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Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Programme

South Asia and Far East Wannabes A forum for those applying to Cathay Pacific, Dragonair or any other Hong Kong-based airline or operator. Use this area for both Direct Entry Pilot and Cadet-scheme queries.

Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Programme

Old 27th Feb 2013, 11:09
  #4841 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: World
Posts: 15
Jetpilot213 thanks for the insight. I was wondering if you can provide more information?

What is the current payscale like is it anything like the document CX sends you before the interview? What do you actually take home? Do you have a breakdown of your budget? Would it make a difference if you had joined the AE or TT program with the extra money you can claim?

I tried the online tax calculator figured I would take home HKD36 000 a month in the first year. That's for a married couple without children, providing for the next years provisional payment and not taking the flight pay into account. I calculated that once I get upgraded to JFO I should get HKD58 000. Is that anywhere near accurate?
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 12:13
  #4842 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: The Kitchen
Posts: 138
Let me say this, if you're from Hong Kong, they KNOW that you'll take the job, because you're desperate for anything. They will take advantage of this as much as they can. A bit racist, don't you think?
I'm quiet confused by this statement. Are you saying its racist that they pay foreigners the same as locals?

And that it wouldn't be if they paid you more based on your race?

If Hong Kongers came to wherever you're from, and received an "Ex-pat package" would you be content?

I can sympathise with the rest of your concerns however and agree with them.
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 14:40
  #4843 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 23
Tea-Towel,
That comment was more so directed to Mediums because he eluded to the idea that he would take the job no matter what they offered him. Which, unfortunately if there are enough people like that will cause market pressure that further lowers the compensation package for new joiners.

To be clear, I don't think it's fair that the company pays two groups of people differently when they are doing the same job. On the contrary. What I am saying is that they will take advantage of locals and pay them less than foreigners and get away with it because locals are willing to take lower pay, and I don't think that's right. Not many foreigners will not come to Hong Kong for those terms, especially once they find out how the lifestyle compares to their home countries. I don't think it's fair that locals should get paid less than foreigners.

Let's look at the state of things prior to the new iCadet scheme:
A "local" Ab-initio cadet joins without any housing allowance, and also does not receive other significant benefits, other than "training costs."
An "expat" joins and gets full housing and other benefits.
In the long term, it's not fair because the "local" will cost the company much less.

What happened next was an argument along the lines of:
Local: "Hey, this isn't fair, they're getting paid more than us!"
Company Management: "Ok, we'll fix that..."
Company Management to Finance Department: "Lower the expat pay and benefits until it matches the locally employed package."
Company Management: "Are you happy now?"
Local: "Yeah, much better." (Ok, I'm using some satire here.)

Is that really what the local HK people had in mind??? Who would agree to that? Wouldn't it be better if the pay was increased to match the pay of the expat pilots?
The issue is there are market drivers that cause Hong Kong people to accept lower pay across the board - in the Banking industry, the Real Estate industry, and the Aviation industry. So, even if the company can afford to pay higher wages, why would they if they have people begging to work for them on the cheap? Maybe racist is not quite the right term for what I'm talking about... What I'm trying to describe is how employers exploit employees on a cultural and socioeconomic basis. In Hong Kong they have a "captive audience" begging for jobs. But, they can't find enough locals who have the right stuff, so they need to recruit elsewhere, too. But, those who come from elsewhere have the kind of experience I've had once landing in Hong Kong - it's NOT an easy place to live. And a good standard of living is expensive here. What the locals should be saying is "DAMN RIGHT, and WE want better compensation TOO!" I think that many locals may be scared to lose what little they have instead of realizing they have only to gain by pushing back against unacceptable terms. The company likes a divided pilot cadre because special interest groups will just feud against each other and never make any real headway, all the while the company is reaping the profits of cheap labour. If everyone is singing the same tune, and actually ACTS on it, real change will happen. My suggestion? ALL who have been given an offer to join Cathay should contact the HKAOA to negotiate their Conditions of Service and compensation, BEFORE they sign any contract. There would be a SIGNIFICANT change in how things are done if that happened. And, Mediums, as long as you survive the gauntlet of interviews, tests, and flight grading that make up the selection process, I would fully welcome you to the big leagues, where you get big league pay, not $5000hkd per month.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 00:44
  #4844 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Age: 30
Posts: 33
Ok if thats how we going to go about it here I start. First off, dont get me wrong I am not a local and neither would like to because of the petty cultute they have in HK. My family owned quite a sizeable amount of land where Im from, pine trees are abundant there so dont expect me not to know the difference in the air. Any city that is developed fully will be polluted, we chose to move here for the oppurtnuties that this city provides you not saying there werent oppurtunities back there but the pay and benefits are nothing even close.

