AAI a possible employer for newly qualified pilots, from both modular and integrated backgrounds?

Curious about this 'Second Officer' position they advertised for within the last year but any present information online regarding the role and its entry requirements etc. is now pretty out of date.
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Old 19th Oct 2017, 08:38   #7 (permalink)
 
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I flew with AAI some years ago on the Classic and so my input may only be of limited value, due to time lapse, but I found them to be an excellent employer. I found the training was well organised and of high quality. The flying environment and the people I worked with (multi national) was always enjoyable and the accommodation was good. We might not have been in the 5 star BA / Cathay style hotels but we were always in very acceptable hotels and were well looked after. Socially it was great; a good bunch of fellow crew from different corners of the globe. The rosters in those days inevitably changed but when you are sub chartered to a customer (who’s daily / weekly needs were liable to change) and fellow crew sometimes needed to rearrange their own home / social plans at short notice then a stable roster was never going to happen; but it was never a problem and for some of us this simply added to the general variety of the job. Management people in Iceland were always approachable and helpful and we were always paid.
Even in my time (2004-2008) we had a fair scattering of “moaners” who talked down the company but you will find this with any airline or with any other type of job anywhere else come to that.
You won’t be accumulating an in house pension pot and you won’t be getting free / cheap holiday flights when you retire; accept and plan for this.
I had a great fun time with AAI; a good company with good “can do” people.
Go for it ! 🤗 🇬🇧 🤗
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Old 19th Oct 2017, 11:17   #8 (permalink)
Syy
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QOTS

Thank you for your post. There is some good information there.

Syy
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Old 19th Oct 2017, 12:44   #9 (permalink)
 
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Thanks to Idle Reverse for the insight.

It doesn't answer if they hire newly qualified pilots, though, as indirectly asked by the asking user? After all, a 747 is a hefty first aircraft to type rate on?
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Old 19th Oct 2017, 14:00   #10 (permalink)
 
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QOTS

Any thoughts on joining AAI as a DEC? I dont see any requirements for widebody experience. Is their training departement confident enough to train suitable candidates without any Long-Haul hours? May I ask what a realistic average monthly pay is?
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Old 19th Oct 2017, 14:22   #11 (permalink)
 
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As I understand the worldwide contract is that you get paid per each day you are available. So, how that differs so much in terms from one agency to another?
I thought you get paid directly by the company...
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Old 19th Oct 2017, 14:31   #12 (permalink)
Syy
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The information which I received recently from Airborne was that the daily rate for an FO starts at 240usd/day plus 50usd per diem. They also said that the final daily rate offered would be decided by AAI, after successful interview, and upon offer of a contract.
This is significantly lower than the base rate given on ppjn of 340usd/day.

I also asked about the 3/2 contract but was informed that it was a worldwide contract that is on offer, whereby you advise them of your availability and if they have work they will call you. No guaranteed number of days is on offer.

Having a mortgage to service and a family to support, for me at least, there is too much uncertainty with regards to projected minimum earnings over the year.

It is a job that would suit my lifestyle very well, but the uncertainty over earnings is currently a sticking point for me.

Hope that helps.
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Old 19th Oct 2017, 20:03   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
This is significantly lower than the base rate given on ppjn of 340usd/day.
Well, according to PPJN the FO base pay is $340 while Capt base pay is $250, for sure something is not accurate.
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Old 20th Oct 2017, 10:54   #14 (permalink)
 
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Is it true that you only get paid overtime if you exceed a certain threshold of hours inside a 30 day period?
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Old 20th Oct 2017, 11:42   #15 (permalink)


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SYY, you're right. This isn't for you. Stay away.

Ditched. Highly recommended! I joined as a DEC from B737 and had no problem at all. I can't emphasize this enough. The training you get at AAI is superb. They've been training B747 pilots for a long time and it's VERY clear they know exactly what they're doing and who they're looking for. The training materials you will receive at ground school are extraordinary. If you come from a Boeing, the transition is easy peazy. If you come from a narrow body airbus, it might be a bit of a stretch because you'll have to re-learn how to fly, but not impossible. A true airman will adapt. AAI know very well that previous wide body experience, though desireable, is absolutely NOT a prerequisite to fly a jumbo. It's an artificial hurdle that airline recruiters have traditionally put in your way as a means of making their lives easier by thinning the herd.
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Old 20th Oct 2017, 15:06   #16 (permalink)


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I fly there too, so don't be deterred by my username.
For anyone really interested, call or mail Airborne, they are very responsive and will give you an indication of where they will position your daily rate. Emphasis is on indication. As a previous poster mentioned, don't use Confair. AAI does not pay you, Confair does.
Contractor captains are roughly between 400 and 500USD/day, FOs 200-300, add 50EUR per-diem to each.

As to the question whether they hire low-time pilots: yes they do! You will fly a a cruise-relief pilot, above FL200, you pay somewhat less for your rating, but sign a bond for 3 years (that is, they will ask money from you if you leave earlier) and may expect to be upgraded to FO after that period.

For DECs: as a 737 driver, you'll walk straight into the left seat of the 744.

As for overpay, yes, add an extra of 1/3 of your daily rate for each, again, each block hour above 65 in a 30 day period. Now that's nice, this will happen max once a year, because i) the company has got it down to fine art to make sure they take you off the flying line before you hit the 65h, ii) the only time you could possibly exceed the 65h is during the Hajj (google).
There is a rumor that AAI is short of pilots and they are scrambling for new flight crew. On the line, we really cannot see that, not even during the Hajj (google) which finished recently.
Again, for anyone interested, contact Airborne and ask them your questions.
Then apply (or don't). Then pass the selection (at your expense of money and time), then decide if you want to accept what they offer. Obviously they won't mention that you may be sitting at home for 2-3 months a year. That happened and will happen again. Better have a second job, or be a young FO living with parents or be an SAS driver with golden handshake. Or come from Ryanair where any new job will be an improvement. A 2/3 contract however, will provide you with an OK revenue to feed a family and pay the mortgage. 2/3 contracts are usually offered after 300 days of service (that would be more than a year). Better daily fee, but no overpay here.
A 3/3 contract is being drafted by the company while I'm typing this, and we are all very curious of what it will contain.

Other than this, all info posted above by pilots who actually work(ed) there is correct. Good training, nice colleagues, good accommodation, plus we are treated with respect by AAI, and best of all, mighty airplane!
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Old 20th Oct 2017, 20:52   #17 (permalink)
 
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QOTS & C152gal,

Thanks a million for your inputs!

Ditched
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 00:19   #18 (permalink)
 
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Please forgive me, but I gather from the above that

1 There are DEC opportunities on the 747 for current 737 Captains
2 The pay is about $100K pa plus per diems (which I guess will go directly into feeding etc down route - it’s not a lot of cash).

Have I got that right?

The first seems unlikely but (just) possible
The second seems truly incredible...
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Old 21st Oct 2017, 01:48   #19 (permalink)


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1. Absolutely correct. Yes there are. Many.
2. $130k is closer to the mark.
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Old 22nd Oct 2017, 07:12   #20 (permalink)
 
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Ok, so to sum this up:

- 747 operator
- accepts low timers
- will pay rating w/ bond
- almost a custom made roster

...but the starting pay is low-ish once you deduct taxes and your expenses, plus you won't exactly know your annual salary and there's no benefits and pension? What is people's experience with a.) tax liability for an EU citizen and b.) which expenses are covered by employer and which not?

Trying to get an idea how much you actually have for your homebase life when spending all that time off. SO/FO level.
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