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Career in EK or work for regional in the USA? Help me guys.

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Career in EK or work for regional in the USA? Help me guys.

Old 10th May 2019, 13:58
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Istanbul
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Career in EK or work for regional in the USA? Help me guys.

Hello guys,

I need to give a decision about my career. Now I am working as a first officer in B737 and logged more than 2500 hours. I am living in Turkey. I succeed EK assessment and most probably I will get a job offer from them.

At the same time, I have a green card and eligible to work in the USA. In order to work in the USA, I need to convert my license to FAA equivalent which requires me to pass ATP/CTP course and a check ride (Actually it is similar for one who requires to upgrade its FAA CPL to FAA ATP). I quickly reviewed most of the regionals, they pay for ATP/CTP course and also give type rating for the FAA CPL holders. In other words, FAA CPL holders don't need to pay anything for conversion. I tried to apply some of the regional companies tried to explain my situation about the conversion process but they declined my application. They also informed me to convert my license first and then re-apply.

After a quick summary of my case. Here are my concerns;

If I want to fly in the USA I need to spend more than 12.000$ to convert my license and then I can only apply for regionals. Those jobs are not paying well (50-70K in a year.) and need to stay there at least 3-5 years before finding a seat for the legacies. Besides, I am not sure as a foreigner will it be difficult to find a job in the States. Living in the USA looks much better than living in the desert and the USA is the number one place to fly in the world. Lot's of things to learn. Even though initial cost for settlement into the USA looks much higher, it looks like providing better opportunities for the future (citizenship, children education, etc.)

On the other hand, flying for EK provides a better life of quality when compared to regionals. Enjoying 8300$ tax-free salary, living in a villa and paying barely anything for the utilities such as electricity, gas, etc. Flying all around the world, promotion to widebody captain position ( I don't know how many years required to upgrade to widebody captain position in the legacies 20-25? ). Flying all around the world.

I am 29 years old. I am about to get my Ph.D. degree in aviation. I am married., no kids, my wife is a software engineer.

If you were me, which one would you choose? EK or moving to the USA starts from the beginning?

and also do you know any regional which can help me to convert my license in the USA?

Thank you,

aviator35 is offline  
Old 10th May 2019, 18:42
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
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Originally Posted by aviator35 View Post
At the same time, I have a green card and eligible to work in the USA. In order to work in the USA, I need to convert my license to FAA equivalent which requires me to pass ATP/CTP course and a check ride (Actually it is similar for one who requires to upgrade its FAA CPL to FAA ATP). I quickly reviewed most of the regionals, they pay for ATP/CTP course and also give type rating for the FAA CPL holders. In other words, FAA CPL holders don't need to pay anything for conversion. I tried to apply some of the regional companies tried to explain my situation about the conversion process but they declined my application. They also informed me to convert my license first and then re-apply.

I am 29 years old. I am about to get my Ph.D. degree in aviation. my wife is a software engineer.

...and also do you know any regional which can help me to convert my license in the USA?
aviator35,

Admittedly, you have a tough decision. I'm no expert by anyone's definition but wonder if you have directly contacted those US regionals who currently take Australians under an E3 visa and talked to them about your situation. While you are a slight variation on a theme, these particular regionals would be more familiar with the FAA ATPL issuance directly from an non-US license as they do exactly that for the Australians; would it really be all that different for conversion from a Turkish license ? I don't know.

If my understanding is correct, these are the US regionals taking E3 Australians without an FAA license: Piedmont, Trans States, Expressjet, Gojet, Commutair, Mesa. One of our Aussie readers will correct this list if I've got it wrong.

I assume if you talk to regionals who do NOT handle this license process, they'll tell you a conversion to FAA is your responsibility as they won't have the expertise, motivation or process in place to do it.

You have solid experience, a green card and meet the college degree requirements of the career-destination airlines here in the USA. Based on my understanding, there's no reason why you wouldn't be competitive for a spot at these airlines. I know they take green card holders...no problem.

