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The world of contracting?

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The world of contracting?

Old 12th Sep 2021, 09:52
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The world of contracting?

Just wondering if someone could fill me in on the pitfalls of a contracting career?

I've been at a legacy airline for 20 years, as a current 747 driver, and moving across into the contracting world.

Any advice, pros/cons, would be very much appreciated!
Flying Clog is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2021, 10:28
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
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Taxation. You need a seriously good accountant, if possible - one who has prior or current experience dealing with contractor pilots. Ask around the pilot community of your country, there are always those one or two accountants who pilots refer to one another as well-versed in the subject.
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Old 12th Sep 2021, 16:08
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Taxation, expenses, downtime, sickdays, holidays etc all unpaid, Depending on the contract you may need to pay your own medicals etc. and get personal indemnity insurance if the client decides you are the fall-guy.
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Old 12th Sep 2021, 22:55
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Join Date: Dec 2002
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Been consulting in the aviation sector (not as a pilot) for 20 years.

Get a decent overdraft facility NOW, before you launch into a consulting role because the issue is not revenue it is cash flow.
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Old 13th Sep 2021, 11:19
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Realize you're the first to go in a down-turn. Job security is non-existant.
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Old 13th Sep 2021, 12:30
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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what is the job security in aviation?
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Old 13th Sep 2021, 12:38
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As Jetstream pointed out, make sure you have looked hard at professional indemnity insurance. It is a specialist area, and the Companies that issue it are there to make money. They are not there for You!

Know and understand the risks you might be taking, and get fully insured for liabilities you might stumble over!
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Old 13th Sep 2021, 20:30
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You could always fall back on the hgv driving at 8000 a month ?
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Old 15th Sep 2021, 08:02
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Does anyone have any experience with setting up a limited company to operate as a contractor in Europe? I've heard good things about Malta...
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Old 15th Sep 2021, 09:01
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I heard that in Malta you don't pay taxes on income not remitted to a Maltese bank account. That sure make things interesting.
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Old 15th Sep 2021, 13:41
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Flying Clog

Not saying I wouldn't do the same...

When our companies flag out and get rid of us, we get upset and throw the toys out of the cot.
When we get the opportunity to flag ourselves out, hey why not...!?

Be careful what you wish for.
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Old 15th Sep 2021, 14:26
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The way it works is that you only pay 5% in malta as long as you are a foreign national with a foreign address and a locally registered LTD address.
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Old 15th Sep 2021, 15:03
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and you’d then have to pay the rest in your country of residence. Yes that’s how the tax system actually works. Good luck
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Old 15th Sep 2021, 19:36
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Join Date: Mar 1999
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There's got to be more to this story, you do know that the vast majority of contract pilots are currenty grounded with their career in ruins, right?

The second answer is that, in normal times, contracting entirely and completely depends on the contract. Are you talking about contracting for a state owned airline in China? Contracting for a financially insecure startup in India? Or talking about flying in Europe and seeking to minimize your taxes through contracting?
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Old 16th Sep 2021, 13:04
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Plenty of contracting jobs for current 747 pilots at the moment. Passenger ops, and/or non-current pilots, not so much unfortunately. The one I'm specifically looking at is Euro based, and I live in Europe.
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 17:02
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Anyone else care to chime in?

Looking forward to more info regarding operating your own business, as a consultant, providing your services to an airline in Europe.

I've personally been in a toxic spiral of doom for 20 years operating as a mercenary for Cathay Pacific, and very much relishing the opportunity to branch of as a free lancer, or indeed, to leave aviation completely, as it's such a pain in the arse now.

But I'm a one trick pony, so one last push to have a nice 747 flying job, and if that doesn't work out I'll bin it and find another trade.

So anyone with any tips operating as a contractor/freelance pilot, it would be very much appreciated.

For info - I'm a 20 year 747 captain with a legacy, completely fed up with being treat like rubbish by management, quite happy to throw in the towel and go and drive a lorry or get into trading etc., but lazy, so wouldn't mind flying a bit more as it's good money. The Asian approach to the bat flu has pushed me over the edge in terms of the quality of life vs money balance.
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 17:20
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Go to AAI or Aerotranscargo. These two gigs make large use of contractors. I have a few friends at AAI and they're happy.
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 18:47
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Thought you had a 50/hour truck driving job lined up before you'd even passed your tests Clog?


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Old 20th Sep 2021, 16:51
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Thank you for your passive aggressive response sorvad. But I might as well carry on flying as I'm a one trick pony and there's plenty of jobs for current queen drivers, no point squandering my skill, so the truck driving is going on the back burner.

I'll give it one more go with an outfit that hopefully isn't as toxic as Cathay, and if that doesn't pan out, I'm out of this crap industry.

But thanks for asking!
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Old 20th Sep 2021, 16:53
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Banana Joe - AAI is rubbish money and your treat like dirt if your not Icelandic. The guys I know at Aerotranscargo aren't happy either.

The best gigs at the moment are Aerologic, ASL and Cargolux.
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