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Lets go to EK! maybe...

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

Lets go to EK! maybe...

Old 10th Nov 2021, 23:19
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Lets go to EK! maybe...

Hi Chaps. Particularly to the ones thinking of heading to the UAE (Dubai) for the first time.

To start, please answer with your rational mind:
Would you rather go to a financially thriving (or at least stable) company, or to one that is bleeding millions of Dollars?
I mean, this could go many ways in a few years, but in general, a company that is held by the money of a government or individuals that can decide to change course overnight, does not seem to be the most sensible of choices.
They still own 110+ A380, that can´t be filled, and must fly. That is bloody expensive either way, flying them or not.

Then again, they pay more and you get to fly the new, shiny jets.
They pay more. You save... the same, or more, or less, but in any case not that much. And you live in a different country, that you may like or not.
There is about four heavy summer months that you definitely won't like, unless you only watch Netflix and go to malls.
You will spend the prime of your life in an expat community, where everyone eventually leaves. I myself made really good friends, but I would have as well in my own country, and would still have my circle afterwards. Something to chew.

EK is a permanent contract job. They have issued warnings for petty stuff, then tension builds for a check ride or anything, and all of the sudden you are out. Pack home.
Everyone heard it once in a while. A friend, or a friend of a friend. A land mine. You only hoped to get lucky.
Only COVID made it so much more evident. They fired at will, without order, not based or seniority, and never announced anything really. We suspect it was based on the file, but who knows... Some of the guys that were let go, are really, really good pilots and individuals.
It was Emirates at its finest.
We always knew there was a chance of getting fired without really messing up, we just didn't expect more than a thousand guys to be fired in a few months.

Now... let´s go fly the shiny jets.
The duty, rest, inflight rest and all the limitations have been bent due to the pandemic. They know there is guys waiting to be hired, so it is not a problem now to max everyone out, and if anyone wants to leave, well... bye. How much is too much? If you want to try out, skip sleep for two nights in a row (three better), take a couple hours during the day, and that´s how you are going to feel for many of the days you live there. Jetlag can be brutal.
Then there´s polar flights. All the US West coast go by the North Pole. It's an experiment really. No other collective of humans have been exposed to north pole radiation in that manner, so the results will only show in years to come. And no one will ever know. Scary topic.

Upgrades. Ha!
There are Direct Entry Captains in both fleet now. And ex EK captains that could come back from other jobs.
And when they do upgrade guys... get ready for action. See other threads about training madness in the ME.

Things are improving fast.
Place your bets, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Best of luck to all.
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Old 11th Nov 2021, 04:05
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Another one sided unhappy camper.
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Old 11th Nov 2021, 07:27
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Well. as someone who spent a decade there. it's actually pretty fair and balanced- PARTICULARLY when you consider EK made a profit every year I was there, yet still sort to ratchet down conditions year after year.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first few years, but as they just took more every year. it got to the point that it wasn't worth the downside of Dubai any more.

Am I glad I did it? yes.
Would I go back? no. (actually had the chance).
Would I recommend it? Entirely depends on the individual. so a measured look like the one OP is offering in entirely valuable. IMHO.
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Old 11th Nov 2021, 09:41
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What Wiz said 👍
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Old 11th Nov 2021, 14:46
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I spent a decade there, overall a positive experience personally, made plenty of cash tax free which would have taken much longer to accumulate back home.

Managed to visit many places around the world and saw sights I never thought I would visit, but pre-covid I always made myself try to visit at least one thing on the basis I may never get the opportunity again.

The flip side was that every year, EK took something away be it the salary step, accommodation options /refurbishment,profit share, or some sort of staff travel restrictions, and lower standards of layover hotels- some really dreadful.

For any new joiners you will have the option to move into the Meydan Pilot Metrocomplex or else buy somewhere if you are feeling very brave financially. You will have to buy all your appliances plus a car if you live at Meydan.

You will get a roster which has a random set of destinations and if you are really lucky or personally related to the Indian roster guessing team, might have one of your chosen bids each month.

Be prepared to work most Christmas and New Years. When I asked one habibi, who had 4 weeks off over Xmas whether he might opt to work over Christmas to enable expat colleagues who celebrate the occasion he was unmoved and stated "we like to give each other gifts too".

The roster changes frequently and you get last minute blocks of 8 available days allocated which changes at short notice and belies you to check your roster after 6pm every evening to find out if you are flying off at 2 am the following morning.

Commuting home is essentially impossible due to overbooked flights pre-covid and the company checks that you have arrived back into Dubai and had enough rest before you next sign on for work, necessitating an early return from leave to ensure you are not invited in for a chat and a warning letter.

