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
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.