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Old 6th Mar 2017, 10:38   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 426
Xiamen Air - B737 contracts

Just wondering if there are any expats flying the B737 for Xiamen who could offer some insights into what it's like flying for them. (Rosters, lifestyle etc)
Any information would be appreciated.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 12:43   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sa
Posts: 54
Decided to write a long post..
This is because I came on PPRuNe around a year and a half ago and that's where I found out about Xiamen.
But except the link to the Terms and Conditions there wasn't much info here so I just went and everything worked out great..
Now it's my time to pay back sharing some info!

About the city:

Pollution --> Look at the sky color in the pics.
Compared with the rest of Chinese cities it is very clean, not many factories in town.
(of course don't expect the same quality of air of EU/US, but compared to Beijing it's heaven.)

Ranked 2nd city for quality of life in China (look at wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiamen)

There are bike paths everywhere, very clean. Parks, you can take long walks... etc.

Expats: you can find them only in a couple of neighborhoods, it's not an international city like Shanghai or Beijing.

Cost of life:
Taxi -> 30min ride approx 5 USD
Mc Donald's meal approx 4 USD

Places to stay:

A) Straits international community (single bedroom around 800 usd/month, double bedroom 900 usd month)
Near the beach, lots of western restaurants (but price for a dinner would be around 15-20 usd), nice area, lots of expats


This is the view from an apt at 15th floor:

B) Marco polo (single bedroom around 600 usd/month, double bedroom 700 usd month)
Lots of expats, near the lake (which is not really a lake anyway), lots of western shops, more things to do compared to Straits

C) Near Tesco mall (single bedroom around 400 usd/month, double bedroom 550 usd month)
Newly built area, no expats, 5 mins from the airport, lots of western shops (mc donalds, starbucks, kfc, tesco, decathlon, everything basically)

International schools:
there are 2 of them, there is a queue to get your kids in.. So you have to sign up early.
But not much info on that (don't have any kids)

About the company:

I haven't been here long yet, but treatment from the start has been always very good.
They value pilots, always available to solve problems.
Spoke with many expats and they are very happy with the working conditions. (around 60 expats here at the moment)
Never saw that kind of attitude/enthusiasm at my last airline.

Payscales are advertised everywhere, it's the most paying job on the 737 right now.
But there are a couple of things extra which are not advertised for some reason:

1) Profit share, about 10k USD/year
2) Overnight allowance (depends on contract, from 500 to 1500 usd depending if you commute or not)
3) Resident contract (which is what I am doing): overtime is counted monthly, so if you fly more than 75 hrs a month you earn 300 usd/hr.
Average is around 100 hrs/year of overtime (30k USD more)
The payscales that you read from the agencies are all net..

So for a resident contract you are looking at 30k USD/month.

Mainly domestic but also some International destinations (Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia)
Hotels -> 5 stars everywhere, really good.
This is the hotel where you do all the groundschool in Xiamen (and also the assessment when you come over)

787 upgrade -> not advertised, nor offered at the moment.. but rumors that it will be in the future

5 free per year + 5 ID75.
This for you + wife + kids + parents.
Each of them gets 5+5 tickets

Other things to consider:

Roster 4 days ON, 2 days OFF.
Usually overnights are quite common, so expect to start on day 1 in Xiamen, then sleep 3 nights away.
Sometimes less.
Usually you will operate from a nearby airport (Fuzhou) which is a big base for them. (Hotel is really nice there)
Duty times: the really long slots that affected the operations until last year (1 hour each single and every domestic flight) are mostly gone (except Beijing and Shanghai which are overloaded).
However: it's not a walk in the park. Usually the flying days are long.
Also it takes some time to adapt, especially the first 2 weeks you will need to figure out how to use a VPN, their Uber-like taxi service app, the app to get food delivered to your door, the sim card, etc.. etc..
Anyway, for me it was a no brainer.
I was working a lot already at home.. Here I get paid the big bucks to do it!

Families: many capts choose to bring their wife here, if you are not married it's still doable but she will need to get a visa everytime.. So more complicated!

Ps: recruitment takes some time. Usually to get a response and to organize an assessment it's around 3 months.
I made some useful contacts here, so if interested in speeding up things or for first hand info on the assessment PM me!

