Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions
Reload this Page >

Cathay iCadets from Aus - Feedback requested

The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

Cathay iCadets from Aus - Feedback requested

Old 3rd Jul 2018, 01:37
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 77
Cathay iCadets from Aus - Feedback requested

Hi All, I am looking for some honest feedback from Aussies who scored a job with Cathay as an "iCadet" with the 250hrs CPL minimums. There is some pretty mixed opinions in the Fragrant Harbour section about the scheme in general and it is also pretty old. Just wanted to find out some current information around:
-overall current company culture
-treatment/opinion/expectation of Aus-cadets/iCadets by other Cx pilots
-rates of pay/cost of living
-rosters
-est. time to FO
-given your time again - would you do it all over?

If anyone has any current experience as at 2018, I'd be appreciative of any advice and feedback. TIA.
Kranz is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2018, 09:35
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Vietnam
Posts: 1,244
Kranz,
If you read the Wannabes section and the Fragant Harbour section you will get the most up to date info.
pilotchute is offline  
Old 3rd Jul 2018, 23:29
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Wanaka, NZ
Posts: 2,153
...and for anybody going to a major as a 250 hour CPL I think they need to be prepared to suck up whatever they are offered, and say a lot of "yes Sir".
gulliBell is online now  
Old 4th Jul 2018, 01:58
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 41
With Qantas recruiting flat out and many of the Cathay S/Os and F/Os looking to get out why would you want to go up there? Better opportunities to be had in Australia or NZ and you will thank yourself in the long run.
With Cathay recruiting DEFO expect to spend a long time as an S/O. Keep in mind your hours are useless as an S/O, the majority of airlines worldwide don't acknowledge 'P2X' time. HKPA hasn't been improved since inception (2011) meanwhile cost of living continues to rise, the company seems no real desire to improve the package as they don't see it as 'housing' assistance. Expect to pay 18-24,000 HKD or thereabouts for a small 2bdrm place in Tung chung or Discovery bay (HKPA for an S/O is $10,000). If you want to live closer to the city, well good luck with that, the only real option is sharing a place with another S/O as rents are up there in the 30-40K bracket.
some things are cheap in hong kong - tax is 15%, water and electricity is cheap, phones and broadband are cheap. Eating out is cheaper than Aus but prices in supermarket are higher. Things like meat and milk especially. Owning a car is expensive, finding a carpark in your apartment block can be difficult and you will pay a premium for it howver the public transportation system is good and not too expensive.

owning a house in HKG is out of the question as a icadet as you won't have permanent residency for 7 years and stamp duty is a killer. You may not have kids now, but schooling in HKG is also extremely expensive and there a large waiting lists to get into the decent schools, you will also have to pay a debenture to secure a spot.

HKG will become just another chinese city by 2047 which is a nother important thing to consider. Also the pollution is terrible especially in the winter months.

Don't join expecting you will be able to get an Australin basing either, bases are virtually non-existent or extremely hard to come by these days and you will need to be very senior to secure a slot should it become available, and CX will make you return to HK again for command upgrade regardless. So unless you can commit to HK for your career don't bother.

As far as treatment by other pilots, you will always be seen as a spiky haired icadet who has come in and tried to undermine their conditions by accepting the sub-par c-scale contract. Your main duties include making the beds for the other crew, carrying the flight documents bag and filling in the flight log.

If you go up there you will waste 10 years of your life, realise life in HK is not sustainable and then have to come back and join the bottom of the Qantas seniority wishing you never went in the first place or you will just stay put and be miserable for the rest of your life like the rest of the pilots who post on Fragrant Harbour.
enoughisenough_ is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2018, 03:00
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 41
Originally Posted by Telfer86 View Post
It seems likely only 20% of external applicants to QF got a test recently , whereas all externals got processed

So joining QF for external applicants is going to be a significant challenge

The $$$ at CX for SOs isn't QF money , then again you aren't going to spend 15 years at CX as an SO

People are casting all sorts of doom & gloom theories about upgrade time to FO at CX , what you can say is this

Up until now upgrade time to FO averages around 3 years . Whether this changes , really just speculation

The $$$ for CX FO on a comparative scale is quite good , most people can get buy on $15k AUD after tax every month

At least one airline HKA offers CX FOs a quick route to the rhs
I think you will find upgrade time is now alot longer then 3 years. 3 years was when they weren't recruiting DEFO. It isn't just speculation. HKA won't accept P2X time so you'd have to have 1000 hours RHS as an FO at CX first and I think you will find their package is worse than CX.

The money at CX on a comparitive scale to QF may be quite good but you are not living in the most expensive city in the world, have to look at what you would take home after all expenses paid. There's more to life than just money as well.

S/Os are leaving to go fly turboprops in NZ for significantly less money that is how bad it has gotten up there. Consider that.

