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Best country in Asia to work as an Expat Pilot?

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Best country in Asia to work as an Expat Pilot?

Old 19th Jul 2019, 12:47
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Best country in Asia to work as an Expat Pilot?

hello all, this is my first post on this forum so I would just like to say a little about me. I am 31 years of age, been living in Bangkok since my early 20's and currently preparing to undergo training for my integrated ATPL in the next few years.

My question is, how difficult is it for expat pilots to find work in the Asia region? (preferably south east asia) I have met over the years many expat pilots living in Thailand but never got far enough in the conversation to ask where they were based.. Where is the best country for a newly qualified pilot to find a job in Asia?

Any help/advice on this would be greatly appreciated!

Rick.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 13:32
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If you are Thai stay in Thailand. It is a closed system where the big and sudden changes of the aviation market worldwide are somehow dampened. Airlines in Thailand are always on a rising curve, the only thing that changes is how steep is that curve.

If you are not Thai then it is more difficult, more so if you don't have experience.

The issue I see in your question is that the definition of "best country" varies greatly from one individual to another. I wouldn't mind sitting 10 months to get the JCAB license for a long term gig in Japan but others don't even want to hear about it. I am not enticed by the work ambiance and the pressure present in Korea but others carry on with it. It just depends on what you want and who you are as a pilot, which is something you still have to figure out since you are starting.

I have been an expat in Asia for almost two decades and, definitely, money is not everything for me. In my case Vietnam, Thailand or Laos would be my preferred choice, if only because people is generally speaking more open than in China or Korea. But it is just me.

PM me if you want to!
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 14:21
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The reality is, you'd be hard pressed to get an airline job as a low time foreigner in Asia unless you go down the much despised 'pay-to-fly' pathway. The expat pilots you see in Asia are those who have had a start elsewhere and come to Asia with significant flying experience. You're doing an integrated ATPL course? You need a minimum of 1500 hours to be issued with an ATPL.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 14:37
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Integrated CPL with Multi Instrument rating.

Sorry, my bad, bit of a typo there!

With regards to getting starts etc, everyone needs a start somewhere right? I would be willing to fly just about anywhere in Asia. Even China...

Rick.
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Old 19th Jul 2019, 15:01
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Originally Posted by smiling monkey View Post
The reality is, you'd be hard pressed to get an airline job as a low time foreigner in Asia unless you go down the much despised 'pay-to-fly' pathway. The expat pilots you see in Asia are those who have had a start elsewhere and come to Asia with significant flying experience. You're doing an integrated ATPL course? You need a minimum of 1500 hours to be issued with an ATPL.
Integrated CPL. Sorry, typo!

Also regarding 'starts', everyone has to start somewhere right? Maybe I would be better applying for an integrated ATPL with an airline in my home country with a guaranteed job at the end of it? I have heard that they are very competitive though..

Rick.
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Old 20th Jul 2019, 04:35
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Originally Posted by rick_wants_to_fly View Post
Integrated CPL with Multi Instrument rating.

Sorry, my bad, bit of a typo there!

With regards to getting starts etc, everyone needs a start somewhere right? I would be willing to fly just about anywhere in Asia. Even China...

Rick.
I wish you the best of luck but before you embark on a costly training program, do some research on entry level jobs. Cadet pilots at an airline would probably be the only way pilots in Asia get straight in to an airline after completing training for a basic CPL with multi-IR. However, cadet pilot programs are usually only offered to nationals, although Singapore Airlines might be opening up to non-nationals from what I hear.

Airlines in China have a large pool of national FO's from their own cadet pilot programs and will not take on an expat FO, except in exceptional circumstances (I only know of one guy who was a foreign instructor working in China and was offered a job at an airline 10 years ago. He was fluent in Chinese and may have had a Chinese wife as well). China does recruit expat Captains of course but all have had extensive experience as Captains before arriving in China. Don't want to disappoint you, but this is the reality of the industry. You'll need to do more of your own research in to this.
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Old 20th Jul 2019, 05:52
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Originally Posted by rick_wants_to_fly View Post
Integrated CPL with Multi Instrument rating.

Sorry, my bad, bit of a typo there!

With regards to getting starts etc, everyone needs a start somewhere right? I would be willing to fly just about anywhere in Asia. Even China...

Rick.
If you are an expat but happens to be fluent in Thai (spoken and written) and hold any sort of long term visa to stay in Thailand at this moment you hold a much greater chance to be hired in Thailand as a cadet than in China and the rest of the region for that matter. I don't know how long will take you to finish your initial training but it sounds like a good idea to me to start making contact now with airlines in the country to let them know that you will be available.
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 04:49
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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Expat Pilot

Hello Guys, I am ATR 72 Cap --TT 3600 and PIC 1600. Is there any chance in asia to get a jet position without jet time?
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 12:10
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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As an SO yes. A few mobs in HKG do NTR 320 FO .
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 14:56
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Originally Posted by alfaro View Post
Hello Guys, I am ATR 72 Cap --TT 3600 and PIC 1600. Is there any chance in asia to get a jet position without jet time?

Contact Hong Kong Express. They would surely be interested in hiring you.
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 19:54
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Thanks, I'll try HKG
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 04:26
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Join Date: Aug 2019
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Some information would help.
What passport do you hold?
What licenses do you have?
How many hours do you have?

An ugly truth, correct me if im wrong. There is no such thing as "expat life" for in experienced (perhaps even experienced) FOs.

The aviation world isnt short of pilots, they are short of captains, ie. PIC. So without leverage, a FO is fortunate enough to get a job on a jet. Even that is hard enough, ATPL is pretty useless without 1500hrs; type rating is pretty useless without 500hrs on type; hours are pretty much useless without hrs on multi-crew aircraft.

See the dilemma there? How to get hrs on multi-crew without experience, then how to get jet hours without being on multi, etc.

Have you tried applying for cadet in your "passport" country? I know some countries only hire fresh out of college cadets, in my country for example, we accept up applicants up to 32 years old, infact my classmate was 35 by the time he completed him whole training and checked out as a first officer.
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