Cathay Pacific Q's

Flat-tire

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Just a quick one.

I am starting on the 777 as a DESO here shortly. If I upgrade in a few years to the a freighter base do I leave the passenger pay scale or do I just convert to the 400 as a FO capable of doing both pass. and freight?

Or would it be best to hang out and wait for 777 F/O bases to open in NYC or somewhere else in the north or southeast?

Thanks
FT
 

Cpt. Underpants

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Yes, if you lave the pax fleet you leave the pax pay scale too, about 25% less at all levels. After three years (post final line check) you then move over to the pax fleet pay scale and do both pax and freight flying. You can also elect to return to HKG permanently and then you'll also get the HKG pay scales (with all allowances and 16% flat tax).
Should you upgrade to Capt on the freighter it's a different story: You are neither elligible to return to HKG nor will you move to a pax pay scale on the base until your equivalent seniority ON the HKG BASE upgrade too.
Whether you should wait or not is your call. The only certainties in life are death and taxes...
 

Flat-tire

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Thanks for the info. Hopefully Cathay opens some pass. bases in the North America.
 

Cpt. Underpants

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There are pax bases in N America already: YVR, YYZ, SFO, LAX, ATL and JFK. You're just obligated to stay on the freighter until you've either done three years or your seniority comes up as a captain. Ask the Drunk Irishman - maybe he'll explain it better!
 

Flat-tire

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I thought ATL and JFK were freight only bases?

FT
 

Cpt. Underpants

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oops, ATL shouldn't be there - freight only. JFK is both pax and freight, as are the others.
 

i'mbatman

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oops, ATL shouldn't be there - freight only. JFK is both pax and freight, as are the others.

Cpt.,

Are you sure about JFK being pax? Is that on the A340-600? I'm starting at JFK as a DEFO in aug and will be on the -400F.
 

Bjammin

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JFK is the 340-600.

You will go through ORD or YYZ on the way to ANC, spend the night then on to HKG 80% of the time.
 

DrunkIrishman

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oops, ATL shouldn't be there - freight only. JFK is both pax and freight, as are the others.
Looks like everyone makes mistakes, eh Captain? No need to take it so personally. A little humility from time to time is always welcomed.
 

ATLDRVR

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Do you have to go to HKG as a new hire or can you be hired directly into the freighter in the U.S.? Does anyone have any info on the ATL base and how hard it would be to get?
 

vtwin

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Do you have to go to HKG as a new hire or can you be hired directly into the freighter in the U.S.? Does anyone have any info on the ATL base and how hard it would be to get?
I am only familiar with the DEFO gig.

No. As a DEFO you won't be able to go to HKG until your so called 3 year freighter committment is done. So called, because it has and can be extended by CX and you are not pay protected when it happens. That committment starts after you have completed your LUFUS, (IOE for Americans). Which is about 3 months (3 months for some guys and up to 5 months for others depending on who you get for your checks and of course your performance) after you start groundschool/sim and all the fun and games in store for you in HKG.

You don't ever have to live in HKG, however, you still might have to pretend you would during the interview.

You could spend your entire career at CX on a base in the US. After 3 years you can go to the pax fleet as a FO on a US base where everything about the roster is stable and easy or try for freighter command where the roster sux but the pay is about equal and you could stay in ATL. Or of course you could go to HKG as a FO. Each deal is about 30% more in pay rise. (someone check me on this) from US based freighter FO.

ATL is a freighter base, more flights will be added and you would probably get it at some point if not right away.

There is wind that positive change may be afoot here but until they eliminate some real problem checkers for now it is just lipstick on a pig.
 
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ATLDRVR

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Any idea on how long to upgrade to captain on the freighter side in the U.S., especially ATL?

What would a typical trip be like out of ATL?
 

Cpt. Underpants

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Recently two B744F drivers upgraded from DEFO to Capt in under two years (at least one was a former TWA MD Capt - don't know about the other) - can't tell you about the rosters - I don't and have never flown freight.

Despite managements' protestations to the contrary, the upgrade process is not a "no jeopardy" thing, and is fraught with traps for the unwary. Many fail and the mark on your "P File" (personal file) is permanent.

Do not undertake a bid to upgrade lightly. It will not be fun going through a career at CX with a 200 lb gorilla on your back. If you are hired at Cathay, assume the time to upgrade to be about 9 - 10 years, any less should be viewed as a bonus.
 

vtwin

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Any idea on how long to upgrade to captain on the freighter side in the U.S., especially ATL?

What would a typical trip be like out of ATL?
The typical ATL trip or, um, pattern at CX about 75% of the time for FO's: ATL-ANC-HKG-ANC-DFW-ATL about 7 days with overnights in ANC both times and HKG.
 
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Flat-tire

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vtwin

How many days off do you have after a trip like that? Do you and the skipper stay together for the trip?

Cpt. Underpants

Are your trips commutable on the pass. side of things or do you live in base?
 

shroomwell

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How bad is the Physical. Any links to more information on it?
 

Flat-tire

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The Physical was straight forward and pretty standard. Its pretty much the same as an FAA medical from a thorough doctor. If they find that you have any problems they ask you to see a local doctor to sort it out. You have to pass the interview first, so I would concentrate on that.

Blood work
Chest X-ray
Urine sample
History
Eyes
Hearing
Blood pressure
 

Cpt. Underpants

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Flat

I am HKG based, always have been (17 years). It is commutable, but its' hard on you physically and very risky as a no-show without a CONFIRMED (full-fare) ticket is a termination occurrence. "Chucking a sickie" (google it) if you get bumped is risky at best and could get you fired.

Seniority on sublo tickets is also no guarantee as our N American flights not only run pretty much at capacity but are frequently RTOW limited. Jumpseating on the freighter on sublo is also not allowed (don't ask me why).

CX is also not an FAA-recognised Part 135 or 121 carrier so we have no jumpseat arrangements in the US. Not surprisingly, we do not offer jumpseats to anyone outside the CX/KA group.

The physical is a standard Class 1 with ECG, vision (Isishara and normal acuity charts) and Audio, blood and urine tests and a general disclosure form. BMI is measured and monitored.
 

vtwin

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vtwin

How many days off do you have after a trip like that? Do you and the skipper stay together for the trip?

Cpt. Underpants

Are your trips commutable on the pass. side of things or do you live in base?
Your off more than on. 7-10 days off between patterns and you may see the skipper again on the same pattern maybe not, he may be JFK or HKG based for example. Trips are pretty commutable on both pax and freighter ends and so maybe you need a hotel 2-4 times a month. You commute in early get "well rested" and make your report because there is no reserve pool here.
You book off sick at the last minute or no show a trip and its a big deal
parking the jumbo somewhere for 4-8 hours before they fly somone else in.
Guys spend big bucks buying full fare tickets at times to get to work here.
As a based yank I have a life outside the airline with the time off and 6 weeks vacation. They seem to like to schedule you for a sim when you come back from leave just to show you whose boss though.

Your basically commuting to an international block or, um, roster here.

By the way, you are gonna owe Underpants and me a beer after all this.
 
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