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Stay away from Air China

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Stay away from Air China

Old 9th May 2013, 15:11
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: China
Age: 52
Posts: 2
Stay away from Air China

Hi guys,

First and most importantly:

Stay away from Air China

From a long timer in Air China A330 fleet and desperate to leave ....

There used to be good reasons to join Air China :
Stable rosters
Home bases at home, YVR , SYD , MEL, LHR, FRA, FCO, DUS, MXP, now GVA, MAD
Many days OFF
Good salary
International Flights only


It changed a lot in the past year
B777 has taken over FRA , CDG and LHR, sometimes SYD on a temporary basis
Rosters change more than they used to
Days OFF reduce to minimum
Pilots removed from home base with a day notice
A lot of unnecessary days in Beijing
Many domestic flights in the wrong time zone
Harassment from the management
Block times cheated on the payroll
Medical issues every 6 months, 2 to 3 pilots loose their medical on silly reasons
Pilots injured during medical checks such as angiograms
Air China and the brokers refuse to deliver No accident/ No incident letters prior to resignation, which makes leaving very difficult
Payroll issues.


From the NTR side, the only guys who joined recently from A320 , have been based in Beijing with minimum days OFF, with a promise of a European base that will never happen on A330 for 2 reasons, the first one being that Air China A330 will operate more and more domestic flights, and the second is that all bases are more than full despite the brokers and Air China constant lies.
Money is still good, but flying with Air China has been the most challenging job I have ever had to do, taking into account the overall local pilots professional standard, the huge delays we face on domestic flights, and it has never been so boring and lonely despite all efforts .
From the type rated guys, no overseas base has any available spot, therefore they are being based in Beijing until further notice
Now, the brokers will lure applicants with promises, they will be unable to take Air China accountable for. They are just there to take your money and leave you hopeless, whoever they are, topflight, Parc, Brookfield, they are all in bed with Air China


Regarding, the medical, well, it' s a Russian roulette every 6 months, you can loose your job without any income protection for obscur reasons, just because they can. It's very insecure
We loose pilots every 3 months, sometimes temporarily as they keep fighting the system, but an average of 2 pilots would loose their Chinese license permanently.

On the license side, be very careful because Once you do the interview with Air China, Air China will own your Chinese ATPL, and if you want to change to CSN , or Hainan, or ces, or Sichuan, they or you will have to pay a fee for transfer around 10000 USD up to 25000 USD.

Anybody can say, I' m wrong, I only see the dark sides of this contract, But there are good perks.
Salary
Expat pilots community in Beijing
Shopping
No fuel stress, as we never land with less than 3 hours fuel in tanks
No pressure to be on time

You have been warned
DragonBus is offline  
Old 9th May 2013, 18:48
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: USA-China
Age: 53
Posts: 207
And THAT sums it up!
JotaJota is offline  
Old 9th May 2013, 21:42
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Nowhere and All Over
Posts: 44
It seems to be the Chinese way for everything. A friend of mine was promised a teaching job with free housing, free airline tickets. 1 month prior to starting the job, he was notified that the flat promised to him was given away, he has to sign a (written in Chinese langage) rent outside, and only 1000$ allocated for the airline ticket which cost about 1600 $.

He resigned the job before he started, as more teaching duties were assigned to him without preparation, of course without a salary adjustment.

You are warned.
BayBong is offline  
Old 9th May 2013, 21:52
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Definitely an interesting thread guys/ gals,

I am Not a contract pilot and I don't claim to know a lot about the contract world. I fly for an airline directly, but this thread is definitely a good read. Many years ago, the airline I was flying for shut-down. A lot of us were left scrambling to find work. Parc aviation was the only company that flew out to meet us and offer their services for possible over seas contract work. From what I can remember the Parc Recruiters put on a great presentation. Lucky enough, most local airlines were hiring, and most of us stayed in Canada with the exception of a few that went to the sandbox or did contract work to stay in the left seat on type. One thing that comes to mind after reading this thread is, the lack of Pilot Representation. It seems to me that theses airlines in China Etc, wouldn't be contracting out for pilot services unless they really had too. Ie, pilot shortage for Captains and some f/o. If this is the case, correct me if I'm wrong, you guys/ gals have the upper hand. No? You have the experience and the pilot licence. The Carrier is simply renting your experience and most importantly renting your licence for a period of time i.e 1-5 yr. contracts. It boggles me why some of you are getting for the better lack of terms, "screwed" by the carrier or agent. Why don't you Epats demand a third party to hold a lump-some of money 20-30 thousand US dollars retention money from the agent before any contract is signed so you can afford to bail and get back home just in case the carrier or the agent decided not fulfill the contract. Subject to be returned to the agent when the contract is fulfilled and complete. It sounds like some carriers are praying on some, with no way out. This should not be happening in this day in age, and theses company's should be Black Balled from the contract pilot community. Just my thoughts. I look forward to your comments, fly safe.
737_driver is offline  
Old 10th May 2013, 01:13
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Over the Pacific mostly
Posts: 1,002
It seems to me that theses airlines in China Etc, wouldn't be contracting out for pilot services unless they really had too. Ie, pilot shortage for Captains and some f/o. If this is the case, correct me if I'm wrong, you guys/ gals have the upper hand. No? You have the experience and the pilot licence. The Carrier is simply renting your experience and most importantly renting your licence for a period of time i.e 1-5 yr. contracts. It boggles me why some of you are getting for the better lack of terms, "screwed" by the carrier or agent
Simple, for every pilot that gets screwed, there are 20 that don't seem to be having such a terrible time in that said company, so 20 others apply hoping that they fall into that group!
The Dominican is offline  
Old 10th May 2013, 07:37
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Skull Island
Posts: 931
fish

