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Living in Hong Kong and Working for Cathay Pacific

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.

Living in Hong Kong and Working for Cathay Pacific

Old 7th Mar 2013, 07:55
  #21 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 23
Commuting from "Less Expensive Places"

Would it not almost be easier to live somewhere close (2/3 hours flying) and commute the day prior and get a hotel room? For the single S/O's that is of course...

People out there doing that? I would consider that vs paying rent/mortgage in HK...

V1
V1,
It's simply not realistic with what has happened to the SO roster. ALL of the new SOs are going on the Airbus Fleet, straight to the A330. That means they'll have a busy schedule, and commuting is not very realistic - flight costs will add up, you still need to have a "crash pad" in HK (expect to pay $6000-8000hkd at least to share a place close to HKIA), and you legally have no right of abode in the other locale. Hotel rooms at the Headland are about $650hkd per night, and you'll be here at least 5-10 nights per month. I know of several who have made a go of it, but now they're having to find a place in Hong Kong and struggling to make it. Sure, someone could argue that people in this city are making less than half of what an SO makes, but they have the advantage of speaking the local language, of knowing where the bargains are, and if the don't, they have family to help out as well.

When you join Cathay, Hong Kong becomes your home. Hoping for a basing? That ship has sailed. The company has been burned by complicated taxation and long service leave issues. It's "on hold" at the moment, and the music keeps playing and playing...

I recently heard of someone who spent 6-12 months here, but when their well-educated significant other couldn't find a decent job here, they moved back home and the guy plans to commute... That'll get real expensive when it comes time to pay the tax man. And, those long 9-hour commutes are going to take a toll. We'll see how long that relationship lasts.

For those with wife or kids, it's not a good situation. If you're single, it's easier, but you still won't save any money, regardless of what some may think. Not being able to live close to work just doesn't make sense.
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Old 7th Mar 2013, 07:58
  #22 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 23
I should mention what's within 2-3 hours:
Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Laos, Cambodia... take your pick. There are guys who live in Phuket, but it is a vacation spot, so from what I hear, after a while that gets old, too. Then, you still need to figure out where your kid is going to school.
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Old 7th Mar 2013, 09:18
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Krug departure, Merlot transition
Posts: 531
Out of curiosity, where could someone go with 6 years of S/O time?
Bingo, that's part of the "beauty" of this scheme. By the time you have been in the company six years you will barely have more than two years as an F/O behind you (assuming four years to upgrade), and thus probably no more than 1,500 hours of actual flying time... and you're not going to go very far with that amount of experience.

For those thinking "I'll just go to Emirates", they want quite a bit more experience than that, and in all likelihood in six years they will have reached their definitive size as an airline and will no longer be hiring as much anyway.

Realistically you will have to have maybe ten years of time in CX before reaching the 4,000 or more hours of experience that will make you interesting to a recruiter in a decent company, and by then you will have seniority working against you: your ten years of accumulated seniority will make it hard to start again somewhere else at the absolute bottom of the heap (read time for command, read starting again at meagre first-year pay).

Even IF pilot hiring is crazy ten years from now and CX start bleeding pilots left and right, they will simply throw money at the problem -just the minimum amount of money needed- to staunch the flow, by upping the measly housing allowance (it will still be far less than proper indexed housing allowance).

In essence, this new scheme allows them to invest now to get cheap labour later. Within less than four or five years, the cost of your training has been offset by not paying for your housing, and from then on you are a great cost savings to them.

These managers are far cleverer than we give them credit for... while we are far less clever than we like to think.
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Old 7th Mar 2013, 11:09
  #24 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 23
In essence, this new scheme allows them to invest now to get cheap labour later. Within less than four or five years, the cost of your training has been offset by not paying for your housing, and from then on you are a great cost savings to them.
Yup. They started with offering cadetships to the local HK guys, and realized it worked out pretty well, so now they've figured out how to do it with guys from the West as well.

