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Questions About Working At Emirates

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by SoaringFalcon, May 31, 2008.

  1. SoaringFalcon

    SoaringFalcon New Member

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    Here are the following questions I have about working for Emirates. I am trying to gather as much information as I can prior to my interview in August. I am sure all these issues are important to others who are thinking about doing the same. Hopefully, this will bring up some great discussions! (Of course, am curious of TyphoonPilot's responses too)


    Family and Quality of Life:
    1. Is there a support/play group set up for wives and children of Dubai pilots?

    2. Schooling:
    a. what is the education like in Dubai?
    b. American schools are “profit” so cost more, but are they better than the other schools?
    c. how is an “all girl’s” school looked at in an Arab nation?
    d is parent participation encouraged or discouraged?
    3. Schedule:
    a. what does the typical monthly bid look like?
    b. what is your time away from home vs. your time at home?
    4. Are there any Emirates pilots with families who we could contact for further information?



    Living in Dubai
    1. If you give birth to a baby in Dubai, is that child a citizen from the country you are from, a UAE citizen, or both?

    2. What opportunities are available for Emirates pilot’s wives?

    3. What is it like raising young girls next to Arab nations?

    4. What type of insurance will one need in Dubai?
    a. automobile?
    b. rental / home owners?
    c. other?
    5. Over the past few years – INFLATION RATE FOR DUBAI
    a. this past year everyone received a 9% pay increase: do you see that keeping up with the rate of inflation?
    6. What is the estimate annual expenses for a family of four in Dubai?
    a. realistically how much money is left for new pilots to place in savings or to invest with?







    Benefits
    1. Do Emirates pilots have jumpseat privileges on other airlines?

    2. What flight benefits are available for families on other airlines?

    3. Can families travel with their spouse on an overnight?

    4. Are the following benefits under Emirates employees also available to the flight crew:
    a. telephone allowance?
    b. domestic help allowance?

    General
    1. I noticed there were simulator instructor and examiner positions available:
    a. are they line pilots, independent instructors, or a combination of both?
    b. if they fly the line, how often do they fly?
    2. How does one have a regulatory agency stamp your logbook?
    a. do they really want each and every page stamped?
    b. or is a copy of your latest 8710 enough?
    c. will a letter from the chief pilot’s office suffice for your logbook?
    3. Do you see the possibility of other bases in the future?

    4. How does Emirates determine who will go to which airplane?
    a. can you bid as an FO to another airplane?
    b. is upgrade based strictly on seniority (i.e. three years minimum with the company), merit, or both?
    5. How does DEC hired pilots affect upgrades for senior FO’s with the required qualifications?

    6. Generally, how long is training?

    7. Does your 6 month probation period start the day of hire or at the end of Initial Operating Experience?

    8. How often does the company call pilots on their day off to fly?

    9. How is pay determined when you are called on your day off?
    a. is it in excess of your monthly minimum?
    b. is it time and a half?
    c. is it by block time, a daily minimum, or time away from base?








    Emirates Pilots Message Board Frustrations
    1. In doing research there seems to be a decline in pilot moral at Emirates:
    a. since Emirates is a “service orientated” company, what is management’s future plan to increase pilot moral?
    2. Can you explain what is happening with the manual insertion of trips?

    3. Is it true that bidding will eventually be restricted to no more than 7 days off in a row?

    4. Is it true that there is only a maximum of 14 days off in a month?

    5. Is it true that new FO’s and new DEC’s are being hired on a higher pay scale than currently employed pilots?
    a. how has this affected the overall spirit of the pilot group?
    6. Is it true that temporary housing is in the worst areas of Dubai?

    7. How do families properly plan for schooling for their children when they will be in temporary housing in one area of Dubai, then relocated to a villa somewhere else?

    8. Was told at the information session there was a waiting list for schools and to register at more than one to ensure your kids get in:
    a. since Emirates doesn’t have permanent housing available, will they pay for more than one registration fee since we will have to register in two different areas of Dubai (instead of 3-4 schools, now 6-8 schools to register for)?
    9. Is there an incentive if one waited to move the family to Dubai until housing was available?

    10. Is it true that there are 9 day trips?
    a. how much time is left to spend with your family when you are gone for over a week?
    11 . Is it true that there are 4-5 day trips with a 3 day layover in TPI or TUN, but you are only paid for 12 hours?

