Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




Aviationluver
06-19-2016, 08:14 AM
Hello,

I was born and raised in the states but actually prefer to go to a foreign carrier.

Here are the ones I'm looking at (in order of preference):

Emirates
Etihad
Cathay Pacific
EVA

Could you rank these for me? The things I'm looking for is pay, paid housing or housing provided, days off, quality of life, being treated nicely, etc.

Are there any other foreign carriers that hire yanks that you think that I should consider?

Thanks.


Shibuya
06-19-2016, 09:23 AM
Hello,

I was born and raised in the states but actually prefer to go to a foreign carrier.

Here are the ones I'm looking at (in order of preference):

Emirates
Etihad
Cathay Pacific
EVA

Could you rank these for me? The things I'm looking for is pay, paid housing or housing provided, days off, quality of life, being treated nicely, etc.

Are there any other foreign carriers that hire yanks that you think that I should consider?

Thanks.

FedEx
UPS
Delta
SWA

TogaParty
06-19-2016, 09:25 AM
What are your qualifications? TT? Aircraft types?


Packrat
06-19-2016, 11:21 AM
Etihad over Emirates and Qatar. Abu Dhabi is way more liveable than either Doha or Kuwait.

Typhoonpilot
06-19-2016, 03:17 PM
Going to foreign carriers is generally something you do when there are shutdowns, bankruptcies, and stagnation in the USA. It is not something you aspire to when the U.S. majors are doing well and hiring. Foreign carriers are a stop-gap for short periods of time (less than 10-15 years in most cases and often even less than that). All the previous "good ones" have gone so dramatically downhill that they can't even hold a candle to a first officer position at a U.S. major nowadays.

days off, quality of life, being treated nicely, etc

Concentrate on those things and the answer is none of the above.


Typhoonpilot

SebastianDesoto
06-19-2016, 10:46 PM
ANA is actually pretty good in terms of contract. I have no idea what the work life is like.

blackace27
06-20-2016, 06:06 PM
Check out Air Japan a subsidiary company of All Nippon Airways. It is staffed mostly by foreigners and is decent in all aspects you have mentioned.

The Dominican
06-20-2016, 08:24 PM
Several things you do need to understand about working abroad as an expat pilot...!

Things vary of course depending on what region and company you choose to target but some issues are common between most jobs abroad...!

Your legal standing is fussy at best..! Some jobs do hire directly (direct employment with the airline) and others hire through an agency but in all cases the laws that govern your employment are not meant to protect YOU! as an expat, you have little to no recourse against the company in case of a problem or an incident...!

No bidding system to speak off....! I work in a company that allows me to bid my days off but I have no control over what I will do when I'm at work..., and my job is probably the only job out there that gives me the freedom to choose my days off..., most jobs out there will assign you everything from your duty, the city pairings and even the times of the year when you can take your leave.., and in some cases the leave is cancelled due to staffing and there is nothing you can do except quit..., and even that is a headache in some places since the company will make it tough for you to get records and documents that you will need to move along to another job.
In the vast majority of the cases the worst duties, most tiring trips and parings will be done by the expat pilots....., that is a given in just about every job out there!

Local jealousy......! This is an issue that will manifest itself in many different ways..., from the number of upgrades per year, to the requirements to upgrade, to the possibility (or not) to switch to another A/C, to the hotels where you will be staying...., and even the duration of current benefits that could be cut or changed because the local pilot group on the last meeting didn't like the fact that you get breakfast in that particular hotel...., yes! It can sometimes be that petty! And again..., there is nothing that you can do.

Job security...? There is none! Period! End of story...., most (if not all) have the politics of that game "Whack-a-mole" you raise your head and it gets beaten down again...!

You are not there to make a difference nor to improve their operation...! Many have tried to make "things better" just to find themselves in a pickle jar..., it's their train set! You play when and how they say you will and in the comments section of training documents when they ask you to give your opinion about the training process, what items you would like to see in next years recurrent, or any questions along those lines you write....: "I have no comments except thank you for a great training session" and go play a round of golf or have a pint or two! The least your name is known at the office, the better!

