Flying in Australia

twothousandgt

New Member
I am looking for information about flying in Australia:

- Any info re: Aussie Citizenship

- Job market, not just airline flying but all types.

- Flight schools

- Cost of living (compared to the US)

- The people and how they feel about foriegners (Snow, I'm looking your way)

- Anything I forgot and could be helpful

Thanks guys
 

haree

New Member
I've been researching on this for a while too... here are some points i gathered...

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Any info re: Aussie Citizenship

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AU citizenship is easier if you are a IT / Industrial qualified person otherwise its quite tedious.

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The people and how they feel about foriegners

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Australians are friendly and hospitable and accomodation is not a problem at all.

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Job market, not just airline flying but all types

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Ok..I met a Chief CFI of AU's BASAIR when he was here on a education campaign.

Au despite its size has very few airlines. Ansett closed up and Qantas has taken over few regionals thus leaving only a handful of airline jobs but there are various other oppurtunities in charter/bush flying and most of the instructors in AU are career instructors and like Canada,India etc... AU doesnt follow CFI MEI CFII pattern for instructors.


Cost of living and training is if not a bit lower almost equal to that of USA. But in AU u need just 200 hrs for your CPL and airlines demand only 500Hr PIC hours for interview.

Hope i was helpful
 

Prospective_Pilot

New Member
From what I've heard it's a lot easier for an American to immigrate to Australia than an Australian to immigrate to the U.S. But I would definitely not recommend moving to Australia at the moment. With a population of only 18 million people it's almost impossible to find a decent job (job other than flipping burgers) in these bad economic times. The other thing is there's only a few airlines and the one Major airline, Qantas, is probably not going to be employing people for a very long time.

Qantas use to pay extremely well up until the beginning of the 1990's. Now, from what I hear they don't pay very much AT ALL. I have no idea what other flying in Australia would be like. I doubt it would pay any better than Qantas.

I know a retired Qantas 747 Captain (think he retired in 1994 can't really remember the exact year) I can tell you the dude was loaded nicely with money. Waterfront home. Nice cars. Expensive vacations...etc.....

I also know a friend whose father flys the 747 for Qantas. She dresses in target clothes because that's all her parents can afford. Her family has only ever been on one vacation to Fiji. They have an average Australian home nothing fancy and no BMW.


The job market is absolutely terrible in Aus at the moment. Salaries at Qantas have gone down and living expenses have gone up significantly, especially with the GST in place. If one can't find employment over here in the U.S then there's almost no chance to find employment in Australia. For an American to go to Australia it seems cheap because their money almost doubles. But really it's quite expensive if you're making Australian dollars. If your making $100k Australian a year then you are pretty lucky but it's barely enough for a family of 5 to live off. To eat out at a decent restaurant you would be up for about $20 a head for a main meal (AND THAT'S CHEAP). Another example would be cars. You don't see to many shiny new cars on the road like you see over here in the U.S. For a BMW 7series over here you'd pay about $85,000 USD well in Australia for that same BMW you'd pay about $210,000 AUD!. Majority of cars on the road are old. In Sydney houses are quite expensive. My parents home back in Sydney was worth $450k in early 2000. Today it's worth around $750k+ so we've been told.

Basically Australia is a little America only it's on a much, much smaller scale. And it's definitely not a place to go thinking you'll find a high paying job so you can live it up.

I do prefer the food in Australia compared to over here in the U.S and I really miss my meat pies, sausage rolls, and good old Aussie Fish and Chips from the local fish n' chip shop. Must say it's been extremely hard to get by with out those foods.


I don't mean to sound so negative about Aus because in actual fact I really do miss it and even plan on moving back there for my retirement. I just believe there is more opportunity over here than in Australia (for everything).

Mate...if you ever get the chance to fly out there then go..you won't regret it. Excellent place for a vacation.


Hope that gives you a little info......



-Amos
 

I_Money

Moderator
[ QUOTE ]
I really miss my meat pies, sausage rolls, and good old Aussie Fish and Chips from the local fish n' chip shop.

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Old Aussie fish and chips?? Hate to break it to you man, those foods are all from the motherland!
 

twothousandgt

New Member
Thanks for the info guys. I think I'll wait a bit longer before getting really serious about moving to Australia. Just for reference here is a really good website I found for relocating anywhere, EscapeArtist.com
 

Minima-No-Contact

Well-Known Member
Gday,

Thought I'd chip in with a couple of comments. Firstly, I don't know a thing about residency for US citizens.

