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Latest on Hainan Airlines

Old 3rd Dec 2011, 18:39
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Latest on Hainan Airlines

Thinking of joining them for their A330/340 fleet.

They offer bases for commuting pilots in a few European and US cities (roster to end and start there... they will try for it to happen they say).

Any latest info on their scheduling policy(is it just a promise...), the atmosphere and attitude towards expats there (if it has improved at all) and any other insiders info will be greatly appreciated. I hear they are pretty desperate.

Its kind of a giant leap to go there from Europe, but the money (they promise) looks good, the fleet routes are good and the situation in Europe (or US) sucks, so I am either there or considering the UAE.

Thanks in advance
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Old 4th Dec 2011, 00:48
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There are many threads here on China. Most of them (like all of PPRuNe) are excessively negative and snarky, but a mature adult can filter out the truth. Some people have made a good life over there, but there are pitfalls. Go in with your eyes wide open, and for heavens sakes don't burn your bridges back in Europe.
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Old 4th Dec 2011, 03:56
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Whatever he (RH) said!
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Old 4th Dec 2011, 09:14
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Definitely not thinking of burning any bridges!

Its just this gut feeling that if I keep ignoring the signs now that I am still comfortable, I'll end up looking for an alternate with less than min res left....

You all know how stagnant things are here, and how they look for the next decade (even Lufthansa is sending planes to the desert storage in 2012), anticipating a big decline in the market (that is the good scenario...)

I've read tonnes of threads on Chinese airlines and Hainan, but things change rapidly there, so any members flying there can help a lot with the most recent facts.
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Old 4th Dec 2011, 12:18
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@ worldrover: Do you have some link for the Lufti Information puttin their planes to the desert?
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Old 4th Dec 2011, 13:07
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no link mate, just word of mouth.
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Old 5th Dec 2011, 11:25
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Worldrover, you might want to ask yourself " why are there so many negative posts about Chinese airlines ? "
You would have to be pretty naive to think that they are all just sour grapes, when they all have the same theme : contracts not worth the dunny roll they are written on, constant BS requirements that the locals don't have to meet, multiple fines for ridiculous things so they can reduce your pay, etc etc.
All this coupled with the worst pollution in the world.
Of course you could just shove your head in the sand and say " oh, those people are just whingers, it can't be that bad "
But I worked for Hainan and lived in HK/China for 4 years so WTF would I know.
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Old 5th Dec 2011, 16:46
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hongkongfooey you're the man I am looking for

Someone that has been there and knows first hand the company, so he can tell if there is any chance of improvement or hope....

I've read them all, I know it looks pretty bad so it must be.

Still, I read some fairly different views once every while and it sounds like a fair gamble to me. I know I would probably have to fight for the contract terms, but I will go from the 320 to the 330/340 (no way for another 10 years in EU or US) and the salary doesn't sound bad (I know...I will not get the promised amount) and go for a few "adventurous years".

I mean, it can be THAT bad can it.....? No chains are attached, can always jump ship along with some widebody experience no?

I wanted to know the routes for the fleet, the LT duration, the crew accommodation, overseas based crew scheduling. All the crook-techniques employed against pilots have been well recorded here already, so I am only interested in the operational facts.

Any help before going there is better than info after being there already.
Thanks though
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Old 6th Dec 2011, 04:11
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Uhmm...how many have completed and passed the 320 to 330 advertised program? Try and ask the recruiting agencies. My investigations tell me the number is zero. Although a few have gone from the left seat of the 320 to the right of 330. Nice
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Old 6th Dec 2011, 16:51
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From someone whos done it:

Its better to make less and stay home if you feel confident you will have employment into the future.

In hindsight I knew the contract I signed was full of "shifty" things when I signed, but I wrongly listened to the flowers the Chinese were blowing up our behinds just to get us there- as they will say anything just to accomplish their goal of getting you in the seat so they can make their profits.

Why why why can't they just write a decent normal balanced contract? Really gents -why?

Maybes and we will tries and Ifs written into contracts -are just baiting.

Try this... Since the contracts are so bad and full of vagaries, they would not stand in any western court. So, just tell them for your protection you want the LAW OF JURISDICTION your home country. After all, why wouldn't thy say ok to that if they mean all they say and plan to treat you fairly?

It's because they want to keep an option open to screw you! I know a few locals and they laugh at how eager we sign up when it's so obviously dubious.
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Old 6th Dec 2011, 17:04
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Min reqs for me from now on:

-No BS contracts. Contracts are ok if solid and fair. Otherwise law of jurisdiction my home country.

