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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 18th Jun 2022, 00:06
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Pilot Shortage in Hong Kong

Yes folks only Swire swine could dream this up... Not long ago and for decades before, high end watch companies would produce limited edition watch issues just for the crew and other Cathay Pacific aficionados clamouring for a take home bit of legendary CX airline history and now, this.... The only watch replica worthy of the CX generated memories documented over the last decade of history would be a Mickey Mouse watch with a rubber band no doubt made from the same material the tons of rubber dog sh*t CX cargo "used" to haul.. The Swire buffoons have, once again, outdone themselves.. !!!

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-travel-bounce
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 00:36
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Rearranging deck chairs frankly. Absolutely A50 delusional. Why in the name of sweet baby Jesus would you return to a police state ?
To be scrupulously fair to Carry Lam (with great difficulty) she said stop the rioting or Hong Kong will never be the same again. And she has been proven more than right.
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 02:35
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Still plenty of volunteers for training and other fancy office title jobs for not much if any extra pay. It's a first in history when a significant pay cut motivates people to give more. Pilots are the cockroaches of society and will cannibalize their own pay and conditions of the entire group for a shiny office title.
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 07:04
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Love the Bloomberg article and the fact that there is a “ Pangolin aviation recovery fund” FFS
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 11:07
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Cathay Pacific Can’t Stop Pilot Exodus as It Tries to Hire More

  • Airline may offer more allowances, benefits to stem departures
  • Staff have been caught in fallout of Hong Kong’s Covid battle

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...more#xj4y7vzkg
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 12:40
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Originally Posted by MENELAUS View Post
To be scrupulously fair to Carry Lam (with great difficulty) she said stop the rioting or Hong Kong will never be the same again. And she has been proven more than right.
CL, the mastermind behind a many ingenious political moves and ideas ( zero covid to enable border opening with China), started the riots by introducing an extradition law with China, and then was unable to stop them again.
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 15:52
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Originally Posted by Sam Ting Wong View Post
CL, the mastermind behind a many ingenious political moves and ideas ( zero covid to enable border opening with China), started the riots by introducing an extradition law with China, and then was unable to stop them again.
Holy crap. I actually agree with you!
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 16:41
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Well, I can help you out here.

There was, is and never will be a pilot shortage at Cathay.

And to point out an obvious thinking mistake: it can't be pilot shortage AND going out of business/ Cathay/ Hong Kong is lost etc. You would have to pick one side I am afraid.



Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 18th Jun 2022 at 17:30.
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 17:06
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Bloody hell, do you ever get tired of that broken record of yours? We do!
Your defeatist attitude is part of the reason the situation went out of control.
Pilots not standing up for what was right and even joining the management and beancounting team.
Here’s my broken record: people like you are the problem of the industry.

Standing by for the inevitable statements about my naievity and you being a multi-millionaire who is also a victim of the circumstances.
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 18:11
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I suspect that STW and Augustus Twang both smoke the same sh*t
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 18:47
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If one would blame singular selfish behaviour, why stop at the pay package for Cathay pilots?

We could finally achieve fair pay for nurses, toilet cleaner and domestic helper ( too simple, they all just stay home until the pay offer is right). When that is done, we could end the Ukrainian war ( you guessed it, all soldiers just stop) and while were at it global warming ( we stop to eat meat, no more cheap plastic and all on public transport, sorted). Then we stop famines, everybody in the first world simply gives a monthly salary to the poor. Done.

Most importantly, if all could wait until people did alight from the MTR, on the side. Then board the train. 🙏


Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 19th Jun 2022 at 06:32.
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 20:06
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There already is a pilot shortage at cx.

G hughes admitting publicly that cos18 is not cutting it, IS admitting they miscalculated and bow they have to hire 700 pilots PLUS 800 cadets in an effort to get back to normalcy. That's how many they're short now to meet their plans, and it's spiraling further each month. All those with children had made plans and preparations to leave this summer when kids are out of school so they can start the new school year in September ahead of cx cutting their education allowance. All the rest have made plans to leave by the end of the year ahead of housing allowance being cut by 2/3. Once the momentum has been established which it has, it's impossible to stop.

A few days before all this was admitted to, at a board meeting attended by that monumental waste of oxygen Augusta prang the all important subject of recovery plan was being discussed. Various planning preparations obviously need to be reviewed and executed. They're having no luck attracting employee candidates for ANY level job. The 600 pound elephant in the room is the pilot jobs. It takes years+$$$$$$$ to train them etc. Unless you hire "expats", which at cx historically takes 6 months+$$$ of qualification.

The inevitable question was asked :"so what is the plan to hire these needed pilots to be able to execute this recovery?" Specifically from where are we hiring the 700 direct entries and just how will we have the capacity to train the other 800 cadets we're going to hire and train for the next few years? There was no answer from anyone. They have very few pilot candidates, qualified or not.

It was generally admitted that the recovery plan can't be done as planned. They were planning on being at 60% total capacity by September. It's already obvious they can't do that.

The idiotic statements they keep making about how cos 18 is being constantly "reviewed & adjusted" is a big joke. Nothing short of a snap back to cos 08 will even get anyone's attention. The negligable amounts they plan to keep raising it until exodus slows down will not achieve anything. And since they've permanently lost all credibility as an employer, they now have to pay even more than before to get expats to risk going to work for them. Even Cos 08 will not be enough going forward. What they have fkkkd up cannot be unfkkkd without ridiculous amounts of money being spent, whether to attract expats again or the cost of so many cadets having to be trained from scratch over the years to come.

