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Pilot Shortage in Hong Kong

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

Pilot Shortage in Hong Kong

Old 19th Jun 2022, 11:03
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Originally Posted by Sam Ting Wong View Post
You could be right in the end, as you said time will tell. Hard to say especially since one would have to compare the higher wage costs over years (!) with "lost opportunities". If it was my airline I would have let go the entire 777 fleet and half the Airbus fleet on unpaid leave indefinitely about 1,5 years ago. I would not have paid inactive based guys for years. I also would have stopped housing Jan 2021. Training department is way to powerful in Cathay, chop all the nonsense evaluation command sims or however they are called. Replace it with a cup of tea with the Chief pilot and a 5 minute review of your training record. Cut the stupid output of cringe-worthy safety and training videos and cut the yearly new decision make tool rubbish etc etc. These guys produce work in order to be important, I would cut the third floor by half or better outsource the whole thing to CAE.

I personally do not think it is feasible nor smart to run an airline on a massive over-capacity, possibly for years, given that China's Covid-exit policy and consumer behaviour is totally unknown. Once clear you re-recruit and pay whatever is needed.

Willie Walsh's opinion on that matter I found quite amusing:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...day-chaos.html

My only direct critique of your position would be that your perspective appears to me rather self-centric. Just because we and our circle of friends don't find COS18 attractive enough doesn't mean it is not attractive in general. Not many from SA have left, and basically zero locals, as an example.


Just ensure that you also read the comments in your quoted article, for an entirely different and probably more accurate viewpoint.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 11:21
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What is the size of the 'Checker's Allowance'? When I left it was a corporate secret.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 11:32
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Originally Posted by Starbear View Post
Just ensure that you also read the comments in your quoted article, for an entirely different and probably more accurate viewpoint.
Never, Ever read the comments section of the Daily Mail….That way be Dragons.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 12:04
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Originally Posted by sorvad View Post
Never, Ever read the comments section of the Daily Mail….That way be Dragons.
Its the only part I read.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 15:18
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Originally Posted by Starbear View Post
Its the only part I read.
Best steer clear of the whole contemptible rag completely.

Last edited by sorvad; 19th Jun 2022 at 16:43.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 17:09
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Originally Posted by sorvad View Post
Best steer clear of the whole contemptible rag completely.
That I entirely agree with but obviously, like me, you have a sneaky look now and again? And to be fair it was not me who introduced the DM into this thread, merely expanded upon it. I do subscribe to the DT and Guardian (did I spell that correctly?) but would not give a farthing to access the DM. However I do like to seek a broad view and even still have a free look at that comic SCMP at times.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 21:40
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Originally Posted by Frank W. Abagnale View Post
"
Look, I am not under any illusion that Cathay will increase the package.
I am just saying that they have to pay me way more because of the reasons I mentioned just to keep me.
As this is not going to happen I am on my way out.
So you're telling everyone how bad it is over there and not to join, yet despite all your complaining you're still in CX then?
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Old 20th Jun 2022, 00:04
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Good times

[ I do subscribe to the DT and Guardian (did I spell that correctly?) but would not give a farthing to access the DM. [/QUOTE]

You made me chuckle!🤣
I have happy memories of school when our English master always referred to “The Grauniad” on the basis that they couldn’t even spell their masthead properly!

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Old 20th Jun 2022, 02:00
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They could probably solve the problem by offering positions to the hundreds of HK licenced Pilots they sacked. Their previous CoS, proper housing and a sign on bonus to compensate for their period of unemployment may be sufficient
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Old 20th Jun 2022, 03:48
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Originally Posted by Mill Worker View Post
They could probably solve the problem by offering positions to the hundreds of HK licenced Pilots they sacked. Their previous CoS, proper housing and a sign on bonus to compensate for their period of unemployment may be sufficient
And with a click of their fingers all these lovely increases to pay and benefits can be taken away.

