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


Old 28th May 2016, 14:17
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Hello guys, I would like just to share with you my thoughts about this airlines which seems the only options out there for a non type rated FO with 2000 jet hours. Please, lets make a comparison and I would love to hear your comments about this airlines for those pilots trying to step up and hopefully find a better job in the industry.


Good type, commuting available, just 8 days per month or 16 days x 2 months, 6000 $ salary plus per diem (up to 1000 $) and housing. I like the commuting option, 8 days is not a lot but is probably better than Emirates right now. Salary less than in EK but with the cost of life in Dubai so high, I think one can save the same. What about family life/time at home if choose to move them to Taipei vs Instambul or Dubai?


Money is here, but also cost of living pretty high, which makes me think is just about bigger numbers but not more savings. Most luxurious lifestyle but what about quality of life? Family would probably likes Dubai more than Taipei and a lot more secure than Instambul, specially for women. Also I think Dubai is more open for expat to live there talking about english, schools and expat communities. So, it might be a better option to move there with family but at the same time pointless with those rosters right now, you will never be home anyway.


A lot of negatives comments about security in Instambul, ISIS, single pilot ops, CRM. I think housing is only provided for the first 2 weeks of training, not sure about this. You get pay about 5000 euros which is very good for Turkey but this is paid in local currency Turkish Lira which is falling vs Euro, not good if you plan save a bit of money get your type and move on. No communing option so family will have to move there. However Instambul is a beautiful city and away of the cooking desert. I do like Turkish since I would like to get a nice narrow body type/experience and stay in short haul flying, probably moving to LCC in Europe later. For most people these will make no sense, but I do enjoy the actual flying of short haul vs long haul, and I believe LCC roster are more friendly to family without layovers and sleeping at home every night. Not sure this is the case flying short haul in Turkish, I have read about 15 layovers minimum days off and long days 4 sectors. Is this true for FO??

All comments appreciated. Thank you and have safe flights everyone.
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Old 28th May 2016, 21:08
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Such preferences are very personal at the end of the day but this is my take on the topic.

Look at the number of hull losses that Turkish have had and ask yourself if that is where you would like to progress to? Their safety record is appalling. That alone rings alarm bells for me and points to many significant issues on the flight deck and in the company as a whole, which convince me to avoid them at all costs. Plus there is living in Istanbul and getting paid in Turkish Lira, which has lost close to half its value in two years.

Moving to Emirates should not be viewed as a long term career move since the rosters are not sustainable. As an F/O this is probably the best option of the three in terms of working environment and for overall experience. However, time to command has increased but difficult to quantify as there are many variables and it will probably be a number of years for those joining now. If you are single or married with no kids and don't plan to have kids then the economics of living in Dubai can still be favourable. If you have kids or plan to have kids, then you will have a lot less disposable cash at the end of the month.

My general theory for Far Eastern airlines is that you only really want to join them as a Captain and not as an F/O. The cockpit gradient will be steep and you will be a minority as an ex-pat. I think the word 'tolerate' will probably sum up how an ex-pat F/O would describe working at such a company. It will not be a easy ride on the flight deck for an ex-pat F/O. If Eva could give you the commuting lifestyle that you feel outweighs the other negatives, then it could be worth looking at closely.

Its very much down to you at the end of the day. Good luck!
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Old 28th May 2016, 21:28
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I would try to get into all three and then make the decision. If one or two assesments are failed, the decision is much easier.
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Old 29th May 2016, 00:39
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I am in the same situation as you hammer. I have 6000 total, 1000 on the NG. I was always very keen on EK but they fly 99hrs a month without fail, all layovers 24 hrs, which is completely unsustainable. My current company we fly 80hrs and that is enough for me.

EVA looks good, but command upgrade opportunities are limited as is the case with many asian carriers where you join in the right seat (Korean, China Airlines etc).

Time to command has exploded at EK, EY, QR etc. Not much out there at the moment.
Old 29th May 2016, 00:53
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Hey hammer, I'm also in the same boat...

Take in account that in Taiwan they also pay in their local currency and historically the NTD is going down against the USD... and don't forget the training bond, they will discount $1000usd each month in the first year.

I've heard that THY also require NTR candidates to pay for his own type rating before entering the company. So it's up to you...

