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Air China B777 bases

Middle East Many expats still flying in Knoteetingham. Regional issues can be discussed here.

Air China B777 bases

Old 23rd Oct 2011, 10:27
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: The lion city
Posts: 367

It's Air China (mainland China) not China Airlines(Taiwan)
etops777 is offline  
Old 25th Oct 2011, 15:54
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: A land far, far away
Posts: 97

As above, it's 1. Air China from the mainland and 2. We're talking about Canadian taxation, not American. Seeing as this is a middle east forum with lots of expats that would like to head home one day, talking about the implications of taxation for a contract with a home country base is VERY relevant to this thread, in my opinion.

One might think the best place for a discussion about Air China is on the Far East Forum? This can be used for expats in the middle east to discuss the pros and cons of this contract? Maybe you agree just a little?

If someone does figure out this taxation thing for CAN with regards to having your family residing there, please post it here.

Craic Ore is offline  
Old 25th Oct 2011, 17:25
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: uk
Posts: 253

You are posting quite a bit of misinformation.
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Old 26th Oct 2011, 00:21
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Middle East
Posts: 87
Laker ..

From speaking to several American colleagues, Cerbus' statement about the first 90,000$ (or thereabouts) tax exemption is accurate. I'm not so sure about the "IRS Field Office in Dubai". That sounds suspect.


That is tax free for pilots living in Canada with family, without family, whatever. As a resident of Canada, you pay no income tax if working for Air China.

For an individual earning an income, it is your 'residency status' that determines whether or not you pay tax to the Canadian Government on all your worldly earnings, whether earned inside OR outside of Canada. Normally, if you have dependents, I.E., family in Canada, you will be deemed a resident and therefore subject to Canadian tax on said income. This will usually apply regardless of where you live. However, in this case, that's why that statement in paragraph 3 is there, to cover residents of Canada. A pilot residing in Canada OR a pilot who has an apartment in China, works for Air China and has dependents in Canada, pays no tax to CRA.


Last edited by jinglied; 26th Oct 2011 at 00:37.
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Old 27th Oct 2011, 15:19
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: SEA
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Hi All:
not here for a debate, on the contrary, does anyone knows where the Parc office is in PVG or PEK?. Easier for me to go enquire directly during a layover than debate what's better, EK or AC
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Old 28th Oct 2011, 01:23
  #46 (permalink)  
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Parc Aviation Contacts Dublin and China


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T +353 1 8161734 
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 07:40
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Beijing
Posts: 1
Air China Bases

Anybody considering a contract with Air China needs to fully understand the current situation regarding bases so here is my summary.

Although the agencies have always been quick to list the various bases on offer (traditionally LHR, FRA, SYD, MEL & YVR) they have never been able to actually confirm any pilots base before joining date. The truth is that you apply and attend screening without anyone (from Air China) discussing bases with you. On your first day on contract you and your classmates will attend a meeting in the office in PEK and be given a sort of 'induction' briefing. This is the first chance you will actually get to state your preferred base and discuss it's availability (or lack thereof). Nothing the agency may have said to you up to this point (or indeed after) carries any weight with Air China. It's not unusual to find that they have made incorrect assumptions about where you will want to be based, using information like your nationality (for example a Brit living with his family in Sydney was initially based at LHR and a Canadian living in Germany was slated for YVR). Your chosen base may actually be full but the agency either forgot to mention this or pleads ignorance despite the existing pilots regularly emailing them saying "why are you still advertising for pilots at Frankfurt when you know full well the base already has a waiting list?". There was a time when Air China over-crewed bases, particularly in Europe, just to get guys through the door but the existing pilots started kicking off (especially the Aussies) so that situation seems to be over for now.

The problem that has been developing recently is that they have been closing established bases with no consideration at all for the guys that are based there. This has mainly been due to the arrival of the B777-300ERs but not always. Specifically, over the past twelve months, Munich base has closed (it closed one year ago and is just re-opening), Rome has closed, Frankfurt has closed (happening right now), Heathrow is closing in March as is the temporary Paris base. Frankfurt, London and Paris are closing because the route is going 777 (but who knows for how long) but Munich and Rome closed while still remaining A330 routes. This is because not all flight departments are allowed to work with foreigners and these routes have been allocated to the Chengdu crews so that means foreigners out. The aircraft are still the same Beijing based aircraft flying the same route with the same flight number but because the flight is allocated to a different department the foreigners at these bases had to move to other bases at their own expense and inconvenience.