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice... I think CX pilots have been fooled quite a few times now!
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Old 20th Jun 2022, 07:22
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Originally Posted by Mill Worker View Post
They could probably solve the problem by offering positions to the hundreds of HK licenced Pilots they sacked. Their previous CoS, proper housing and a sign on bonus to compensate for their period of unemployment may be sufficient
Are there any ex KA guys left willing to work for this place? I doubt it. Out of your CoS, housing and sign on bonus recommendations, only the last one is plausible. The jellyfish reminded everyone in the last FOP update that Cos18 is here to stay. And regarding proper housing, well let's not kid ourselves here...

Regarding HK opening up:

This shithole is not opening up anytime soon (go familiarize yourselves with the new health secretary prick, not to mention mainland policy until forever = we are years away!) in terms of no quarantine, and when it finally does then it will be extremely slow progress which should favor CX with their lack of training capacity. Not that this would solve the training problem entirely, obviously.

In terms of attracting new pilots, CX will either have to lower their standards even more or raise the package. My bet is on the former.

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Old 20th Jun 2022, 08:12
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I don't know what all this fuss is about, nor how this benign thread could stretch to 2 pages... If Vietjet and other 'low wage' airlines can recruit pilots then of course CX will be able to. It's just a matter of changing your mindset about what exactly CX now is. You get what you pay for and any pilot or passenger that doesn't do their homework before choosing Cathay in the future will only have themselves to blame when things go pear shaped. It is not rocket science.
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Old 20th Jun 2022, 19:00
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I have never lived or worked in Hong Kong but I am a regular inmate so my comments are therefore generic in nature and apply to the various expat pilot employers as well as Cathay. What company in its right mind thinks that they can give a 50% pay cut and expect people to hang around. They (the management) know that as pilots we cant just skip from one job to another like they can so they took a cheap shot and did what they did. Even a nincompoop with the mind of a six year old would realize that such a move would be completely irresponsible given the inevitable consequences that would shortly follow, ie finding pilots and then having to train them.

Correct me if I'm wrong but it appears that the education allowance is around 1/3 of what it would actually cost. If this is the case, what sort of desperate scum do they think we are. So they think a professional pilot is going to come to Kong Kong and fork out USD15k per child of their own money to top up the allowance while every banker, cook, BS manager and similar scammer gets it covered in full. I don't know what accommodation cost but looking at the allowance It doesn't even look remotely close to me so the same comment applies.

So they expect you to come to Hong Kong, a Hong Kong incidentally that is not the same Hong Kong as it once was, spend the best part if your life away from your home and family and live like a scum bag, put your kids in a communist local school and not save a penny. What planet are these people on!

If I were being invited to return I would demand full reinstatement of the original package and some, a lot more some, for being f%$ked around and insulted.

Should Cathay survive I think management are going to need a whole lot more than luck if they expect to find anyone. BTW I am available at twice the original A scale package adjusted for inflation.

Good luck.
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Old 20th Jun 2022, 20:47
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The point is, they didn't give everybody a 50% pay cut, 'wink, wink'.
Clearly, as nobody here knows or is prepared to reveal the size of the Checkers allowance, then it's a case of, 'say no more, say no more; wink, wink'.
The guards at the 'Cathay Prison Experiment' have always and will always solve any and all Swire cock-ups in exchange for reciprocated privileges.
WINK! WINK!
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Old 20th Jun 2022, 22:47
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Originally Posted by Diogenes. View Post
The point is, they didn't give everybody a 50% pay cut, 'wink, wink'.
Clearly, as nobody here knows or is prepared to reveal the size of the Checkers allowance, then it's a case of, 'say no more, say no more; wink, wink'.
The guards at the 'Cathay Prison Experiment' have always and will always solve any and all Swire cock-ups in exchange for reciprocated privileges.
WINK! WINK!
Clearly you have no idea what you’re talking about. Are you even employed by Cx? Or maybe just love jumping on the anti-checker bandwagon…

A good mate of mine was an STC, he calculated his pay was cut by ~55% (including housing and schooling + medical). He resigned, and took an FO job at greener pastures. There are plenty of checkers and standards guys on the way out, if not gone already.