These managers are far cleverer than we give them credit for... while we are far less clever than we like to think.
Sadly, you're right. They're damn smart. We're all "bound" with a bond that is far higher than we can afford to pay off. There have been a few that decided they were not happy with life in Hong Kong and have left already, taking a severe financial hit to pay back the $1.1million hkd hanging over their heads. "Forgivable Loan" is such a misnomer.

Double Bind: A situation in which a person must choose between equally unsatisfactory alternatives; a punishing and inescapable dilemma.

double bind - definition of double bind by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
(Funny thing is when I looked this up, the ad underneath said "Become a Pilot.")

Last edited by Jetpilot213; 7th Mar 2013 at 16:15.
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Old 7th Mar 2013, 22:10
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Neverland Ranch
Posts: 22
If you are one of the few guys both capable of actually doing this job and genuinely considering doing so then please read this post carefully. I have no agenda to push other than expressing my own thoughts and feelings having been here just about long enough to see how it really is.

Near enough all of what is said on this thread is true. Working for CX, as a westerner, and especially on the Airbus (from what friends tell me), is absolutely crap.

Once the novelty wears off, which won't take long, you will utterly resent it. I promise you. You will resent the fact colleagues outright own (multiple) apartments that are 3 times the size of what you pay half of your salary to rent. You will resent the complete lack of responsibility or respect for your abilities you get from your colleagues. You will resent how your sh1t CoS affects your sense of self worth every day. And you will resent HK; The noise, pollution, food, culture etc etc. How do I know this? Because 95% of the westerners I know feel exactly like this. If you like cramped living, spending everything and having nothing to show for it at the end of the month and endless sh1t night flights to Riyadh and various other dumps through the Middle East then by all means apply.

The only thing that I would disagree with is that after 6 years you will have c.3000hrs and probably 1500 relevant, useable hours on a heavy jet. It might not get you into Emirates but it probably will get you into some place you may actually want to work.

However, whatever your goal, chances are you will reach them a lot quicker if you go somewhere else and you will become a hell of a lot better as a pilot and a happier person than doing it via CX.

I came here because I had zero options and mouths that needed feeding. I would have loved to have told them where to go but unfortunately morals don't pay the bills (and CX barely pays those). If you do have options then please tell them where to go. And if you want to come here because its "your dream" and you will "do it for free" and "happily live in a shoebox", then please f_ck off because it's hard enough getting by as it is and we don't want you giving them even more ideas (que pot/kettle/black etc etc..)

Last edited by AndontcallmeShirley; 7th Mar 2013 at 22:25.
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Old 9th Mar 2013, 02:44
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Not for Sale
Posts: 331
They're smart, but not so smart. The tiniest and slightly committed research would've exposed all these pitfalls. And whilst I have always advocated to never use a rumour network to seek factual answers, opinions based on first hand CX experience and international widebody airline operations have been on this web site for a very long time since C-Scles inception.

They knew all along that they had you guys over a barrel well after the 6 year term was up, due to the ICAO unrecognisable hours as SO, competitiveness of other applicants to leave CX and join a new airline (such as EK which seems to be the theme here), let alone seniority system starting at the bottom of a new airline. If those agreeing to and signing C-Scale weren't aware of this, let alone the housing scene in HK then all the more fool you've been.

The "free" training" What a joke. How many times over have they made that back on the pitiful remuneration savings they pay you? A quick calculation (correct me if I'm wrong): B-Scale = $36 k housing after 3 years. C-Scale = still $10 k housing. So, after 3 C-Scale still stuck on $10 k and B-Scale up to $36 k. 36 - 10 = 26....Now, 26 x 12 months x 3 years = $936 k HKD they've saved!! And what's your "forgivable loan" worth?? Coincidence?? Now, keep going with those comparisons over 30 years.

What an "opportunity", eh! But for who?