My point is you have to sacrifice something for something else. As for Corporate greed it has always been there and will be. I used to work for a company with a similar agenda as CX, ehen though I resigned and made a sizeable group take the struggle together... At the end of the day there was a queue of people outside willing to work for way less. If as you say your country is so much better off why not take a flying post there? I have wanted to be a pilot for a long time... The oppurtinities in HK are just CX or KA. Like any other big city with the convenience of 24 hours transport, shops, hospitals etc you can obviously expect to pay more for rent etc. Why would I take the job right away? Because I am humble enough and know that if it means it puts a few more extra meals on my family's table then why not? For your info Im living with my family of 6 in a 800sqft flat the rent is 7,500 hkd per month. We used to live in a double story over 5000sqft house.

If you are willing to make sacrifices and can cut costs to save up for a year or two live through hell... You can and will make it. The down payment is 10% on property and if you cant make that with CX pay then manage your money better, learn to adapt. I get maybe half of what you are getting and already have 5% of down payment saved up from struggling through a year. In the end choose what you want to do and believe. Yes being a pilot is a professional job blah blah... So are a lot of other jobs but they are also getting pay cuts year after year. Please do quit soon so someone else can take over, what one man can make with a select few raw materials may be very different from the other man.

If you are new to HK, Im happy to give advice but if you want your "expat" lifestyle I suggest moving to Hollywood which compares nth to HK and getting a reality check. Thank you!
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 04:19
  #4845 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 23
Living in Hong Kong and Working for Cathay.

Hey Guys, I've opened a new thread to address this issue. You can find it one level up, at "Living in Hong Kong and Working for Cathay"
Let's continue the discussion there...
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 09:01
  #4846 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Here
Posts: 474
ALL who have been given an offer to join Cathay should contact the HKAOA to negotiate their Conditions of Service and compensation, BEFORE they sign any contract. There would be a SIGNIFICANT change in how things are done if that happened.
Bring it on! The experience requirements would increase and we wouldn't be having these arguments because the inexperienced expats would not get a look in. Then a proper expat package could be paid, to "experienced expats", the way it used to be. We can only dream.

Last edited by crwkunt roll; 1st Mar 2013 at 00:48.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 10:28
  #4847 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: HK
Posts: 3
Does anyone know whether or not you are allowed to use a calculator for the compass test?
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 13:30
  #4848 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 23
Bring it on! The experience requirements would increase and we wouldn't be having these arguments because the inexperienced expats would not get a look in. Then a proper expat package could be paid, to proper expats, the way it used to be. We can only dream.
CRW, please explain how working with the AOA would increase the experience requirements. Are you trying to discourage those who are considering a job with Cathay from consulting the only organization that can officially represent them? Cathay has been hiring locals with 0 hours for many years. What is your definition of a "proper" expat? Give me a good logical arguments for what you're saying.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 14:42
  #4849 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Age: 30
Posts: 33
Flyninja,
You cannot officially use a calculator during the compass test, which in this day n age is stupid but thats just my opinion. However, during the compass test only other canditates will be with you in the room and the invigilator wont be there the whole time for both tests. Also as far as I observed there are no video cameras either. I personally wouldnt wannna risk it though.
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Old 28th Feb 2013, 23:16
  #4850 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Not for Sale
Posts: 331
Jet: you've written nothing that hasn't been repeated hundreds of times well before, during & after you agreed to C-Scale. Correct me if I'm wrong but you & your classmates in Adelaide probably scoffed & ridiculed the many with international widebody airline experience both at CX & other who posted on this web site about the massive pitfalls of C-Scale & the iCadetship? You are not the first to have shaken hands with the devil & now come to realise all what was said before is true, & now posted about it.

The salary with respect to cost of living, housing prices with respect to rental affordability, ability to purchase a property; and all against an ever diminishing remuneration package in real terms (considering inflation, etc). Pollution & the "difficulties" of expat life have all be written on many other forums.

Once upon a time CX were proud to say they offered the housing package they did as they believed that pilots joining CX should not suffer such a drastic loss of living standards. Now they don't care because guys like Mediums will always sign up & still do it for less if that's what it takes.

You mention looking "long term", and again that's been said countless times. Back then you ignored all the same comments but it took placing your hand in the fire to realise it.

Some mention the AOA. I contacted them about C-Scale & again their silence was deafening as written before for reasons as I believe.