Living cost depends on where abouts you want to live. Sydney is NOT cheap! Dangerously expensive actually, although if you bring all those American $$ here you should be right for a while. I live in Perth and living costs are quite reasonable.
Cities like Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns etc seem to be about average. If you are looking for a place to live in a country town, the prices will shock you. Not cheap. Especially if it's a popular tourist town and you are a pilot looking for work.
Eg: One of the tourist towns in northern Western Australia called Kununurra, a very popular tourist town and popular spot for freshly licensed CPL holders to head to in search of that first job. At the moment there is about 25 unemployed pilots living in town, working jobs behind the bar, pumping gas... basically anything. Trying to make ends meet because the living expenses are crazy. Not to mention that pretty much all of the flying jobs in town have already been taken.

The above scenario doesn't paint a pretty picture, it is like this in many of the towns around the country and much the same in the major cities. A lot of experienced drivers after very few jobs at the moment.

Typically, if you are prepared to move to the country, 300-500hrs is nice to have when trying to get a charter job in a/c like C210s, C182s etc.
If you stay with the same company and they have twins, 1000hrs should be enough to get onto one. Then you will be lucky enough to be bashing around the country side in a clapped out Baron/C310/Navajo.

The regionals down here have minimums of about 1500 total, 500 multi command and an ATPL. Realistically you need alot more than this, simply because of supply and demand. There are still a few ex-Ansett pilots floating around trying to land a job at the regionals.

The majors consist of Virgin Blue and Qantas. Virgin Blue are consistently hiring, although it seems like you need to know someone already working there so they can recommend you!! The rumor is you need 2 inside recommendations before you can even get an interview.
Qantas is not hiring at the moment, according to their website they won't be until next year.

To be honest, aviation seems to be going backwards here at the moment. Routes that used to have jets operating on them now have small turboprops or even piston twins. Some towns aren't even being serviced directly anymore.

The good news is.... It can't get any worse!!

There are many good things about living here, the girls for one!!
The country is beautiful and so are the beaches, there are alot of interesting places to visit too. The beer is great, and if you ever visit, we will show you a thing or two about drinking


To give you an idea of my situation, I have just under 1900hrs total, about 1550 multi and 1300 turbine. However I was very fortunate getting multi/turbine time so early on in my career. I have my ATPL and I haven't had one interview with a regional or major yet


I have been trying to get a greencard to work in the US for the last 3 yrs, no luck yet. I think you are extremely lucky to be able to work in the US, its the hub of everything aviation!
My goal is corporate flying, when someone mentions corporate aviation here, you usually get a laugh! Not much at all.

Hope this wasn't too depressing, don't hesitate to PM or email me if you have any Q's.
Cheers,
MNC
 

Minima-No-Contact

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
I also know a friend whose father flys the 747 for Qantas. She dresses in target clothes because that's all her parents can afford. Her family has only ever been on one vacation to Fiji. They have an average Australian home nothing fancy and no BMW.

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That seems very strange, especially if her father is a Captain. Your friends family may just like to live conservatively.

I have many friends flying for Qantas, I don't know any Captains at the moment, but I can tell you the money as a Second Officer on the 747-400 fleet is great! $AUD120,000 including overtime is quite common for the S/O's.
I'm not entirely sure what the base salary is for a S/O but they are certainly doing very well. F/O's and Captain's can only be doing better!

Living in Sydney is not cheap so the money certainly helps. The group of 4 S/O's I know where renting a $AUD1500 per week appartment up until recently. They all lived very comfortably, with their international schedules only 1-2 of them was at home at any one time usually.

Virgin Blue pay is considerably less for their 737 pilots compared to the Qantas 737 pilots. Almost half I believe. I'm not sure on the exact figures, but VB F/O's start on approx $AUD65,000 and QF F/O's start on just less than double that. Nice work if you can get it.
 

haree

New Member
Hi...

Like I've discussed from time to time... dont ever think of the money or do conversions before a second thought.

There might be a lot of differences in the way of living, the city they are based out , the other benefits they get.

In india.. an 737 First officer is paid around UD$ 32K in his 5th year in service that mean a little less than the upgrade time. But here $32K is HELLALOT of money. You dont need more than 10K ..the most expensive way. My average home expense for a year is only around 4000 US$s.

