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Air Astana A320 FO

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Air Astana A320 FO

Old 21st May 2012, 17:37
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: asia
Posts: 7
Air Astana A320 FO

Probably there are treads about the topic but I haven't been finding much using the searcher and it has being a while:

Air Astana is hiring FO's with Parc, typical questions. I would appreciate to get some first hand information.

How many roistered hours per month? Any layovers and where?
How is the roister?
How is to live there? Life style, costs....
Any night flying?
Any info about the selection process?

Any other information will be greatly appreciated:

Many thanks and happy landings
Rocamadour is offline  
Old 21st May 2012, 19:04
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Join Date: Sep 2000
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Roca,
Hummmm.....Kazakhstan is not in the Middle East, so maybe this is not the right place to look for info in Air Astana.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 04:10
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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I agree but the other options are South Asia-Far East or Europe, I think is the closest shot. There is no Central Asia Forum.
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Old 15th Jun 2012, 06:15
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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what I researched about Air Astana

Hi, I was thinking to go there but now accepted another job.
I informed myself about this company and I can write a bit what I researched:
Kazakhstan they say it's in the Heart of Asia or central Asia - whatever. I knew some friends who had been working there and one is still working for them.
What I hear from the A320 pilots in Almaty, they fly not that much at the moment. The reason is that the locals getting some extra for flying more so the expats fly therefore less. First Officer less means 30-55hours a month. The Captains fly slightly more but my friend said, once in the winter he even flew only 26 hours. A bit over-crewed maybe also because of 3 A320 arriving 2012?
The flying in general is very boring he said - basically local flights within Kazakhstan with about 30% of the flights from Almaty to Astana. Pilots did not use to do visual approaches because most pilots afraid making a mistake during visual approach. But this has just been changed. The company realized that they often can safe fuel during visual approach and they started vis. app "training" - which is a good step into the future I believe. Also in general seems nice cockpit colleagues on 320 fleet... Most pilots relaxed and more or less helpful.

The cabin crew is sometimes not so helpful in his opinion, they just don't care and seldom come for socializing during a long boring flight.
Expat's don't get many layover (because locals get those nicer layovers and those flights with lot's of hours). At the moment there is a night stop from Almaty at Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Antalya, Delhi and for locals Moscow and St. Petersburg (no Russian visa provided for expat crews).
Flights within Kazakhstan are very borring because hardly any traffic, sometimes the radio is quiet for 20-40 minutes and often you are the only airplane at the airport landing or departing - in winter things change a bit..... If the controller suddenly sees 2 airplane arriving on his screen he is getting stresses. I heard they are not very efficient to make smart separation of arriving and departing traffic.


As expat you have a lot of stand by and about 8 days planed OFF per month - which CAN change but normally does not. The roster is more or less stable.

Unfortunately as expat crew you are not so much integrated into the company. The pilots often stay only 1 year and the cabin crew is afraid to go out with you if you should have a night stop. They don't knew you because they are afraid to be reported for something. Often they are not very interested to talk to pilots, but also not to local pilots. The atmosphere is like flying cargo. You even go and leave the airplane not together, except abroad. If at all there is only a combined briefing on international flights with the cabin crew. The First Officer normally is not included. You will be reading the Notams during this time.... This means you don't knew your crew at all and therefore my friend told me there is not much cockpit-cabin CRM. If you enter the cockpit it can happen that there are mechanics doing some work. Nobody will talk to you and it can happen sometimes that you have to wait for 5-10 minutes (or longer) without knowing what is the status of the airplane. If you manage to speak in english to the mechanics and you have a good day he will tell you what is going on.

So also company CRM or respect toward each other is not much appreciated. It's more a cold neutral working - every one for himself. Sure there are many exceptions and if you are actively trying to communicate you will get results - but not automatically. When visiting the office situations can get much worse than on the line. This is the reasons why many good and professional pilots probably left the company again after a short while.
The way how expat pilots are treated is for many pilots frustrating - it's a bit of old sovjet mentality and the focus is not to SOLVE a problem but to find somebody who is guilty and can be blame for!!!

It's unfortunately a punish and blame culture not helping you.

Instead they could motivate pilots just a little bit more and they would save a lot of money because motivated pilots can also safe so much money for the company to prevent delays, safe fuel etc.
Like other international companies in Kazakhstan Air Astana will not help you to manage your own car. Now the even not help you to get a visa for your wife, family etc.
Not motivated pilots will just work according to the book. Once there was a memo that pilots should not use APU at the gate and a russian captain just switched of the engines, ground power not available, and the debording in the afternoon was done without electricity.
Sure other pilots are more motivated and try hard eg. to safe fuel on every flight creating an professional atmosphere etc.

But in general it's difficult to find any helpful office personal if you have a problem because nobody want's to take any responsibility because being afraid to make a mistake and being punished at the end.
It's not rewarded in this company to try to help to solve problems! So nobody will try to help you at all and at the end, they will proof that you are wrong anyway, even if it is oposite. They are closing their eyes towards any fact, they just don't want to accept that there are mistakes happening which is normal if you start acting. The company is not interested to solve the mistake rather spending all energy to blame somebody (YOU) for it and they continue business as usual - probably believing the problem is YOU, the not so smart foreigner..... Like this it can also be that they act when there is an incident with a local Captain. Of cause the First Officer was fired in this case and sure it's also his fault when the approach is not stabilized because such situations do not happen at once and not advising the pilot flying earlier or suggesting non standard gear down etc. and all this can be a contributing factor. Or during one tail strike incident the First Officer survived the job because he could prov that he had x-wind toff training and it was clear the captains mistake, who did not want to listen to him because he believed he would knew better. Such things happen for sure in every airline - just I have the impression with Air Astana the atmosphere is still not very good or helpful among management and pilots.
Maybe they have to wait first for an real accident to learn that just blaming someone does not help at all to reduce the fact that mistakes will happen aslo in this company....
They must realize that all workers in that company are one team and should help and support each other in such a way that mistakes also belongs to humans. They maybe should concentrate to motivate crews to make less mistakes by supporting them - rather than punishing them.

About LINE TRAINING? It's not available for expats at Air Astana! Search for this at some turkish airlines and Air Tunis was offering payed line training. Air Astana only hires expats via contractors such as Park aviation or Sigmar. They also have the current requirements which I believe is ATPL, 1500 total and 500 h on the Airbus. The contract is now 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off. I found a better job in Europe and did not go to the interview so I can not say anything about this.
For me Kazakhstan seems a nice place to be and to explore. Lot's of potential in Kazakhstan though still a vey corrupt place. But despite already with asian influence, it seems to be a quite western place to be, not like middle east or real asia.
By the way, upgrade to captain is very unlikely! It's normally not offered if you are a contract pilot despite some people maybe will tell you this. Sure there have been cases with people having connections etc but......

Take care and wish you good luck for your job search!
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 04:30
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Europe
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If you go there, just go there with the attitude you will be there for just a few years. Keep your Airbus currency and see some new destinations. Don't take anything personally - just make the most of the situation and discover a new culture (and maybe make some new friends). View it as just business - you are there to keep your Airbus currency and make some OK money... Be positive and be professional - and then move on when a better opportunity presents itself....

Good luck!
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 21:32
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: INDIA
Age: 30
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thanks a lot for the INFO

Dear Friends
I tried to submit my CV through the official website but was not able to .

How to of apply for the POST of F/O to AIR ASTANA (other than PARC AVIATION ny idea ) ??

N thanks a lot for all the information
thank U

Last edited by pushkraj; 30th Jun 2012 at 21:34.
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