OT: Chinese Airline Companies offering $300k+ for pilots....

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Submitted by Coronita on August 17, 2016 - 8:55pm

Well, I guess some of you folks can now say Chinese companies are trying to steal "our american pilots" too....Lol....

Chinese Airlines Wave Wads of Cash to Lure Foreign Pilots

Chinese airlines need to hire almost 100 pilots a week for the next 20 years to meet skyrocketing travel demand. Facing a shortage of candidates at home, carriers are dangling lucrative pay packages at foreigners with cockpit experience.
Giacomo Palombo, a former United Airlines pilot, said he’s being bombarded every week with offers to fly Airbus A320s in China. Regional carrier Qingdao Airlines promises as much as $318,000 a year. Sichuan Airlines, which flies to Canada and Australia, is pitching $302,000. Both airlines say they’ll also cover his income tax bill in China.....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2...

Submitted by SK in CV on August 17, 2016 - 9:04pm.

How much do pilots make from US airlines? I knew pilots that made >$250K 25 years ago. I know that a lot of them took a pay cut, but are they still not back to where they were?

Submitted by flyer on August 18, 2016 - 5:30am.

Huge pilot shortage everywhere. Have friends who have been flying abroad for years and have been raking it in.

Some tried commuting, and couldn't stand it. Others moved--some with their families--and couldn't stand it, but stayed for the money, and still others have stayed and and really enjoy it. Never appealed to me, since we have too many other things going on here.

Income in the states varies by the carrier, whether you fly domestic or international, union contracts, etc., but $300K+ is not uncommon per the above, at certain levels of seniority.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on August 18, 2016 - 6:34am.

self driving planes seem way less complex than self driving cars.

is that a developping technology?

Submitted by harvey on August 18, 2016 - 7:07am.

SK in CV wrote:
How much do pilots make from US airlines? I knew pilots that made >$250K 25 years ago. I know that a lot of them took a pay cut, but are they still not back to where they were?

I have a few friends/neighbors who are airline pilots, some of them recently retired. The impression I got from all of them was the good-ol' days of being a pilot are long gone. One of them that I know well says that it downright sucks these days.

Maybe it's a boom/bust type of career. But I'm always wary of reports of booms coming from China...

Submitted by mixxalot on August 18, 2016 - 10:12am.

Yes, the UAV aka drone scene is exploding. As a guy with my pilot license, I'm adding on my commercial drone rating since drone pilots are also in demand.

Submitted by zk on August 18, 2016 - 2:50pm.

scaredyclassic wrote:
self driving planes seem way less complex than self driving cars.

is that a developping technology?

There's an old joke among airline pilots. Background: There used to be 3 pilots in a lot of airliners. There are only 2 in most of them now. Automation has vastly reduced the workload. Even 2 are rarely necessary.

The joke:

Pretty soon, there will be only one pilot and one dog in the cockpit. The pilot will be there to feed the dog, and the dog will be there to bite the pilot if he tries to touch anything.

It's not a funny joke, but it indicates the direction automation is taking things. Planes can already fly and land themselves quite easily. And the technology no doubt exists to replace pilots altogether for routine flights. But, in real life, for flying people around, you'll always need at the very least one pilot on board. When the shit hits the fan, no computer can replace the judgment of a human being. Better yet, 2 human beings.

Submitted by mixxalot on August 18, 2016 - 3:06pm.

True but in the long run robots will replace most of us the way things are headed.

Submitted by flyer on August 18, 2016 - 4:22pm.

"But, in real life, for flying people around, you'll always need at the very least one pilot on board. When the shit hits the fan, no computer can replace the judgment of a human being. Better yet, 2 human beings."

True. Just ask my buddy Sully.

Submitted by harvey on August 18, 2016 - 4:37pm.

The biggest challenge to autonomous passenger planes is going to be finding willing passengers.

Submitted by zk on August 18, 2016 - 8:55pm.

flyer wrote:
Sully.

There's a guy who earned every nickel he ever made in his career and then some, all with one decision. A lot of times you hear, "the pilot was a hero," when all he did was what any pilot could've and would've done. But this was different. A brilliant, timely decision, made coolly under massive pressure. I don't think most pilots would've made that decision. "Hero" is a pretty nebulous word, but, to me, Captain Sullenberger showed us what the very best pilots do: Make great and timely decisions when lives are on the line.