    12. Do you have a copy of the FOM guidance for the order of upgrades - biggest complaint is the DEC jumping over senior FO’s that are ready to upgrade:
    a. shouldn’t the FOM be changed if the company is not going to follow its own guidance (three year FO’s, accelerated FO’s, then DEC’s)?
    b. understand the training costs for a DEC, but what about the ultimate cost of pilot moral and having a senior FO train a junior captain about Emirates policies/procedures/locations?
    c. if FO’s are being “bypassed” by DEC’s or accelerated FO’s, is there a pay recourse for them while waiting for an upgrade slot?
    d. if not, is this something Emirates will do in the future to improve moral of the pilot group?
    13. When available for upgrade can you only upgrade in the aircraft you are in or can you switch to the first available slot in another aircraft?

    14. The website states, “Emirates Airline recognizes the aspirations of its Pilots, and will endeavor to provide career progress. Moves between aircraft groups will be offered whenever possible, at the discretion of Management.”
    a. how often does this occur?
    b. is there current documentation as to how many pilots have requested switching fleet type over the last five years and how many of those requests were granted?
    15. What type of communication channel does the company have with it’s pilots?
    a. have learned that a pilot group is a very intelligent group of people, and working with them, soliciting insight and suggestions goes a long way than implementing changes
    b. are the pilot’s concerns taken seriously?
    16. How is information shared between the different divisions of the company?
    a. do the different divisions work together or are they pretty much their own entity?
    17. Is it true that for anything you need or want, as Emirates as your sponsor, you have to go through tons of paperwork?
    a. what does Emirates do to streamline the process?
  2. typhoonpilot

    typhoonpilot Well-Known Member

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    Typhoonpilot
  3. SoaringFalcon

    SoaringFalcon New Member

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    Thanks Typhoon for taking the time to answer those questions! I know how time consuming posting online can be, and on behalf of those of us considering Emirates as a future career, we thank you!

    Anywhere you go these days in the aviation industry has its pros and cons. The best thing for anyone interested in Emirates is to make a list on paper and decide what is best for you. Only you know where you'd like to be 1 year, 3 years, or 10+ years from now...

    Here were some other answers I had received in an email.



    Did your wife accompany you to Dubai? Yes. If so, how did you get her out there? ZED fare, worked out all right, but EK is just as confused as every other company when it comes to ZED fares. They've been around for over a year, but many ticket agents dont understand. You'll see that with QX when you go to purchase the fare. Just allow extra time and patience when it comes to travelling.

    How long did it take for them to get information to you about the interview? (I still haven't heard anything - although it's not until August 31st, but being Labor Day weekend, would like to make plans for my wife in advance) Would you happen to have a contact email to inquire about traveling information? I actually called because my wife is Thai and needed a visa. They appear to lack HR people as well. You definately have to prod them. E-mail both the person that invited you for the interview and e-mail the HR person that is handling your details. Sometimes they go on vacation for a month at a time and it's simply a matter of contacting someone else. I saved all my e-mails and will forward them to you with the different contact people if it gets closer and you're still concerned.




    Family and Quality of Life:
    1. Is there a support/play group set up for wives and children of Dubai pilots? They appear to be close as most just have each other.
    2. Schooling:
    a. what is the education like in Dubai? Don't have kids yet, but my impression was that the schooling is very good, like a good private us school, but some require a bit of a wait list, some in excess of six months.
    b. American schools are “profit” so cost more, but are they better than the other schools? The lady giving our tour liked the European schools better, but heard good things about the American schools. Depends on the adversity you would like to introduce the children to.
    c. how is an “all girl’s” school looked at in an Arab nation? Dubai is a quasi Arab nation, and even have women in high level positions, so I'm guessing the education would be superb as it is private and competing with other schools.
    d is parent participation encouraged or discouraged? It sounds like the kids can be so immersed in school activities and after school activities, that most of their time is consumed. Sounds like a better system than in the US.
    3. Schedule:
    a. what does the typical monthly bid look like? Depends on the a/c type. The 330 does more out and backs, mainly two day trips where your time away from base can be 12 to 30 hours. The 777 can do 9 day trips but get 14 days a calendar month off. I'll send you a copy in a few days of each.
    b. what is your time away from home vs. your time at home?
    4. Are there any Emirates pilots with families who we could contact for further information?



