South Asia and the Far East News and views on the fast growing and changing aviation scene on the planet.

Tianjin Airlines

Old 21st Dec 2011, 03:08
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SE Asia
Age: 47
Posts: 40
Advise on the expense of China

One question that is repeatedly asked is "What is the expense of China?"

Assuming you live a standard international life style: It is almost expensive or if you are planning Shanghai or Hong Kong - damn expensive.

Firstly, most people have an opinion that China is cheap. And it is. Its a home to cheap labor and cheap materials. If you intend to live like a Chinese farmer then yes you can live on 2 dollars a day.

There is a rapidly growing middle class and wealthy class. Imported and foreign items are taxed heavily even if they are produced in China. Luxury items are also taxed heavily. X3 or X4 the price you might see overseas.

Western restaurants have most of their food imported and take special care of their food for their clientele. $30-35 USD for one person dinner easily. There are second tier places that use the local food and then the college places where even now after several months it passes through me like a locomotive.

There is only one international clinic in the city and the contracting agencies' insurance are not qualified to use it. $3500/year for English speaking international doctors. UPDATE: A second international clinic is opening and from what I understand it will have a pay as you go option.

There are grocery stores like Walmart and Carrefour here but the quality and source of their food is terrible. You will use an international chain like Lotte, Hisense, or Schwartzkopff. These stores have imported food but you will pay the same or oven double the prices of your home country. (Its better than heaving or worse yet getting a funny growth in your liver 10 years later. Even the Chinese who can afford it import their food) You could even shop at the wet markets and get the cheapest prices. I don't know enough about where their food comes from to take that leap. There isn't a strong Food and Drug Administration here.

International Schools are wide ranging in prices. This depends on your tastes but international schools can be same priced or overpriced but never under priced from you current location.

Housing is comparable to a standard international city. If you want cheap you can get a cheap place with all sorts of smells.

I find Utilities are cheaper and service oriented labor cheap. A maid is very cheap but you will have to train them how to clean.

Given the salaries offered here you will make more than you could at home and you will be spending more than you would at home but you will have more in your pocket at the end of the month.

Do not expect to live here on 1000 USD/month.

Last edited by pilotss2001; 9th Jan 2012 at 08:38.
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Old 21st Dec 2011, 04:14
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Age: 55
Posts: 58
in reference to pilotss2001 on page 1

To all that may be thinking of coming to China this is a fantastic post. I was in China for two years and this is absolutely dead on. I was lucky enough to be based in one of the more modern cities (Shenzhen) but it's still a different world. Everything from the hotels, food, etc. is true.
In my own experience I constantly was worried about my job. I am very experienced in the A-320 flying it for a US major and I flew it in the Middle East, but I have seen FIRST HAND guys flying a perfectly acceptable ride and getting a turn down for some incomprehensible reason,,,not to mention their own guys can't fly to that standard or as in my own personal case once of being asked to do a maneuver, flying it, and then being told no good because the examiner has his own pet way of doing it and shame on you for not knowing it. Captain, didn't you know to run around on your days off grilling every Chinese pilot you could find to ask how examiner so-and-so likes for you to do dual Radar Alt. inop approaches? How lazy of you!
In my own case it was the medical that did me in, although nothing could be found wrong, by Chinese standards I was just too tall and Fat for them to be comfortable with and on my fourth medical, even though I passed it, one of the 10 doctors that looks at you every 6 months wanted to run a camera into my damn heart just to prove I was perfect and I said no.
I could go on about endless examples that I witnessed first hand, and trust me now that I am back in the states making a FIFTH of what I made there it is hard, but the double standard coupled with the standard of living is one hard nut to crack. I talk to guys, Capt. even at my airline who are thinking of resigning their number to go. I simply cannot stress how bad of a decision this would be. Unless you can get a leave, or you don't have a job. Don't Do It!

Last edited by cameltoad; 21st Dec 2011 at 04:17. Reason: reference to thread
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Old 21st Dec 2011, 06:58
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: USA-China
Age: 53
Posts: 207
Both posts, RIGHT on the $$$...

Great info.... Been there, done that... From a legacy driver that did the GREAT China experience.
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Old 21st Dec 2011, 17:06
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: china
Age: 57
Posts: 324
I cannot agree with this more, and it is exactly in line with what I always say. If you are very lucky, China may work out for you. But I only recommend coming here if you have another job to return to, on short notice.

Contract pilot rule to live by:

If the pay is high, it is because no one wants to come here. For cause.

If it is a commuting contract, it is because no one wants to live here, or at least their wives don't.

My China job is currently working out great. And I just got paid. And my personal "event horizon" is next payday..........
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Old 30th Dec 2011, 17:36
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SE Asia
Age: 47
Posts: 40
Changing slowly

The change is happening slowly.

After a few resignations the company is changing.

The trips are now 2-3 day trips with one day trip smatterings. The hotels are still very dirty but better than before. We are still working on this point.

