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Old 05-08-2006, 08:38 AM   #1  
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Default Overseas Carriers, Page Two


Outbound Flight
With Jobs Scarce,

Compensation for the foreign gigs varies widely. But it is often better than what U.S. pilots can earn at home, where pay levels and benefits have been reduced by bankruptcy filings and restructurings. Richard Paul, an 18-year US Airways veteran who was bumped from captain to first officer during one round of layoffs, says he plans to quit soon and report for training to fly cargo at a large Asian carrier he declines to identify. The 46-year-old pilot says he will start as a first officer, but "in four or five years, I'll probably be a captain on a 747 and make twice as much" as the $72,000 a year he currently earns.

India's Air Deccan is offering $8,000 to $15,000 a month to foreign captains, according to Mr. Gopinath, the managing director. A captain in the U.S. on Northwest's smallest jet earns about $9,000 a month, while a captain on United Airlines's largest plane earns about $15,000, according to a recent survey by Air Inc.

American Craig Harnden, formerly a pilot for now-defunct Eastern Airlines, has worked overseas since 1990 for Saudi Arabian Airlines, Thai Airways International and now Singapore Airlines. "If I had known what I know now, I would probably have left Eastern and gone overseas a lot earlier," says the 59-year-old Miami native, who lives in Singapore. "But we didn't leave the airlines because of the seniority system."

William Goodwin left the U.S. in 1994 after working for two airlines that went under and a third that was acquired. He says he nearly doubled his pay by moving to Taiwan to captain 767s for Taipei-based EVA Air. "It was the smartest thing I've ever done," he says. He jumped to Korean Air in 2000, where as a captain of 747s he earns $152,000 a year after Korean taxes. The 54-year-old pilot says he hopes to stay until he retires at 60.

Mr. Baedke, the former Northwest pilot who now flies out of Honolulu for Jalways under a crew-leasing contract, says he's trying to spread the word to other American pilots. Many of his pilot friends, he says, were laid off after 9/11 and have not yet been called back.

As a first officer, Mr. Baedke earns $100 an hour, or $105,000 last year. He expects to begin training next month to become a captain, a process he says could take 2 years. If he succeeds, his pay will climb to $150 an hour for the first 50 hours flown each month, and $180 an hour for anything exceeding that.

He no longer gives much thought to returning to Northwest. "Even if I had a chance to go back, I think I'd be at [a regional subsidiary] as a first officer, earning $23 an hour," he says. "There's no point."

Last edited by nw320driver; 05-08-2006 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:31 PM   #2  
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Ive always dreamed of doing this type of flying after attaining enough turbine experience from the american carriers. Any input from other pilots who fly in foreign carriers, especially ones in asia would be greatly appreciated. Tell us about your lifestyle and flying and compensation packages......
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:53 PM   #3  
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That's great to go fly for international airlines, however I (personally) cant imagine making drastic lifestyle changes for my self or family and move to another country just so I can fly. As for the people that sit at home and work at the home depot, this is just a reminder to always have a back up plan, every-single-day, because sometimes your backup will become your initial plan.
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