The one thing they might like to see is a few years flying here at a place like a regional. If a regional would take you and get you an FAA ATPL at no cost to you, that might ease the pain of the lower income levels in the early years at a regional ? And your wife would likely find work here also.

I only know what I read here about Emirates so I'm not in a position to compare the two choices you face.

In any event, good luck and let us know what you decide.

Last edited by bafanguy; 10th May 2019 at 19:01.
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Old 10th May 2019, 23:47
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Saw your post on APC but the respondents didn't quite answer your questions.
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Old 11th May 2019, 00:24
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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I canít answer all of your questions, but Iíd rather fly a 737 or A320 for a US legacy than fly a wide body at EK. Just personal preference. Having said that, Iíd rather fly at EK than fly at a regional in the US, but if your goal is to get to a legacy in the US, Iím not sure which path would get you there faster.
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Old 11th May 2019, 07:11
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Thumbs up

Bafanguy,

Thank you for your quick reply. After your post, I started an online application with MESA,

If I find some Australians guys who started flying in the USA with E3, I can solve my problem.

I have couple of months to give my final decision.

For sure, I will let you know

Thank you.
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Old 11th May 2019, 08:32
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Originally Posted by zondaracer View Post
I canít answer all of your questions, but Iíd rather fly a 737 or A320 for a US legacy than fly a wide body at EK. Just personal preference. Having said that, Iíd rather fly at EK than fly at a regional in the US, but if your goal is to get to a legacy in the US, Iím not sure which path would get you there faster.
Is it possible to get an acceptance for a legacy from EK without part 121 hours?
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Old 11th May 2019, 12:59
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Originally Posted by aviator35 View Post
After your post, I started an online application with MESA,

If I find some Australians guys who started flying in the USA with E3, I can solve my problem.
aviator35,

At the risk of telling you something you already know, the E3 visa itself is exclusively for Australian citizens. But an E3 visa holder would certainly be able to tell you what he personally experienced in getting from a non-US license to an FAA ATPL at a regional. The regionals themselves likely have this process down to a science by now. It'll be enlightening to hear what these regionals have to say about someone in your situation.

I hope it works out for you.

bafanguy is offline  
Old 11th May 2019, 15:06
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Join Date: Feb 2018
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Originally Posted by bafanguy View Post
aviator35,

At the risk of telling you something you already know, the E3 visa itself is exclusively for Australian citizens. But an E3 visa holder would certainly be able to tell you what he personally experienced in getting from a non-US license to an FAA ATPL at a regional. The regionals themselves likely have this process down to a science by now. It'll be enlightening to hear what these regionals have to say about someone in your situation.

I hope it works out for you.
Bafanguy,

Yes, I know the E3 visa itself is for the Australian citizens. I mean the Australian guys must have done the conversion process to fly in the USA, If I find the Australian guys here, I can both confirm the companies and procedure for the conversion from the non-FAA ATPL to FAA ATP.

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Old 11th May 2019, 15:38
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
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Originally Posted by aviator35 View Post
I mean the Australian guys must have done the conversion process to fly in the USA, If I find the Australian guys here, I can both confirm the companies and procedure for the conversion from the non-FAA ATPL to FAA ATP.
aviator35,

I thought that was what you meant but mentioned the E3 thing just in case as I've seen occasional confusion about it in the past.

There are several Aussies who post about their US regional experiences so you won't have trouble getting info.

bafanguy is offline  
Old 12th May 2019, 02:14
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Join Date: Jul 1998
Location: between 20 & 30 000'
Posts: 20
as an observer from a different part of the world, approaching the twilight of a flying career, I would suggest you try to have a look 20 to 30 years ahead and ask yourself where you see yourself then.

The idea of flying widebodies on amazing routes to interesting destinations is attractive. However, being away from home for most of your life, being so tired when you are home, that you cannot give your family the attention they deserve/require very quickly makes this kind of lifestyle unattractive. AFAIK one cannot settle permanently in Dubai (without a job there), so you will probably need to move from there when you leave the company.

