I'm going through the motions on this one myself - I'm going through my training with the intention (hope) of one day being able to occupy the right hand seat.
At this moment in time, airlines aren't paying for people to go and work for them as a rule of thumb. It has become somewhat of a norm (certainly on this side of the pond) to fund your own training and try and get a job with low hours off the back of that. There are, of course, a couple of exceptions as you have pointed out, LH
With the CX
scheme, you can apply to them as a more 'experienced' cadet with a CPL and 250 hours with a non HK ID
. It seems like a good idea, but rumour on the grape vine is that there are so many applicants for the scheme in general that it can take them weeks (months) to look at your application. They have three entry routes - cadet, 250 hrs and frozen ATPL (1500 hours), they change their requirements as to which ones they're going to hire on a monthly basis.
run a future pilot programme every couple of months or so to hire another 10-80 pilots. You will have to have UK citizenship and you do have to stump up the 80k initially for your training. The money is then 'refunded' to you on successful completion of the training - and if you're accepted into their scheme, you're guaranteed a job as an A320 or B734 FO.
Malaysian, Emirates and Qatar all run ab-initio schemes akin to Lufthansa's (no money up front, but you're contracted in for circa 5 years), the problem being is that they are restricted to nationals of their respective countries. Qatar, however, has hired foreigners before and I'm keeping a weather eye on their website to see whether that's going to change any time soon! I live in hope, though.
If I was you, I might be keeping an eye on American Eagle to open up the books? They're currently desperate for pilots for their fleet and have recruitment drives going on for 1500 fATPL guys and gals - sooner or later requirement might surpass demand and they might train a few people.
Essentially, what I've learned is that it is very, very expensive and you might or might not get a job at the end of it.
As I said, I'm going through this at the moment - so I'd like to think my research is up to date. If anyone else can add any pearls of wisdom to this, please do as I'm always interested in what's going on in this market.