Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

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FlackoJodye
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Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

Post by FlackoJodye » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:52 pm

Hi there! New here but a long time lurker.
I've been reading quite a few threads about working overseas vs staying here, and there seems to be only good comments from working overseas (salary, livability, etc.) Little bit of a background, I've been instructing for ~2 months now and I'm enjoying it! Though, my dream is to really be an airline pilot. Right now I'm focused on instructing, but I am planning to take my required licenses and ratings for ATPL on the way.

I am wondering, what is the possibility for me to work overseas, particularly in Asia (Japan is the dream, but Korea, Philippines, etc.)? Is it a reasonable goal? If so, any advice on how to prepare about it?

Appreciate all the answers!

Well wishes,
V
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JoeShithe
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Re: Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

Post by JoeShithe » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:17 am

I think it’s good to look outside Canada for other options in the industry.
Going overseas does require some marketable time so maybe keep pursuing a career in Canada while looking abroad.
Once you get established here and have a bit of experience, you are in a good position to stay or further explore going overseas. You might be very happy at home.

If you do leave, it can be a bit difficult coming back so I would suggest looking at it for the long term or even the rest of your career.
Some Asian carriers hire expat FO’s but it’s very rare any get upgraded so best to look at Asia for a DEC position.
The Middle East has its ups and downs and I would say it might have seen it’s heyday but still a option to consider.

At all costs avoid the the Philippines and Indonesia.

It definitely has its challenges but for me personally, the rewards have been great. Best thing I ever did was work overseas, absolutely no regrets.

PS. Never get married. It’s not an expat thing but just general advice.
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FlackoJodye
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Re: Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

Post by FlackoJodye » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:24 pm

JoeShithe wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:17 am
I think it’s good to look outside Canada for other options in the industry.
Going overseas does require some marketable time so maybe keep pursuing a career in Canada while looking abroad.
Once you get established here and have a bit of experience, you are in a good position to stay or further explore going overseas. You might be very happy at home.

If you do leave, it can be a bit difficult coming back so I would suggest looking at it for the long term or even the rest of your career.
Some Asian carriers hire expat FO’s but it’s very rare any get upgraded so best to look at Asia for a DEC position.
The Middle East has its ups and downs and I would say it might have seen it’s heyday but still a option to consider.

At all costs avoid the the Philippines and Indonesia.

It definitely has its challenges but for me personally, the rewards have been great. Best thing I ever did was work overseas, absolutely no regrets.

PS. Never get married. It’s not an expat thing but just general advice.

Thank you for your advice!! Yes, I was actually planning to work 704/705's here, but working overseas was really the dream and end goal.

In terms of difficulty in coming back, do you mean never coming back because working as a pilot overseas is better overall or just coming back to Canada to find a career again (or some citizenship issues) will be difficult?

So, the fact that you could be tied up in a relationship/marriage will be hard to handle because of all the challenges that working overseas come with? Man, if a cute Japanese girl comes my way I might mess around and fall in love :lol:

Anyway, will keep all that in mind as I work towards it! Appreciate you!
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Jack Klumpus
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Re: Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

Post by Jack Klumpus » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:38 pm

Some good advise above, I’ll add a bit more.

I’ve done the Canadian path then moved overseas. You have to know what kind of hours will help you overseas. Some airlines don’t care about the real experience that we get in Canada. They just care about jet time. Some prefer right seat RJ time over left seat Q400 for example. So know what your target wants and go after that.

Some places you won’t get an upgrade as an expat, you clearly don’t want to be there.