Just be careful, if in 10 or 15 years time this lifestyle becomes unbearable, you will be competing with 29 year olds for legacy jobs and you, in your mid 40's will have lost out 15 years of seniority.

When the time comes to hang up the headset, the banks will not be prepared to accept "great memories and experiences" as hard currency, all they want to see are $$$ in your bank account.

At 29 a long term decision does not appear to be too important, but in the seniority driven industry, it can make a huge difference.

I reckon the US hiring boom has a finite life and, IF you want to end up flying for a legacy carrier in the USA, the sooner you get into the game the better.

Dont' be blinded by a quick command to a fancy widebody and, an apparently easy lifestyle. Anecdotally the desert is not the cruisy lifestyle you seem to be envisaging. Plan long term but enjoy your life while you are positioning yourself to achieve these goals and be flexible, life throws an amazing amount of curved balls, be prepared!

Good luck with your decision

gtseraf is offline  
Old 12th May 2019, 04:18
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: China
Posts: 28
You can not stay at EK for a career, not any more. Health, physical and mental, will be lost. It was good fun for a couple of years though. It is a dictatorship, a police state. USA is still sort of free.
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Old 12th May 2019, 07:22
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: World's biggest Bunker
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Donít ever underestimate the value of 1st world labour laws to protect you through proper unions as opposed to working for a company that cane change anything at their will. Think about Flight Time Limitations and rostering rules as that will become the biggest benefit to your lifestyle 5,10,15,20 years down the road.
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Old 12th May 2019, 15:42
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
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aviator35,

I just sent you a PM. It appears to have gone through but I don't know if you can reply via PM yet or not. At least let me know here if you got it.
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Old 14th May 2019, 08:32
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 2,062
Originally Posted by gtseraf View Post
as an observer from a different part of the world, approaching the twilight of a flying career, I would suggest you try to have a look 20 to 30 years ahead and ask yourself where you see yourself then.

The idea of flying widebodies on amazing routes to interesting destinations is attractive. However, being away from home for most of your life, being so tired when you are home, that you cannot give your family the attention they deserve/require very quickly makes this kind of lifestyle unattractive. AFAIK one cannot settle permanently in Dubai (without a job there), so you will probably need to move from there when you leave the company.

Just be careful, if in 10 or 15 years time this lifestyle becomes unbearable, you will be competing with 29 year olds for legacy jobs and you, in your mid 40's will have lost out 15 years of seniority.

When the time comes to hang up the headset, the banks will not be prepared to accept "great memories and experiences" as hard currency, all they want to see are $$$ in your bank account.

At 29 a long term decision does not appear to be too important, but in the seniority driven industry, it can make a huge difference.

I reckon the US hiring boom has a finite life and, IF you want to end up flying for a legacy carrier in the USA, the sooner you get into the game the better.

Dont' be blinded by a quick command to a fancy widebody and, an apparently easy lifestyle. Anecdotally the desert is not the cruisy lifestyle you seem to be envisaging. Plan long term but enjoy your life while you are positioning yourself to achieve these goals and be flexible, life throws an amazing amount of curved balls, be prepared!

Good luck with your decision
gtseraf,

Speaking with hindsight from the front porch of Ye Olde Pilot Home, you are spot on with your commentary.

You, Sir, are a wordsmith.

I would only add that one should trust no airline along the way.

bafanguy is offline  
Old 14th May 2019, 09:10
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Join Date: Jul 1998
Location: between 20 & 30 000'
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by bafanguy View Post
gtseraf,

Speaking with hindsight from the front porch of Ye Olde Pilot Home, you are spot on with your commentary.

You, Sir, are a wordsmith.

I would only add that one should trust no airline along the way.

Thank you sir!
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Old 14th May 2019, 12:34
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 55
Well all I have to say is congratulations on being in your position at age 29, where you have said choices. Both options are still relatively good! All the best
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Old 15th May 2019, 00:18
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Age: 46
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Where do you want to live long term?