If they were so smart they wouldn't keep getting caught for price fixing, let alone screwing up the fuel hedging calculations. Then again, they still awarded themselves bonuses for doing so. Smart or morally corrupt? CX's iJourney system? Yep: they awarded themselves a gold star for that one as well. Sign or be fired tactics, CoS98, CoS08, 49ers....there seems to be a theme here? So to say that new joiners weren't aware of CX's style just doesn't wash. Most could regurgitate the questions and answers from the recommended reading list, but how many read Warhams "The 49ers: The True Story"? Next to Handling The Big Jets it should be regarded as compulsory reading.

NotCallingYouShirley: You're spot on with your comment that going somewhere else other than CX will progress a pilot's career far better. Without ICAO recognisable hours, what have the iCadets got to offer anyone? OK, so let's agree to perhaps 1500 hrs of usable experience after 6 years. Do you think that is competitive enough to take on others with 3-5 times that amount going for the same job? (CX's min hours used to be 1000 but applicants really needed 3-4000 hrs, multi engine command time, turbine time, even jet time, etc to be "competitive"). Widebody employers know what an SO does and don't count it. So, after 6 years at CX and 1500 hrs usable hours you'll still need perhaps another 2 years to keep going to be competitive against a guy 5 years younger but who has real hours logged from day 1 of his professional career. Now let's consider seniority to start at a new airline at the age of 28-30 at the bottom of the pile "if" you joined CX at age 20...!!!

So a year in GA to build 500 hrs TT and then straight to the RHS of an A320, Embraer, 737 or even ATR is FAR better than the "iron handcuffs" of CX that as you can see can and will hold you back for longer than 6 years. Many other situations will plant you into the RHS of a narrow body jet fresh from flying school: no time in GA required. But you had to back yourself financially for the training. No, not easy but many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of pilots have been doing it for decades before. And if you can't get those resources together then signing up for this CX "opportunity" has proven to be the devious snake in the grass you were all warned about.

You guys have zero rhyme or reason to "resent" anyone at CX on a better remuneration package than yourselves. You asked for it and all the while justified the decision to take it. Back as early as late 2009 when the aviation scene was beginning to recover jobs were there for anyone who wanted to look - but maybe not the exact shiny jet with a CX swoosh on the tail.

Last edited by ChinaBeached; 9th Mar 2013 at 03:11.
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Old 9th Mar 2013, 06:53
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Here
Posts: 1
Ok, ChinaBeached. I have to step in here before you hijack another thread. I'm interested in the whole situation at CX with the crappy deal they're paying now but, every time a thread gets somewhat interesting, you hijack it with ranting about Cathay and everyone who works there. Enough. From your previous posts, we all know your story. You interviewed in '08, got accepted, got offered the crappy deal 3 years later and didn't take it. Congratulations, well done. You're so wise.

My story is the exact same as yours, but I don't feel the need to rant and rave online at Cathay and everyone who decided to take a job there. This thread is interesting and informative to people considering joining, and you're just ruining it by using it as another opportunity to remind everyone in cyberspace that you didn't take the job at CX and they should all be punished because they did. We get it. Nobody cares. P**s off.

I agree that what CX is doing is wrong, and I don't think it's a wise move for most people. But everyone's situation is different, so stop being so judgemental. You have some other job now don't you? Why are you still here? It's been 4 years. Get over it.

If you feel like defending yourself, which (based on previous threads where people told you where to go) you most likely will, do it by PM. That way this thread doesn't become the ChinaBeached show and it can go back to being informative.

Thank you, rant over

PS Jetpilot 213. Thanks for starting this thread and warning people about the downfalls of CX. I think it's very important information and you're doing a lot of people a huge favour by telling them how it is.
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Old 9th Mar 2013, 11:31
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Not for Sale
Posts: 331
Immensely hyprocytical wouldn't you say Rowdy? You choose to publicly have a dig at me and then say to get back to you via a PM. Too bad you weren't able to practice what you preach.