    Living in Dubai
    1. If you give birth to a baby in Dubai, is that child a citizen from the country you are from, a UAE citizen, or both? 100 percent the country you are from. Only nationals can give birth to a UAE citizen. You could work for EK for 35 years and still not qualify for citizenship. You are there on a series of 3 year resident visas for work.
    2. What opportunities are available for Emirates pilot’s wives? My wife wont work, but sounds like plenty of opportunities. They made it sound like the main opportunity for the wifes is bossing around the maid.
    3. What is it like raising young girls next to Arab nations?
    4. What type of insurance will one need in Dubai?
    a. automobile? Full coverage is much cheaper than US.
    b. rental / home owners?
    c. other?
    5. Over the past few years – INFLATION RATE FOR DUBAI
    a. this past year everyone received a 9% pay increase: do you see that keeping up with the rate of inflation? For food the prices were pretty much the same as here. There aren't many expenses more than food. Gas is 1.62 per gallon.
    6. What is the estimate annual expenses for a family of four in Dubai? Depends on how many times you eat at the Burj al Arab, at $300 per person.
    a. realistically how much money is left for new pilots to place in savings or to invest with? I've heard some can sock away most and I've heard about people just living like rock stars and not saving much. If you and your family take advantage of all Dubai has to offer, you wont save much but will have a life many times better than what you're probably accustomed to. My goal is to save at least 3,000 usd per month. That should give us over 4,000 for food and incidentals.



    Benefits
    1. Do Emirates pilots have jumpseat privileges on other airlines? No, not even on Emirates.
    2. What flight benefits are available for families on other airlines? I haven't seen specifics, but qualify after six month waiting period. On EK, pilots family including sister, brother, mother, father, kids get travel benefits including two positive space per year. Your spouse will only get her parents, not siblings.
    3. Can families travel with their spouse on an overnight? I was talking last week with Nikki McQuillan last week. One of her good friends has worked there a year and his wife always joins him on the overnights in Italy, Seychelles, Malta, etc.
    4. Are the following benefits under Emirates employees also available to the flight crew:
    a. telephone allowance? Yes, it's not much though, just covers basic service.
    b. domestic help allowance? I can't find this one, dont think so for the villas but I think they come in once a week to clean the apartments, dont quote me on that.



    General
    1. I noticed there were simulator instructor and examiner positions available:
    a. are they line pilots, independent instructors, or a combination of both? Can become an instructor or management after one year of service. I asked this in the HR portion of the interview.
    b. if they fly the line, how often do they fly?
    2. How does one have a regulatory agency stamp your logbook? You cant. You get a letter from the FAA. I found it easier to just go into the fisdo and have them write up the letter and include my status page off the internet and stamp that. Worked for me. I know there is a place on the FAA for people interviewing with Foriegn airlines that auto sends a letter to your mailing address. I didn't do it this way, so not sure what part of the site.
    a. do they really want each and every page stamped? I made up a stamp that said Horizon Air Chief pilots office and a line for initials and yes, had Gordon Smith initial every page, only took about 15 minutes. The stamp was like $20 but well worth it. Some people had the first page of their current employers signed and the last page and that worked to. I felt better with full compliance with what they asked.
    b. or is a copy of your latest 8710 enough?
    c. will a letter from the chief pilot’s office suffice for your logbook? I know Andrew, Ally, and Gordon have all done the signing of the logbook and are easier with this than a letter.
    3. Do you see the possibility of other bases in the future? No. Ethiad is contemplating a New York base. EK is sticking with just Dubai and are very rigid with this. By 2020 with 400 + airplanes, good luck to one base working.
    4. How does Emirates determine who will go to which airplane? This is the million dollar questions. I think it is only based on what time line you give them and what class is open. I know they are very short on the Airbus fleet now, but are still giving 777 classes. If you have a preference, wouldn't hurt to voice that at the HR portion of the interview. I wanted the T7 didn't say anything at the interview, but now am resigned to being happy with the 330, and can cross qualify on the 340 or move to the 380 after a year.
    a. can you bid as an FO to another airplane? Have to wait for 3 years, then go over and wait for at least a year on the new airplane to upgrade. This just applies to Airbus to Boeing and vise versa. Can switch around the Airbus fleet as much as you like. If the 747-800 fleet goes passenger, then don't know how that will bid.
    b. is upgrade based strictly on seniority (i.e. three years minimum with the company), merit, or both? Sounds like it is needs of the company, so both.
    5. How does DEC hired pilots affect upgrades for senior FO’s with the required qualifications? Yes. It sounds like they have stopped or slowed DEC 777, but so short on the Airbus that they will start with DEC soon.
    6. Generally, how long is training? I think 1 day for indoc, 3 weeks for ground, 20 sim sessions, and then IOE. I think most people go through in around 4 months.
    7. Does your 6 month probation period start the day of hire or at the end of Initial Operating Experience? I think it goes off pro-check.
    8. How often does the company call pilots on their day off to fly? Never heard of it, but read that it is required if they do.
    9. How is pay determined when you are called on your day off?
    a. is it in excess of your monthly minimum? Yes, like 104 usd per hour. They call it productivity pay.
    b. is it time and a half?
    c. is it by block time, a daily minimum, or time away from base? All block based. I hear that it is company policy not to allow more than a turn, so you're 50 minute flight to Muskat and then back, departing at 10 pm and returning at 3 am doesn't pay much, but then again burned two days, as this is technically a two day trip. They are only required to give 8 days off and a maximum of 14 days off, but looks like they give most people just the 14 days off.