Be NICE! To everyone in the company, from the lady mopping the floor to the costumer service agents..., specially to the cabin attendants, they are the preferred source of intelligence gathering about the pilots.

The contract is written in toilet paper....! They can (and often do) change their minds about what you were promised..., from your base, aircraft type, upgrade timeframe...etc. nothing that was written is necessarily bound to happen!

Not all is bad evidently because if that were the case many of us wouldn't still be doing it...., but expat work suits some and not others. You do get to fly very well maintained airplanes (I see an MEL or CDL about once or twice a year) with lots of gas everywhere you go and in the majority of the cases, captain's authority still means something, some contracts out there are very lucrative and there are a few that will pay the local taxes for you..., this is a big advantage for the folks from the US!

Good luck with your decision!

got2fly
06-20-2016, 11:07 PM
Going to foreign carriers is generally something you do when there are shutdowns, bankruptcies, and stagnation in the USA. It is not something you aspire to when the U.S. majors are doing well and hiring. Foreign carriers are a stop-gap for short periods of time (less than 10-15 years in most cases and often even less than that). All the previous "good ones" have gone so dramatically downhill that they can't even hold a candle to a first officer position at a U.S. major nowadays.



Concentrate on those things and the answer is none of the above.


Typhoonpilot
Spoken by someone who knows. I agree completely. Been an expat pilot now for several years in several countries. Currently in the best expat job of my career, and in some ways my best job ever. We have a bidding system. There are so few local pilots in my current job that local jealousy is not a factor (and the few we do have get paid 2x as much). We have good layovers, good schedules, decent time off, great travel benefits. My pay and other benefits have been improved in the 18 months I've been here. No union! Even so, I'd be back in the States in a heartbeat if I could hold a decent left seat job there. I'm only doing this because my long term USA airline job ended in bankruptcy.

NEDude
06-21-2016, 04:49 AM
How old are you? Do you have a second citizenship or the ability to acquire one through ancestry (e.g. Ireland or Italy)? Do you speak any other languages? All of these can affect your opportunities.

NEDude
06-21-2016, 05:04 AM
Several things you do need to understand about working abroad as an expat pilot...!

Things vary of course depending on what region and company you choose to target but some issues are common between most jobs abroad...!

Your legal standing is fussy at best..! Some jobs do hire directly (direct employment with the airline) and others hire through an agency but in all cases the laws that govern your employment are not meant to protect YOU! as an expat, you have little to no recourse against the company in case of a problem or an incident...!

No bidding system to speak off....! I work in a company that allows me to bid my days off but I have no control over what I will do when I'm at work..., and my job is probably the only job out there that gives me the freedom to choose my days off..., most jobs out there will assign you everything from your duty, the city pairings and even the times of the year when you can take your leave.., and in some cases the leave is cancelled due to staffing and there is nothing you can do except quit..., and even that is a headache in some places since the company will make it tough for you to get records and documents that you will need to move along to another job.
In the vast majority of the cases the worst duties, most tiring trips and parings will be done by the expat pilots....., that is a given in just about every job out there!

Local jealousy......! This is an issue that will manifest itself in many different ways..., from the number of upgrades per year, to the requirements to upgrade, to the possibility (or not) to switch to another A/C, to the hotels where you will be staying...., and even the duration of current benefits that could be cut or changed because the local pilot group on the last meeting didn't like the fact that you get breakfast in that particular hotel...., yes! It can sometimes be that petty! And again..., there is nothing that you can do.

Job security...? There is none! Period! End of story...., most (if not all) have the politics of that game "Whack-a-mole" you raise your head and it gets beaten down again...!

