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Low cost in Europe vs Qatar (both sides of the coin)

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Low cost in Europe vs Qatar (both sides of the coin)

Old 16th Mar 2016, 13:07
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 5
Low cost in Europe vs Qatar (both sides of the coin)

Dear colleagues,

Young SA FO A320 type rated currently flying in SA. Also EU Passport.
Lived over a decade in Europe. Loved every second.

I am a father and married to an EU citizen. Last year I decided I had enough and I am taking my family to a safer place this year.

I spent a HUGE amount of money (and pain) going trough all EASA CAA exams again and SIM to convert my ICAO license to an EASA CAA (exchange rate is 5 for 1EUR). Imagine how much that costed me. Not to mention I haven't spent a good quality holidays with my family for the one year as I was simply.... studying.

Once all finished, I was always considering applying for a low cost such as Easyjet and bring my wife back to her home country in EU and leaving my family in safer place while I fly. Mind-free.

However as I am now ready to apply for jobs in Europe, it happened that QR invited me for a face-to-face interview. Prospectus, salary, wages, time to upgrade to captain, benefits, schools out there, water sports, they all look very good. Only downside so far, the heat and traffic.

I don't know anyone in person flying for Easyjet (or similar) or QR, so for those dear pilots out there who know both sides of the coins (specially fathers) could you give me your 2 cents ?

Which one would you prefer/recommend and the good/bad of both sides for someone with a family ?

Big decision, involving all the family. I want to get this right.

Thank you.

Last edited by easa; 21st Apr 2016 at 22:35.
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Old 16th Mar 2016, 18:05
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 730
Qatar or EZY? Having worked for the latter, I can say it's certainly not free of problems, but they will be nothing as to the treatment Qatar are renowned for, and no EU country would ever have the frustrations, restrictions and legal exposures that you would face in Doha. Then there is the climate (meteorological, not just political). I think you'd be doing both your family and yourself a huge disservice going to the ME for a similar SH job on the same aircraft with similar command times and a decent EU contract (that actually means what is written). The only thing Qatar can offer that is better is the possibility of fleet transfers onto long haul, if that is something you want, but while seeing the world is great, a fixed roster like EZY or RYR have is a valuable thing indeed, especially for a family man.
Aluminium shuffler is offline  
Old 16th Mar 2016, 18:59
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: united arab emirates
Posts: 370
He does have the right to live in and work in the Eu , read his post , duh !

Well done on getting the Easa whilst flying a full schedule and being a family man. Job well done .After all that effort , use it ! Do whatever you need to to have a life in the Eu . The tortoise and the hare my friend . Quick gratification ( The ME3) OR perhaps a chance at a better QOL long term . If you will be seduced by the money ( and the equipment), you will regret it .
Old chinese proverb , " If you spend your health to gain wealth , you will spend your wealth to gain your health ."
fourgolds is offline  
Old 16th Mar 2016, 20:15
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 540
Do you want a fancy car. Does your wife want to go to the salon twice a month and spend most of her life in malls. Do you want your 8 year old to have an ipad and an iphone (or at least do you want him to want one since most of the rich kids in his school has one or more). Do you want to spend most of your time outside work with colleagues complaining about the workplace and the place you live. If the answer to that is yes then go to ME. If the answer is no go to Europe.

It is as simple as that. The expat life is a sort of trap, you can claim that you won't fall into it, but there's actually no where else for an expat to go.

Last edited by Airmann; 17th Mar 2016 at 04:42.
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Old 16th Mar 2016, 21:25
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Escaped the sandpit 53 32′ 9.19″ N, 9 50′ 13.29″ E
Posts: 596
@easa Have look at the EK F/O Cost of living in Dubai thread. http://www.pprune.org/middle-east/57...ing-dubai.html

The difference between Dubai and Doha is IMHO marginal. A friend with 3 kids considerd an offer as DEC. After doing the math he declined.
ExDubai is offline  
Old 16th Mar 2016, 21:51
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Someone else's acft
Posts: 116
Quite easy, brother... Go to Doha, see it by yourself and compare to what you have here in Brasil and what you would have in Europe.