This is an open forum. Like the others who have commented FAR more than me on this thread, if you don't like it then leave. You haven't attacked them.

So you were in my shoes you say. I spoke up about it, you sit/sat on the sidelines. After 4 years you raise a peep against those who do speak up about it. If there's a moral high ground you're trying to climb, you're starting in a pit.

Ranting and raving online? Is that not precisely what you've done? You could've PM'd me. You didn't.

If you don't like my opinion then that's fine. Practice what you preach, comment on others' repetitive posts as well & what's more defend your dislike for my opinions with facts to back then up. Not some wet tea towel attempt at piety.

(Those with the balls for a frank, open & honest conversation where we can agree to disagree do PM me. Try sipping your own medicine.)

Last edited by ChinaBeached; 9th Mar 2013 at 17:03.
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Old 9th Mar 2013, 14:57
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Dark Side OF Moon Or SE Qld
Age: 36
Posts: 1,314
Rowdy,

Would much rather listen to CB than you. P**s off.

j3
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Old 9th Mar 2013, 18:49
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hong Kong
Age: 30
Posts: 33
Yes, please follow CB's advice and dont accept the offer even if you have old parents, a wife and a kid to feed or look after. Choose the moral high ground and stay jobless.
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Old 9th Mar 2013, 19:21
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Asia
Age: 39
Posts: 25
Keep the good oil coming..

Jetpilot213, Rowdy, AndontcallmeShirley, please keep the good posts coming. Whilst I agree with some of what CB says, his manner detracts from what would otherwise be a worthwhile post.
j3pipercub, you are a troll. Go play with yourself..
Regards,
OBW
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Old 9th Mar 2013, 23:20
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Europe
Posts: 270
pprune get funnier and funnier to read for each year.

p2f - scam.
Pay for type - scam.
CX - scam.

While at same time, people keep telling all wannabees how there is "no jobs", "impossible to find anything" etc etc.

Low-hourd pilots got to start somewhere, right? How many companies do accept pilot with 200hrs TT? Ryanair, where you have to pay for your time (and have about 4000k applications from cadets and about to close recrute?).
Cathay?
GA? Well, that works for US. But not for Europe. There is no GA in Europe. And definitely not enough for "everyone".
Instructing? Very few jobs in Europe. And one must spend close to 10k-15k euro first, to get CFI/CFII/MEI-ratings.
How big flat, can you afford, while instructing? Enough to feed your family? Doubt it.

Avg. pay in US - 20$/flying-hour. 4hrs a day, 5 days a week - 400$. Roughly 1500$ a month (if you are lucky).
Rent - 800$ (for something small), internet, cell, utilities, car, insurance...

Compare this to CX - CX is not such a bad deal after all!


CX have this programs, because pilots are willing to accept it.
Pilots are willing to accept it, because its harder to find anything better.


Jetpilot, very good and informative post, thank you.
But imo, you must blame your self, not CX. Could you have done research, how much you get paid, how much it cost for flat etc? Yes. You would know EXACTLY how much money you would have "left" after all expenses.
You would know exactly how big (or small?) your flat would be.

And yes, Im sure its hard in HK without knowing language. But im sure you could think about it, before you moved there? When you are moving to a different country, with totally different culture - it WILL be different. Some things will be better, some things will be worse. You must adapt.
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Old 10th Mar 2013, 06:47
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Dark Side OF Moon Or SE Qld
Age: 36
Posts: 1,314
Thanks onebar, I do, on an almost hourly basis. But even with all that I still wouldn't be so stupid as to accept a C Scale.

