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Cathay Pilots Demographics

Mon Jun 13, 2005 4:52 am

I remember reading a post a little while back that stated that Cathay Pacific's flight crew workforce was made up predominantly of British and Australian expats. Is this true, and if so, what is the reason? I'm sure this type of question has been asked before. I could understand this being the case for smaller or newer airlines in regions where pilot training resources and facilities might not be readily available, but it struck me as a bit curious that an airline as well established as Cathay would not do the majority of it's pilot recruiting and development domestically.

Are there other major carriers that tend to look abroad for their pilots? Gulf Air and Emirates perhaps?
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RE: Cathay Pilots Demographics

Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:11 am

yeah some Cantonese F/O look like air cadets (young age)
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RE: Cathay Pilots Demographics

Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:28 am

Don't forget that up to several years ago Hong Kong was a british Crown Colony. So 'domestic' recruitment would have included a lot of british as well..

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RE: Cathay Pilots Demographics

Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:42 am

IMatAMS makes a good point regarding the background of CX. I've seen many Australian, British and some Canadians as well. Their pilot cadet programme is an attempt to recruit "domestically" with a requirement that all candidates hold the right of abode in HKSAR.
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RE: Cathay Pilots Demographics

Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:38 pm

China Airlines also recruits a lot of expatriates, my father who is a Brazilian worked there as a captian (MD-11 and later A340) for more then four years. Along with him there were around 9 other Brazilians, several Canadians, a few Americans and a lot of Europeans. It was like a Tower of Babel.
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RE: Cathay Pilots Demographics

Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:43 pm

As far as I know CX also has quite a number of Canadians as well. Out here on the west coast, they are one of the top companies that a lot of pilots are after.
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RE: Cathay Pilots Demographics

Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:44 pm

CX is not alone foreign employment. One just has to hear the variety of accents from up front on any airline, like the North American and Southern African accents I've heard on Qantas, to appreciate that the pilot job market is global.
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RE: Cathay Pilots Demographics

Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:25 pm

The CX cadet program has always been open to PERMANENT residents of Hong Kong ONLY. You cannot discriminate and ask for local chinese only. There are caucasians with permanent residency and several have joined Cx through the cadet scheme.

CX now also do a staff scholarship, where any CX staff can apply for the cadet scheme, but only a couple a year manage to get in.

CX still employs many 'direct entry' Second officers and First Officers from overseas. These tend to be mainly Australian, but there are also many New Zealanders, South africans, Americans, Canadians. Other nationalities also have respresentatives. We are a very multi-cultural group and have pilots from 50+ countries flying for us. The British population is still there, but there as fewer Brits joining these days than others. There are now more Aussies than anything.

As for why Cx can't feed the airline solely on from the cadet scheme? They can't get enough people. Hong Kong is small, the kids speak bad english, have the hand-eye coordination of a lettuce, and most of them want to be doctors and lawyers anyway...not pilots. Cadet courses are often delayed and end up starting with less than desired numbers simply because there aren't enough quality people.

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