Hainan Airlines

Dart

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2004
Messages
310
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Plenty
I'm looking for info about Hainan Airlines. I was offered a Captain position on the A330 based out of A few different places, 2 weeks on 2 weeks off.

Anybody have any ideas on schedules, trips, quality of life. Does the company treat you well and how are the FO's?

Thanks
 

CaptSeth

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
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?
Join pprune for the good, bad, and ugly.

Mostly the last two.
 

NEDude

yada yada yada
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Dec 12, 2001
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6000+
You have to take pprune with a hefty helping of salt. It is by far the worst aviation bitch board out there. People on there find the silliest things to whine about. I remember one thread a few years back about how Emirates was the worst place on earth because crews were not allowed to drink the Evian water, they had to settle for the regular bottled water. Emirates may have issues, but crew members not being able to drink Evian water has to rank as one of the silliest complaints of all time. Yet this pprune thread make it sound like the worst injustice the piloting profession has ever seen.

I cannot speak to Hainan specifically, but I have heard they are one of the better Chinese outfits to work for. Having been in China for over a year now I can tell you that Chinese aviation is VERY different, and the culture can take some getting used to. Just to give you a small example - in the western world if your instructor tells you something that contradicts a manual, you always follow the manual. Hey, instructors do make mistakes, usually it is not a huge deal and you just move on. Good instructors will admit they made the mistake and take steps to correct it. However in China the instructor is God. You NEVER, EVER go against what your instructor has told you, even if the manual says differently. And you certainly never point out the error to the instructor or else he will lose face, a huge no-no in China. And causing someone to lose face is very disgraceful to yourself as well. Along those lines, as a student you never ask an instructor a difficult question because there is a risk he may not know the answer. You can only ask simple questions that will allow the instructor to show his knowledge, thus making him seem important. This seems silly, but that is how things work. We have several "procedures" at my airline that contradict the FCOM and FOM simply because some instructor made a mistake that nobody dared correct, and those mistakes have now become defacto procedure. Examples include always using flaps 2 for takeoff (we are an A320 operator), always using max reverse on landing, always turing the brake fans on and then riding the brakes while taxiing. None of these are recommend or required procedures in our manuals, and in fact they are all recommended against in most cases, yet they are treated as gospel here.

Anyway, I don't know if that helps at all with Hainan, it probably does not. But it may give you some insight about operating in China.
 

POWDERFINGER

Red means run, son...
Joined
Dec 12, 2004
Messages
30
Hainan Airlines is one of the better jobs in China. Do plenty of research before you get serious about the job, though.

Beyond NEDude's comments, I would add that management culture, ATC, scheduling, robotic copilots, and "life in China" should be considered. You will make money, but the experience may well cost you physically and mentally.
 

Flyer1015

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
4,502
Total Time
Moola
You have to take pprune with a hefty helping of salt. It is by far the worst aviation bitch board out there. People on there find the silliest things to whine about. I remember one thread a few years back about how Emirates was the worst place on earth because crews were not allowed to drink the Evian water, they had to settle for the regular bottled water. Emirates may have issues, but crew members not being able to drink Evian water has to rank as one of the silliest complaints of all time. Yet this pprune thread make it sound like the worst injustice the piloting profession has ever seen.

I cannot speak to Hainan specifically, but I have heard they are one of the better Chinese outfits to work for. Having been in China for over a year now I can tell you that Chinese aviation is VERY different, and the culture can take some getting used to. Just to give you a small example - in the western world if your instructor tells you something that contradicts a manual, you always follow the manual. Hey, instructors do make mistakes, usually it is not a huge deal and you just move on. Good instructors will admit they made the mistake and take steps to correct it. However in China the instructor is God. You NEVER, EVER go against what your instructor has told you, even if the manual says differently. And you certainly never point out the error to the instructor or else he will lose face, a huge no-no in China. And causing someone to lose face is very disgraceful to yourself as well. Along those lines, as a student you never ask an instructor a difficult question because there is a risk he may not know the answer. You can only ask simple questions that will allow the instructor to show his knowledge, thus making him seem important. This seems silly, but that is how things work. We have several "procedures" at my airline that contradict the FCOM and FOM simply because some instructor made a mistake that nobody dared correct, and those mistakes have now become defacto procedure. Examples include always using flaps 2 for takeoff (we are an A320 operator), always using max reverse on landing, always turing the brake fans on and then riding the brakes while taxiing. None of these are recommend or required procedures in our manuals, and in fact they are all recommended against in most cases, yet they are treated as gospel here.

Anyway, I don't know if that helps at all with Hainan, it probably does not. But it may give you some insight about operating in China.
Wow. How can anyone operate under that culture. Then one day flying into San Fran on a clear crystal blue sky day when the CA has the power at idle and one sees the PAPIs change from red/white to all red, continued drop below glideslope, one thinks back to their training of staying quiet and saving face. Besides, that sea wall should help break the impact forces...

I thought the Asian carriers had learned from the accidents in the 80s and 90s (eg, Korean at Guam). Guess not.
 

POWDERFINGER

Red means run, son...
Joined
Dec 12, 2004
Messages
30
I thought the Asian carriers had learned from the accidents in the 80s and 90s (eg, Korean at Guam). Guess not.
Surely not. They are on track for a major hull looss, mostly for what you could call "airline theater" in which companies focus on things that look good in advertising and reports to higher management.

Airlines in the PRC rely on rote learning and rigid surveillance and enforcement. No joke, they take the CVR and DFDR data routinely and scan them for things they deem worthy of punishment. Would you believe one airline demoted a copilot for 9 months because he exceeded the flaps 25 speed by one knot for one second? Another one fines its pilots for minor amounts for any number of minor things found in the DFDR data (eleven knots on the apron = fine). Training amounts to self-study of minutia asked on tests and little to no time on hand flying skills, judgment, decision making, raw instrument work, etc.

Hainan's not been involved in the many close calls over the last year or two, so good for them. Others have gotten away with scratched paint from NDB antennas, trees, and runway edge lights. There have been wild and crazy go-arounds and other things which would have killed people of lesser luck.
 
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