As for returning back to Canada, the issue isn’t with the citizenship, the issue is that depending on your age, your financial situation, you may not want to go back to a right seat job, or even a left seat job on a jet with sub par wages. If you’re at the right place, you could be making some decent coin, and once used to that paycheck every month, might be difficult to come back to making half of it. If you do go, enjoy your experience, save some dough, keep your contacts in Canada in case you come back. Always have a plan B.
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goingnowherefast
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Re: Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

Post by goingnowherefast » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:36 am

You could be making 150 grand a year as a 737 FO overseas. Then come back to Canada, where everybody is paying around 1/3rd of that 1st year on the same airplane. Situation is even worse for overseas captains coming home to bottom of the seniority list in an FO seat making 50 grand. Just stay overseas until you can retire at age 50 and move back to Canada then.
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andy.air
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Re: Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

Post by andy.air » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:01 pm

Over in Asia, you frequently hear the stories of starry eyed Canadian expats who come here as if it was aviation heaven. There are some good things about working overseas, and it's good experience, but not without sacrifice.

Most people look at the high paying jet contracts, but they neglect why some jobs are so high paying in the first place. Most of the Asian countries tend to prefer hiring their own locals, but look beyond the boundaries of their borders because of necessity. So as a result, they tend to hire expats grudgingly. This isnt always the case, but it usually is.

If you go overseas, do as much research as possible. A lot of Asian countries don't have the kind of labour laws as they do in Canada and will treat you accordingly. The other thing is if you want to repatriate yourself back in Canada working for an airline, you would have to start at the bottom of some seniority list again, which is probably undesirable.
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mixturerich
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Re: Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

Post by mixturerich » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:56 pm

Read Flying Upside down and tell me you still want to live and work in Asia.

Lower salaries aside, there’s something to be said about residing in Canada. It’s a pretty great country. So the grass is always greener, and you’ll always miss home.
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telex
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Re: Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

Post by telex » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:19 pm

mixturerich wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:56 pm
Read Flying Upside down and tell me you still want to live and work in Asia.

Lower salaries aside, there’s something to be said about residing in Canada. It’s a pretty great country. So the grass is always greener, and you’ll always miss home.
Did you read the book and make your decision or did you actually live and work in Asia?
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FlackoJodye
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Re: Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

Post by FlackoJodye » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:18 am

Some good advices above! Thanks guys. Really helps with the research.
andy.air wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:01 pm
Most people look at the high paying jet contracts, but they neglect why some jobs are so high paying in the first place. Most of the Asian countries tend to prefer hiring their own locals, but look beyond the boundaries of their borders because of necessity. So as a result, they tend to hire expats grudgingly. This isnt always the case, but it usually it is.
I figured this would be the case... Do you think they would sense that “desperation” (on my end, if applying there with their minimum requirements) in a way? Feel like it’s really good to build some time here and apply with a resume that brings more to the table just so one doesn’t come off like that.

As for mixturerich,
I love Canada!! It’s great here. I would just like to explore the world more. coming back to visit shouldn’t be a problem.. I feel I’m getting the best of both worlds then.
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andy.air
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Re: Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

Post by andy.air » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:04 pm

FlackoJodye wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:18 am

I figured this would be the case... Do you think they would sense that “desperation” (on my end, if applying there with their minimum requirements) in a way? Feel like it’s really good to build some time here and apply with a resume that brings more to the table just so one doesn’t come off like that.
I don't believe most people who work overseas necessarily do so out of desperation, but everyone is different and I can't speak for others. So no, I do not think they care about desparation in the same way as some operators on home soil do. I mean, most overseas contracts with a few exceptions require a type rating and time on some form of transport category aircraft as a basic requirement. Guys who have these requirements are usually either giving up a seniority number or are unemployed/laid off.
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mixturerich
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Re: Working overseas as a Canadian Pilot

Post by mixturerich » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:49 am

telex wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:19 pm
mixturerich wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:56 pm
Read Flying Upside down and tell me you still want to live and work in Asia.

Lower salaries aside, there’s something to be said about residing in Canada. It’s a pretty great country. So the grass is always greener, and you’ll always miss home.
Did you read the book and make your decision or did you actually live and work in Asia?
Never worked or lived there. I realize a lot of stuff in that book is highly exaggerated so my comment about it was in jest. However, that book aside, having visited and researched and spoken to those that did, it has little appeal to me. I’ve heard of many pilots who tried to replicate the western lifestyle while living in Asia with not a whole lot of success. There’s money to be made over there but things like air quality alone are enough to steer me away.
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