Last edited by enoughisenough_; 4th Jul 2018 at 03:19.
enoughisenough_ is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2018, 03:24
  #6 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 77
EisE - thanks for the feedback. I am just assessing all my options. I'm late 30s looking to change career and working towards CPL. Whilst the "big shiny jet" isn't the end goal (I'd be happy to be an RA-Aus instructor for the remainder of my days) I still need to consider earnings to fund an established way of life (mortgage, raising kids, etc). Also, if I was to go the airline route - I don't want to be joining the bottom of a seniority list at, say, 45-50 years old. It seems like this is what would happen even with the CX iCadet scheme though by the suggestion that I'd probably want to jump ship at the earliest opportunity. Also, thank you for alerting me to the fact that P2X time is not of much value if choosing to apply to an alternative carrier. So in summary: Its expensive; the company has poor culture; the experienced pilots don't respect you; and, there's little prospect of getting a job with a different airline after the bond period.

I guess I'll stick with GA here in Aus - just need to find one that will have me with minimum hours whilst still offering some semblance of a salary that'll cover cost of living.
Kranz is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2018, 06:57
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: in denial
Posts: 238
Telfer,

The S/Os undergoing JF/O upgrade right now joined approx 3 years ago. At that time, normal longhaul compliment was 1 x CN, 1 x RQ-FO, 1 x FO, 1 x SO. Currently, JNB, MAN, LGW are done with 2 x SOs, with a push to introduce 2 x SO crewing to all longhaul flights. Therefore, the length of service of an SO upgrading now is irrelevant. Future crewing requires dramatically fewer FOs. Furthermore, the airline is barely growing - new deliveries of A350s (& soon 777-9x) offset by retirement/transfers to KA, and sale/lease back of 23 x 777ERs, the last of which returns to the lessor in 2023. As others have alluded, ‘best guess’ for time to J/FO upgrade is 5 years.

Secondly, 120K or 200K ain’t that much in HK! Better to be poor in your home country, than as a foreign guest worker in another. As a CN, I earn roughly 500K/yr, and I’m exploring options back home for 20 percent of the pay! Such as CX has become.

VS
Veruka Salt is online now  
Old 4th Jul 2018, 08:24
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: HK
Posts: 77
Originally Posted by Telfer86 View Post
Thanks for the info , sure if people wish to say " For me living in HK and getting $200K (AUD) after tax to fly a WB around the world is not good enough , I shall leave and go to Kiwi Land to fly a TP for $40K" , well that is there right as free man . I just don't think there will be so many following them

Obviously you could model this mathematically , just a fairly complex calculation

I think the guesstimate that JFO time will go to 5 , just doesn't pass the smell test. An increase of 67% just because one more SO (& one less FO) is required on some ULR flights
You’ve completely ignored half of Veruka’s argument (the part about the airline barely growing), and minced their words for the part about SO crewing requirements. Veruka Salt was not just suggesting that there will be one more SO on some ULR flights, but a push for 2x SOs for ALL long haul flights.

Cherry picking to feed your rose tinted glasses at its finest.
BBN RADAR is offline  
Old 4th Jul 2018, 10:39
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: in denial
Posts: 238
I think the guesstimate that JFO time will go to 5 , just doesn't pass the smell test. An increase of 67% just because one more SO (& one less FO) is required on some ULR flights
I suspect your 'smell test' is based on a straight-line calculation.

An S/O joining today has 560 S/Os ahead of him/her. For the first 6 months of this calendar year, there was a whopping total of 33 J/FO upgrades. And a whole lot of direct entry FO recruitment. CX is constrained in growing at around 4.5% per annum until all 3 runways are operational at Hong Kong - year 2030 (source: Chief Exec at crew briefings).

So tell me again how long an SO will be stuck in the back seat?
Veruka Salt is online now  
Old 5th Jul 2018, 08:58
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: home
Posts: 339
You're wasting your time with Telfer guys, I would say he's a "true believer". It doesn't matter a toss what you are earning in AUD in a country where a shoebox in a 5hithole is 3-4000 AUD a month whilst you and/or your family are sucking in pollution that the WHO considers unsuitable for a diesel engine to be inhaling.
Keep taking in the cool aid, it might even line your lungs
airdualbleedfault is offline  
Old 5th Jul 2018, 13:17
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: HKSAR
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by Telfer86 View Post
Thanks for the info , sure if people wish to say " For me living in HK and getting $200K (AUD) after tax to fly a WB around the world is not good enough , I shall leave and go to Kiwi Land to fly a TP for $40K" , well that is there right as free man . I just don't think there will be so many following them

Obviously you could model this mathematically , just a fairly complex calculation

I think the guesstimate that JFO time will go to 5 , just doesn't pass the smell test. An increase of 67% just because one more SO (& one less FO) is required on some ULR flights
Actually Telfer your posts don't pass the smell test.

From HoT in his letter to SOs 13 April 2018, upgrade times for those who joined 2H2015 are now 4.8 years and if you read the fine print under that, that's IF the training ban is mitigated. He refuses to estimate upgrade times for those who joined 2016 and beyond as they don't plan more than 3 years ahead. The letter also acknowledges the TB, DEFOs and 2SO long-haul will negatively affect upgrade times.