I believe you're flying for AVB, right ?

We hear a lot about the working conditions in Low Costs around Europe and probably a lot it's true, but remember, EUROPE is EUROPE. A great place to live, a lot of things to do, cultural values close to the ones you have etc etc !

On the other hand, flying for Qatar seems pretty nice ! No one flying here in Brasil could deny that. Good money, top notch aircrafts and a great improvement to your career, widening your horizons !

But you will still have to live in Doha ! It's nothing like we're used to here in Brasil, nor in Europe.

When going there, try not to stay only at the Pearl, take sometime and talk with one of your friends there and ask him to drive you around the city.

Now, try to picture yourself living there for the next 15 or 20 yrs ! That's probably the time you'll have to stay there to make it worth. If you think you'll be happy there, that your kids will have a happy life and your wife will be able to put up with all the differences, then, go for it.

Otherwise, just stay where you're untill you can find a great place to work in Europe.

All the best !

B737SFP is offline  
Old 16th Mar 2016, 22:23
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: where my body lives
Posts: 73
There are a lot of brazilian pilots in Qatar Airways. They all seem to be happy, but hey, these are the guys who don't have right to live and work in the EU.
You can talk to some of them and try to get their opinion.
If i had that chance, i would go for the european operator but that is just me...
foswillruletheworld is offline  
Old 16th Mar 2016, 22:36
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Europe
Posts: 280

Most if not all things said already in all the posts above. If you have the chance to work low cost Europe or xxxx ME, well, for most guys it is a no brainer. Social security means a lot, especially with family.

And at the end you do not end up (anymore) with much more money on your bank account in the ME.

I went low cost Europe after some other airline job in Europe(with all this nightstops that I cannot stand anymore), before flying as QR skipper a few years. IMHO, forget QR and and go for the Low Cost job. Your family will thank you and you will enjoy it(I hope).

Lot's of South American in QR. Most of them enjoyed it because (their words, not mine) the ME is so much safer then SA. I heard that sentence(in various forms) from a lot of my SA FO's which made me really think why we Europeans always try to find that magic hair in the soup when flying back home with our various carriers. They are mostly far from perfect, but allow you a safe and normal life with normally adequate payment. Unfortunately most of the SA guys never have a chance to work in the EU(not the right license AND the right passport).

Almost forgot: Kudos for that conversion. Lot's of time and money spent on that. Nice wife that went relaxed with that decission. Use this advantage wisely.
tomuchwork is offline  
Old 17th Mar 2016, 10:10
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Qatar
Posts: 89

As others have said........check it out for yourself.

Doha is not as bad as some make out, go for your interview then spend another day or so speaking to people there and looking around. As has been said, there is a big Brazilian community here so maybe through friends of friends you can make contact.

As an FO I cannot comment how much you can save. As 2nd year DEC I am saving around QR20,000 a month. Like anywhere how much you save depends on how much you spend! If you want a 4 bed apartment in West Bay or on the Pearl, have a maid, join the golf club, have membership of the Intercon and own your own boat...........well you won't save much.

For us (2 young children 5 and 8) it was important to get out of company accommodation, find a nice compound near the school. This has the added bonus of not living around your colleagues constantly, not that my colleagues are unpleasant...........but as pilots we like to moan! Your accommodation allowance would be QR12,000 which will limit your choices a little and you would probably have to subsidise by QR2-4000 to find somewhere you will be happy. At the moment rentals are stable, and in some cases have even dropped due to the current oil price issues, but that can change. Working here has, like any job, positives and negatives; speak to people when you are here and get the warts and all version of living here.

If you think you will want to go back to Europe in the next 10 years to start your career again, then I would not come out here in the first place. Go to Europe get your command and once your kids are at Uni you can look at DEC if you want an adventure in the ME!

Good luck
320goat is offline  
Old 19th Mar 2016, 14:33
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,484
Simple choice. Your wife is European, go to Europe and Easyjet. I am told the divorce rate among expats in the ME is very high. Happy wife, happy life.... Plus, you will see your kids more than you would flying long haul at QR.
Iver is offline  
Old 19th Mar 2016, 22:33
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Berlin
Posts: 242

Where shall I start? I work for a Loco in Europe. I flew Part 121 in the States.
Visited a fellow pilot in his villa in Dubai. He is flying the Whale for EK.

