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Here come the Chinese, Next is Australia and beyond!

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Here come the Chinese, Next is Australia and beyond!

Old 28th Feb 2012, 11:54
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Here come the Chinese, Next is Australia and beyond!

Chinese airlines lure US pilots tired of waiting to be captain

Kent John Krizman has spent 13 years as a co-pilot at American Airlines. For a chance to move across the cockpit, he's ready to take a job in China.
"I should be flying as a captain," said the 52-year-old San Francisco resident, who has 20,000 hours' experience in jet planes. Promotion won't happen for at least five more years at American, while in China it could occur straightaway, he said. He and his wife "are all set to go," he said.

Krizman was one of about 550 pilots who attended a China job fair in Miami last week, as first officers find fewer chances for promotion in the US because of slower airline growth and captains retiring later. There are jobs available in China, where a surging economy and a fleet expected to grow 11 percent a year through 2015, according to government forecasts, is creating a need for experienced crewmembers.

"Everyone is facing a pilot shortage," said Shen Wei, head of pilot recruitment at Shanghai-based budget carrier Spring Airlines. "Foreign pilots are the quickest option."

To help lure overseas crew members, Spring Air pays foreign pilots 30 per cent more than domestic staff, Shen said, without elaboration.
Air China, the nation's largest international carrier, was offering $US198,000 ($A184,000) a year net plus bonuses for Airbus A330 pilots, according to an advertisement on the website of Wasinc International, the recruitment company that helped run the job fair. During the two-day Miami event, which featured about a dozen Chinese airlines, about 70 pilots got provisional job offers, said Scott Snow, a spokesman.

Doubled pay
Roger Grant, an American Airlines co-pilot, said in Miami that he may be able to about double his salary by moving to China and becoming a captain. He also said a move may offer better long-term prospects.

"I've been worried about the direction that the pilot career has been taking," said the 45-year-old, who lives in Boynton Beach, Florida, with his wife and 7-year-old daughter. Workers across the industry are "getting punished" for mistakes made by major airlines, he said.

It's easier for first officers to become captains in China than the US because of demand rather than lower requirements, said Li Yanhua, an associate professor at Tianjin-based Civil Aviation University of China. Air-traffic controllers in China are already required to speak English, in line with global standards.

China demand
Nationwide, the number of pilots in China needs to rise to 40,000 from 24,000 in the five years ending 2015, according to a statement posted on the website of the Civil Aviation Administration of China. There are about 1700 foreign pilots working in the country, according to Spring Air's Shen. Calls to the CAAC went unanswered.

China Southern Airlines, the nation's biggest carrier, is looking to hire 725 pilots this year, including 100 from overseas, it said by e-mail. It employs 4400 pilots. Air China intends to recruit 600 pilots this year, including as many foreigners as possible, it said. The Beijing-based airline has 46 foreign pilots, or less than 2 percent of its roster.

In the US, first officers are finding it more difficult to get promotions as an increase in the mandatory retirement age for captains to 65 from 60 creates a logjam at the top of chain, said Kit Darby, who runs a pilot-hiring and compensation consulting firm in Peachtree City, Georgia.

Pilots who have been promoted at major US carriers are unlikely to leave as even junior captains earn $US12,700 per month on average, plus benefits such as pensions that can boost the package by 40 per cent, he said. Moving to China may appeal to the 4 per cent of the country's 90,000 pilots that are on furloughs, he said.

"To the furloughed or unemployed pilot an overseas job looks pretty good," he said.

Regional carriers
Pilots at US regional carriers, which fly smaller planes on short-haul routes, have also been caught by the retirement slowdown as they lose opportunities to move to better-paid positions flying larger models at a major airline.
Tony Giraldo, 51, for instance, said he has spent 15 years flying "numerous hours on the same equipment with no chance for an upgrade" at American Eagle, which ferries passengers from smaller cities to American Airlines' airport hubs. He was considering a move to China as it offers "bigger aircraft and new possibilities," he said.

