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

EK or QR?!?

Old 26th Mar 2017, 18:42
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EK or QR?!?

I am aware that there is a lot of information (not all so positive) about EK out here. But I'm looking for some honest and useful advice.

I have offers from both EK and QR on different buses (380/320). I have to make a decision soon. I would appreciate any advice you can give.

I'm single in my mid 20s. QR seems to be the better company from what I read around here, but EK attracts me because of the long haul flying and the big bus.


Thanks for all your advice in advance!
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Old 26th Mar 2017, 20:10
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Its also much shinier.

Lets hope we finally hear some honest and useful advice.
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Old 26th Mar 2017, 20:25
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Old 26th Mar 2017, 21:46
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Can't talk for EK but if you join QR on 320 your personal life will be a living hell. Unbearable roster and Qatar is no place for single guys, not being formally married and having a relationship in this country feels like committing a crime (and sometimes it actually is)... I tell my friends to avoid 320 at all costs, 70% of the flights will be night turn arounds to India or Pakistan, 4 nights in a row not uncommon and consistently flying 90 hours on a narrow body every month is no joke. If your only option at QR is the 320 I'd put it down and look for a better place. If they offer you a wide body position I'd consider QR but keeping in mind what I mentioned before about being single in Qatar. Good luck.

Last edited by lfbb; 26th Mar 2017 at 22:01.
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Old 26th Mar 2017, 23:56
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Out of curiosity, what experience have you accrued to be offered entrance onto the 380 at EK?
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 05:23
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Originally Posted by Integrated View Post
Out of curiosity, what experience have you accrued to be offered entrance onto the 380 at EK?
Breathing and has a pulse pretty much guarantees you entry into EK these days.
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 05:31
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A few years ago I was in a similar position but DEC for QR 320 and DEC for EK 330. One of the best decisions I ever made was to pass on both!
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 07:20
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Take the EK 380 .
Dubai much more fun and that 320 roster will be much worse . EK ain't peaches and cream and if wide body go to Qatar but of the two, that would be my pick .
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 08:21
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Not long term

The V,
I don't believe either are a long term choice.
So at your age I'd have the mind set of where could I have the most fun for 5 years. (Bond)
The answer would be EK 380. Fly LH have a fun time and have an exit plan. You should concentrate on where you want to live and apply to the quality airlines (If any) there. Stay at EK until you get the job offer but as soon as you do, leave. (Just pay the bond if you have to)
You won't get a 380 command until 35 ( new age restrictions) so you won't get hooked by the i'm only a year away from upgrade so I'll stay.
Sadly Middle eastern airlines are no longer a long term prospect imho.
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 08:41
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Originally Posted by TheVanguard View Post
I am aware that there is a lot of information (not all so positive) about EK out here. But I'm looking for some honest and useful advice.

I have offers from both EK and QR on different buses (380/320). I have to make a decision soon. I would appreciate any advice you can give.

I'm single in my mid 20s. QR seems to be the better company from what I read around here, but EK attracts me because of the long haul flying and the big bus.


Thanks for all your advice in advance!

I backup most of the previous comments.

I chose QR but got widebody and am reasonably happy right now (from a flying, roster, staff travel point of view etc etc).

I'm single also and you'll definitely have more fun and will enjoy living in Dubai much more. The cabin crew in EK are better also.

A couple of other things that i considered with regards to EK though (which may not be a concern for some). You say you're mid20s - while command may not be an immediate concern... they say minimum age for command on 380 is 35 now. So you may be waiting up to 10years. Secondly something that put me off was the 5year bond at EK.

By the way... i had a look around at the last couple of months 320 rosters on the system and 90hours as a general rule is not true... you may fly a bit more initially as a new joiner or if on low hours but other than that no. Stuff about the turnarounds and not having as much time off compared to other fleets is true though.

In your current situation - single mid 20s, my feeling is EK might be a better option for you. You could always ask Qatar if there is any possibility of widebody also, even if it means delaying the start date.

Lots of stuff on previous threads on comparisons between the big 3... check it out.

Digressing slightly... the general feeling of these threads is the Middle East is over and to look elsewhere... home (wherever that is) or a commuting contract for lifestyle and/or more pay.