Any additional info: kidnapper01 (at) gmail.com

Last edited by zxccxz; 20th Mar 2017 at 08:39.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 14:22   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Been around the block
Posts: 298
Finally...a positive and realistic post. Seems to be a good outfit and you seem to be integrating well. Thanks a lot for the info and the pics. Am not knocking the boys that are negative, they have their grievances and then some. I'm just glad that someone is being well compensated and treated nicely on a contract job. Especially in China.
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 05:35   #4 (permalink)

Probationary PPRuNer
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Argentina
Posts: 1
Thanks for all this information. I was trying to send you a PM but I`m not allowed right now. I`m very interested in this company, I`m currently an NG Cpt at my country`s flag airline but looking for a change (BIG change). As soon as I can solve this problem I`ll PM you.
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 12:08   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sa
Posts: 54
Hi Tom, I sent you an email through the "send an email" forum function!
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Old 19th Mar 2017, 00:48   #6 (permalink)

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Hello Guys, I am really interested in Xiamen Air, I am presently flying the 737 classic and NG as a captain in the US. Any info would be appreciated, recruitment process, medical info. etc. Thanks ([email protected])
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Old 19th Mar 2017, 04:26   #7 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: France
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zxccxz, just wanna say thank you for your post!
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Old 19th Mar 2017, 06:23   #8 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 2
Hey All,

I have an interview scheduled with Xiamen. Any gen/info would be greatly appreciated
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Old 19th Mar 2017, 11:59   #9 (permalink)

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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Xiamen
Posts: 1
Hi, just would like to help you a little bit with the screening here.
The screening falls into three parts, company sim assessment, the ATPL test and medical check.
Company sim: conducted on 737, two hours for the assessment. Don't know how to send you the checklist but if you can give me your email address I can share some materials to your

ATPL: There is a website called feizhiyi.com is reliable. It is updating on time and it's related to the CAAC. You can do pratic and simulation test on it. Cost around 33USD/30 days.

Medical: Medical is very strict here. Takes a long day to finish. The Initial check includes MRI, Treadmill, Ultrasonic(for heart, neck and stomach), ECG, EEG, Blood Urine, etc..
The same, can send you the checklist as well as the CAAC standard to ur email.

After you passed above process you will need to do one more sim check called CAAC checkride. It's another sim for getting your ATPL license.
Depends on your performance on the company evaluation, you will have 4-6 hours training before the check.

If you need more information you can contact me via email: kuitogu67@gmail.com
Will appreciate to help!

Last edited by Clairecai; 27th Mar 2017 at 16:09. Reason: Wrong type
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 14:20   #10 (permalink)

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Location: Canoas
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Hi, could you give us details about CAAC check. Many expat are failing in this fase.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 03:48   #11 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sa
Posts: 54
Hi, this check depends on the Civil aviation authority examiner.
Usually they are very similar and the airline will give you 3 days training in the simulator to prepare all the scenarios that come up at the exams.

My exam:

windshear after takeoff
engine limit - surge - stall memory items
aileron jam
RTO due engine flameout
engine failure at v1, single engine ils, go around
dual pack failure @ fl170, rapid descent to avoid cab alt >10000ft, landing xmn vor 05, engine fire during short final, land, memory items on runway, evacuate.

In my batch 5 out of 6 people passed, it's doable but of course it requires some days of study and review before showing up at the sim!
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 03:58   #12 (permalink)
Thread Starter
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Location: Australia
Posts: 426
Hi again zxccxz,

Your information has been fantastic!
Thank you so much for all the great detail you have provided.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 12:38   #13 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sa
Posts: 54
You are welcome!
If you are thinking to apply contact me at kidnapper01 (at) gmail.com, I have some good contacts here that can get you scheduled for an interview very fast..
Also got some first hand feedback about the assessments which are done montly!

Best regards
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 14:30   #14 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Singapore
Age: 32
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such a great thread this is

everyone is sharing the good stuff
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Old 1st Jun 2017, 08:07   #15 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: here
Posts: 81
��thanks for all the information
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Old 18th Jul 2017, 16:06   #16 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sa
Posts: 54
You are welcome!
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 14:10   #17 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ciudad Real, Spain
Age: 36
Posts: 14
Guys, I am doing the sim assessment in AMS at the end of the month...

Any idea what to expect ? I read a few things but mainly for the CAAC check
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Old 3rd Aug 2017, 20:19   #18 (permalink)
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all the best Ovt
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 16:17   #19 (permalink)

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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: singapore
Posts: 5
Thanks for the great feedback. Is there a ATPL theory test for the CAAC licence conversion?
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Old 9th Aug 2017, 12:35   #20 (permalink)

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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: BELGIUM
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I have a SIM check in AMS at the end of the month.
The info I had about the sim are the same info from zxccxz.
Busy for 2 hours, no time to explain or speak about your life in the box just do your job.
All the best

Last edited by flymanu; 9th Aug 2017 at 13:19.
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