You are supposed to get 42 days of leave a year. EK are the only airline I have ever worked for who did not honour that, and on one occasion (pre-covid)did not even grant the legal minimum of 30 days off in a year. Something to consider if you want to try and go home to visit your family.

Overall I am glad I had the experience but like "Wiz" I wouldn't do it again.

To everyone still there, I sincerely wish you a very merry Christmas.
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Old 11th Nov 2021, 16:56
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Compared to China...looks like heaven to me ;-)
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Old 11th Nov 2021, 17:14
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This thread will grow everyday. "Another one sided unhappy camper." Yes he is. But unfortunately, whatever he said is true. Can anyone disagree with it ?
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Old 12th Nov 2021, 03:08
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I won't disagree with it - the part of the rant I can understand, that is. So the gripe starts off telling us that you will fly shiny jets all over the world, make lots of friends and be paid good wages - however that seems to be a bad thing. There is some stuff about the weather(really?), the fact that the company may or may not change course in the future and aeroplanes that might be difficult to fill,

Emirates is what it is, always has been. People have been moaning about the company since the beginning of time. They said it was a bad place during the good times and they somehow thought it was going to improve when Covid ripped things apart. My experience is that there are happy people here and unhappy people here. What camp you fall into depends on your perspective. If you look for all the bad, you will find it and have reason to be unhappy. If you look for the good you will find it and have reason to be happy. I have made the choice to be happy.

So lets sum this up - EK is a commercial, profit driven entity. If you come here, they will pay you well, they will work you like a dog making you fly shiny aeroplanes all over the world. It is a job and you are a contractor not living in your home country. If you screw up, they may well fire you. - or they might do it later when it suits them. You need to be realistic about what this job entails - be prepared to leave. If you think you are coming here for a permanent vacation in the sun, then this job is not for you. IF you can handle some of the realities, then there is a lot of good stuff to be happy about. I've always said happiness is where reality meets expectation. Keep your expectations grounded and you will be happy.

And, yeah, we fly over the North Pole.....that's the job. If you don't like it, then don't do it.
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Old 12th Nov 2021, 05:09
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I worked with them nearly 15 years. Had my good years (first 6 years) and after Maurice left, things went downhill very quickly.
I was part of the initial batch of 600 guys that were NOT randomly fired last year. In fact, in my case I never got called in the office, never failed any sim (that is another interesting subject indeed), no…I got sacked because I got 1 long (more than 2 weeks) sickness in the past.

Would I do it again? Never ever… The risk is too big. You break your arm and you are on your way out... The company is a monster, and if you do anything ‘wrong’ ie like becoming sick, you are on their list and binned at the first available opportunity….

I’m so happy with my new flying job and I just wonder why I waited soooo long to leave…Big mistake, as last year was hell for a lot of us after our ‘treatment’. It’s only now that I realise what abbusive power they had over me….

Good luck anyhow to anyone considering joining. Think very hard and if you have a family, never ever do it. Dubai is just too expensive with schooling, clubs etc.. Not to mention living in a controlled ‘workers camp’ called MH…
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Old 12th Nov 2021, 08:33
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Sad, isn't it! I remember working as an expat for a company that valued it's pilots and were happy that everyone was happy. In fact they advertised that their employees were their greatest asset. EK, CX an KA were probably the best deals going. What happened?
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Old 12th Nov 2021, 09:15
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Bean counters, instead of people who loved aviation, took over running airlines is what happened. Throw in a few people who hate paying pilots, but have no guilt about being payed huge $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ themselves and you have a perfect storm.
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Old 12th Nov 2021, 10:52
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After days off I would agree with you but on leave you're entitled to return at 23:59 on the last day from anywhere in the world and it's rostering's problem if they've rostered you for a flight too soon. Not yours!

Last edited by White Knight; 13th Nov 2021 at 19:54. Reason: Quote got dumped. As usual...
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Old 12th Nov 2021, 13:00
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Unless it has changed in past 3 years this is not so (I commuted for 12 of my 15 years) - the company did not check as long as I arrived for duty..

All the rest from MC I am in agreement with. Although no regrets, poignant that those of us who are gainfully employed would not return.
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Old 12th Nov 2021, 22:30
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Oh they checked ! Several guys RR after arriving inside min rest . Annual leave - thats why the assigned day off afterwards . Crew control and flight ops trolls went out of their way to make life very difficult for certain individuals. Going back to the TBF, people remember the 330 Captain roster pinned to the swap board that included printed negative comments from crew control ? And that's just one example .
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Old 13th Nov 2021, 05:31
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What on earth are you guys moaning about!