Anyway you specifically asked about QR vs EK, so hope it helps.
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 10:18
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It depends on what's important for you. What are your plans and goals.

QR: 320 has quite tough rosters, pay is quite nice but for a young single guy there are more fun places than Doha. You will most probably not get widebody within a year. Everything depends on the demand. Time to command on the 320 is not very long at the moment. Flying widebody for QR though, is pretty nice still.

EK: Dubai is more fun to live in, even if your long-term goal is not flying LH, the hours are always very good to have in the book in the future. Saving money might be harder in EK.
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 11:02
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another very important thing to include in your decision making: according to an FO, who signed up with EK a couple of months ago: his contract states clearly he has a MAXIMUM of 15 paid sick days per calendar year!!! This is something new they came up with (it's not in my contract.)
For me that would be a clear dealbreaker, let alone all the other reasons not to join if they put you on the Boeing (And that looks like the fleet where new guys are dropped, given all the resignations the last couple of months)....

Last edited by 5star; 27th Mar 2017 at 11:03. Reason: typo
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 12:13
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Originally Posted by Cloud Bunny View Post
Breathing and has a pulse pretty much guarantees you entry into EK these days.
Thank you for that - but genuinely curious. Often people say the min criteria is not enforced, but there must be a bottom-line to enter. I'd like to know what it would be?
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 12:15
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I will just past on this one thanks.....
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 14:48
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Thank you to the ones who gave useful advice.

It's highly appreciated!
TheVanguard is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2017, 22:15
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QR is tough as well is EK .
You will soon forget if you have 165 Peps in the back or 450 .
All you will recall is ,which day ,when im off ...how long !!!!
Your experience is low ..go get your wings and fly 320 then move on with QR widebody adt 3 years ....learn to fly the Baby Bus then get bored in the Chubby Wobbler ...
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Old 28th Mar 2017, 07:04
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12 years ago it was a no-brainer and the best outfit (by far) in the ME was EK and I would never ever have joined QR.
Now 12 years later it has completely reversed. The best outfit for flightdeck crew in the ME is QR. I hear they treat their FD with respect and rosters are not too bad (if you can get a heavy/super seat). Pay must be pretty similar.

Now if I was looking at the ME and at the start of my career, I would never ever join EK unless I would get a RHS 380.
On that fleet life is still cool because guys get minimum 15 days off a month and so much time to recover. Easy sectors and hardly any night turns or layovers in SE Asia. Upgrading on the 380 will be long away however... From the rumor mill there will be no seats available on that fleet for the foreseeable future (never mind what they tell you during the roadshows, plain lies as many have found out). As we speak guys are transferred (or downgraded) to the 777.

So go a week to Doha and see how life is. Speak with as many people as you can.
Living in the middle east is not for everyone.
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Old 28th Mar 2017, 08:31
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Very good points here. I can't speak for EK, but I have done my time in QR on both the A320 and currently on A330. For sure the flying on A320 is quite demanding with multiple sector days and a fair amount of night flying, but not quite the hell it's rumoured to be. Most pilots, both seats, will do about three years on A320 and then move on, typically to A330. You say that you are mid-20s and I dare guess that you have a few thousand hours logged? If you go widebody ULH at such an early stage in your career you will forever lose the proficiency you have gained up until now. On the other hand go narrowbody short-haul for a few years and you will be an extremely proficient QR Command upgrade candidate in your late 20s or early 30's. Big shiny jets that fly very far are unavoidable in QR if you stay long enough.

QR has developed into a mature and well run organization in the past few years. Your contract is solid and steadily improving, they will not try to screw you on regulations, training has become much more humane than in the old days, we have a good bidding system for flights, 42 days annual leave that must be allocated during the leave year, and you will enjoy the best staff travel system I've seen in any airline.

That said, for sure you will have much more fun in Dubai as a single person. Doha is a bit bland in terms of entertainment, which might be an understatement.
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Old 28th Mar 2017, 22:12
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Don't forget that you have to be 35 to get a 380 command at Emirates. I doubt very much that Qatar has a similar policy in place.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 08:21
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Not in place yet!
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