That should help you.

Short term pain long term gain.

As others have said if regionals will sponsor Aussies woh E3 paying for ATPL, rating, etc, if you have a green card and the conversion from Turkish to FAA not over the top then just ask.

Ya never know unless ya have a crack.
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Old 15th May 2019, 16:11
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: U.S.
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Originally Posted by gtseraf View Post
as an observer from a different part of the world, approaching the twilight of a flying career, I would suggest you try to have a look 20 to 30 years ahead and ask yourself where you see yourself then.

The idea of flying widebodies on amazing routes to interesting destinations is attractive. However, being away from home for most of your life, being so tired when you are home, that you cannot give your family the attention they deserve/require very quickly makes this kind of lifestyle unattractive. AFAIK one cannot settle permanently in Dubai (without a job there), so you will probably need to move from there when you leave the company.

Just be careful, if in 10 or 15 years time this lifestyle becomes unbearable, you will be competing with 29 year olds for legacy jobs and you, in your mid 40's will have lost out 15 years of seniority.

When the time comes to hang up the headset, the banks will not be prepared to accept "great memories and experiences" as hard currency, all they want to see are $$$ in your bank account.

At 29 a long term decision does not appear to be too important, but in the seniority driven industry, it can make a huge difference.

I reckon the US hiring boom has a finite life and, IF you want to end up flying for a legacy carrier in the USA, the sooner you get into the game the better.

Dont' be blinded by a quick command to a fancy widebody and, an apparently easy lifestyle. Anecdotally the desert is not the cruisy lifestyle you seem to be envisaging. Plan long term but enjoy your life while you are positioning yourself to achieve these goals and be flexible, life throws an amazing amount of curved balls, be prepared!

Good luck with your decision

I second what gtseraf says!
Think hard where you want to be long term. I know a lot of people who left EK after latest 10 years. What would be the plan for you after that?
Even being at a Regional for a couple of years and then moving on to a Legacy puts you in a way better position than trying to coming over to the US after 10 years with no 121 experience as a foreigner with a green card - And maybe missing out on the hiring boom because the retirements slow down.
Also make sure you can keep your green card if you donít live in the US for a couple of years. My understanding is that if you donít reside in the US, you are going to lose it.
I made the move to the US last year and got picked up by a LCC right away. Thatís way better than going to a Regional. Couldnít be happier with my decision to come here. So my advice is donít go to EK and think long term. You will be much happier.
All the best with your decision!
Sunrig is offline  
Old 15th May 2019, 21:54
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Age: 44
Posts: 36
This is a difficult question, because none of us know you and have any real idea of what would ultimately work for YOU. Contrary to the common opinion, pilots are not all the same, and we don't all want the same things. You might be just as miserable at a US legacy as another person may be at EK. It sounds like you're already living in that general part of the world, so Dubai may be less of a culture shock to you than to some. I'm not sure if you've lived in the US before. If not, there is no telling how you'll respond to the American environment. You might love it or you might not. I WILL say that bank account balance is not everything. None of us can take it to the grave, so...

I guess what I'm trying to say (awkwardly, I might add) is that the only one who can truly answer that question is you.
flyboyike is offline  
Old 15th May 2019, 22:10
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Join Date: May 2019
Location: Austria
Posts: 2
"If I want to fly in the USA I need to spend more than 12.000$ to convert my license and then I can only apply for regionals. Those jobs are not paying well (50-70K in a year.) and need to stay there at least 3-5 years before finding a seat for the legacies.

"I am 29 years old. I am about to get my Ph.D. degree in aviation. I am married., no kids, my wife is a software engineer."

With a Ph.D. I can't see why you cannot apply directly to the lagacy carriers.
Are going to the commuters to save money for the conversion? I would not lock myself to a commuter if that is the reason.
With the EK job you risk losing your greencard.
With the greencard you are obligated to pay US taxes even when you work at EK.
I am sure your wife will have a lot better opportunities as a software engineer in the US than the UAE.
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