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DEC in Asia / China

Old 4th Dec 2018, 07:56
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Europe
Age: 37
Posts: 8
DEC in Asia / China

Hi y’all!!

I am a European based captain with an (English) low cost airline and had enough of them and the Northern European weather ;-)!!

Just being back from a nice holiday in Thailand, and having spend a month in Vietnam some years ago as well I am very interested to turn my life around and move to Asia.

This would be emigrating WITH the family and therefor not looking for some kind of commuting contract.

Some info about myself, 35 yrs old, married, 1 kid together aged 3, 1 kid from my wifes previous relationship aged 13.
Either the move is with all 4 or otherwise without the oldest may he decide he doesn’t want to.
Currently Captain on A320 series, about 8000TT, 2500PIC.

I hope to hear from you guys out there what to expect, what to think of before making the ‘plunge’.
How is expat life out there where ever you are? How is it for the wifes and kids? How about school (quality)?

And ofcourse, how are the contracts? You got direct contracts, agency? How are the salaries? How is stafftravel?

I might be interested into trying long haul. Anyone who works for company that flies longhaul or perhaps short and longhaul. Possibilites to upgrade to the longhaul fleet after some time.

How is the selection process? And how ‘heavy’ is the medical? Heared about that they even note if tattoos are there? Are they a problem?

Hope to hear from you guys out there!
Either public or private msg, all extremely welcome!!


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AirbuzHamster is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2018, 11:36
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Domaine de la Romanee-Conti
Posts: 1,680
You'll find it very hard in Vietnam to have a decent standard of living and pay the school fees for 2 kids, on an A320 captain salary, at any of the 3 main airlines. I did it for the first seven years I was here, during which time the school fees have nearly doubled, with no pay rise from the company. I finally yielded to the inevitable last year and sent the family home, and went onto a part time commuting contract.

Here's the fee page for the main British school in Ho Chi Minh, you're looking at near $50,000 worth of fees per annum for the two kids, once your little one starts. https://img.nordangliaeducation.com/...-2018-2019.pdf
Luke SkyToddler is offline  
Old 4th Dec 2018, 13:13
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ziltoidia... indeed'd.
Posts: 351
Hi Mr. Hamster,



From how you sound in your post it seems to me that you haven't been thinking about this long, otherwise most of your questions would have been answered already, i.e. "direct with airline or contract", "how are the medicals", "staff travel", "career progression", etc... Nothing wrong with that, at all. It is just that moving to Asia is about more than the salary or quality of schools, is about being in a place where, maybe, you just don't count as an individual or a professional. It is about living in your bubble, half of it by your own choice, the other half because you are not really wanted out of it.

I'm not trying to discourage you, but to make you realize that checking the T&C's doesn't even cover 10% of what the change is going to be, and you sound a bit oblivious about what will really involve moving here. I'm entering my 15th year living in South East Asia with my family, and I have seen many fine professionals giving up on this region after only a couple of years, and that was while being in higher payed positions than me or other long time stayers, so it is not all about the money.

Be ready not to be considered as part of the team, while being expected to accept it with a smile because "you have to understand that you are not one of us". Be ready to be lied, gaslighted, manipulated, being told half truths, all this being part of the normal routine of social relations here. Be ready to be attacked just for displaying an opinion different from that of the attacker, be ready to survive in a world where losing face is just not an option, no matter what the implications. Be ready to share your everyday activities and routines with people who don't know anything other than "the survival of the fittest". Be ready, in short, to leave not your own country, but the very set or rules that have governed your life for the last 35 years, down to the core.

If you plan to come here for just a couple of years then use all the money available to enjoy those years as a kind of tourist, "scratching" the surface of this part of the world. There is plenty to enjoy and you'll remember it as quite an experience. However, if you plan to stay longer, start by questioning how much of yourself you are willing to let go or transform so you can fit in this society. Sounds very philosophical, but the truth is that, despite the behaviours described above, I have met expats living here for way longer than me, many of them very wise people. If I had to describe them in a few words I'd say that they are people who, from the first moment, didn't judge this place, just accepted it as it came to them. Some of them live like locals and some others drive fancy cars, but all of them are defined by that same quality.

If you need more info, or another "coming of age" speech send me a PM.
iggy is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2018, 10:42
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posts: 63
Iggy,
That is a perfect explanation/description of being an expat in Asia. Well done!!
Gray 14 is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2018, 10:58
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Domaine de la Romanee-Conti
Posts: 1,680
Jeez it's just a job. If you are a complete aerosexual who spends all his working life obsessing over ops manuals, comparing standards in your new job to your old job, and spends his days off hanging out with pilots drinking with pilots bitching about pilot stuff, then these kind of third world contract jobs will drive you up the wall very quick.

If you recognize it for what it is, aim to be the best and safest captain you can be in your own aircraft and don't care about what "they" do, make a conscious effort to NOT bring work home with you, don't touch management or instructing jobs with a 40 foot pole, cultivate a circle of non-pilot friends, enjoy the benefits of expat life in your new country, while also getting back to your home country as often as possible, you'll stay grounded.

