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View Full Version : Ethiopian

10-23-2010, 04:01 PM
Anyone worked for Ethiopian????? Good Bad or Ugly!!!! Thinking about going over for a short term contract just curious. I have NO information about the company, country and how expats are treated. Any and all info would be GREAT!!!!


10-23-2010, 11:15 PM
Anyone worked for Ethiopian????? Good Bad or Ugly!!!! Thinking about going over for a short term contract just curious. I have NO information about the company, country and how expats are treated. Any and all info would be GREAT!!!!


What airplane?

I've heard they work pretty hard.

Addis is a non-radar airport at over 7000 feet above sea level. Some higher "hills" northwest of the airport. It's a pretty challenging place to fly in and out of, especially when there is weather around. One advantage of the altitude is you're above the malaria zone.

The Ethiopian pilots we have at my company are all pretty competent aviators and good guys to fly with.


10-24-2010, 06:51 AM
I'm working there on the 757 / 767, so I'll give you what I know.

Ethiopian Airlines has been consistently profitable for several years, including 2008 which I'm told was the worst of recent memory for the airlines. They are currently in expansion mode, adding 737NGs (700 and 800s) and taking delivery of the first of 5 B777s in October, and the first of 10 B787s start arriving in May 2011. They are hiring captains for all fleet types, Q400, B737, MD11 and B757/767. Training seems to take 5-6 weeks on average.

The Pay:

B757/767 $7,000 a month. B737 $6,500 a month. Not sure about the other fleets.
Per Diem $60 a day for every day you are not on Guaranteed Days Off. You work 42 days and get 12 GDOs, so you can expect an average of 24 days per diem per month @ $60 a day for about $1440 a month.
Housing allowance of $1250 in local currency.
Overtime. The max flight time is 110 a month here, and they would love to have us fly that much (or more!). Overtime is paid over 80 hours a month at 1/80th of the monthly base. Lots of guys are flying over 100 hours a month.


The company puts you in a hotel for the first 30 days, and then after that you are on your own. Lots of guys are getting together to rent a large and modern western style house. They get a driver with a car, a couple maids and a security guard (labor is extremely cheap here) and end up paying $400 a month each. Everything else here is very cheap as well. Guys are living off their housing allowance and still taking some of it home every month. The problem with getting an apartment or a house is that electric and water is very unreliable. It is quite frustrating to not be able to get a shower before going to work, or have to pack for a flight using a flashlight. Some guys are living in local hotels (which have backup generators and big water tanks) which obviously eats up all the housing allowance.

The Flying.

I can only speak for the 767. There is lots of variety with 58 destinations in the system. Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia. Only one daily flight to the USA (IAD through FCO) on the 767, and it will go to the B777 in December. Most overnights are 24 hours and the hotels are generally 5 star category with breakfast included, but not always. The cabin crews take good care of us and we eat first class meals on the airplane. The F/O's do everything and they are very good in my opinion. They do all the radio calls and reams of paperwork. Much of our flying is non-radar, so there is plenty of radio work and plenty of HF radio usage. The flying is somewhat challenging until you get used to it. You're on your own throughout most of Africa. Addis Ababa is a high altitude airport surrounded by mountains. There are special engine out procedures and depressurization escape routes. The airplanes are often old and there is a mix of engines and cockpit differences, but they are well maintained.

The People:

They are wonderful. Ethiopians are quiet, peaceful, and agreeable people. They are smart people, and every expat here has respect for the pilots and flight ops leadership. They have thought through a lot of things and maintain good standards for the most part. Cabin crews are wonderful and captains are treated with respect.

The City:

Addis Ababa is famous for poverty, and that reputation is well deserved. Living here takes some getting used to. A lot of guys want to live in Bole near the airport because that is the upscale area with more western style restaurants and services. Being at 7,600 feet and near the equator results in temperatures that reach only a high of about 80 and a low of about 50 at night. There is a rainy season in the summer and the rest of the year the skies are clear. There are over 100 Embassies in Addis (it is considered the diplomatic center of Africa) and innumerable NGO's and aid organizations and therefore a significant international community with a large variety of restaurants. Unlike some other African cities, this city is very safe. I know a single American girl who feels safe walking alone at night in Addis.


There is no such thing. Actually, you will get a schedule for your 42 days, but you won't fly any of it. It is constantly changing, and usually you think you've got a good trip and then they call you and now you're doing a Dubai night turn. When you're there for your 42 days, you won't have any quality of life. You are basically on call 24/7. It is obvious that the expats are getting the night flights and the undesirable cargo flights. One F/O told me that senior captains bribe schedulers to give them the good trips, and the type of flying expats are getting seems to confirm that. It is common to be assigned flying beyond the legal limits, and you will have to be very firm with schedulers to avoid going over the limits. Some guys just go with the flow and are flying 125 hours a month. Ethiopian is the only game in town, so it appears the ECAA answers to them instead of the other way around.

The Training:

It starts with a two weeks of Computer Based Training at your own pace combined with processing paperwork and taking care of HR details. Five sim sessions and a checkride follow, and then 3 trips of line training. They try to do an African trip, an Asian Trip, and a Europe trip, but it doesn't always work out that way. I said the people are wonderful for the most part, but that gets reversed when it comes to training. They don't seem to have any concept for training in a positive way, and most of us felt "beat down" all through the training. It was more like 5 check rides in the Simulator than 5 training sessions. There are a few exceptions in the training department, but most of them take a very negative approach. However, it seems failures are rare. They talk about SOP all the time, but the SOP is not spelled out well and there are contradictions in the books. There is not a lot of standardization between instructors. The name of the game is just be humble and do as you're told whether it makes sense or not and get through it.


