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            september 21, 2019

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Chinese airlines offer foreign pilots US$318,000 a year to sign on


Foreign pilots are being offered lucrative pay packages by Chinese airlines who need 100 pilots a week for the next two decades to meet rocketing demand, according to Shipping Gazette.
Former United Airlines pilot, Giacomo Palombo, said he's being bombarded every week with offers to fly Airbus A320s in China.
Regional carrier Qingdao Airlines promises as much as US$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, reported Bloomberg.
Air traffic over China is set to quadruple in the next two decades, according to Airbus. Startup carriers are paying 50 per cent more than what some senior captains earn at Delta Air Lines, and they're giving recruiters from the US to New Zealand free rein to fill their captains' chairs.
With some offers reaching $26,000 a month in net pay, pilots from emerging markets including Brazil and Russia can quadruple their salaries in China, said Las Vegas-based president of Wasinc International, Dave Ross. Wasinc is recruiting for a dozen mainland carriers, including Chengdu Airlines, Qingdao Airlines and Ruili Airlines.
"When we ask an airline, 'How many pilots do you need?," they say, 'Oh, we can take as many as you bring," Mr Ross said. "It's almost unlimited."
The lucrative packages go some way towards compensating recruits for one of their biggest headaches - government bureaucracy. It might take two years for a pilot to start work in China after applying for a job, according to Liz Loveridge, who's responsible for China recruitment at Rishworth Aviation in Auckland.
"It's the documentation, the work permits, the immigration, the medicals," she said. "They say they want pilots, but there aren't the resources."
"There aren't a lot of expat pilots who really want to go to China," said Manila-based partner for the Asia Pacific region, Richard Laig, at consultancy Mango Aviation Partners. "There are places that are more comfortable."

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