You are acting like EK opened its doors for everyone to join and the only hurdle is the terms and conditions which for some may seem deteriorating. For people who were affected by covid and its impact on our jobs EK is the best option for anyone to return or apply. I challenge ANYONE in the industry to prove otherwise! Working for them is tough but any job in the world which pays fairly well is hard and its getting harder by the day and those include the financial ind, legal, High Reliability Organisations, construction related work or even starting your own thing if you fancy a long but longly challenge! Yes you are having a tough time but feel free to move along and say I’m better off now because my employer values my tiny existence or cares more about my family’s well being than the business.I would take my old EK job back in a flash if I could or take any of your job if you don’t really wanna be there!

Last edited by Un_Limited; 13th Nov 2021 at 12:01.
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Old 13th Nov 2021, 07:33
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in fact they opened the door for everyone to apply. Yet alone that EK does not take everyone back first, value their old position and seniority (not salary) before asking everyone else, tells a lot of how much value the asset has.

And there are better options, but they are sinking in applications and every single pilot with or without job is applying there (two us cargo companies), but that’s only on the side.
on pay side EK is a good deal, and there is no issue in working hard for big $$$$$.

What EK does is they want to control you and your life. At a certain point with no financial gain or need, just because they can. Over the least few years the put pressure on people for absolutely no reason, only because certain individual where to arrogant to think twice over their business decisions and letting nobody having a different way of thinking.

EK is a company digging problems with money, and in the last years( pre covid ) profits where shrinking - still made profits every year but less and less.
AAR is changing his will and needs for the business on daily basis And has decided to hate pilots as well as STC doesn’t like the guys in the first row either. On top the Arabian attitude is not to hold up with a contract, and as there are no ways of protecting your rights EK was constantly changing the agreement of work ( in fact you can’t call it contract) when they liked, or not willing to fulfill the contract whenever it seems useful to them.
technical spoken EK could be the perfect deal, but to the human factor is the problem over control, missing value to their employees, missing fairness as every individual in the office does want to display his power but not taking the responsibility out of fear over a job loss or loosing face. All or that is expressed in missing communication.

Ask around how many times people ask via email and not receiving an answer at all, sometimes important things like medical. In fact EK Switched everything to email com, because it’s easier to skip an answer.

EK is even changing rules in the background without notifying their employees - you just find out when you have a need for.
recently accommodation became an issue, where maintenance for MS is literally not available - or do you think it’s funny if your AC breaks in the summer and they guys are not showing up, than delay the repair because there are no spares. And I am sure it’s not the contractor it’s purely EKs way if deciding, releasing and ordering work.

all together that’s not exactly what to understand as a perfect deal not even now
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Old 13th Nov 2021, 13:07
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I disagree . Having left EK 9 years ago, and working now in a different industry, good pay, great conditions and happy. ( on right now, 3 weeks of my 9 weeks annual leave right now)… there is a life outside…
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Old 13th Nov 2021, 13:39
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Because much of the worst of it has happened in the last few years. My first few years were great and they abided by the contract and that was post 2001.
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Old 13th Nov 2021, 15:14
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What was the change in 2001? 200708 yes but can not remember 2001. Post 2007/08 highlighted the big shiny jet syndrome. Lots of baby jet pilots were hired . Might have been just before 2007/08. One for certain currently is supply and demand is in EKs favour, I would not expect that to change any time soon . Glad I'm out . There is life after EK !
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Old 13th Nov 2021, 17:26
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Reply to some of the replies:

Happiness lies within, no argue there. Some of my happiest moments were in Dubai. But all of us try to pick the better option, don't we?
How is that an argument to pick EK over another choice?

I meant a heads up for the potentially new guys. A non exhaustive list either.
There are good things to EK and Dubai. To be fair, IMO Dubai has improved quite a lot.
Not getting any cheaper though.
But EK keeps removing or twisting any benefits, in the 'contract' or not. Latest being the company accomodation rules. That list would be reaaaaaally long.

And I go back to the issue that they are a big money losing company now, and that never eases things up. So no improvement in sight, if ever.

There is a company in the UAE that wants to make money, and makes money. That is Air Arabia.
Emirates does something different. It showcases Dubai to the world, with ugly Blue Airplanes, Ronaldo, Jennifer Aniston, sports teams and so on . It's main objective is not to make money. It never was.

The UAE has stood up lately in the OPEC to Saudi Arabia in some pretty important votes. A kind of 'power game' is developing between the two GCC countries. As a result, and also trying to diversify, Saudi is creating another monster airline. Emirates can not falter now, no matter how much money goes down the drain. This goes beyond airline interests. But the strategy could change. Anytime.

Hey! If you want to fly big planes all over, and live in Dubai, by all means.
I'm just saying everything is not gold.
Except in Burj Al Arab.

Cheers gents.
Best of luck deciding.

Last edited by desert witch; 13th Nov 2021 at 17:36.
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