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

EK or SV

Old 27th Jul 2015, 21:27
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Somewhere near an Airport
Age: 39
Posts: 319
EK or SV

Hello everyone,

Here I'm.... Finally filtered down to EK or SV for a Widebody FO job. Eliminated the other one due to various reasons. As I am totally unhappy with my present job(feeling like a sleep deprived town bus driver earning peanuts as salary).Inspite of the fact that I just got the narrow body command.(same old early morning 4 sector departure from left seat, non existent roster, 28 days PL, heavy taxation, quality of life etc, to name a few)

Please help me decide between the two. With so many posts written against EK, I'm more inclined towards SV. Yet to get a call from EKs neighbour.

Appreciate experts opinion. And yeah I'm ready to take the bullets ( from those who wants to shoot me down) as well, go on.

Flyboy_SG is offline  
Old 27th Jul 2015, 21:40
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: california
Age: 63
Posts: 333
SV- the best thing to do is keep your current command until you have 2000 hours PIC A320 then go to SV.

If you go to SV as an F/O then expect a long period in the right seat. If the seat doesn't matter to you then I would recommend SV.
polax52 is offline  
Old 27th Jul 2015, 23:02
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tropopause FL350
Posts: 164
EK or SV

i totally agree with polax. Get to 2.000H and then come for SV as a skipper.

Pros and cons.

1)Salary. SV by far the best salary in the region. And cost of living in JED much lower than DXB. After the first 3 years of your contract you ll see the difference in your savings

2) even SV is a huge company u will not feel as a number. The company is being running by locals. If you get used to them and realise their culture and their habits then you ll be a happy customer. On the other hand if you dont do that then you got yourself into trouble

3) very good coverage package for schools (even abroad) health issues etc


1) lifestyle.Zero absolute nothing . If u have a family ,it might be hard for them to leave 30 days/month in a compound with limited things to do.

2) Training.its a long process. Things are a bit relaxed in the last 5-6 months but still lots of exams in each part of the training

3) as a captain on the 320 u will fly a lot. And most of the times u will be on a 3-4 day string away from JED with lay overs in RUH or elsewhere in the Kingdom.only 4-5 lay overs away from the Kingdom.
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Old 28th Jul 2015, 00:14
  #4 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Somewhere near an Airport
Age: 39
Posts: 319
Excellent insights polax and aloha I'll be happy to get to right seat to fly wide bodies. Agreed that the command is a big thing. But I'm making this Change for a relaxed life. I can't do 6 more years of narrow body flying. I would rather wait a few more years for Widebody command as I only have 3200hrs on narrow body jet.
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Old 28th Jul 2015, 01:45
  #5 (permalink)  
short flights long nights
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 3,181
If you want a relaxed life, EK, flying 96 hours a month, long haul, back of the clock, is not the place to go!
SOPS is online now  
Old 28th Jul 2015, 05:55
  #6 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Somewhere near an Airport
Age: 39
Posts: 319
Thanks sops, I'll choose Widebody SV. Can't wait to join.
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Old 28th Jul 2015, 08:27
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: ME
Posts: 5,461
Change for a relaxed life
Did you happen to ask how many hours were SV 777 guys flying? You might be surprised to find that its the same as EK, but they are doing it by choice and getting paid for it.

In EK you have a career path, it might take you 10 years to become a 777/330 Captain, but the opportunity is there. In SV you might get the opportunity to become a Captain on the 320 in about 10 years, or you might get fired if they have enough locals to take your FO position.
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Old 28th Jul 2015, 09:56
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: california
Age: 63
Posts: 333
Let me just agree with what Mutt said; don't come to SV with your eyes closed and then complain (please!).

If you enter as an F/O you'll be bottom of the F/O seniority list, below even the 20 year old cadets. There are currently 700 Saudi's ready for upgrade. They currently upgrade at a rate of about 60 per year. If you enter the company as an F/O then that is what you are; potentially permanently.