The OPS manuals are being re written into readable English and to use live document updates.

The OJT pilots are working to international standards. It is in the interest of the airline to do so because in the next year we will start flying international flights. Cases like activating the FMS before another pilot has confirmed it are changing.

Expats are working on documentation for initial ground. This will help you see documents like the logbook and load sheet before you sit in the cockpit. (really simple things like this are not thought of here)

The company needs pilots. There are no less than 5 aircraft sitting on the ramp at all times with covers on the engines. Chinese pilots are timing out at 1000 hours a year in December. If you fly maxed hours you will gain weight as the crew meals are the largest I have ever seen.

The A320 has arrived and is flying. 5 are slated for delivery but the markets are undecided.

E145 pilots on property with over 700 hours are upgrading in China. Simulator training is in Sanya with Swiss Training personnel.

Interviews in the United States are being handled as an all in one session. CAAC doctors, examiners, and airline staff are all present to give thumbs up or thumbs down on the spot. No more waiting or having to give up your seniority number for the chance to come to China. The process is less than a 50% pass rate for the flying skills and then add the medical process and you have about a 40% success rate. Add on top of that the ability to live in China and learn a new style of flying and culture and you are looking at a 25-30% success rate. If you can make it here the first six months then you should be able to make it for the contract.

There are still many things that will blow your mind about flying in China. There is still the difficulty of living in China.

There is a forward progress that is happening slowly.

A new international medical facility has opened in Tianjin that does not require membership.

Maybe things are improving or maybe I'm getting used to seeing people spit all around me. Could be both.

Last edited by pilotss2001; 1st Jan 2012 at 08:59.
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 00:56
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Rio de Janeiro
Age: 59
Posts: 13
Another case of big money with plenty of health and career risks. Too many morons and dirty air for me unless they double the pay.
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Old 5th Jan 2012, 17:36
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Far Away
Age: 60
Posts: 5
good info

Great info guys. Who knew the women could spit so well? I never understood the whole 'take your shoes off at the door' until now.

Although I'm with Spring in Shanghai I can tell you the CAAC sim check is the same here as up there. Dual failures and raw data. Fun times.

Parc is my rep also and I cannot say enough good things about them.

Good luck to everyone in the new year. We need it.
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Old 6th Feb 2012, 12:29
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Kuwait City currently
Age: 38
Posts: 20
Smoking in the Cockpit

Hypothetically speaking, how would it go over if I were to politely request that my copilots do not smoke in the cockpit? Would that be respected, or would it give me a bad reputation and a hard time later on as a result? Thanks.

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Old 6th Feb 2012, 15:12
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
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I have had nooooo problem on that issue.

Of course if you let them smoke while you take a 10 minute break in the back(physiological needs) then they will be even more grateful to you
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Old 6th Feb 2012, 20:16
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: china
Age: 57
Posts: 324
Concur highly. BTW most of them are extremely polite, courteous, and respectful. There is always a "bottom 10%". But there is a "bottom 10%" everywhere.
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Old 6th Feb 2012, 23:33
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2010
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..hence the need to apply CRM like anywhere else when of the 10% shows up.
In all fos ive had so far, 2 or 3 i can consider difficult cases but more than manageable as long as you take your time to explain the things you do if not understood by him.
Flying is the easy part,after work is the harder one.
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Old 7th Feb 2012, 05:41
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Mexico
Age: 40
Posts: 5
Undecided, please help

Hi everyone and thank for reading.

I'm a mexican pilot, i have no experience in an airline I'm a corporate pilot here in Mexico, I'm a lineage 100 (E-190) captain and interested in Apply for a position in Tianjin airlines, I spend some time reading your posts wondering if it's worth living with the family there or if it's better flying back home every 42 days and if you guys receive airline tickets to do so.

Thank's again, my very best wishes to all of you and happy landings.
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Old 10th Feb 2012, 17:29
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SE Asia
Age: 47
Posts: 40
China, the zoo minus the joy of Pandas.

I was doing OK lately because they have only been assigning me the most SOP pilots.

Good for them. They know I fly standard. But let me tell you of my history. I am not the most standard guy on property. I would never and could never be a Line Check Airmen. I do not possess the intelligence or the insight to teach, judge, and command at the same time. So when I am the most standard guy on property, there is a huge problem.

Today I witnessed the Chief pilot try to coerce a pilot to fly against the MEL. This was the last straw. This is not a cheap 135 outfit. This is flying a jet engine with 100 passengers on your plane. I was trying to be culturally correct and try to explain gently for 30 minutes to the chief that flying against the MEL is no good. I talked to the other pilot and he told me the passenger were taking pictures of the plane with the oxygen masks that had deployed in first class. Yet the Chief Pilot says but no performance has been degraded so maybe it is OK.