j3
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Old 10th Mar 2013, 07:53
  #34 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 23
The tiniest and slightly committed research would've exposed all these pitfalls.
Bull$#!t. Tell me where you do your research. Post your sources. Real, factual sources. Sources that someone with little to no experience in the airline industry will be able to find and trust, someone who is off in some corner of the world, looking at all options that are available to them based upon work permits, experience, pay, etc. You don't know how committed someone else's research is. Your comment comes off in a very condescending tone, and it's not necessary. Personally, I spent a lot of time discussing my career options with Cathay pilots when I was going through the application process. I spent time learning about the company, it's history, it's current standings, etc. I learned that it's a stable company. They're not going under anytime soon, so, the odds of having a retirement are good. I did research on what they pay compared to my home market. I also looked at the cost of living in Hong Kong at the time I was planning to join. There are other personal factors for taking the job outside of those. The thing is, experience speaks louder than research. Am I glad I took the job? Actually, yes. I've learned a lot since joining Cathay. Not just about flying, but about the world. I've been to every continent with the exception of South America, and Antarctica. I've learned about the macroeconomics of nations firsthand and I've observed first hand how people live in different parts of the world. Do I want to stay with CX long term? Not really. Would I do it again now? HELL NO. Confused? Let me explain: Things have changed. They have changed a lot since I signed on the dotted line and took the journey to Adelaide. The cost of living has increased dramatically in Hong Kong, and it's on the rise. If I joined NOW, I would never be able to purchase a property and start building wealth. I was fortunate enough to join just in time to buy a place just in time to avoid the new stamp duty, and just before prices went up further. A lot of luck was involved. The recent changes in real estate laws in Hong Kong put it far, far out of reach for new joiners. in essence, the cost to purchase a place in Hong Kong just doubled over the last 5 months. If I joined NOW, I would not see the interesting destinations I saw in my first year. That's because the new guys are going straight to the A330. The layovers are only 24hrs, and the destinations are mainly the Middle East, and Australia.

Could you predict that with all of your dedicated, committed, in-depth research? Could you predict that long service leave, and taxation issues would effectively close the basing options? Can you or I predict exactly what will happen in the next 4 years at Cathay? I think not.

In my original post, I said I would not go back and do it again. Of course if I didn't I wouldn't have the knowledge and experience I've gained. I am grateful for the knowledge I've gained. Who knows where the other path would have taken me. Now that I'm on this path, though, I can see that the future looks pretty rocky.

Mediums might argue that a flat in Hong Kong is within reach, but I'd like to see him post pictures of what he's got in mind. Mediums, show us what a "normal" Hong Kong home looks like inside and what the price tag would be for such a flat.

And whilst I have always advocated to never use a rumour network to seek factual answers, opinions based on first hand CX experience and international widebody airline operations have been on this web site for a very long time since C-Scles inception.
That's a bit of a contradictory statement, don't you think? You're not advocating something, but then encouraging it. Come on CB, you're a professional, right? Demonstrate the logic of a professional. This line of thinking is completely contradictory.

Nothing compares to speaking with actual people who are employed by the company. That's what I did before joining. I spoke with both cadet and non-cadet. Now, I am one of those pilots, and can give advice to others based upon my experience, and what has changed over the past 2-3 years.

I have a suggestion for those considering joining Cathay. It involves working with the HKAOA - the pilot union at Cathay. Look them up at www.HKAOA.org Send them an e-mail. Let the know you're interested in flying for Cathay, and would like to work with them in case you are given a job offer. They are the official representation body for CX aircrew. All new joiners should work through the AOA to negotiate the Terms and Conditions of their contract with the company. If you do receive ar offer letter from the company, contact the AOA straightaway, and work with their legal staff to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible. They have experience with a lot of pilots at different points in their career. Think of it as an investment strategy that will pay off immensely down the road.

From cefey:
Jetpilot, very good and informative post, thank you.
Glad I could help. I hope that others continue to contribute, too.

But imo, you must blame your self, not CX. Could you have done research, how much you get paid, how much it cost for flat etc? Yes. You would know EXACTLY how much money you would have "left" after all expenses.
You would know exactly how big (or small?) your flat would be.
More Bull$#!t. I don't recall blaming CX. I don't recall blaming anyone. I'm just making a statement. Telling a story -- the story of my experience. I'm sharing the knowledge I have gained. I'm standing on the hill, looking down the other side and relaying back what I'm seeing from my vantage point.