Some American Airlines pilots recently were promoted to captain, 14 years after being hired, the carrier said. The wait for advancement was five years in the growth period of the 1980s and as long as two decades a few years ago, said Sam Mayer, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association union.
AMR bankruptcy

The November bankruptcy filing by AMR Corporation, the Fort Worth, Texas-based parent of American Airlines and American Eagle, also spurred Giraldo to consider opportunities elsewhere, he said. Krizman, the American co-pilot, similarly said that concerns about Chapter 11 had "refocused my efforts" to look overseas.

American, which has a hub in Miami, wants to cut 400 pilot jobs as part of bankruptcy restructuring, as well as terminating pensions and outsourcing more flying to other carriers.

The carrier's pilots "will remain highly compensated" even after the proposed changes, said Bruce Hicks, a company spokesman. American crew members "have long been among the best compensated in the industry," he said.
China is stepping up pilot training to help meet demand. The Civil Aviation Flight University of China, the country's biggest training provider, plans to accept 2,400 cadets this year, 33 per cent more than last year, it said in e-mailed reply to questions.

Using domestic pilots is simpler for Chinese airlines as there are some restrictions on foreigners flying domestic services, largely because the military controls much of the airspace, said Spring Air's Shen.

"The boom in foreign pilots coming to China may only last a few years," he said. "When we have more choice in the future, I will prefer our own pilots."

Source: Chinese airlines lure US pilots tired of waiting to be captain
paulftw is offline  
Old 19th Jul 2012, 14:54
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Thats a pretty bad idea, jumping ship at AA to move to China. Might be something better to do while on leave from AA, check it out, (make sure you pass everything), and THEN leave.

Or just jump blindly.
Bolshevik is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2012, 01:34
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: USA-China
Age: 53
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Never jump ship if you have a sen # in d states. In China you are one medical or sim ride away from being unemployed...

If you can take a leave, then go taste the chow mien, it's well worth it. But I would not resign my US seniority for a job in China, as I did not!
JotaJota is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2012, 04:16
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I don't get this at all, every single advertised job with a Chinese airline that I've ever seen ever, requires a minimum of 500 PIC on type.

How are these Yank FO's just bailing out from their RHS, and going and getting instant commands in China?

Which airlines do this?
Luke SkyToddler is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2012, 08:39
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I can't say for sure, but I have seen in the past that very high time and experience F/O's are hired as "senior" first officers and then upgraded in 6 months or 500hrs in country which ever comes first.
sky jet is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2012, 11:23
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...which is then followed by a minimum of 6 months line training with a local trainer.
All upgraded pilots go through it...
de facto is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2012, 10:57
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LOA best thing going!

Kept my #
mach92 is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2012, 15:27
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Definitely DO NOT resign as previous posters have said, you are only 1 medical or 1 sim check or 1 QAR event away from being unemployed in China. China is red hot for typed Captains with 300 hours PIC in type. To answer previous posters question, many of the FOs at American, and other majors have flown as PIC at previous carriers in their previous careers even though they are now FOs. The experience level to get to a major Airline job in the states is quite high and many pilots have thousands of hours of PIC in Boeing and Airbus aircraft along with their current experiece as Boeing and Airbus pilots at Major Airlines. China is definitely not for everybody, but for single pilots, empty nesters or very young families a 3 year contract making 200K per year and getting 90-120 days off per year to travel around Asia might just be what the Doctor ordered to get away from the Rat race and sit out a bankruptcy cycle for a 3 year stint in Asia
WYOMINGPILOT is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2012, 12:16
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Sorry to jump in guys, do these comments relate to the contract offered with a base in Europe/USA/Middle East.. as well?
I was just looking at some direct entry capt. A330 from A320 contracts with the option of the above mentioned bases..anyone has experience with this?
Seems extremely good to be true, money is also around 200k per year..and based (almost) at home!
bringbackthe80s is offline  

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