You are not there to make a difference nor to improve their operation...! Many have tried to make "things better" just to find themselves in a pickle jar..., it's their train set! You play when and how they say you will and in the comments section of training documents when they ask you to give your opinion about the training process, what items you would like to see in next years recurrent, or any questions along those lines you write....: "I have no comments except thank you for a great training session" and go play a round of golf or have a pint or two! The least your name is known at the office, the better!

Be NICE! To everyone in the company, from the lady mopping the floor to the costumer service agents..., specially to the cabin attendants, they are the preferred source of intelligence gathering about the pilots.

The contract is written in toilet paper....! They can (and often do) change their minds about what you were promised..., from your base, aircraft type, upgrade timeframe...etc. nothing that was written is necessarily bound to happen!

Not all is bad evidently because if that were the case many of us wouldn't still be doing it...., but expat work suits some and not others. You do get to fly very well maintained airplanes (I see an MEL or CDL about once or twice a year) with lots of gas everywhere you go and in the majority of the cases, captain's authority still means something, some contracts out there are very lucrative and there are a few that will pay the local taxes for you..., this is a big advantage for the folks from the US!

Good luck with your decision!

Very sound advice and I will second it.

I will add that your contract agency and where they are located is an important decision. You most likely will never win a legal battle against the airline, but guys have successfully won legal battles with their contract agency after their airline violated the contract.

Shibuya
06-21-2016, 03:50 PM
All the points made are valid and I agree 100%. Having been there and done that I want to continue to drive the point home that expat flying for an American is not the way forward right now. Unless you're a dual citizen with a shot to work at a mega carrier like Lufthansa or ANA, forget it. The market in the USA now is in our favor more so than anytime in the last 15 years.

If you're young, build your career at home. If times get tough again, take an LOA and go make some cash as a Captain. Upgrading as an FO in a foreign company is daunting and you will continuously have a target on your back.

If you DO decide to go, just don't get stuck signing a 5 year contract and miss out on all the movement going on at home. You are better off paying a few hundred bucks to say you flew a Cessna around Stockholm or Osaka than you are missing out on the growth we have ahead of us at any US major airline.

OceanicPilot
06-23-2016, 04:37 AM
It's been slightly eluded to in the responses but the one thing you really need to consider is once you leave the US and get this "dream" job what is your plan? Are you doing this with the intent to come back to the US at some point with all of your marketable skills? If so, what is your exit strategy? Leaving some of these places is a royal pain in the ***. If you plan on staying you need to seriously consider what your quality of life is really going to be like and by no means take a job without spending a little bit of time in the city or country you would be living. Finally, if your wife and family aren't completely on board it should be a "no go" item IMO.

atpcliff
06-23-2016, 01:18 PM
Emirates
Etihad
Cathay Pacific
EVA

Many Americans at Emirates have been leaving lately, including Captains.
Qatar pays more than Emirates or Etihad, according to pilots flying for those carriers...they also generally say Etihad treats the pilots better than Emirates.

Cathay right now is only hiring Second Officers (I think they are reserve pilots for only the FOs). They used to pay a housing allowance in HKG, but don't anymore. Housing is VERY expensive in HKG.

EVA. I knew a pilot at EVA. They shut down their MD11 freighters, and let this pilot go, even though they wanted to switch to the passenger fleet. I think the pay is relatively low.

There are bizjet jobs available overseas, also.

Aviationluver
06-24-2016, 08:46 AM
Here's my response to some questions that you've asked.

I do have another right to work in an Asian country.

I've got my college degree, ATP, about 2800 hours Part 121, about 800 hours part 135.

I've got 5500 TT. Unfortunately, I don't have any PIC turbine, that's what is killing me right now. I have 2000 PIC but that's all in GA airplanes.

EMBskillz
06-26-2016, 06:32 PM
I have a question: Are you planning on flatbrim sand boarding? Because that kid in the Emirates sidebar ads is busting moves that I have never seen. What happens if you bust yer hienie on that sandbar? Does Emirates throw you in expat jail for Shredd'n dakine?