For the past four years, Air China has been receiving a steady stream of new A330s and consequently, most new routes have been on that fleet. More bases have opened and few have closed so the foreign pilots have had a reasonably steady life. Now though things are changing rapidly as the first of nineteen 777-300ERs have started to arrive and some routes are switching to that fleet. It's important to point out though that Air China are still barely halfway into a total commitment of 54 A330s and a new one arrives every month or two. They claim this will then be the largest A330 fleet in the world although I've never bothered to check this. It is expected that there will be a lot of switching around between these two fleets as operations demand so it might be quite normal for the 777 to fly a route in summer and the A330 in winter etc. The problem is that from now on, we have TWO new fleets being delivered in parallel rather than ONE fleet replacing another one and this brings nothing but uncertainty to each and every long haul route. A good example is Heathrow where the A330 pilots being booted out are being told that they may well be back after summer 2012 as the 777 may only be needed for the Olympics. To further complicate things, Air China also have 787s, A350s and B747-8s on order so there are no less than five types of new wide body being delivered any of which can be put on any route. Of course a route could also go to the existing A340s, 772s, 744s, 767s or remain on type but change 'flight department' (like MUN or FCO) so hopefully you get the picture that base stability is fast becoming a thing of the past here.

What has prompted this posting specifically is that Air China have just closed the long established and most heavily crewed A330 base that we have on the foreign pilot network (Frankfurt) and that we were given around three weeks notice of this happening. I feel a need to let prospective applicants know this. All Frankfurt pilots were simply asked what base we wanted for the December roster onwards. Some have taken LHR or CDG temporarily but there simply aren't enough European bases now (after March anyway) for the number of pilots we have even though they really need us on the fleet. New destinations on the 330 include twice daily to Singapore (taken FROM the 777) and also to Delhi so that is where they want to deploy the pilots (i.e. effectively making us Beijing based).

Just to be clear, no relocation is offered, there are no staff travel concessions and you are expected to just sort it out yourself at your own expense and as we've just seen you may only get three weeks notice (despite them insisting on three months if you want to leave). So if you're thinking of joining (on either the 777 or the A330) then you really have to think about how important the base is in your decision. Pilots have already joined on the A330 on a two year contract only to find that the contract term is absolutely meaningless as their base of LHR or FRA has been closed (to them) just a couple of months after joining. Don't be fooled into thinking that as the 773 is the newest aircraft to join the fleet that all it's bases will be stable, there are still far more A330s to be delivered than 773s as well as all of the other new wide body types. In the last couple of years alone, LHR has been a 744 base, then A330 and now B777, yet apparently the A330 is very rarely full so a switch back post-Olympics may well happen.

Air China also introduced domestic flying for foreigners earlier this year. This means an increasing amount of your time is spent flying out of Beijing to destinations such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Taipei and Seoul, instead of flying on to the base you had originally joined for. Shanghai in particular can have regular four hour ground delays for startup. The 777 has far more domestic flights than the A330 (remember you will be flying the dirty old -200s as well as the new -300s).

I hope this helps. I'm not trying to be negative for the sake of it but am simply pointing out a major issue that you might not be aware of in the hope that pressure is then exerted on Air China by the agencies to sort these things out. Beware of any agency that promises you any fixed base as Air China have the right to change the type on your chosen route with zero notice and no agency can do anything about it. Similarly, assume there will be no pay rise unless one actually happens - it's been rumoured for at least two years.
Air China Expat is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2011, 07:57
  #48 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Blandings
Posts: 676
Most valuable post of the year...

....and thank-you very much for taking the time.

That pretty much is what I expected, though I had been attracted to the job. I really can't see any Chinese operator giving a moment's thought to their contracted pilots when considering route and type changes.

To me, it seems the only viable option for someone wishing to be a contract pilot and to also spend time in a base of their own choice is to select a job which permits rotations of a month on/month off or similar.
Dropp the Pilot is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2011, 08:55
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: usa
Posts: 996

Your post is absolutely critical for guys to read if considering Air China.

Very informative.