At the airport of Dubai I bought a model of an EK B777.
And burried the big shinny jet in the ME syndrome.

Not to be arrogant.

Me being a family man. I am thankfull for what I have.

NO extreme heat.
NO timezones crossing.
NO night flying.
NO scheduled overnights.
NO commuting.
And work part time.
Living 15 minutes away from the airport.

Not even flag carriers can beat that time I spend at home.

It is a no brainer if you ask me?

Good luck
Falck is offline  
Old 19th Mar 2016, 23:10
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Europe
Posts: 280

can sign that what you wrote - even 150%. No Flagcarrier and especially no ME carrier can beat the right low cost contract.

Of course it helps if you "enjoyed" flying long range by yourself already, so you know, you are absolutely nothing missing anything here(I hated longrange). I still remember(with a shivering) this horrible long nightflights, then the sun starts to come out, right into your face. And you are still hours away from a bed....

I know as well guys over at QR(worked for QR as skipper by myself) and met some former collegues in EK when down in DXB. Sure, they try to sell it to you, because they really want to like it as well(it's just human, otherwise you would go nuts). But then, in the same sentence they ask you how is your current european employer and if he is hiring right now - and how much he is paying. That's the main problem for most of the guys staying to long in the ME - where do I get the same pay(ok, nowadays it's easy, go to bloody China and enjoy).

If you ask this guys(this ones that I know good) if they really like it - then it comes out. "Well it's ok, it's a job, this is better then being unemployed back home...." all this usual answers that all of us heard in their life and sometimes said to themself in their mind. I mean, if you are jobless and have no other options, of course you go for QR, EK, whatever.
But if there is the choice, you have a family and not sitting on a hugh loan(why the hell did you sign for that if you cannot pay it??) then I would always suggest Europe.

Good Luck as well from me!

Last edited by tomuchwork; 20th Mar 2016 at 01:17. Reason: spelling
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Old 19th Mar 2016, 23:31
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Everyplace
Posts: 241
I understand 100% europeans guys when they complain. Most come from civiliced places. Their living standard are high. We come from South America where we have inflation and crime rates that will wet your pants. Our living standards are different. Nor better nor worst, different.
7Q Off is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2016, 09:58
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: On SBY next to my phone
Posts: 286
Very well done on getting through the bureaucracy of acquiring your Easa licenses!

I have friends who have gone from west to the ME, the ones in Qatar are all very happy after the recent improvements in terms and conditions. Good money, nice flights and the rosters are very good on the long haul, the annual leave is nice. I don't know about the 320 though. The ones in EK complain about the rosters but are still somewhat happy, they wouldn't want to return to Europe. The ones in flydubai complain a lot about the rosters but they make really good money.

Europe is nice but the tax burden, crazy bean-counting, costs of living, social security getting crappier by the day, crap rosters, financial insecurity, crazy housing prices (try buying an apartment in a city) will make it hard to put any money away.

I think that the key thing is, how would your wife like Doha or Dubai? I would recommend that you bring your wife there and have her take a look beforehand.

And don't make the mistake many brazilians do, thinking that Istanbul is a good compromise since it's geographically inbetween, because it's the worst option!
TypeIV is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2016, 10:33
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: italy
Posts: 128

Hi just curios to know what qr told you about the time for upgrade on the 320

freddi16 is offline  
Old 15th Apr 2016, 18:27
  #16 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 5
Dear aviators;

Thank you all for your inputs and thoughts on this matter. I am surprised and delighted with all your inputs which I carefully read and considered. Highly appreciated.

The variety of opinions on this post actually reflect my thoughts with so many pros and cons.

We are visiting the city in June ( wife included ) and I promised to come back with more thoughts.

As for upgrade, still don't know but colleagues are saying 4-5 years min 4000 airline jet hours

Last edited by easa; 21st Apr 2016 at 22:36.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 18:40
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 5

Thank you for the advice. Never not even by far away considered Instambul as an option.
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