Then there's the inevitable hull loss or two coming cathay's way in the near future. That'll cost them too.

How historically incompetent and stupid cx board could have been to miscalculate this so badly? Who is stupid enough to let these fools manage their money and assets in the form of an airline? Who is stupid enough to buy or hold cx stock? Who's stupid enough to have an opportunity for another job and stay at cx?

Last edited by VforVENDETTA; 18th Jun 2022 at 20:30.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 00:04
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Originally Posted by Sam Ting Wong View Post
If one would blame singular selfish behaviour, why stop at the pay package for Cathay pilots?

We could finally achieve fair pay for nurses, toilet cleaner and domestic helper ( too simple, they all just stay home until the pay offer is right). When that is done, we could end the Ukrainian war ( you guessed it, all soldiers just stop) and while were at it global warming ( we stop to eat meat, no more cheap plastic and all on public transport, sorted). Then we stop famines, everybody in the first world simply gives a monthly salary to the poor. Done.

PS One more thing. We all could wait until people did alight from the MTR, on the side. Then board the train. 🙏
If Zelensky had your attitude, Ukraine would have been taken a long time ago.
Why don’t you go call him and tell him resistance is futile.
Weak dick!
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 00:50
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It’s an utter mess, but there is no turning the clock back. No amount of money fixes the problem as management have proven whatever they promise today can be removed tomorrow. An employment contract means nothing unless you’re based. Oh, wait…

Snap back to COS08? How quickly we’ve forgotten. Do you not remember that in 2016 you were offered COS08 plus 8% and voted that offer down? The world was a lot cheaper in 2016 than today, Hong Kong was a better place to live, we believed our employment contract meant something and we all had the option of finishing our career on a base, yet COS08 plus 8% wasn’t good enough.

So is COS08 (minus the base option) in 2022 going to fix management’s problem? Not even close. No amount of money changes the fact we are just mercenaries temporarily working for an employer that can’t be trusted.

Last edited by Progress Wanchai; 19th Jun 2022 at 01:02.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 04:07
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The problem is that this management hates pilots more than it likes making money. They had a party when they destroyed our contract at the height of covid paranoia, now the party is over. The main topic of conversation on the flight deck these days is "where are you going?" This is not idle chatter, in many cases the families have already left HK. What has been started by these pilot haters cannot be stopped now, decisions have been made.
The incompetence of these people will be shown if/when HK ever opens up to the world. All those shiny, expensive assets parked in the desert will stay parked. Our competitors will eat up our market share, slots will be lost.
All of this could have been avoided by meaningful discussions with the pilot body at the start of the pandemic. No sign or be fired bs, open dialogue to make meaningful concessions to help the business.
Oh well...
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 05:11
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You are all wrong.

From a business point of view it was the right decision to cease the moment and to lower the costs.

Cathay will increase the package ( by very small increments) in order to meet the demand, if necessary. Hint: the amount required is much lower than you think.

Nobody knows the pace of recovery, future airline size and traffic numbers.

But all other airlines have the very same problem. EK cold-blooded fired staff, will they return? How much cheaper is it to live in Singapore? Turkish Airlines wages got eaten up by a worthless currency, will you accept a contract in Lira ever again? Or ask former contract pilots in Asia and the rest of the world about their feelings toward their employer. Or anyone at HK Airlines.

Consider the hundreds of CX 777 pilots who got paid with no work for years. Are they going to be loyal and grateful employees in the future? Ha.

The loss of trust and good will almost doesn't matter.

Only romantic idiots have trust in an employer, regardless which one it is.

The numbers work for you or they don't. And Cathay will simply pay + X % compared to EK etc, as they always used to.

Eventually, mainland pilots will be allowed to work for CX, but until then recruitment will be from SA, Oz, India and Europe.

Check the wages on offer in these countries and you will understand why they will come. Ask yourself why certain individuals even can't let go long after they left CX..

Hull loss? Check the safety record of low cost airlines. Wake up. The industry has changed for good. Pilots will be mediocre educated (and paid) low-level employees, recruited from lower income regions.


Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 19th Jun 2022 at 05:52.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 05:56
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Frank, point taken. I don't know what package will be required to keep pilots like yourself. True. As you said, time will tell. My point is: they don't need you or me anymore. I don't see panic nor an immediate emergency, as we speak they still have hundreds too many, there is, right now, no shortage at all.And don't forget, they have the data, we don't. They know how many applicants, they know in what order they want to increase frequency etc. And if the package is too low, then they increase it by a 5000$ steps until it is sufficient. They win in the end, by slowly approaching the market price from below ( if necessary at all) they will get us for the best price possible. Smart.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 10:25
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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.


Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 19th Jun 2022 at 11:50.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 10:45
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Originally Posted by sam ting wong View Post
you are all wrong.
😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 11:20
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I thought their response during the recent ‘teams call’ quite telling, when asked “How do you even intend to interview, sim check and medically asses the candidates within the current restrictions in Hong Kong ?” The answer was that it was a good question and they are continually assessing scenarios with third party providers but we realise it will be problematic”

The Cav
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