Aviation in China

Over the last 5 years, there has been an 18% rise in the number of expats working in China. It is predicted that China will overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2018. The growth in the Aviation market is higher in China than anywhere else in the world with huge numbers of new aircraft deliveries and an annualised growth of over 10% for the last three decades. A recent survey revealed that 69% of expats in China have more disposable income and almost half of expats surveyed said they enjoyed a better quality of life than in the UK. It’s not hard to see why China is becoming the country of choice for today’s airline professionals.

What is it like to be a pilot in China?

Working in China provides excellent salaries for pilots reaching up to $16k per month with bonuses on top. Travel allowances are an added benefit and the cost of living is very low compared with the salary on offer. For most pilots, this is a major attraction for working in the region. Local income tax is often covered by the airline, making the salary even more attractive.

We have in country support within China that means we can support you fully from your application process and interview through to settling you and your family into the local community

“It was a long but nice journey to Chengdu. I was picked up in the airport and escorted to the hotel by Frank a very nice and helpful person. Yesterday we received our schedule for this week and we are starting tonight with a SIM check. Generally I have to say that people here are great, very friendly and helpful.”
Captain Jurij Gololobov

Pilot Assessment and selections

The recruitment and assessment requirement is relatively standard, although there are some differences in expectations and the level to which the assessments go. A Chinese ATPL will need to be obtained, the CAAC Medical passed and a full Chinese working visa obtained. Applications (including which airlines to apply to) should be very carefully thought through and presented as it is often the one and only time that an application can be made due to CAAC rules. The following are all vital to give the best chance of passing the selection process:

• Thorough paperwork preparation;
• Pre-practice for the SIM sessions;
• Studying for the CAAC ATPL exams
• Amending some aspects of lifestyle for a period of time before the medical.

The medical in particular has a severe reputation and can be a stumbling block for many applicants. However, an understanding of what is required and some preparation can go a long way towards mitigating the difficulties and lead to success. We can offer advice and guidance to ensure you are as prepared as possible.

Find out more about working in China

If you are interested in further information on working in this region please contact us on +44 (0) 1256 368 500 and one of our consultants will be happy to discuss this with you.

Click here to register your details with us.

Other sources of information
China Expats 
CAAC – General Administration of Civil Aviation, China 
China Civil Aviation 

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