    Emirates Pilots Message Board Frustrations
    1. In doing research there seems to be a decline in pilot moral at Emirates:
    a. since Emirates is a “service orientated” company, what is management’s future plan to increase pilot moral? Most of the decline in moral is limited to not much beyond pprune. Every body that I have run into that know people working at EK are very happy. 14 weeks bonus probably didn't hurt moral.
    2. Can you explain what is happening with the manual insertion of trips? I think this lies in the software they use for bidding. If you're senior for the month and want to bid ultra long haul on the 777 for example, the software will give it to you. It results in only working like 8 days per month, so they build it to getting 14 days off, and that includes manual insertion of out and backs to do so.
    3. Is it true that bidding will eventually be restricted to no more than 7 days off in a row? It is 8, but yes and only to keep people from commuting, they hate commuters.
    4. Is it true that there is only a maximum of 14 days off in a month? That's what the instructors get, and they had an uprising, so they limited everybody to 14 days off. Means that I'm not going to do ULH on the 777, makes me feel better. 777 guys don't like it, and will be very interested to see how they do it to 380 guys as that's all they will be doing.
    5. Is it true that new FO’s and new DEC’s are being hired on a higher pay scale than currently employed pilots? DECs are definately getting more than FOs that have been there 3 or 4 years, but I think it overall pay is based on years of service, like that on airline pilot central. It goes up every year, so I dont see how that could happen. Maybe if you got hired before the pay increase, you could be locked into the pay you signed on for the first year, don't know, assumed everybody went together, so good question.
    a. how has this affected the overall spirit of the pilot group?
    6. Is it true that temporary housing is in the worst areas of Dubai? I think Oberg is in the marina area, which is in one of the best. Not too many bad areas of Dubai, most of the poor live around 15 km outside Dubai.
    7. How do families properly plan for schooling for their children when they will be in temporary housing in one area of Dubai, then relocated to a villa somewhere else? Dubai is really quite small and easy to maneuver. Traffic can be bad, but no worse than Seattle or Portland. Yes, people prefer certain areas to be near a preferred school, and you can request that in your preference, but needs of the company, can put you elsewhere.
    8. Was told at the information session there was a waiting list for schools and to register at more than one to ensure your kids get in: Sounds like this is very true, about six months to a year at the preferred schools.
    a. since Emirates doesn’t have permanent housing available, will they pay for more than one registration fee since we will have to register in two different areas of Dubai (instead of 3-4 schools, now 6-8 schools to register for)?
    9. Is there an incentive if one waited to move the family to Dubai until housing was available? They almost encourage this, but that could be 6 to 8 months apart. It's just me and the wife, she's going when I go to ground school.
    10. Is it true that there are 9 day trips? Only one on the 777. They are typically two to four days in duration.
    a. how much time is left to spend with your family when you are gone for over a week? On the 330, you can be home almost every night, and not too hard for the 777 but longer out and backs. Your pay would be more on the 777, but you would work a lot more.
    11 . Is it true that there are 4-5 day trips with a 3 day layover in TPI or TUN, but you are only paid for 12 hours? Yes. It is strickly block pay. I think that is why they salary. Your flight pay is like 10.50 usd per hour and your only getting 14 days off per month, so not too woried about trip credit. Most months the credit is around 50 to 60 hours I guess.
    12. Do you have a copy of the FOM guidance for the order of upgrades - biggest complaint is the DEC jumping over senior FO’s that are ready to upgrade: I don't. It will probably happen, but not too many DECs being hired.
    a. shouldn’t the FOM be changed if the company is not going to follow its own guidance (three year FO’s, accelerated FO’s, then DEC’s)? Needs of the company.
    b. understand the training costs for a DEC, but what about the ultimate cost of pilot moral and having a senior FO train a junior captain about Emirates policies/procedures/locations? It sounds like they need so many, and not sure of the reasoning behind the bypass, but sounds like the most they are put out by only about six months.