Sad but true, EK is still offering a good contract
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Old 29th May 2016, 02:04
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Have y'all looked at Air Japan/ANA. Probably one of the best commuting contract airlines out there with a fairly active upgrade program at 3.5 years now. 12 days off per month with an option to use your vacation days and bump it up to 14. Business class confirmed tickets home to any part of the world. Of course, you just have to survive initial selection and training, it ain't for the faint of hearts that's for sure. However, just saying, maybe worth a look.

Last edited by atlanticjet; 29th May 2016 at 02:24.
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Old 29th May 2016, 07:27
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The problem with Air Japan is that it is hard (almost impossible) to bring your family over there.
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Old 29th May 2016, 07:45
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Simple really.

I've got friends in Turkish, they like it.
I've got friends in Emirates, most now hate it.
Don't know about Eva but a friend who worked there about 10 years ago loved it.
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Old 29th May 2016, 08:43
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Forget THY only partially good for left seat long haul..the rest is a big joke
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Old 29th May 2016, 15:48
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What Emma Royss said.

Having been in airlines in all three regions including at THY. Comparing the 3 is like comparing 5 star hotels to youth hostels. In Turkey you are a second class citizen, second class pilot and you live in Turkey! In Dubai they may treat you harshly at times but they treat everyone equally harshly (wrt to pilots not) but at least you ahve a great quality of life better than Europe and bucket loads of cash to go with it.

But Emma's message is soooo true if you are an FO in any of these places except Dubai expect life to be a series of scares and eGPWS warnings.

I may have left Dubai feeling like my bucket was full but Turkish was about leaving to save my life!
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Old 31st May 2016, 07:02
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Ex. EK B777 Captain.
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Old 31st May 2016, 16:56
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If your family is happy living in their home country - don't leave. (irrespective of your personal goals)

If you want to leave because you are chasing a command on a wide body then it's a bad move.

Only consider leaving if your income or family is in danger.

Chasing shiny aeroplanes and $$$ is a recipe for disaster if you are a family man.
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Old 31st May 2016, 17:04
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Latest I heard in the ME:
Etihad treats the employees the best.
Qatar pays the most.
EK ends up the loser....
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Old 31st May 2016, 19:19
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Originally Posted by B-HKD View Post

Ex. EK B777 Captain.
Ahahahah.... You should talk to that Captain now... He resigned after just 1 year... 😂😂
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Old 1st Jun 2016, 03:44
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Ahahahah.... You should talk to that Captain now... He resigned after just 1 year... ����
Both the first and third in the video, were ex-EK B777 Captains.

Last edited by B-HKD; 1st Jun 2016 at 07:34.
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Old 1st Jun 2016, 06:23
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No, he did not, spoke to him just a couple days ago and he's enjoying his LAX base with guaranteed 10 days at the base plus 2 to 3 layovers there every month so he's home more than he is in TPE.
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Old 2nd Jun 2016, 02:25
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Hello everyone, I wanted to thank you all for those helpful comments.

It is incredible how our industry works. People from Europe with decent jobs go to the Middle East hoping to see tons of money (or just enough to pay their debts), others to have a life experience and in a way to fulfill their dreams of flying a nice airplane around the globe. Then they realize they want to spend more time with family so they move to another airline with a better roster, maybe in Asia, and then they realize they just don't want to be an expat anymore in an unfamiliar culture and go back a LCC in EU where it all started. People Flying 777 in their home country go to the Desert, others flying NG at home to beautiful beaches go to fly NG at night to dangerous places, then others go back to LCC living on a budget from a luxurious lifestyle. Is like nobody is happy anywhere!

Something is true, maybe everybody is having what they want in life at the moment they wanted and moving on. We can't just have everything at the same time right?

Leaving the chapter about life lessons behind, I would like to share some info about jobs out there that I got this past week. Just in case somebody missed any of it.

I meet with a friend flying at Copa Colombia, I was amazed to hear that they are also having a hard time, closing bases, returning airplanes, they spend max 22 days away from home with layovers everywhere just to fly under 50 hrs. a month. Low salary, long time before sitting in the left seat.

Also a Captain from Lan Cargo with at least 20 years flying 767s is afraid that he might lose his job. He told me that they are even thinking about closing LAN cargo I don't know how bad is the company really, but is sad to see that not even at an airline like LAN a Cap with a good seniority, flight instructor etc. is safe. He did apply and got called at Qatar just in case, as an escape route.

A friend with just 3000 hrs. got called from Emirates, very interesting profile they are looking for. He got in flying MD80. Others at the interview process with him flying A380 did not make it.