Of course, for every Sully, there's an Air France 447 pilot and a Colgan 3407 pilot and a Comair 5191 pilot. They're the weak link a lot of the time, precisely because they're human. But they still have something that is both unachievable by a computer and necessary.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on August 18, 2016 - 9:05pm.

harvey wrote:
The biggest challenge to autonomous passenger planes is going to be finding willing passengers.

10 perc coupon and im there

Submitted by ltsddd on August 18, 2016 - 10:02pm.

Most modern planes could fly and land on their own. Pilots are there pretty much for take-offs and taxiing.

Submitted by flyer on August 19, 2016 - 5:16am.

The nice thing about being an airline pilot, at least for me, is that for many years I've been able to bid a schedule that allows me to work only about 8 days a month at full compensation with union benefits, which has left me with a great deal of time to pursue other interests--family, real estate investment projects, film investment projects, etc.--So no complaints here.

Submitted by mixxalot on August 21, 2016 - 11:00am.

Yup at one point years ago, the airline pilot was a sweet gig. Not so much anymore from the ones I talk with.

Submitted by joec on August 21, 2016 - 6:02pm.

Do you still need 20/20 vision to be a pilot? Also, are a lot of pilots ex-military pilots?

I always wanted to be a pilot, but thought there was a vision restriction (there wasn't lasik 30 years ago)...

I think all jobs have their downsides...being a pilot seems better than most jobs out there I'd guess.

Submitted by svelte on August 21, 2016 - 8:10pm.

flyer wrote:
The nice thing about being an airline pilot, at least for me, is that for many years I've been able to bid a schedule that allows me to work only about 8 days a month at full compensation with union benefits, which has left me with a great deal of time to pursue other interests--family, real estate investment projects, film investment projects, etc.--So no complaints here.

One of my buddies does the same thing for American...doesn't work much because of the way he bids for flights. But...he is on call like every weekend. When we go out, he can't drink because he'd have to go in on a moment's notice.

I bet you have a similar downside...gotta stay tethered and sober.

Submitted by harvey on August 21, 2016 - 10:32pm.

svelte wrote:
I bet you have a similar downside...gotta stay tethered and sober.

No downsides for flyer. They created this radio station just for him:

http://blog.siriusxm.com/2015/08/17/yach...

Submitted by givdrvr on August 22, 2016 - 5:13am.

Most pilots flying for US Carriers would not see 300K until 20+ years on the job. These Chinese jobs are game changers because the employer is paying the employee's income tax bill, effectively they are earning 450K+ compared to US pilot colleagues.

Submitted by flyer on August 22, 2016 - 6:44am.

joe, as long as your vision can be corrected to 20/20 with glasses or contacts, you would be eligible for a 1st Class FAA Medical Certificate, which would make you eligible to fly as a civilian professional pilot.

In our case, my wife and I always wanted to be available to our kids when they were growing up, and since real estate and film investments have worked out so well, there was never a need (or any interest) in moving or commuting abroad for a flying career.

That said, I understand how the Chinese jobs would be enticing, and I hope those pilots, and everyone, for that matter, make millions in whatever career path they choose.

Submitted by Coronita on August 22, 2016 - 7:28am.

givdrvr wrote:
Most pilots flying for US Carriers would not see 300K until 20+ years on the job. These Chinese jobs are game changers because the employer is paying the employee's income tax bill, effectively they are earning 450K+ compared to US pilot colleagues.

The interesting part will happen when we see companies like Huawei throwing a bigger bone to the former Cisco employees. I've been hearing about some interesting compensation packages coming out of there. Well, I guess people complaining about US company jobs being "stolen" by foreigners can complain less, once foreign companies start paying better than U.S. companies, skills/tech transfer issues aside. Globalization isn't all doom and gloom. It's great for folks with skills in demand. It's the only way companies will be able to catch up quickly.

Show me the money.

Submitted by mixxalot on August 22, 2016 - 9:03am.

Unfortunately database jobs are not paying better overseas yet than here in the USA.

Submitted by Coronita on August 22, 2016 - 10:25am.

mixxalot wrote:
Unfortunately database jobs are not paying better overseas yet than here in the USA.