You say that CX has employed zero hour guys before. True, but in drastically far less numbers & a fraction of the "experienced" intake. The CX cadetship was set up (& still is in the words of the DFO!!!) a way for CX to give back to the local community a means to fly for their local carrier. It's been bastardised into what it is now as a cost cutting measure: nothing more, nothing less. Back to the issue, you cannot possibly tell me that it takes the same resources & effort to train an experienced pilot with 1000's of hours experience in light singles, twins, turboprops & jets (PIC & FO time) as it does to train a zero hour applicant? The resources are massively different!!! So in context I would change the term proper "expat" to proper "experienced pilot" be they from any nationality.

Whilst the iCadets hate to admit it the truth is they are babysat at the severe disdain of their fellow pilots while on duty. I've had many beers with many friends at CX who are Capts, LTC's, SFO's & FO's who tell me stories where I'm laughing off the bar stool while they cringe in the re-telling of the flightdeck & briefing idiocies.

Sorry Jet, no sympathy. If guys like you hadn't of taken the job & begged for your "iron handcuffs" then the airline & industry would be in a better position that what it is in now with respect to experienced pilots, applicants & remuneration package.

Last edited by ChinaBeached; 1st Mar 2013 at 00:24.
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Old 1st Mar 2013, 00:47
  #4851 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Here
Posts: 474
OK I've edited my term for contextual "simplicity.' You know what I meant. As for me discouraging guys to contact the AOA, well, of course I'm not going to do that, but I will bet my right bollock that the thousands of Experienced pilots already in the AOA will have a hard time accepting full expat terms for new joiners who've done nothing but rote learn a couple of IQ tests and Compass courses. Experienced or TT or whatever it's called, you know what you signed up for and you're either feeling it now or soon will be, good luck getting any improvements over time out of this mob.
crwkunt roll is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2013, 02:17
  #4852 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 23
Correct me if I'm wrong but you & your classmates in Adelaide probably scoffed & ridiculed the many with international widebody airline experience both at CX & other who posted on this web site about the massive pitfalls of C-Scale & the iCadetship?
China,
To be honest, I didn't see a lot of postings on the lifestyle in Hong Kong when I was reading this thread. For one, I didn't spend a lot of time on PPRuNe. I spoke directly with CX pilots. I mainly spent my time preparing for the interviews. There are over 250 pages in this thread, and most of it talks about how to get the job. And, the issues were not highlighted in a clear, concise manner where new joiners would look. People are trying to sift the truth from the bullshit. That's why I set up a thread about this.

What I did do is speak with CX pilots. At the time, the whole iCadet program was very new, and the CX pilot friends I have weren't familiar with it. They never mentioned that they had an expat package when they lived in Hong Kong or how much they were paid each month, so I didn't have a clear concept of how drastically different the compensation is. To top it off, one pilot gave me some poor advice - "Just tell them you're happy with the pay, and fight for better pay once you've joined." What the hell? Now I have become familiar with the company I know fighting for better pay won't go anywhere with this company.

The best thing you guys could do to highlight this is to let us know what a normal month's pay is like as an FO with expat benefits, and compare that with what a cadet with similar years and rank are getting. People need to understand that the even though your pay is about double of a cadet, the pay you get is still not enough to equate to the lifestyle of someone making half that much, but living in a western country. They also need to know the difference in pay increases as you get more senior.

Post it in the other thread about life in Hong Kong, where it won't get buried in this heap of info on compass tests and interview stages.

If guys like you hadn't of taken the job & begged for your "iron handcuffs" then the airline & industry would be in a better position that what it is in now with respect to experienced pilots, applicants & remuneration package.
Anyone thinking about joining doesn't care whether the airline or the industry will be better off or not. They are asking the question, "Will I be better off after joining the company?" They need to really understand the lifestyle they are signing up for to make that decision. That's why I shared my experience of coming here as an iCadet.
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Old 1st Mar 2013, 06:26
  #4853 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Not for Sale
Posts: 331
When I had 500 hrs I knew what the package was & what a life in HK meant. When I had 950 hrs I applied to CX budgeting on the time period when I'd have my application processed & 1000 hrs TT as was required. When I had 4000 hrs, 2500 hrs PIC in a FAR 25 category aircraft & the rest as light single, piston & FO time I knew what the package was down to the tax I'd pay, the housing allowance package, how to best utilise it, & of course the the career path. In the interview I was prepared & didn't ask or need to memorise answers for IQ tests.