When I went down to Adeliade, I would have been able to purchase at least a 3-bedroom flat with about 750sqft (actual living area) By the time I got to Hong Kong and had the money in hand to purchase, we could only afford a 2brm place with 575 sqft. That is a MASSIVE difference in buying power. If we had waited until now, we would be out of the market. Period. We would have to wait at least seven years. Spending about 13,000hkd per month in rent, this equates to $1.1 million HKD spent on rent instead of putting it into a property that is going up in value. When you factor in the increases in property values, this could easily equate to more like $2 million HKD in money lost. That's savings for retirement. That's not luxury money, that is long-term survival money. While you can forecast what the market conditions will look like in a few years, it's very difficult to be more accurate than a very rough estimate. It is not possible to get down to exact amounts. You can try, but you're trying to pin down a moving target. The further to the future you try to forecast, the greater the uncertainty factor.

While at same time, people keep telling all wannabees how there is "no jobs", "impossible to find anything" etc etc.
Good flying jobs are not easy to find. And it's getting harder. I suspect you're from Hong Kong, so we'll discuss Hong Kong because it'll be very difficult for you to get a work visa for somewhere else. In Hong Kong, I would estimate that there are about 5000 pilots. In a city of 7 million people, that equates to roughly 0.07% of the jobs out there. Now, if we look at pilot jobs for newbies in Hong Kong, there are maybe 75 this year, maybe 150 at the most. Cathay gets way more applications than that, every year. So, yes, there are virtually no flying jobs out there. Not only that, the days of making good money as a pilot are gone. The pay will continue to be whittled away through a combination of inflation, and company "streamlining" efforts.

If you want to fly because you think it's fun, get a degree in business. Develop a product and market it. You'll be rich, and you'll have all the money you need to fly for fun, and it WILL be fun. The kind of flying you do for a major airline is not "fun" flying. It's monitoring systems it's watching the autopilot in case it has a hiccup. And, the AP practically never has hiccups. Now, if you want to be a pilot because you want to see the world, well, join as cabin crew. You'll see more destinations, and you'll spend twice as much time there as the pilots. Do that for 2-3 years, and when the newness of the job wears off, start that business and make some real money so you can take care of your family. If you want to be a pilot because you can't seem to find other job prospects, you're not cut out for the job. It requires a level of professionalism and knowledge that is above and beyond a regular job. First and foremost, get the most, highest quality education you can, and always always have backup plans in case one career prospect doesn't work out.

And, if you still want to join CX as a pilot, make it through the interviews, exams, assessments, and training, don't stop there. Get more education, get an MBA, get a Masters in Engineering, get a degree in something that pays more, or start a side business. Look for better money making opportunities, and move on when they present themselves. It's the only way to find upward mobility to escape low-income living.

Last edited by Jetpilot213; 10th Mar 2013 at 10:11.
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Old 10th Mar 2013, 09:54
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Not for Sale
Posts: 331
First of all, if I hear of a job, an offer, or anything that may interest me in bar I do not take it as gospel. That alone sparks interest to investigate the issue in detail. If it's for the cost of a movie ticket then a little bit of research. If it's for a career that will determine the next decade at least of my life then I leave no stone left unturned.

A rumour network like this offers ideas, concepts and experiences. Any fool taking these as law deserves to be treated as such. Some appreciate my ideas and experience, others hate them; the same with the delivery. Somewhere someone wrote that's called a good thing to spark exchanges and debates.....? But so odd the amount of times me and others like me are told to shut up for no other reason that our opinion isn't wanted or refuted without one ounce of factual backbone. So no, I don't think my reasoning about rumour networks is flawed at all.