More about the topic, I got in contact with some pilots at Turkish. I was surprised how nice and polite they all answer me back. They were very friendly and talked very good about the company. They say for wide body roster is 8 days is a row +1 day for travel. That the company have worked hard on CRM issues and is a lot better now. Single pilotís ops is a thing from the past. Now there is a reporting system available for FOs who wishes to report Captains. There is an allowance during training about 2000 USD per month, and housing provided for the first 45 days (not sure yet about deductions for Non type rated, I will like to know about that) A320 drivers flies about 70 hrs. a month. 737s a little more, could be 80 hrs. About 8 days off a month but from 10 to 15 nights away, some are nightís turnarounds to Africa and others are layovers. This seems to be a lot more relaxed flying on the a320 fleet, with just 3 to 4 layovers and 10 days off. Salary is about 6000 $ after training.

Thanks again to all Turkish pilots for their kindest and good info.

Also, I had a chat with a nice and friendly EK captain on the 777. Average days off 10 min 8 max 15. He told me about those swap rules commented on this forum that annoys everyone. He also confirms what everybody thinks here about EK being the best package, best training and more secure operation out there. With the best friendly cockpit being mostly expats unlike (some) Asian carriers. Also Dubai being one of the best places to live for expats apart from the heat.

Thinking about EVA, yes there is a commuting option but, Taiwan is so far from everything! Is like 4 days commuting for every set of block days off. Not sure if that is going to work out for many.

About my current conditions, I'm very fortune to have a job, especially since I got to fly jets and I enjoy it every day. Unfortunate I don't have any future in my country. As an example, few days ago while at recurrent training abroad, I went to the Boeing store and got myself a Boeing cockpit poster (for motivational purposes only I happily spent those 10 $ ) and as it turns out to frame it and put it on the wall it cost 80 % of my base salary! That how economy works in my country and that is why I'm considering the best option to move my family away. Hopefully with hard work I will make it happen.

There is another route that a found recently which was not available months back. Continuing with this experienced pilots shortage, Norwegian has lower required minimums. Now they are only asking for Jet time, no EFIS, Glass cockpit or even 737 hrs. That could be an option for somebody with the possibility to work in EU. This brings some other questions. Does it worth to spend the time and money converting to EASA? It would be a long shot since just a few airlines are hiring non type rated. Is it 4000 Euros enough as a first officer to sustain a family in EU? What about commuting from base to home inside Europe? Roster? Quality of life in Europe would be a lot better in my opinion, especially in my case since my family does not speak English (less than me ) and they could actually work there (also help to pay the bills ). I think this is very important aspect for whole thing to work with family. For them to have something useful to do, people around with almost the same culture, to have a social life while we are away on those days of duty.

For those without the advantage of working in Europe there is also a Job with Cargolux China an excellent company with the best commuting option out there, about 2 weeks on 2 weeks off. Pay is very good, in Euros about 8000 for FO. The only downside, like some of those dream jobs in Asia, you need to get your Chinese ATPL. About 6 months of study plus another 6 month of training on the actual airplane.

Thanks for sharing guys, please let me know what you think the European route. I would like to read comments about quality of life for a pilot in EU vs Turkey vs Dubai. Especially for with a Spanish Family. And what about Turkish roster/experience vs FlyDubai or Emirates?

I'm only considering jobs available for non-type rated with less than 2500 hrs. Of course there are better jobs out there.

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Old 2nd Jun 2016, 09:48
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You are talking about two different people. One of the captains in the video has resigned, after about 7-8 months, nowhere near to a year.

As to the other, maybe in LA more than in Taiwan, but lots of days in TPE as well. There is no LAX base. There are no bases other than TPE. In spite of that China Airlines continues to advertise that there is. As economical with the truth as any other outfit employing expats.
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Old 2nd Jun 2016, 10:34
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Originally Posted by atpcliff View Post
Latest I heard in the ME:
Etihad treats the employees the best.
Qatar pays the most.
EK ends up the loser....
please doublecheck your sources! one side is complaining a lot here, other dont want to complain public, or are not allowed! package: $$$ 1. dxb, 2. doh, ........! pilots treatment improved a lot in doh, other places it goes a different direction! just what i heard......

Last edited by AERO75; 2nd Jun 2016 at 10:48.
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Old 2nd Jun 2016, 13:39
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Hammer...are you a THY proxy. The figure you give are completely unrealistic. Block off days only for wide body..the rest working their ass off.
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