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Home > Becoming a Pilot > What do you think of my plan to be a budget airline pilot?
What do you think of my plan to be a budget airline pilot?
Pilot Career - Becoming a Pilot
Sunday, 01 June 2008 11:44

Dear Sir,

I wish to show my gratitude to you for your passion in maintaining this informative website for the future pilots.  For this, I can be ascertained that you are a good mentor and advisor to your junior pilots.

I have studied through the salary scale that the website published.  I realized that Jetstar Asia pay scale is not included.  May I ask if this information can be included as part of the reference?  Along with this question, may I also ask if it is true that budget airlines do not pay as well as major airlines such as Silkair?  And that budget airlines do not pay bonus to their pilots, since they are still in the process of breaking-even?

 I am 27 this year and am bonded with a government agency till next July.  Personally, I have decided to sign up with STATA for flying training to obtain a CASA license and apply to Jetstar Asia.  The primary consideration for me taking my own training is that I wish to join a regional airline and be back in Singapore as often as possible.  Moreover, my passion of flying includes daily flying and doing more events such as take-off and landing. Joining a regional airline seems to be able to fulfill these objectives, comparing to international airlines where pilots fly longer hours and take longer rest before their next flight.

SIA/Silkair is definitely a prestige airline that I have always wanted to embark on.  However, the training timeline for SIA/Silkair is considerably long.  I am in the midst of my career transition and wish to draw a decent salary home as soon as possible.  Hence I have decided to attempt private, hoping to gain employment and embark on the professional career at the fastest pace.  For your information, STATA training is 52 weeks.  Rumours for SIA training to be a 2nd Officer - it takes 2.5 years.

Sir, if your time permits, I wish to seek your opinion if my considerations are valid and what are your considerations or advices you have?

In addition, may I also seek your opinion to the survival of budget carriers, with the increasing oil prices?  Attached is an article on the outlook for budget carriers.  The article predicted that budget carriers will not survive through this crisis.

(See http://www.straitstimes.com/Free/Story/STIStory_240428.html?vgnmr=1)

Kevin

Hi Kevin,

Unfortunately I do not have the Jetstar Asia salary scale yet (appreciate if someone can update me on this). It is true that some budget airlines do not pay as well as the major airlines for obvious reasons. On the other hand, it is incorrect to say that some budget airlines do not pay bonus to their pilots. I know AirAsia do as it is one of the most well-run low cost carriers around in the South East Asian region today.

If you do not intend to get into the SIA/SilkAir cadet program because of the longer training period, the choice of STATA (ST Aviation Training Academy) is probably the better option since it is only a 52 weeks course. However, I would recommend that you have a go at the SIA cadet program first (the training period may not be that long) before you apply for STATA as you are not promised of a job on your graduation unless Jetstar Asia can guarantee so.  If not, you may have to wait for a while too, and in the end, it may take just as long to be a Second Officer in other budget airlines.

My opinion of some well-run low cost carriers is positive. Yes, oil price may be hitting an all-time high of more than USD135.00 per barrel lately and the BA chief executive has even been predicting rash of airline failures.

However, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes is of the opinion that there are opportunities in such a situation whereby travelers who might have flown on the major airlines will now choose a lower-cost, better-value option. People still need to travel. That's where an efficient budget carrier will thrive.

I wish you all the best.

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Patrick , 22 Jun, 2008

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