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Old 09-03-2008, 09:56 PM   #1  
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Default Cathay Pacific culture--is it really so?

Ran into a pilot who just quit Cathay Pacific last year. He said the culture is very nasty, with a negative work and training environment, and flying mostly with pompous captains. And that being an American is a huge negative amongst the Aussies and Brits. I'm thinking about CP as a career option, so I was needless to say disturbed by hearing this. Was this guy's view valid or not? Thanks!
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:06 PM   #2  
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The way I understand it is that at one time there was a HUGE prejudice against American pilots. I've been told, however, that currently it is no longer and issue. Many Americans go over with the attitude that USA is the only way and is the greatest place and everything else is beneath them. You need to remember that the company talks there and if develop a bad reputation you will carry that with you every time you fly.
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:40 PM   #3  
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Not true for the most part. Sure there is some banter but I sling it back. Two sides to every story. You never know why the guy left or if he was asked to leave. I'm an American at CX and I have yet to see this attitude that is rumored to be there.
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:01 PM   #4  
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I can give you my personal experience, but keep in mind it's just my opionion.

I started at CX as a DEFO thinking I had reached my career company. Two years later I was quite happy to leave. I never failed an RT/PC or a line check (all three legs of it), but in my OPINION it's a very unpleasant airline culture generally speaking. Checking and training are particularly unpleasant.

Your CX experience depends largely on who you have for your checks and training. If you luck out and get good guys (or manage your sick calls effectively), it's OK. If you draw a short straw and get someone notorious, the ramifications can be far-reaching.

There was a lot of anti-americanism when I was there, but I've heard it's been dialed back. A direct quote from the B744 program manager when I received my RPIC (Relief Pilot in Command) checkout, "You North Americans do fine between Anchorage and Hong Kong, but when you come to the pax fleet, the wheels fall off."

At the end of the day, no airline is perfect. You just have to decide what you want to put up with and what you don't. For me, I didn't want to spend a career dealing with CX's particular brand of bullsh!t. Which really means they weren't paying me enough to ignore it
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:26 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanexplosion View Post
I can give you my personal experience, but keep in mind it's just my opionion.

I started at CX as a DEFO thinking I had reached my career company. Two years later I was quite happy to leave. I never failed an RT/PC or a line check (all three legs of it), but in my OPINION it's a very unpleasant airline culture generally speaking. Checking and training are particularly unpleasant.

Your CX experience depends largely on who you have for your checks and training. If you luck out and get good guys (or manage your sick calls effectively), it's OK. If you draw a short straw and get someone notorious, the ramifications can be far-reaching.

There was a lot of anti-americanism when I was there, but I've heard it's been dialed back. A direct quote from the B744 program manager when I received my RPIC (Relief Pilot in Command) checkout, "You North Americans do fine between Anchorage and Hong Kong, but when you come to the pax fleet, the wheels fall off."

At the end of the day, no airline is perfect. You just have to decide what you want to put up with and what you don't. For me, I didn't want to spend a career dealing with CX's particular brand of bullsh!t. Which really means they weren't paying me enough to ignore it

I have no doubt that is your experience. I had several of the names out there and can say they have definitely been toned down. There is a very big effort coming from the top trying to reign those particular people in. So far that effort has been successful, especially since the all mighty HKG Captains have been flying the freighter in N. America. I think many of them have been humbled a bit since they have as hard of a time understanding ATL center as we do Taipei.

The good thing is now the effort has been made official and some of the old hats have been removed from their positions. Hopefully you moved on to something that is a better fit. CX isn't for everyone but thankfully it is changing from your experience.
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Old 09-06-2008, 10:52 AM   #6  
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Ry/Nate.

Can you tell us about:

What does it take to be "suitable" for ugrade? As I understand, you have to be Cat A'd to upgrade. What if you are Cat B or worse C?

Is it true that you have to go through an interview to upgrade?

What is the star chamber?

ERAS?
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:29 PM   #7  
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Thanks for the replies, Ry and Nathan. It's good to hear.

I would be using CP as a jumping off point to UPS (since they love hiring ex CP F/O's), but while there it would be cool to be in a relaxed and professional culture.
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:43 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by CRJammin View Post
Thanks for the replies, Ry and Nathan. It's good to hear.

I would be using CP as a jumping off point to UPS (since they love hiring ex CP F/O's), but while there it would be cool to be in a relaxed and professional culture.
I'm going to go ahead and suggest you don't advertise that too much. Leaving because you are unhappy is one thing, coming with the intention of leaving is another. All that does is waste a training slot that someone else could use, like a guy trying to get back to LAX from HKG. The company is extremely sensitive to this right now. CX is not a contract job. Like I said, if you come and don't like the place then no worries. Coming to intentionally use the company and then screw them over is another. You end up messing up the reputation for guys from the U.S. and giving us all a bad name.
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:52 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperLolo View Post
Ry/Nate.

Can you tell us about:

What does it take to be "suitable" for ugrade? As I understand, you have to be Cat A'd to upgrade. What if you are Cat B or worse C?

Is it true that you have to go through an interview to upgrade?

What is the star chamber?

ERAS?
I'm not sure what it takes to be suitable for upgrade. You do something called a PCA, which is a sim and a sit down. They are looking for company precedure and knowledge etc. as well as command potential. The reason thay give is that if they don't think you'll make it then it is best to know before you get half way through. That's the reason and explanation they gave us. That said there are several Americans that are CAT A waiting on a class date.

I know the SOs go through an interview to move to FO as well but it is nothing to worry about from what I understand.

The star chamber is a group of training managers that meets to go over the upgrade training history and previous history. If you pass everything else they can still bounce you back based on something in your training. This is one of the things the new blood is trying to tame down.

ERAS is no longer used, it has been replaced with another similar system. After every training event you can view your comments and file online so you know what's in it. They are just like the training records at any other outfit except here we can actually look at it anytime we want.

Hope that answered your questions!
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Old 09-06-2008, 11:28 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryguy View Post
I'm going to go ahead and suggest you don't advertise that too much. Leaving because you are unhappy is one thing, coming with the intention of leaving is another. All that does is waste a training slot that someone else could use, like a guy trying to get back to LAX from HKG. The company is extremely sensitive to this right now. CX is not a contract job. Like I said, if you come and don't like the place then no worries. Coming to intentionally use the company and then screw them over is another. You end up messing up the reputation for guys from the U.S. and giving us all a bad name.
There isn't anything wrong with using CP (or any company) as a stepping stone and it most certainly isn't screwing the company. Why do you think a training slot is wasted when one has to go through recurrent anyway? Let's just say it is a "wasted slot", what difference does the reason make?

If your philosophy is correct, then every time a pilot leaves an airline for another that is more desirable to them, then they're screwing their employer just because their intention was using them as a stepping stone in the first place. Do you think many new-hires at Comair intend to stay for life? Sorry. That doesn't makes sense.

Unless some contractual obligation has been broken, nobody is getting screwed.
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