Regarding hours on an aircraft; SV Pilots are required to DH between major Saudi Airports generally in Economy, normally around 20 hours per month. This means hours spent on board an aircraft is, more often than not, over 100.

Don't forget that this is not a commuting contract, you will live in Jeddah. Good for saving money but there really is no life. Movie Theaters not allowed for example.
polax52 is offline  
Old 28th Jul 2015, 10:37
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tropopause FL350
Posts: 164
SV upgrade

Flyboy , you will not wait for some years on the right seat but for at least 9-11. And your upgrade will be on the A320 or its equivalent at that time. Seniority in SV works the same way as major carriers.First all the way up as a FO then upgrade on the first type . One good thing (or bad it depends) on the T7 in SV is that you will fly mixed flights.short hauls long hauls and ultra long hauls.
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Old 28th Jul 2015, 10:48
  #10 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Somewhere near an Airport
Age: 39
Posts: 319
Yes, I am aware of these facts aloha. In that case I'll go where I get a faster upgrade after completing the SV contract. It's good to make money and 3 years is not a long time to gain some experience in T7 and move to a major like QR or EY for upgrade. Based in the circumstances and market at that time.
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 17:58
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 77
EK or SV

Fly Boy
Im sure you probably considered Qatar Etihad and EK . You did not mention how you arrived at EK and SV. Reason they are like Chalk and Cheese

EK is a totally Expat oriented organization and SV is basically the opposite

e.g EK has No restrictions on Staff and Family to travel in and out of the country
SV a lot of restrictions and permits before family can travel. Crews work around by traveling on the the GD

EK No restrictions on living in a compound .While SV Not allowed to drive . Outside compound you Females need to be accompanied by a male

EK - based in Dubai is the most relaxed and open city in the Gulf . Lots of entertainment ( can be expensive ) schools and multicultural environment . Recently announced that Dubai topped London as the most popular destination for US professional looking for employment

EK -Living in Dubai is expensive yet it is much for friendly to the expat life stye
SV - Yes you will probably save more . But you mentioned that would allow you to move later to one other airlines. like Etihad . and Qatar . Why not do it now and get into the Seniority system

I would suggest Etihad and Qatar over SV. purely on Life style and chances for Upgrade

If you are looking for a more stable and organized ( some may even say rigid ) work place then EK is better . It offers a multi racial bunch of people . Shiny aircraft and destinations you couldn't even find on the map .

Training and Safety standards are generally good . Once on line good bunch of fellas to fly with . Varied flying across the six continents and Freighter Flying if you are on the B777

Some of the benefits of working with EK
Dubai - International City of Middle East - Great Connections to across the Globe
Company Accommodation / or Allowance - Utilities free
School Allowance for 3 kids ( usually covers 80%)
Transport to the Flt OPs and Back
Loss of Licence 3 x your Basic Salary and Loss of Life insurance 4 x basic
6 weeks Annual leave . Min of 30 days in a year ( usually can break it up to 2 weeks at a time )
Interest free loan for a Car - One time only
Free Uniform including Shoes Suitcase
Free Laundry for your uniform
Free Ticket for you and you family once a year to your home destination
Rebated travel -unlimited for family . 2 tickets for parents and In laws and Brother and sister . 15 Special tickets for other
Medical coverage for Self and rebated subscription for Family
Provident fund ( off shore ) contribution for 5 % self 10% company going upto 15%
Upgrade to left seat currently around 5 years
Rotating bid Seniority system when Roster bidding
If you stick around for 20 years you get a Omega watch Constellation
Tax Free salary
Other perks
Profit Share - Dependent on EK profitability target being met

Not company related

APC membership - Voluntary Social club allows you access for Self and Family to major beach clubs and Hotel gym for a fraction of the cost
Discounts at most retail outlets