-Solid western component in management.

-Westerners not minority, or just a good multicultural. Some western FOs as well. (I'm done with flying with people who quietly hate you all the time)

-terms. Honestly, the money is last.

This is my advice! Hope it helps!
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Old 7th Dec 2011, 11:06
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Thanks 555orange

Come on guys, what happened to all the forum members that still fly for HNA though?
No facts info anymore? radio silence?

You must be having a good time there and not wanting anyone to know ha...?

Anyway, I have to end up working for them, so I'll be able to give factual feedbacks if asked by someone
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 06:25
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Has anyone actually been through the CCQ course there? I received the e-mail from Hainan as well. Also, is age 60 still in effect in China? No sense in going to China if you lose out on 1 to 5 years more flying after age 60.
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 14:28
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Worldrover;
I will try to be as nice as I can with this, but that may not be that nice. All you want to know is about "accomodation, schedules, etc". Ahahaa. Me too! Who doesn't.

This applies to "real" airlines in the first world as well, except China and most of Asia are capitalism on "fast forward", including aviation.

i work for the Hainan Group. Accommodation? You will stay in the worst dumps you have ever had a nightmare about. Schedules? You will fly whatever the local pilots don't want to (this is the same at all contract jobs). Promises? Maybe they didn't mean to break them, but things have changed since you applied, so deal with it. Or maybe they just f#$$%%^king lied in the first place.

Sorry, but if you come here with an open mind and a good attitude, and you are VERY [email protected]#$%$king lucky, it might work out for you. Come here, but first are worried about "scheduling, accommodation, rostering, etc", you are going down a path that will lead to professional destruction. Questioning the opinions of those that are here, as long as the answers you receive on "scheduling, accommodation, rostering" might not be what you expected. Ahahaha.

Sorry, like I said you might not like the answer. I have had it great here for the last 5 months. It is a dream job. The first year, I packed my bags to leave the next day, 3 times, and quit once. My dream job might change again to a nightmare tomorrow and there is nothing I can do about it but quit.

I am OK with this. Are you? If not, China is not for you.

There is not a single ex 320 skipper flying a 330 for HNair. You would be an experiment. Chinese experiments are painful, and destructive.

Good luck to you.
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Old 9th Dec 2011, 20:05
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USMCProbe, I don't want to be told something "nice", I need factual replies so thank you for doing so.

And no, I do not plan on coming there having in mind EU/US standards like the ones you mentioned (I know, I asked info on them, but I had to start a conversation here...)

I am, sure you're right about the experiment just starting. I assume though you are flying the 73 or other short haul ac, because regarding the scheduling and (from the bits and pieces of info gathered) based on the limited destinations served by the A330/340 HNA fleet, I can't imagine what are the ones the locals don't want to have (I'll take them).

I am interested in knowing how many roundtrips per 6 week cycle do they schedule their crews (these routes are almost 23hrs RTrip so for 1000/yr, I assumed 6-7). Any info from someone in the specific fleet would help.

As for the hotel info, I am sure its the same for everyone in the company, so tell me, do you HAVE TO stay and prepay(as rumored) their "designated" hotel-apartments or whatever they call them?
How many days for (long range fleet) crews spent in Beijing? Are the flights to US and EU daily (so crews stay there only 1 night, or more if not daily), things like that.

I appreciate all the honest and hard answers, the truth leads to better preparation and low expectations so less disappointment. I am optimistic though, and I think that sooner or later they will have to improve if they want anyone of us to fly their planes. We just have to know how to negotiate and ask, and this forum is the best way to prepare for it.

Thanks again USMCP

Last edited by worldrover; 10th Dec 2011 at 14:14.
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Old 10th Dec 2011, 07:05
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USMCProbe - I am curious as to what changed your job from the worst to the best in the last few months. Is it a wakeup call by management that they will not have qualified pilots if they keep dicking pilots around? If so that would portend a better future for contract work in China.

One fishy thing about this CCQ deal is if there are a bunch of expats already flying the 320 in China why aren't they first in line to do the conversion. Is this another Korean where they constantly have to recruit because they eat their young (metaphorically) during training?
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Old 10th Dec 2011, 07:30
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Cactus, I think it is because the A320 captains in Japan do not have the min 5-7000JetT (depending on the agency)
I mean, most of the people I know, go there for the widebodies. There are A320 jobs (there were anyway) in Europe and US, so people go for the LR fleets so they can spend min time IN China.
Hope some more people come out and give some info on HNA so we don't have to speculate. Lets see

Last edited by worldrover; 10th Dec 2011 at 14:10.
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Old 10th Dec 2011, 09:22
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I will answer as best I can. First to Worldrover, and this is as best I can, and I am looking into the 330 deal as well. And I live in Seattle, am currently a "chinese" pilot for the same parent airline. There is very little chance I will do it.