You are way oversimplifying technology jobs. If you can't the difference between a "programmer" versus architect or software engineering, then there's a problem right there.

Submitted by gzz on August 22, 2016 - 11:07pm.

The reason there is a shortage and some airlines are having to have pay packages of $500,000 for experienced pilots is getting the experience pays crap.

---Some U.S. regional airlines pay $25,000 or less, according to the Air Line Pilots Association, representing more than 52,000 pilots in the U.S. and Canada.---

I don't think $25,000 is too common, but even at $40,000, you think paying back private flight lessons is going to be cheap or easy? Some newly licensed pilots cannot find any work. Airlines want documented flight hours, nobody wants a new pilot, and jet fuel is expensive.

But every airline with jumbo jets wants the same limited pool of ex USAF guys who've been flying since their teens and are now late 30's to mid-40's and have spotless records.

The situation is especially bad now because the people most in demand would have started around 1990-1995, when the airlines were going down the tubes and half or more filed for bankruptcy. Also a period of USAF cutting back because of the end of the Cold War and base realignment.

Submitted by flyer on August 23, 2016 - 6:35am.

Good points gzz.

Many of us in the 50+ crowd who were lucky enough to be hired by a major carrier from day one have had a very positive experience that most of us wouldn't change for the world, but I can't imagine becoming a pilot today.

The cost of education and training, combined with the low pay for most who have to start with regional airlines, makes it easy to understand why there is a shortage of pilots, and, as you said, the amazing offers being made are not going to the newbies.

In my circle of pilot friends, most of us get at least two calls a week from foreign carriers looking for at least 10,000 hours on the jumbos, hoping we'll jump ship, but none of us would ever give up our seniority which allows us to fly about 8 days a month for about the same compensation as what they're offering. That, along with the other investments most of us have, would not make it worth it for us, and that is the problem these airlines are running into when they try to recruit experienced pilots.

It will be interesting to see how the airlines deal with this, and what the impact will be on travel going forward.

Submitted by harvey on August 23, 2016 - 6:48am.

gzz wrote:
But every airline with jumbo jets wants the same limited pool of ex USAF guys [...]

What, Navy pilots are no good?

;-)

Submitted by joec on August 23, 2016 - 4:10pm.

flyer, how did you get into flying (the training/hours/career/etc)?

I suppose living a sheltered immigrant Asian lifestyle, the military or flying thing would be impossible for me...

I did learn a musical instrument and studied engineering....

Submitted by flyer on August 23, 2016 - 6:48pm.

joe, as a kid growing up in LJ, I was always interested in flying, and when the grandparents offered to send all of us to college, we had the opportunity to choose our field of interest, and I chose aviation.

Received my degree in Aerospace Engineering, as well as pilot training and flight hours from an Aeronautical University, Embry-Riddle, dubbed the "Harvard of the sky," and was hired by a major carrier right out of college.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've really enjoyed the career, as it is one of the few that, as you achieve seniority, allows you a lot of free time to devote to the family, and to pursue other goals and interests in conjunction with flying.

Sounds like you've done very well for yourself with your background, and later in life, when you have more time, after your family is raised, you might want to get your private pilots license. There are lots of schools here in San Diego, so that's something you might consider.

Submitted by mixxalot on August 24, 2016 - 7:47pm.

H1b and outsourcing of STEM engineering jobs to India and China has severely impacted American engineers! That is fact which you cannot deny. In USA and Europe, there are still good jobs but not that many.

Submitted by flu on August 24, 2016 - 7:58pm.

mixxalot wrote:
H1b and outsourcing of STEM engineering jobs to India and China has severely impacted American engineers! That is fact which you cannot deny. In USA and Europe, there are still good jobs but not that many.

Grunt work implementation, yes. Design and architecture and cutting edge R&D, not even close. Move up or move out.

Most of IT really isn't cutting edge engineering. The bulk of it is run the business.

Submitted by Rich Toscano on August 25, 2016 - 7:48am.

mixxalot wrote:
H1b and outsourcing of STEM engineering jobs to India and China has severely impacted American engineers! That is fact which you cannot deny. In USA and Europe, there are still good jobs but not that many.

That's doesn't seem to be the case in software, from my observation. Everyone I know in the software tech industry is desperately trying to find good people to hire... there are more job openings than there are qualified candidates.

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