Yep that seems to be the reason why all right. luckily I managed to avoid the need to go there. Hope the same for others unless you need the big money I guess.
kwaiyai is offline  
Old 10th May 2013, 09:17
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: RIGHT SIDE OF GOD
Posts: 29
Just a question.
How do the locals get around their medicals ? Is it Russian roulette for them as well.
BECMG is offline  
Old 10th May 2013, 09:52
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OLD RED DAMASK
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Lancashire born. In Cebu now
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Pilots injured during medical checks such as angiograms
As an SLF and someone who has had two heart attacks, two angioplasties and 5 angiograms. I find it incredulous that a medical should include such a procedure. It should never be done as a "matter of course". The dangers of moving a small clot are very high, this can result in brain damage or actually induce an MI.
lasernigel is offline  
Old 10th May 2013, 12:02
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: home
Posts: 339
TIC baby, TIC.
Lying and cheating is like breathing to the Chinese, unfortunately there will always be the heroes that think it won't happen to them because they learn to say knee how and get a Chinese girlfriend, so there will always be suckers willing to go like lemmings.
Enjoy being a third class citizen and breathing poison
airdualbleedfault is offline  
Old 10th May 2013, 15:36
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 4,683
airdualbleedfault

It's Ni Hao; do learn to spell it correctly.
Fareastdriver is offline  
Old 10th May 2013, 20:02
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: In the air
Posts: 4
Well,
It is not always as good as it sounds in the ad. Be careful when you sign the contract and read the fine print.
Sceptical23 is offline  
Old 11th May 2013, 02:17
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: china
Age: 56
Posts: 324
The local pilots lose their medicals just as often. When you fly for a Chinese airline you become part of their system.

Half way through my 2 year contract our "handler" sent us an email saying we were going to have to work hard because they were short of Captains. 39 out of 150 local Captains were Med down. The average age was probably 30-32.

Fat liver, sludgy gall bladder, nonexistent kidney stones, nonexistent brain tumors. Heart rate too low for those of us who run, Blood pressure too high when the the velcro is worn out on the BP cuff and they tell you to "hold it in place please".
USMCProbe is offline  
Old 11th May 2013, 06:28
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: home
Posts: 339
Fareastdriver, do learn some humour
airdualbleedfault is offline  
Old 11th May 2013, 07:30
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 86
Copied from the Terms & Endearment thread on Air China A320-330 Ccq-

Pic 2 is a cruise captain. The first A320-330 Ccq guys are now online and logging relief time. Read this as- an occasional takeoff/ landing, all the undesireable back of clock cruise segments, in a smoking non english speaking cockpit. This will last for a minimum of 12 months (by regulator decree) and you join the queue with the locals also waiting for upgrade.

Any base that is on offer now is highly likely to be closed within 12 months. CA have a poor track record on base stability, separate threads describe this accurately.

You will be unpaid for an indefinite period every year or two as the medical system does its best to rid the airline of foreigners. Or you may be terminated. Do not expect any leniancy on your outstanding bond should the latter occur. Again, separate threads describe this accurately.

In summary, were you to join the program now, in 12 months you would have 500 hours copilot time on the 330, have lost all recency on your last type, still be based in Pek for an indefinite period, you'll have an A330 rating on a non- Icao license and an outstanding bond amount. In addition, should you try to leave within four years you will not receive the required non accident/ no incident letter. You will effectively have become a mainland Chinese pilot with all the rights they enjoy and a contractor with the stability that contracting offers.

Still sound to good to be true?
Outtahere is offline  
Old 11th May 2013, 12:04
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 149
Thanks for the advice. It confirms what my friends say: stay away from CHINA. All airlines!
FBW390 is offline  
Old 11th May 2013, 13:09
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 4,683
airdualbleedfault

Sorry; I thought it was.
Fareastdriver is offline  
Old 12th May 2013, 13:54
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nowhere near Shinbone Waterhole
Posts: 201
Too many mates of mine have gone to China only to be screwed.

Good advice DB.
mikedreamer787 is offline  
Old 12th May 2013, 14:59
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PBY
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Around the corner
Posts: 172
I worked in China too. Read all the books on culture, learned some of the language. The longer I stayed the more disgusted I became. No thread can really describe how bad it is there. Young chinese pilots are often chain smoker with high blood pressure, passing medical by paying money to doctors. To be succesful in China, you have to live the chinese way, and that is really disgusting. No more for me. But if you are short of money and need to fix that, you can survive one year. The good thing about this experience is that no matter where you go after that, you will feel like you are in paradise (never been to middle east, so I cannot compare with that).
PBY is offline  
Old 13th May 2013, 10:10
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South of N9000'.0
Posts: 242
Pilots injured during medical checks such as angiograms
BTW...that was a permanent injury - life threatening - caused to an otherwise healthy pilot!

Last edited by PappyJ; 13th May 2013 at 10:11.
PappyJ is offline  

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