When after 3+ years of my initial congratulatory letter of passing the interview(s) I was offered C-Scale & the insult to be stuck in a classroom for 3 months in ADL learning about a 1:60 let alone lift & drag. I / "WE" turned it down. We knew what the package was like & what's more what an airline pilot's worth is.

PPRuNe was but one TINY Internet resource to study from about life in HK. I'm sorry, but all the resources were there many, many more years ago than the few that affected your time frame. Your due diligence was severely lacking. You admit that in stating that if you'd known better..... But again, the point is all the information was out there. It appears you guys can memorise wrote the engine types of CX's fleet but not calculate the realities of real vs net income that will determine the next decade at least of your lives.

Many, many, many people have highlighted the pay differences & realities C-Scale & living in HK. You've just joined the queue. And guess what? it too will be ignored by the next wannabe not giving a damn about the LONG TERM ramifications of their actions. The deliberately ignorant hopefuls who as you state "don't care whether the airline or industry will be better off" deserve the package & treatment they ask for for the rest of their career.

All the information is there, & then some. It takes the desire to accept the good & the bad side of the argument. Too many have rose coloured SJS glasses selectively implanted.

There's a word used for people who take jobs that severely undercut the market after others make a stand against it. Even worse by doing so then seeking those same terms & conditions afterwards. What a low, low style of person CX now seeks. (Jet, I do not insulate yourself at all, only those who joined as such seeking to do this).

PS: as a side comment, you mentioned the fatigue when you're "flying".... Thus comment / question is for the dreamers: How many take offs & landings have you done "flying" for CX since you left ADL? My point is, so many applicants still don't even get that about the SO role. We could go on about ICAO recognised hours as well........

No sympathy.

Last edited by ChinaBeached; 1st Mar 2013 at 06:38.
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Old 1st Mar 2013, 08:51
  #4854 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Europe
Posts: 164
Flew with a *** SO the other day.
The guy was complaining about his package, and how unfair it is compared to ours.
He even said he would happily sign for a lowering of our expat terms if that meant a raise for him and his buds.

Time to put an end to that circus!

Last edited by fly123456; 1st Mar 2013 at 08:53.
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Old 1st Mar 2013, 11:40
  #4855 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Not for Sale
Posts: 331
In the not too distant future scum like that will be in the majority & votes will go accordingly. Then the AOA will wonder how it ever happened.

Then again the orchestrators of C-Scale will be long retired on fat benefits & provident funds & while those who stood back & did nothing also will be retired. Legacy? How proud they must be.
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Old 3rd Mar 2013, 15:29
  #4856 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: HK
Posts: 3
oh thanks for the reply Mediums.

I take that you've done the test already?

so does anyone know whether the test is gonna be pen and paper? rather than computer based?

And.. im guessing everyone will be wearing formal (i.e. shirt, tie, blazer) for the test?
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 00:55
  #4857 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Age: 30
Posts: 33
Flyninja,
Yes I did the test and got a reply the next day saying that I was not up to standard. Not happy with the explanation they gave me I wrote the CEO John Slosar an email and he replied back, they gave me a bit more detailed explanation but still vague guess I gotta wait again till next year.

The multiple choice part of the test will be pen and paper, you will be given a rough paper to do your rough work on but you cannot keep this paper. The Compass test will be on the computer. Just study the booklet and remember to look more into the subjects that the booklet covers. I myself went into too much detail such as V1 or V2 or swept back wings, dutch roll etc but none of those questions came up for the ab-initio course tests. Goodluck and let me know how it goes!
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 13:09
  #4858 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: up here, everyone looks like ants!
Posts: 956
They nixed you, and you write an email to the CEO... really?

Is anyone out there also thinking that this is a windup?

Son, when a company - any company - tells you that you don't meet their requirements, DON'T write to the CEO. He REALLY has bigger things to worry about, like RUNNING A COMPANY.

I'll wager that right next to your name, in your soon- to- be- expunged file, are the capital letters

NFW

Look it up

G*D help us all. Seriously dude? Seriously?

Last edited by Cpt. Underpants; 4th Mar 2013 at 14:39.
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Old 4th Mar 2013, 14:27
  #4859 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: The Kitchen
Posts: 138
Mediums I hate to say it but emailing the CEO has potentially red-flagged any future applications from you. You had the best intentions obviously but you should have just held out and applied again.
TeaTowel is offline  
Old 4th Mar 2013, 14:52
  #4860 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: HK
Posts: 3
emailing the CEO is not all bad i guess. it proves that you really want to be a cx pilot?
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