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$300,000 pilot jobs drying up in China with Boeing grounding

12/16/2019| 10:24:19 AM|

Chinese carriers have largely stopped hiring foreign pilots for Boeing’s main narrow-bodied jet after two lethal crashes.

Expatriate pilots flying Boeing Co.’s most popular plane for Chinese airlines used to be able to take their pick from dozens of jobs paying $300,000 plus perks thanks to a shortage of experienced aviators there. The grounding of the 737 Max has changed that.

Chinese carriers have largely stopped hiring foreign pilots for Boeing’s main narrow-bodied jet, nine months after two crashes led to the grounding of the best-selling 737 Max, according to recruitment agencies. Airlines in China’s booming aviation market had been among the most enthusiastic buyers of the plane, accounting for 20% of a global fleet that now sits idle.

Chinese airlines still pay above-market wages but the lengthy grounding has hit a swath of roles paying multiple times the median salary of a commercial pilot in the U.S. With no clear timeline for the Max’s reinstatement after two lethal crashes, demand expat pilots of any 737 variant in China has slowed to a trickle. Only a handful of the country’s airlines are recruiting for such jobs now.

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TAGS: Boeing | airlines
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