So let not the pay detour your dreams. Go for it. Aus is always my first choice if im going to get my licenses someday and i'm supposed to go "abroad".

AU is a 'small USA' well.... there's some patriotism in there. Anyway every country has its own image.. US may have 1000 better things that AU (NASA , Sci fi, Full GPS flying etc...) while it may have around 10 things than US (Heard of Ayers rock and kangroos or "Who dares wins"
)

Anyway hope i dont hurt anybody's spirits
 

Minima-No-Contact

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
AU is a 'small USA' well.... there's some patriotism in there. Anyway every country has its own image.. US may have 1000 better things that AU (NASA , Sci fi, Full GPS flying etc...) while it may have around 10 things than US (Heard of Ayers rock and kangroos or "Who dares wins" )



[/ QUOTE ]
Jeez if we didn't have that I'd be in trouble!
All the a/c I fly have fully TSO'd GPS equipment and it is the primary means of navigation with some of the more remote areas we fly in. The majority of airports around Australia have GPS approaches, if they dont, they will soon.
I have only ever had one RAIM failure in 3 yrs, in crappy weather on a GPS approach down to the mimima... and this is after I had declared an emergency (another story)... Murphys law I guess.

Who Dares Wins, haha I havent heard that one in a while... do you remember the co-host?
Tanya mmmmmmm
 

twothousandgt

New Member
Minima,

Thanks for your perspective! I actually was planning on Perth if I did move, or somewhere in the western half of the country. I kind of figured the situation was just about what you guys have described it as. With only two "major" airlines and plenty of pilots already in country, I doubt a flying career in Australia is feasible, any time soon at least. Don't worry though, I'm still going to keep it as an open option, who knows what will happen in the next 5-10 years. Thanks again for your input
 

Snow

'Not a new member'
[ QUOTE ]
I am looking for information about flying in Australia:

a Any info re: Aussie Citizenship
b Job market, not just airline flying but all types.
c Flight schools
d Cost of living (compared to the US)
e The people and how they feel about foriegners (Snow, I'm looking your way)
f Anything I forgot and could be helpful


[/ QUOTE ]

a - I know someone who works at immagration, you have next to squat chance of getting into Australia for anything more than study or a holiday. The US is hard to get into but in my opinion Australia is even harder. Unless you got a Phd or lots of money that is. By all means try but don't get your hopes up.

b - I'm moving to the US for better job prospects, here at the moment time building consists of flying tourist around the outback (big open areas of nothingness) in single engine aircraft and dusty and hot as all buggery. Then after doing that for 2 or 3 years you might be able to get a job flying night freight in a light twin for a couple of more years, then with 3000hrs you might be able to get a regional to hire you, flying Dash-8s, Saab 340s or metros. After all that you have a almost monopoly major airline industry after the collaps of Ansett. Some of the lucky Ansett pilots got hired by Singapore airlines are various other asian companies.

c - flight schools are pretty much just FBOs here, plus we have far less airports here in Australia than in the states, Melbounre, a town of 3 million only has 4 airports, one international and 3 others mainly GA. I think there might be an 'academy' type school in Adalade, caters for a lot of international students from Asia.

d - Cost of living is more expensive, fuel cost about $4 a gal here (car fuel), plus there's more tax etc I think average wage here is $25-35k, keep in mind a lot of things cost twice as much here dollar for dollar. But on the otherhand the government does have a fair bit of social security, pays for most of your education etc. A good thing if your poor but if you not your paying for it through higher taxes.

e - Australians are friendly easy going people, you won't have any problems there, although there is a bit of anti-american sietiment going around atm, people don't think we should have sent troops to Iraq, and a lot of people think Bush is a moron, but same goes for our Prime Minister too haha. But that's more political, generally don't have anything agaisnt americans personally, just what their government does.

f - What's your reason for wanting to come here? If it's for work your better off going to asia somewhere, they love native english speaking pilots. And why Perth? that's the isloated side of the country, I'd say 70% of the population lives on the east coast. Oh and the medicals are stricter here, involes a blood test and a trip to a eye doctor if you have correction.
 

