Chinese airlines are recruiting more overseas pilots as the aviation market expands.
CNN reported recently that Chinese airlines are offering huge pay packages to tempt foreign pilots, as the demand for air travel skyrockets. Particularly in Asia, disposable income is increasing and flying for work or pleasure is more common.
Carriers are advertising salaries of over $300,000 a year – and they’ll cover the tax bill too.
China is looking for 4,000 to 5,000 new airline pilots to fill the gap. Take a look at the most recent roles based in China here.
“There’s not enough pilots in the world to fill the demand,” said Dave Ross, the CEO of Wasinc International, a firm that finds pilots for Chinese airlines. “This is why the pay keeps going higher.”
In China last year, airlines carried more than 1 billion passengers, of which 914 million were on domestic flights.
Lin Zhijie, an aviation industry analyst and columnist at Carnoc.com, a civil aviation website, said the Chinese aviation market has grown phenomenally over the past 20 years as domestic airlines have expanded their fleets and opened new routes, leading to huge demand for pilots.
Training schools in China aren’t churning out enough pilots to keep up with the industry’s demand, and there is an acute shortage of experienced captains. Chinese airlines have no option but to recruit more foreign pilots.
“Chinese airlines have to provide competitive salaries to lure pilots away from their hometowns to work in China,” Mr Lin said.
Under a contract with China Eastern, Elgin Siasat Medina, 43, a Filipino who has lived in Shanghai for 11 years, said he gets 10 days off for every 20 days he works, allowing him to spend time with his family in Manila.
“It’s a balance of work and life,” said Mr Medina, who usually flies Boeing 777s 80 hours a month.
The airlines’ rich offers have attracted industry veterans from all around the globe.
Chengdu Airlines spokesperson Guo Jing said: “In China, pilots are always in short supply, and we offer high salaries because if we don’t nobody will come.”