The size of the checkers allowance is known by anyone who has been at the company more than a few years
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 03:15
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Originally Posted by cxflog View Post
A good mate of mine was an STC, he calculated his pay was cut by ~55% (including housing and schooling + medical). He resigned, and took an FO job at greener pastures.
If it is who I think it is, then that's a huge loss to CX.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 09:15
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Emotionally, the reduction in pay is relevant. But after the adjustment pain comes inevitably a more sober and useful comparison. I don't believe a company is even able to act against moral codes, there is a legal framework and that is that. A company has no soul, it is an artificial construct in order to generate maximum profit. I find the entire discussion futile, of course the company will use every chance they have to get us cheaper. To expect anything else is to me highly naive. The only reason a company might want to appear as being "moral" is to achieve again more profit.
Anyway, for me, the achievable benchmark pay in whatever country you desire to live is in the end the most relevant factor. It just will take time for us to digest the new normal is my prediction. All the venting in the crew bus, all the angry outbursts in here, in the end it is down to what you can afford. Let's be honest here, a many senior pilots could simply afford to retire. Many others will not have that luxury.

I think Weary Traveller got it right, eventually a shortage would have to appear at LCA rather than Cathay.

PS All the best, Frank. Hope you find a good alternative.

Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 21st Jun 2022 at 09:28.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 09:56
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Originally Posted by Sam Ting Wong View Post
Emotionally, the reduction in pay is relevant. But after the adjustment pain comes inevitably a more sober and useful comparison. I don't believe a company is even able to act against moral codes, there is a legal framework and that is that. A company has no soul, it is an artificial construct in order to generate maximum profit. I find the entire discussion futile, of course the company will use every chance they have to get us cheaper. To expect anything else is to me highly naive. The only reason a company might want to appear as being "moral" is to achieve again more profit.
Anyway, for me, the achievable benchmark pay in whatever country you desire to live is in the end the most relevant factor. It just will take time for us to digest the new normal is my prediction. All the venting in the crew bus, all the angry outbursts in here, in the end it is down to what you can afford. Let's be honest here, a many senior pilots could simply afford to retire. Many others will not have that luxury.

I think Weary Traveller got it right, eventually a shortage would have to appear at LCA rather than Cathay.

PS All the best, Frank. Hope you find a good alternative.
You keep thinking it’s all about the $$ STW. I and many others are leaving this place and even if cos 99 were offered tomorrow we’d still be heading out the door. This place is toxic, I’m leaving to a job on way less money but in the knowledge that the goalposts are not going to change at the whim of some middle manager or govt official. It’s about way more than the money now, clearly your posts demonstrate that it’s only about the money to you. Each to their own
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 10:43
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Of course the Covid restrictions have to be included in the equation. Maybe for you the pricetag of freedom is so high Cathay will never be able to make it up, but not everybody will have these strict preferences. In general, more money will always result in more demand. What you are describing is a non-elastic relationship, very rare in reality.

PS When I say it is about money I am NOT saying it doesn't make sense to accept less somewhere else. I am saying that your personal price is not met by the supply curently on offer in HK.

PSS I hope your goalposts won't move. My personal experience tells me this is not very likely.

Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 21st Jun 2022 at 11:20.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 11:18
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Originally Posted by Sam Ting Wong View Post
Of course the Covid restrictions have to be included in the equation. Maybe for you the pricetag of freedom is so high Cathay will never be able to make it up, but not everybody will have these strict preferences. In general, more money will always result in more demand. What you are describing is a non-elastic relationship, very rare in reality.

PS When I say it is about money I am NOT saying it doesn't make sense to accept less somewhere else. I am saying that your personal price is not met by the supply curently on offer in HK.
Once again, money money money. You are wrong, half the pages of our handbook is crap that is one sided and not binding on the company and they have nothing to do with $$
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