Chinese Airlines Seek Foreign Pilots


You’ve heard all about the so-called pilot shortage but so far all your various ratings and endorsements have you flying the grill at your local McDonalds. How about trading your plastic fork for chopsticks — and maybe a shot at right seat in an airliner. The first private airlines are taking flight in China and they’ll need at least 8,000 pilots over the next 10 years. Since there is virtually no GA system to produce those pilots, the airlines must look abroad. “China is short of captains and co-pilots,” said Liu Jieyin, chairman of Okay Airways, China’s first privately held airline. “We offer young foreign pilots an opportunity to grow.” The airline recently hired seven young pilots, including a Canadian and two Swiss as well as four from Hong Kong, and Liu said there are plans to hire more as the fledgling airline’s fleet of six leased 737s starts competing for business with the three state-owned airlines. First officers will earn about $2,500 a month.