They really don't have anything sorted out. They make "current and qualified' expats do 6 months plus of line training, god knows what they would require of 330 CCQ guys. Scheduling? Nobody knows, it has never been done. I do know it will be done to the benefit of Chinese crews, not us. Based in Seattle? That means somebody has to deadhead, and since the Chinese do that for free, and don't even count it as "duty" time (actually they count it as "rest"), that means it won't be them, it will probably be you. How many roundtrips? Again, nobody knows and I have asked. If the Chinese discover they can run an import/export business out of their suitcases you may never fly back and forth to Seattle other than to return home on your vacation rotation.

Too many unknowns for me, and the things I do know about HNair make me want to avoid it. I would actually recommend Spring, BCA, or Tianjin before HNair. Money is the same or better, and Tianjin you can get 6/3, although of couple of us here are going to try to negotiate the same if we sign a new contract. All three of these airlines have been treating expats well for the last couple of years, including me.

As far as PEK accomodation, from what I saw on the contract briefs it is your own responsibilty. Expat apartments in PEK are expensive (1000-1300) for a 70 sq meter 1 bedroom. You can get cheaper stuff by the airport but there is not much there. The "Hainan Hilton" may or may not be free for you, I am not sure. It is a dump, but at least it has tile floors and is "clean", or at least by Chinese airline hotel standards it is clean. It also has year round heat and air conditioning. The fact that I mentioned this last tidbit should concern you about Chinese airline hotels. LOL

The dream job I have now? 12 minutes by motorbike to dispatch, along the beach road. Mostly 1 day trips, usually 2 legs a day, once a week maybe 4. I work 14 days a month, returning home every night to the beforementioned beach at 19 degrees north latitude. I hope it lasts.

From what I have seen, only 1 in 10 pass the interview, and maybe 1 in 2 that come here for a job, actually get the job. Rarely is talent the discriminating factor. The other 1 out of 2 go home, jobless.

I only recommend Chinese jobs to those that have another job that they can return to if it doesn't work out.

I just passed my last PC of this contract, and have 1 more medical left. My long term dream is just to finish this contract and get my bonus money. That is 6 months from now, and that is about as far as my "event horizon" is in China.

For now though, it is great.

Good luck to those that try. I doubt I would do it over again.
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Old 10th Dec 2011, 14:10
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USMCP thanks for your info.

Their posting states that wherever your base (commuting pilots) the company will plan for the 6 week cycle to begin and end there. I guess this will mean at least 2 pilots based at this city in order to work(?). I don't think it requires deadheading. By the way, did you mean the Chinese (pilots)"do it for free" or they (company)schedule deadheading crews for free?

I have to say that by your comments (comparing to older ones from pilots in the forum) things have improved a lot. There were complaints about compulsory pre-paying of the dump they wanted you to stay in Beijing, and money penalties for refusing or paying late, also about not paying the bonus (intentionally and ridiculously reasoned) and generally nasty comments.

It seems that although you are pointing out the bad sides, you mention nothing of the old problems, which is good. Do you get to fly business home or coach? Free all over their network or not? How do the local pilots see you? (I heard its not like KAL where they hate your guts)

Thanks again
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 02:18
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I have stayed in the Hainan Hilton at PEK many times, but I don't know much about the deal HNair expats have if they want to stay there. Prepaying or not I don't know. I did meet one expat that was actually living there. Our "deal" is that we can stay at company hotels for free if we fly that day. I have never asked any of the HN pilots about this. Sorry. I believe it costs about 170 rmb (27USD) on a daily basis.

I know that Chinese pilots at my airline don't get paid for DH, and they can do it on their day off, and the company counts it as a day off.

The rest of your questions cannot be answered honestly, by me or the agency trying to recruit you. Nobody has done it, and the details have not been worked out. And after the details have been worked out, it will change. Numerous times.

The contract agency will tell you what you want to hear, at the end of the day they are sales people.

If you are based in Seattle, some Captain will have to deadhead, either to or from Seattle. It will only be Chinese DH-ing if it benefits them. Right now the flight requency to Seattle is seasonal. Winter time 2-3 times a week, summer maybe 4 days. I asked the FA's and sometimes they spend 4 days in SEA. Usually 2.
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