Practically speaking I'm sure anyone in Cathay will tell you their training plans are also notoriously optimistic and a work of fiction as soon as they're published hence they normally average more than 12 training plans over a year.

Kranz,

From an ex-SO who has moved on (despite the fact I apparently earnt $200k (guffaw guffaw)) it's not worth it. To answer your questions:

Company culture, excluding the crews, is toxic.

Crews are fantastic to work with and you'll make great, life long friends.

Rates of pay are decent but decreasing (partial 13th month 2017, no inflationary adjustment for a while) and you're not going to get a lot of bang for you buck in HK (so much so it led me down the commuting road).

Rosters for SOs are fairly stable especially after your first year. After upgrade it depends on your fleet. 777 OK, Airbus rotten and Jumbo God help you.

Est time to FO. See above. The company has made a deliberate decision to stop upgrading its junior officers. Less than 2% of SOs for 2018 and direct from the DFO's mouth the majority of FO requirements for 2019/20 will be filled by DEFOs. Company's actions are possibly an attempt to apply industrial pressure to the junior pilots but who knows. Upgrade times to Captain can also be reasonably expected to substantially increase.

Absolutely not. I would be in a better position today - professionally, personally, financially - if I had chosen the other path on offer at the time. I made the mistake of believing Cathay was still a career airline. That's Cathay management trading on its old reputation.

Having just been down the recruitment/interview/sim road fairly recently (and excluding QF applications) you need PIC time (and preferably all the other pre-requisites for an ATPL). If you've got that then your P2X may be of some use if you need to tick a 'FMC/Glass cockpit' box or a 'jet' box but nobody out there is going to have any real interest in your HKCAD logbook. Not sure what's happening with QF but rumour has it a very large number of Cathay's Aussie SOs are currently on the hold file waiting start dates.

Having also taken one of the jobs mentioned by Telfer I can assure you my disposable after tax income is much higher than it was at Cathay, my living standard is higher (by orders of magnitude), my professional satisfaction is higher, my lifestyle is better and I will achieve command years before I would have even gotten to command assessment at Cathay. As an added bonus earning money now as an FO and with a much shorter upgrade time to Captain I can expect my career earning to also be higher. As an added added bonus I no longer have to put up with the Cathay training system.

Not saying Telfer is not flight crew at Cathay but in my time there I never met a crew member with that attitude about the job vs other jobs or who quoted those sort of figures/statistics to justify the job so let's just get the Fragrant Harbour version of Godwin's law out of the way and call Telfer suspiciously management like.

So in summary I would say stick in there. The industry is really moving at the moment. Build your hours. Keep throwing applications in and before you know it you'll have much better offers than Cathay.

Last edited by FlitePugil; 5th Jul 2018 at 15:08.
FlitePugil is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2018, 01:21
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 41
Telfer isn't a cathay pilot nor has he claimed to be. He's a fragrant harbour wannabe
enoughisenough_ is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2018, 02:10
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: HKSAR
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by enoughisenough_ View Post
Telfer isn't a cathay pilot nor has he claimed to be. He's a fragrant harbour wannabe
Oh yeah. Clicked on a few previous posts. See your point EisE.

Seems to be very touchy about salary related subjects.
FlitePugil is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2018, 08:19
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: I go, therefore I am there!
Posts: 187
A few thoughts from a long time with CX (in no particular order):

You will be treated normally on the flight deck. If you are a dick, you will be treated like a dick. If you act professionally you will be treated accordingly. No need to call anyone SKIPPER in this airline.

The ONLY reason to come to CX would be for a few years of exploring the world. You would be highly unlikely to progress financially or professionally. Your stage of life would be a HUGE factor in making that decision. Single and unattached and young; give it a go and gamble you will be able to get a proper job at a later date. Married and slightly older; extremely marginal and most likely a bad decision. Married with kids and older than the late 20's; in the current environment, ... you would be a bloody idiot.

Looking only at the salary, and comparing it to what you currently earn is a BIG mistake. The overall cost of living is incredible.

I do fly with a few young folks who seem to enjoy it and are making the most of it. However, the number I fly with who are looking elsewhere, regretting their decision and are quite open about it, ... is staggering!

Also:

The airline is currently contracting. There are fewer pilots today than a year ago.

I would estimate a cadet joining today would be looking at five to seven years to upgrade. Optimistically 15+ years to command.

Cheers and good luck.

Last edited by arse; 6th Jul 2018 at 09:02.
arse is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 23:09
  #15 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 77
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I was under the impression that it was possible to commute for these CX positions - having to reside in HKG will make it even more difficult for me. Its a bit worrying that it could take so long for a promotion but that doesn't really bother me too much other than should I choose to change employers after a couple of years FO experience I'll be at the bottom of the seniority list of the new company and pushing 50 so that's not ideal.

The only other question that is raised from all the comments above is, based on the feedback, it seems that career progression in CX is quicker by racking up couple of years regional/GA time then applying DEFO rather than joining as a greenhorn SO. Doesn't really seem fair to SO's.
Kranz is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.