Personally, I flew to HK for a holiday to see the place. I met with CX HR at CX City. In between beers with mates and Wan Chai inspired hangovers I went out and checked out many real estate agency windows, brochures and web sites. As for predicting the future of the HK market and where I may stand with respect to the package I was expecting to receive, I met with a few agents at the time whom my mates at CX referred me to, ie whom they had used and were well versed about the CX housing allowance. A few hours of time was the cost.

There are factual web sites publishing detailed histories and predictions of the market in the future: (10 seconds of google research with some filtering away from non factual sources or authors, as per the type I used and filled one section of my internet bookmarks with)
HK Housing Prices | | MacroBusiness
What is the property market outlook in Hong Kong? - Part I
Amazing History of Hong Kong Property Market in one chart

That's where I got all my "BULL$HIT" from: visiting HK and studying the property market from first hand (expert/reliable) sources. (And I bet I've just provided in 30 seconds more "research" than most hopefuls have ever considered needed doing).

Living in HK was but one section of my study and prep. I went to HK specifically with CX as a priority and used the time to also take a holiday and see some mates. Like the applicants of old the same level of study was done for the company & airline, aerodynamics, met, personal HR questions, 747 Classic sim profile practice, and so on, and so on. This shocks the wannabes of today begging to be spoon fed what to wrote learn as a minimum to get through.

Stories, rumours and opinions create a spark only. In all due respect Jet, you seem to have spent a disproportionate amount of your preparation getting the job but not the same on what it may mean once there. All these web sites and expert analysis are based in educated and well qualified "best guesses", as are the TAFs, etc we use to fly with. My 5 days in HK were by far the best research. The cost of the airfare was the best value education about HK that no book, web site or well intentioned opinion could offer. A small to price to pay to discover where i intended to give the rest of professional life to.

The new stamp duty payment was perhaps somewhat of a curve ball, but not entirely out of the box considering the immense volatility of the HK market, the mainland influence and world economic trends. Like budgeting on minimal interest rates: if you can't afford a potential increase now and then when regarding a long term repayment picture then it's a more than just a small budgeting faux pas.

The HK property market is extremely volatile.

PS: Water is wet.

There are jobs out there that will put wannabes into a control seat of an aircraft, write up to the RHS of a jet. It takes determination and leaving no stone unturned, just as little ole things like where and how much it will cost to live in your new adopted country. You may have to leave your beloved Europe, America(s), UK, Oz or NZ but there are jobs in Asia, Africa and smaller areas such as PNG. Funny how the harder you work the luckier you get. With real loggable hours from as little as a fresh CPL can get you into a control seat of an aircraft. Real, accountable hours give you ownership of your own destiny. Now you'll all want those web sites and links for jobs as well.....? When I decided against the CX insult I found myself with 3 interviews for jet jobs. In so doing I also discovered other jobs with min requirements that would apply to many, many iCadet applicants. Then again, I was able to look at CX and these other jobs without rose coloured glasses. A deliberate choice.

You last 2 paragraphs are possible some of the best advice I've seen for a long time.

I don't know the level of research and prep others have done for their CX interview. But I can see the result of their decision. And I can see the result, style and type of applicant CX now attracts.

Last edited by ChinaBeached; 10th Mar 2013 at 10:57.
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Old 10th Mar 2013, 11:25
  #36 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 23
The tiniest and slightly committed research would've exposed all these pitfalls.
Personally, I flew to HK for a holiday to see the place. I met with CX HR at CX City. In between beers with mates and Wan Chai inspired hangovers I went out and checked out many real estate agency windows, brochures and web sites. As for predicting the future of the HK market and where I may stand with respect to the package I was expecting to receive, I met with a few agents at the time whom my mates at CX referred me to, ie whom they had used and were well versed about the CX housing allowance. A few hours of time was the cost.
That's where I got all my "BULL$HIT" from: visiting HK and studying the property market from first hand (expert/reliable) sources.
So, is buying a ticket to fly to Hong Kong the "tiniest and slightly committed research" you're talking about? Or are you talking about the few websites you pulled up that talk about how the housing market is going up. If you're saying that doing some searches on google will uncover ALL the pitfalls of the offer, I would disagree, and your actions demonstrate that more was needed to uncover all the nuances. I was calling bull$#!t on your claim that only the tiniest research would uncover all the pitfalls. It takes a bigger investment of time than that.