Well done, but more importantly... thank you.

fliion is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2011, 12:00
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: OZ
Posts: 313
Good info, any thing like this helps and I would assume the same applies to CSA contracts. I asked an agent what happens to your base if the airline changes type and they confidently replied the airline would type rate you on the new jet. Almost fell off my chair in disbelief...
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 12:54
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: globetrotter
Posts: 2
Thumbs down Air China 777

last update , contract has changed overnight . No more commutable bases offered . You will be based in Bejing flying domestic routes on an old 777-200.
oli737 is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2011, 12:59
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Why would u care??
Posts: 85
Air China Expat
Absolutely, and wholeheartedly thankful to your informative comments.

Now it's time to break the great news to my other half, and she can go ahead and buy the new car since we are gonna be here for couple more years.
break_break is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2011, 13:42
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: nowhere
Posts: 1
Will Air China put you on a new aircraft type or are you just let go if your type no longer exits?
JammedStab is offline  
Old 28th Nov 2011, 19:41
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Asia
Posts: 144
FYI: the Canada tax issue is totally incorrect. The above references are out of context. They apply to Canadian citizen non residents. If you are resident in Canada, it matters not where your income comes from, you will always be taxed. If you are an Air China Capt living in Canada, flying abroad, you will be taxed at the normal rate. Around 45% for that income level. second if you are not a Canadian citizen, you are not permitted to live in Canada without a valid visa. These are all basic international work and tax laws. Where Canada differs from the US is only that a Canadian citizen working abroad and is a Non resident of Canada, they are no longer subject to tax on their international income. To be a non Res, you cannot have a home for your personal use in Canada, along with various other limitations. Moral: if you living there and using the services- you will pay tax. Period.
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Old 29th Nov 2011, 08:31
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Middle East
Posts: 87

You should read more.

Just like the KAL pilots who lived in Canada and paid NO TAX in Canada until the tax laws changed recently, it is still true for CHINA.

You are totally, completely full of shite with that last post. You do not know what you are talking about ... PERIOD.


Last edited by jinglied; 29th Nov 2011 at 08:41.
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Old 29th Nov 2011, 08:57
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: uae
Posts: 2,327
You are both wrong, Korea had a tax treaty with Canada that ended Jan 2010 ( I think it was ) and the deal with China is no double taxation ( not tax free or a treaty) unless you call double taxation a treaty. The double taxation applies to several countries.
fatbus is offline  
Old 1st Dec 2011, 13:57
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: China
Age: 50
Posts: 7
Air China contract, A330 or B777 is a total failure.
Bases are closed or changed without notice, aircraft types changed, and Air China expects the pilots to either relocate to Copenhagen ( not the perfect airport to commute to and from, with all due respect to our danish colleagues ) or another aiport far from your home and pay for the positionning full fare with the tacky and changing rosters they produce.

YVR and SYD should go B777 next year, B777 in FRA and CDG, LHR in summer A330 in winter, how do you expect to have a life and make any stable plan.

As far as salary in concerned, well, the wages haven't changed since day one, except downward, as you have to pay for commuting , annual visa and passport charges, not talking about currency exchange rate fiasco....

Oh, and I forgot to mention the NASAlike medical examination every 6 months, where at least 2 or 3 pilots fail and get unpaid leave, waiting for the mn chinese doctors to get their bribe.....
Rosters now change at least 4 to 5 times a month, consequently, your full fare tickets you bought are going to the trash....

1 resignation in December, 3 pilots not renewing their contracts in March 2012, and hardly any new joiner. A lot of guys get advises from inhouse pilots telling them to stay away, other make their own mind, looking at better contracts such as Hainan or China Southern. Even Hong Kong airline shines compared to Air China.

Stay Away from Air China
zhang xu is offline  
Old 3rd Dec 2011, 13:57
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: London
Age: 74
Posts: 129
Even China southern is not that rosy.Stay away from china.Period
samjetblaster is offline  
Old 15th Apr 2019, 12:54
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: China
Posts: 6
CSA cadet here. First, respond to " I am off, then." The best translation will be "溜了溜了liú lē liú lē" which is directly translated as "off, off, I am off", it's more urban and modern to say so.
Anyway, I am here at the forums trying to find some facts about those legacies in China including CSA, well, thank you captains, now I already found something atrocious...
And, really wanna have a more clear picture about what life will be and actually I ponder to work for some American legacies someday, any guy who worked in china and know how your Chinese collegues got hired by ANY AIRLINES OUTSIDE OF CHINA, please contact me, thank you
FB: Lupin Lin (with Cargair flight school)
WeChat: lupinfolupinforlor
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