Work Hard Especially if you are on the A330 . Due to regional flights and a lot of sectors to get to 90 hours . Minimum days off
B777 better with a large network of flights and 10-12 days off
A380 Largely intercontinental flying ULR across US Australia Flights to European Capitals and some regional flying to Saudia Arabia Kuwait and Bombay
Rostering is based on a sadistically driven mindset ,so as not to allow more than 5 days off in a row ( sore point for some pilots who need to commute).
Productivity ( over time ) is payed after 88 hours .
Morale is low amongst the earlier joiner

I do hope that I have given a better picture for you to make and informed decision. I'm sure there will be more to follow


Last edited by bigmountain; 2nd Aug 2015 at 20:46. Reason: Clarity
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Old 30th Jul 2015, 20:33
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: UAE
Posts: 965
First time I've heard rostering at EK described as sadistic but actually that sums it up perfectly. The rest of the post is pretty spot on as well.
BigGeordie is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2015, 21:29
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: OMDB
Posts: 141
Red face

It's shows how far EK has fallen in everyone's opinion if we are being compared with SV!!!
kennedy is offline  
Old 30th Jul 2015, 22:41
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 12
I submitted my App in today. Before anyone says anything, I understand the current condition of Emirates, and I've done hours of research on the work conditions. U.S. Regionals are no better, but at this rate I'll be able to save money. I'm a single 22 male.

I have an ATPL with a type rating in the 170/190 , 2300TT 1100 Multi. 700 Turbine Pilot in command and 300 in a E175.

Are these qualifications at this point competitive? And what equipment can I be expected to get hired in?

Health is good bmi is 25
Slaveaway is offline  
Old 31st Jul 2015, 03:19
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: california
Age: 63
Posts: 333
Wow Kennedy- I think you're Naive....the days when Emirates and Cathay are the best 2 expat jobs in the world are long gone. Even Air China Cargo have gone to a Flat $23,000 per month Salary with Overtime kicking in at 80 hours and plenty of opportunity to return home each month. Not to mention that every single flight is double crewed so not more than 4 hours in the seat at a time, ever..

If you chose to work for a British Management these days you'll always get a bad deal, it's an overhang of the bonus culture.

Last edited by polax52; 31st Jul 2015 at 03:35.
polax52 is offline  
Old 31st Jul 2015, 03:52
  #16 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

I personally don't think you've done enough research but all the best to you anyways.

I'd ask this of you; just come back to this forum, this particular thread (which will still be going strong I'm sure) and give us your thoughts then... Don't be surprised if there are a few " we tried to tell you"

You sincerely don't have any Idea what you're getting into.... None of us here could have even imagined how poor the conditions, rosters and general treatment of pilots could get..... But they have!

Through a colleague I've heard that a Deputy Chief advises that 95 hours per month WILL BE THE NEW NORM! Why? Not enough pilots. Why? Most have taken heed of these discussions.

Hope to hear from you here on this thread 6-9 months after starting at EK.

Old 31st Jul 2015, 05:21
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Pit
Posts: 50
Slaveaway - So after all your extensive research about this place where the negatives far outweigh the positives, you still decide to apply? You will fit right in here mate. Most Americans have left or are trying to leave desperately in numbers, that should say something. Even know 1 or 2 that have taken jobs in the regional's just to leave this place. At 22, the shiny big jet syndrome must be strong. Chill out, relax, put your time in, as most have and wait for one of the top 3 to call. Your login name surely fits though.
V1cutz is offline  
Old 31st Jul 2015, 11:11
  #18 (permalink)  
short flights long nights
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 3,181
I really wonder sometimes.
SOPS is online now  
Old 31st Jul 2015, 11:22
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: DontBai
Posts: 240
Don't you have to be 23 for a US atpl
Instant Hooligan is offline  
Old 31st Jul 2015, 13:08
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 12
21 for a restricted ATP.

I'm currently working at a U.S. Regional flying 90-100 hours a month. (Granted I do have the opportunity to fly less, but I need the cash)

With all due respect to everyone here, U.S. Regionals, for the most part, are not sunshine and roses.
Slaveaway is offline  

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