Could I have done more research on living in Hong Kong? Yes. Maybe the studying I did to land the job was overkill. Hard to say. I do know it was sufficient to get the job, while working full time at the career I was in. Again, there were other personal motivating factors as well that I'd rather not include here.
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Old 10th Mar 2013, 11:54
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Not for Sale
Posts: 331
Fair point. Replace "tiniest" perhaps with "what was needed" for a comprehensive understanding of the topic: just as should be done for the other topics of aerodynamics, met, the airline, etc. I saw flying to HK to get the answers I needed was but one way to place me in the best stead for the interview and job I sought.

No. The few web sites I demonstrated showed that factual information is out there. Just like a TAF, it shows a "best guess" from expert analysis. But like the wx, carry some contingency fuel and always leave yourself an out with more than one approach for when the "expert guess" / forecast is wrong, or for other unplanned circumstances. If the flightplan (or contract!) doesn't offer that then sometimes a pilot needs to know when to say NO.

I too had a full time job flying 90-95 hrs a month. I took annual leave to go to HK. The same workload when studying for the rest of the prep. Candle burnt at both ends for around 2+ months, but that was what it took and what those before me did as well. Nothing special or outside of the then norm.

Good luck and I hope you can get out. Stay FAR away from that agency you mentioned. Similar but maybe even worse than CX and how they treat a legal black & white contract.

Last edited by ChinaBeached; 10th Mar 2013 at 13:10.
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Old 17th Mar 2013, 09:39
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: up from under
Posts: 36
Angry




I couldn't agree more to the fact that many locals sign on because of the title with a big company. They reckon they can brag to their gold cashing friends. In Honkey land, it is all about status and names. As a local, no housing allowance, its alrite mate, people look up to me as a pilot And CX know most local pilots wouldn't go fussing about small houses and quality of life, they grew up in smaller spaces than they could afford now as a pilot.


Say, if you are from OZ, living in the small spaces in HK is by some means a downgrade, no? Not to mention, air pollution, expensive foreign brands that you could ve gotten for at 1/3 the price back home, ching chang everywhere, people see you as your job and not your person since they can't even speak English, most of your pay go to the rent. Don't even think of buying a car here, its value will only go downhill, and some might even spend more money on the parking & petrol than on the car itself! BAWDY


Then you might ask why so many Pinoys, Thais or TWnese in CX living here, some even for sucha extended period? Whatever HK can offer is still a better lifestyle than living in their home country and eventually they are stuck in this industry and have no where else to go.


But to locals, most of them don't mind living with their parents (they spend most of their time outside anyways), and if you choose not to save money, you can rent a studio pad and splurge on your girl's expensive Prada and Guccis. Many of them join at the lure of the name and title and not totally the career prospect (at least for now). Good ole days no more!


Be thankful. At least as an expat, you have your home country to return to. But for them, most of them have no where but HK, unless they have another passport.


Last edited by Flyer jazz; 17th Mar 2013 at 15:53.
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Old 24th Mar 2013, 07:26
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: adelaide
Posts: 101
Flyer jazz
I wonder if u really are a local. Or u might be those "locals" who grew up in southern area, studied at international school and threw party every weekands. what u said sounds funny to me.

First of all to many "real locals", the cpp from green and red is the easiest and most possible way to fulfill their dream of being an airline pilot, i highly doubt if status and names are the reasons for them to sign on. (again, i wonder if u are a cx pilot)

secondly, if i may ask, are u white? that's hilarous if u are not and complain about too many "chingchang" and people who cant speak english.
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