You work 42 days and get 12 days off including your travel time. They will give you positive space travel in business class on the company airplane anywhere you you want, but you show up in uniform so you can and travel on the Gen Dec. They will give you more days off if you stay longer than 42 days (a ratio applies).

They NEED people bad. The interview consists of a Sim ride (very straightforward, typical stuff), medical, and interview (tell me about a time when.... questions). Lots of people come and leave after a short time. Why? The pay is low and the living situation in Addis is challenging, not to mention the constantly changing schedules. They seem to like hiring guys over 60 because they have fewer options and they know they'll hold on to them longer.


11-14-2010, 11:43 AM
any chance of them hiring F/O' 1600 hrs plus...? just trying all options....

11-14-2010, 12:17 PM
any chance of them hiring F/O' 1600 hrs plus...? just trying all options....

At this point.... expats are DECs only with time on type.

11-16-2010, 09:02 PM
That is very helpful information.


01-03-2011, 06:31 AM
Pilot inexperience, exhaustion behind ET409 crash, report
JANUARY 3, 2011 ⋅ 5:26 AM ⋅ POST A COMMENT

On the eve of the anniversary of the crash in Lebanon of Ethiopian airlines flight ET409, LBC TV reported that the investigation of the incident continues and is being handled by the manufacturer with the participation of Ethiopia and Lebanon.

The Boeing 737 crashed on January 25, 2010 just after taking off from Beirut international airport . All 90 people on board died as a result of the crash.

According to LBC sources the investigation so far revealed that the crash occurred because of poor judgment by the Ethiopian Airlines management in choosing the crew, especially since the the captain and his copilot ,were exhausted as a result of working more than a hundred flight hours during that month, while according to international regulations they should not be working more than sixty flight hours.

Furthermore the captain and his copilot did not have enough experience in flying such a plane . According to the investigation 1500 flying hours are required to fly the 737 while neither the captain nor the copilot had more than 200 hours of experience.

The investigation so far confirms the preliminary report of May 2010 which revealed that “both the pilot’s and co-pilot’s inexperience with the jet was “certainly behind the accident”.

According to LBC sources the committee in charge of the investigation is planning to meet in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on January 24 to start drafting the reported which is expected to take about 3 month to be completed

01-03-2011, 09:12 PM
Housing -

If anyone is interested in housing my father owns a rather large house in Bole near the airport. A construction company has been renting for the last 3 years but the house is now vacant. 5 stories, 5 bathrooms, 8 bedrooms, private security guard house, gated. Heck, you may even be able to hire my step brother and step sister to cook and clean for you!!! Stepmom just spent the last month over there fixing up the place after the last renters left. Wish I could spend some time there. I keep bugging marketing at Delta to fly there next but they just don't listen to me....go figure. lol

04-02-2011, 04:28 PM
I'd like to extend my thanks to the crew of the Ethiopian 777 and 75 that flew me from an equatorial Afrikan location to Dulles via Addis and Rome. I have never been treated as well as you took care of me. I travelled in uniform and was immediately greeted by the best looking FA's I have yet to see(Virgin, Singapore and Emirates included), upgraded to First and waited on as if I were royalty. The flight crew were consumate and knowledgeable professionals who regarded me as brethren. I was on a full fare ticket and not jumpseating. I wish that I could repay your generosity in some way and feel bad that I didn't buy the entire crew Starbucks. I hope to see you again soon and please feel free to contact me if you are ever overnighting or stuck in the airport with the FAF KO$O% for ILS 2%.

04-03-2011, 12:40 PM
Got2fly... That was a great post!! Very informative. Thanks for taking time to write that for our benefit

09-05-2011, 05:47 AM
Got2fly thanks for the update! Just retired and was interested in Ethiopian but a few more questions. Told now commuting contract they will get me to and from IAD to work? Now 10 days off in 30? Told scheds was flexible and might be able to fly less to get more days off?

09-05-2011, 08:22 PM
Is travel to and from done during the 20 days on giving you the full 10 days off at home?
Also, there are other options than ET that might work for you as well.

09-08-2011, 03:33 AM
I would assume I would be traveling on my days off so only end up with 8 days at home. Looking at other options but not many for old guys. I like the idea of not having to worry about getting to work just would like a little more time off and a little more money but wouldn't we all.

09-08-2011, 11:00 AM
I would assume I would be traveling on my days off so only end up with 8 days at home. Looking at other options but not many for old guys. I like the idea of not having to worry about getting to work just would like a little more time off and a little more money but wouldn't we all.

You may want to take a look at Jet Airways as an alternative. Better pay and housing plans. They provide a $500 allowance for air tickets from Jet Airways Gateway Destinations. You can review PPRUNE for more details.

09-09-2011, 01:46 PM
Are they hiring for 737NG? If so please provide their contact

09-09-2011, 02:26 PM
Are they hiring for 737NG? If so please provide their contact

Jet Airways | Careers (

Pls click on CLICK HERE & you can see all the cash pay, perks & benefits.

09-10-2011, 11:52 AM
Jet airways won't work I'm a 767 guy.