It won't change you "down to the core" unless you let it.
Luke SkyToddler is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2018, 12:50
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: uae
Posts: 2,661
How true Luke ! Some need to get a life !
fatbus is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2018, 13:21
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: uae
Posts: 2,661
How true Luke ! Some need to get a life !
fatbus is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2018, 20:42
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: espana
Posts: 20
It’s just a job and get a life...no truer words!
camper is offline  
Old 5th Dec 2018, 23:37
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: earth
Posts: 152
Originally Posted by iggy View Post
Hi Mr. Hamster,



From how you sound in your post it seems to me that you haven't been thinking about this long, otherwise most of your questions would have been answered already, i.e. "direct with airline or contract", "how are the medicals", "staff travel", "career progression", etc... Nothing wrong with that, at all. It is just that moving to Asia is about more than the salary or quality of schools, is about being in a place where, maybe, you just don't count as an individual or a professional. It is about living in your bubble, half of it by your own choice, the other half because you are not really wanted out of it.

I'm not trying to discourage you, but to make you realize that checking the T&C's doesn't even cover 10% of what the change is going to be, and you sound a bit oblivious about what will really involve moving here. I'm entering my 15th year living in South East Asia with my family, and I have seen many fine professionals giving up on this region after only a couple of years, and that was while being in higher payed positions than me or other long time stayers, so it is not all about the money.

Be ready not to be considered as part of the team, while being expected to accept it with a smile because "you have to understand that you are not one of us". Be ready to be lied, gaslighted, manipulated, being told half truths, all this being part of the normal routine of social relations here. Be ready to be attacked just for displaying an opinion different from that of the attacker, be ready to survive in a world where losing face is just not an option, no matter what the implications. Be ready to share your everyday activities and routines with people who don't know anything other than "the survival of the fittest". Be ready, in short, to leave not your own country, but the very set or rules that have governed your life for the last 35 years, down to the core.

If you plan to come here for just a couple of years then use all the money available to enjoy those years as a kind of tourist, "scratching" the surface of this part of the world. There is plenty to enjoy and you'll remember it as quite an experience. However, if you plan to stay longer, start by questioning how much of yourself you are willing to let go or transform so you can fit in this society. Sounds very philosophical, but the truth is that, despite the behaviours described above, I have met expats living here for way longer than me, many of them very wise people. If I had to describe them in a few words I'd say that they are people who, from the first moment, didn't judge this place, just accepted it as it came to them. Some of them live like locals and some others drive fancy cars, but all of them are defined by that same quality.

If you need more info, or another "coming of age" speech send me a PM.
Very well stated, and very true.

Be careful what you wish for.
Black Crow is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2018, 05:04
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Here
Posts: 949
Do not come to fly in Asia unless your unemployed or where you currently work is terrible. Give up a good job at your own risk.
BAe 146-100 is online now  
Old 6th Dec 2018, 06:46
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: hang on let me check
Posts: 622
The problem with asking these kind of things on here is that you’ll get answers mostly from people disillusioned and unhappy with their situation, not necessarily integrated in the country they ‘re in.
No offence to anyone intended.

Also, those who have been abroad for a bit may not be aware of what the scheduling at European short haul airlines have become, especially LCC.
The only real option is going part time (in your 30s!).

All of this to say that you should choose wisely not only the company but the country you want to move to, especially with wife and kids. Asia is a BIG continent, the difference between countries is like day and night.

If you do your research properly and find a good option for your condition and desired lifestyle then go for it, you only live once. I have many happy friends flying in Asia and no one of them would even consider 95% of the jobs in Europe.

Good luck and choose carefully.

Last edited by bringbackthe80s; 6th Dec 2018 at 08:43.
bringbackthe80s is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2018, 11:59
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Here
Posts: 949
Having flown in 3 airlines in Asia I’d beg to differ, lifestyle yes I may agree, quality of operation and environment not.
BAe 146-100 is online now  
Old 6th Dec 2018, 22:06
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Out of a Suitcase
Posts: 154
Never give up a stable job in your home country to become an Expat.

( Worked 8 years in Asia )
Eric Janson is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2018, 20:14
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Here and there
Posts: 76
"Just being back from a nice holiday in Thailand, and having spend a month in Vietnam some years ago as well I am very interested to turn my life around and move to Asia."

Here lies the big difference: being somewhere on holiday goes nowhere near where your problems might be... It might be funny that the taxi driver or waiter misunderstands every word you say, but it wears you down quite quickly once you realise that there is no way back, you do not have a job back home... I was in Vietnam for a bit more than 3 years. I enjoyed every minute of my time there, had no problems with ops or the colleagues. I still miss it 5 years on, but I would not go back from my current job. I am happy I went, as the experience cleared the "bigger shiny jet the better" and "I have to join a flag carrier" syndrome out of my system. If you can go on unpaid leave for at least a year, you might want to try nevertheless. Do not go for less than a year as for a few month, due to the new circumstances, even the dark side of the Moon might seem better than where you are now.

Iggy is a wise man, listen to what he has to say!
seventhreedriver is offline  
Old 8th Dec 2018, 20:56
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: FL510
Posts: 910
Exactly my experience.
safelife is offline  

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