Athena

New Member
I looked into immigrating 3 years ago. To get a visa there for work you need to be provide proof that you can support yourself for 3 months. The second thing was that you had to have skills that would be beneficial to AU. That was the most vague part. the other thing it said was that the need for that type of work must be otherwise unable to be filled by AU citizens (no interest or not enough supply of workers). Good luck. Oh and i thought Bathurst looked like a nice town if you are going to work out of Sydney. Well, that is where i would move if i lived there.
 

n2o2diver

New Member
My spouse is from Perth, we have considered moving back there on and off for almost 9yrs now. There just are not many great job's available. If you think about it the State of Western Australia is almost the same size as the entire US West of the Mississippi River and has a population of around 1 million, 900,000 of which live in the greater Perth area. There is still a whole lot of nothing out on the West Coast.

Val Rossi Kick's ass, kid is incredible
 

Minima-No-Contact

Well-Known Member
Perth is great! I've been here all my 24yrs (Prob another 24 if I cant get a greencard!!).

You are right though, not a whole lot of jobs going. Especially in aviation. I was extremely lucky and picked up a B1900 job with low time, if I had missed out on that I would've had to have gone north to find a job in the bush.

Perth is one of the most isolated cities in the world, fly 5 mins East, North or South and you are looking at countryside, then nothing but bush


Whereabouts in Perth do you visit n2o2diver? I'm up in the Northern Suburbs near Hillarys if that means anythings to ya.
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
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Perth is great! I've been here all my 24yrs (Prob another 24 if I cant get a greencard!!).


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Yeah, how's that going anyway??
 

n2o2diver

New Member
Friends live in Bayswater, South Perth her folks live in Lynwood.

I went diving in the shark tank at Sorrento Quay. I might be over middle of this month for a few weeks.

I am intrested in a job flying people out to the mine site's ect. Is that what you are doing? I went down to Jandakot last time i was there, other than the Asian flight school not much seemed to be happening. What kind of hours do you need over there? If you know of any good website about flying in WA Let me know, wife really wants to go home.
 

Minima-No-Contact

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Yeah, how's that going anyway??

[/ QUOTE ]
Gday Ready2fly!
Well, this October will be my 4th try
So another $US50 to part with, but hopefully this one might be the one... Starting to lose hope in the whole lottery thing.
I have an Aunt who just got her US citizenship, we're looking into whether or not it is possible for her to sponsor me.

n2o2diver Yes, the company I work for does alot of crew change flights for mine-sites around WA. We also do a little bit of RPT flying.

I did all of my training up to CPL level at Jandakot at theRoyal Aero Club of WA
then I did my Instrument Rating with Ad-Astral Aviation at Perth Domestic Airport.
The Royal Aero Club has great facilities and alot of aircraft. If you want to do some private flying I'd have to recommend them, although if you wish to do CPL level training, I would recommend another organisation.

At the moment, aviation in Australia seems to be picking up. Virgin Blue are always recruiting and the rumour is Qantas is about to start again. Many pilots including me, aim to join Cathay Pacific, and they have recovered well from SARS and I have been told they are interviewing again.

The problem is, like most countries around the world, there is an oversupply of qualified pilots for very few jobs. To do the sort of flying I am doing, 2000hrs would be a minimum right now (purely supply and demand). Being type rated on the aircraft you wish to fly helps, but it's an expensive risk to take with no guarantee's.
Another good charter company at Perth Airport is Skippers Aviation, their website will give you an idea of what size aircraft are being used around WA. There is also a link to their requirements.

[ QUOTE ]
wife really wants to go home

[/ QUOTE ] I'll make you a deal for her greencard

Seriously though, I envy your situation. If you want to fly for a living I'd have to advise you to stay put. Australian aviation has nothing compared to the US. I would do anything to fly corporate for a living in the US.

If anything, try to build a heap of time, then make enquiry's here when you have a bunch of turbine time and multi crew time.

Feel free to PM me or fire away with more Q's here. I have seen most of Australia over the last 6yrs, if you need any info on places to fly yourself too or visit, don't hesitate to ask.
Cheers,
MNC
 

ready2fly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
I have an Aunt who just got her US citizenship, we're looking into whether or not it is possible for her to sponsor me.

[/ QUOTE ]
Well, let me know if there is anything I can do. I know nothing about "sponsoring" someone, but if it's something you need from a U.S. citizen, I'd be glad to check into it.

Let me know.

R2F
 
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