    c. if FO’s are being “bypassed” by DEC’s or accelerated FO’s, is there a pay recourse for them while waiting for an upgrade slot? No. The biggest chance of being bypassed is if you have been there for 4 years waiting for an upgrade on the Airbus fleet and they are hiring DEC 777. They don't like you to change fleets, so this is happening. If it appeared to be over a year people would switch fleets after the three to get the upgrade after a year on the new fleet. This was happening a lot with the Airbus fleet, waiting for 3 to 4 years while DEC and junior dates of hire, but fleet specific people were being upgraded, but with the arrival of the 380s it might switch. This is why they are short with the Airbus fleet.
    d. if not, is this something Emirates will do in the future to improve moral of the pilot group?
    13. When available for upgrade can you only upgrade in the aircraft you are in or can you switch to the first available slot in another aircraft? Again, based on Airbus or Boeing. Again, you can switch after three years but would have to be a FO for a year before upgrade.
    14. The website states, “Emirates Airline recognizes the aspirations of its Pilots, and will endeavor to provide career progress. Moves between aircraft groups will be offered whenever possible, at the discretion of Management.”
    a. how often does this occur? With the caveat of the year, makes it quicker to upgrade in current type. If your total dream is to fly a 777, then yes you can switch after the 3 years, or if in the 777 and want to fly the 380, then again, yes. I think the only times this doesn't occur is if your assinged the 310, then can move to anything else I guess after 1 year, and when the 777 starts to get replaced by the 350 in 2014+, then the switch can occur before the 3 years, at the needs of the company.
    b. is there current documentation as to how many pilots have requested switching fleet type over the last five years and how many of those requests were granted?
    15. What type of communication channel does the company have with it’s pilots?
    a. have learned that a pilot group is a very intelligent group of people, and working with them, soliciting insight and suggestions goes a long way than implementing changes
    b. are the pilot’s concerns taken seriously? If it benefits the needs of the company, and if it helps the company there is even a rewards incentive involved. I think complaints fall on deaf ears. It sounds like there can be favortism and you will probably see it, I just plan to make it my own experience and concentrate on taking advantage for me and my wife and try to ignore the priviledges of other groups or fleet types.
    16. How is information shared between the different divisions of the company?
    a. do the different divisions work together or are they pretty much their own entity? Sounds like their own entity, but they are very different companies. Like Skycargo, all 747-400s that are flown by Atlas and TNT? How thats cheaper than using EK pilots, who knows. The 310s used in Skycargo are EK pilots. Go figure. More companies at Emirates equate to much more of a bigger picture that the pilots are not privi too I guess.
    17. Is it true that for anything you need or want, as Emirates as your sponsor, you have to go through tons of paperwork?
    a. what does Emirates do to streamline the process? Nothing. You'll do mounds of paperwork in order to prepare for the interview, including pictures in multiples. Once you're hired, the paperwork multiplies. Including more pictures? WTF? Why they dont take a picture of you on day one of the interview I don't know. It appears they do NOTHING to streamline anything! They are a luxury airline with a massive expansion and appears as though the HR department has yet to catch up. All worth it to go from a heavy dash 8 to a true heavy captain in 3, 4, or even 5 years. It took me 6.5 years to skipper the mighty dash, I guess that gave me some patience. Hopefully I'll remember this and keep it in perspective when the junior people get more days off or upgrade before me, or get more money.

    Get many opinions other than mine, as I don't know about a lot of it, just from what I've learned from others that have asked these various questions and I've heard from them.

    I'll send the schedules soon.

    I'll give you an email of a few EK pilots too that are open to questions.

    Keep the questions coming!

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