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The worldwide demand for contract flight crew is generally driven by rapid fleet growth or by lack of local resources in the case of many new airlines. These airlines need line training captain, type rating instructor (TRI) and type rating examiner (TRE) as well as regular line captains.

Generally speaking, candidates for these positions are expected to be type rated, be current and meet minimum PIC time requirements on the aircraft for which they are applying for a position. Being current is generally defined as having a minimum of another three months of currency left when they join the contracting airline.

Contract duration can vary from a few months to a few years. For some airlines, the driving factor for contract duration is the time necessary to train new entrant captains and for local first officers to gain enough experience to be promoted to captain status.

In most cases, few contract first officer positions are offered as most airlines tend to reserve these career opportunities for local pilots when they are available. Thus the demand for contract first officers is generally low.

For other airlines, contract flight crews are a continuing requirement because of the lack of locally available flight crews. In these cases, multi year renewable employment contracts are offered.

Depending on the circumstances, contract pilots can be contracted by an agency in the case of aircrew leasing agreements or by the airlines themselves in the case of direct recruitment. AeroPersonnel services airlines both ways.

The life of the contract pilot is certainly different than the one led by pilots on permanent employment with the same employer for many years if not for their whole career.

It can be a life of adventure, visiting new parts of the world, discovering new cultures, making new friends while being well remunerated to do so.   But, it is also a life of being away from family and friends for months at a time, of adapting to different socio-cultural environments, of working under different rules. There is also a certain degree of uncertainty when a contract has been completed. Where will the next one take you?

For people with a spirit of adventure, a love of aviation and with an open mind, open to people and different cultures, this life can be rich and rewarding. You will be participating in building new airlines or in the continuing success of established airlines around the world.

If this interests you, do not hesitate to register with AeroPersonnel for current or future opportunities. In 22 years of expat pilot recruitment activities, I have yet to see a qualified expat pilot out of employment options.

If you are more interested in closer to home positions, do register for these also.






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