A few days ago they tried to put a cabin attendant in the bathroom and for takeoff and landing because the cabin was full. Every once and a while will try to send you to a Chinese only speaking military airport with only Chinese charts you cannot read. Chinese Resource Management.

This is why I tell pilot its nice if you have 500 hours PIC on the EMB 190 and you come here good for you . They will most likely hire you but if you have not defined yourself as a captain or a pilot before you come here you will never fly anywhere outside of China afterwards if this is your primary training as a captain. You will be a ruined piece of tissue paper on the floor. No one will use you again.

If you are intimidated in an interview or by a chief pilot you don't have the backbone to work this contract. Daily you must defend the safety of flight and rules of the flight.

Don't get me wrong, there are some hot pilots here and within the Chinese system they can fly beautifully. But as an internationally standard pilot this place is a black hole. There are some military pilots here that I would hate to fly against hand flying because they would blow me away. But in an airline it is more than just hand skills.

China Airlines has just been blasted by the CAAC for irregularities. Irregularities that would shut a normal International airline. Air China is China's flag carrier. Is it normal that you must ask again and again for an English copy of the CCARs(FARs). There is yet to be produced to any Chinese airline a copy of the actual rules of flying in English.

The answer to this and many other airlines in China is...Well, this is China.
(yes we finally received the version 4 of the CCARS after almost a year of asking. Many things are the same but many things we are trying to track down what is different.

Last edited by pilotss2001; 15th Feb 2012 at 21:12.
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Old 12th Feb 2012, 17:45
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Kuwait City currently
Age: 38
Posts: 20
How much should I train for the treadmill part of the medical check? I'm not overweight, but not a runner either. Thanks in advance.

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Old 15th Feb 2012, 18:18
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: 25°15′10″N 055°21′52″E
Posts: 31
The English version of CCAR Part 121 is available on the CAAC website. However, I could not find an english version of Part 91. That said, CCAR Part 91 is almost identical to FAR Part 91. One major difference is that China have no airspace classification like the US - no class A, B, C, D, E, G.
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 21:24
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SE Asia
Age: 47
Posts: 40

Can you send the link from the CAAC website. I've looked through the English CAAC website and cannot find the listing. The Site Map function of the English side also does not work.
Cheers and thanks

There are plenty of guys who were out of shape that got the job. In most cases there is something they the CAAC doctors will want to look into a little closer. The fail rate of the medical is high. There are some things you can retest for if you don't make the baseline criteria. Some people have blood drawn three days in a row and some do a more intensive check of their nasal cavities and other even have to where a heart monitor for 24 hours.
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Old 16th Feb 2012, 03:09
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: permanent orbit
Posts: 23
New CAAC rules

Before you sign on the dotted line, have a read of the following CAAC rules about to come into effect on March 1st.

Simply put:

1) Get struck by lightning - you're fired.
2) Strike a bird - you're fired
3) loose comms - you're fired
4) Bust an altitude - you're fired

There are a few more, but these are the most worrying ones.
Not sure if you guys at other airlines have already had this CAAC speech, but we were told this last week at SZX.

Simply put, there is no job security here (in China) anymore...
Evidently, from the recent management “safety” meeting, the foreign pilot group make 3 to 4 times as many mistakes as the Chinese……give me a break.

Good luck out there.

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Old 20th Feb 2012, 07:47
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Middle East
Posts: 27
Looks like Tianjin is getting more desperate. I received this email this morning. Note the new 4 week on/4 week off option. Wonder what the pay will be for that one?

Still dangling the A320 carrot....along with a larger carrot for the A330.

Dear EMB190 Captains,

Earn up to $15,000 USD/month + overtime based on 80 hours per month.* Earn an additional $187.50 USD per every hour flown over 80 hours.** VOR Holdings will also pay you $8,000 USD at the end of your 1st year, $12,000 USD at the end of your 2nd year, and $15,000 USD at the end of your 3rd year.*

Your total compensation for three years is $575,000 USD.** After completing your three year contract, you will be given the opportunity to upgrade to the A320 aircraft at the airline's expense and then from the A320 to the A330 also at the airline's expense.

You have the option of working:

4 weeks ON, 4 weeks OFF
6 weeks ON, 3 weeks OFF
6 weeks ON, 2 weeks OFF + 24 additional days OFF per year

Interviews will be held in Orlando, Florida during the first week of March 2012.

If you are interested, send us an email to [email protected] or simply reply to this email.


Peggy Li
Manager of Recruiting
Pilot Jobs in China - VOR Holdings
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Old 22nd Feb 2012, 02:43
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: USA-China
Age: 53
Posts: 207
VOR Holdings, HUGE carrots swinging, plus 1099 = A no no!!!
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Old 27th Feb 2012, 07:17
  #60 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ft.Lauderdale
Age: 38
Posts: 2
Orlando Interviews...

VOR/PARC or WASINC in Miami?

Anyone attend these screenings? Info?

Details on the 4week on 4week off rotation that just popped up with VOR?
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