“Everyone is facing a pilot shortage,” said Shen Wei, head of pilot recruitment at Shanghai-based budget carrier Spring Airlines (TPRINZ). “Foreign pilots are the quickest option.”
To help lure overseas crew members, Spring Air pays foreign pilots 30 percent more than domestic staff, Shen said, without elaboration.
Air China Ltd. (753), the nation’s largest international carrier, was offering $198,000 a year net plus bonuses for Airbus SAS A330 pilots, according to an advertisement on the website of Wasinc International, the recruitment company that helped run the job fair. During the two-day Miami event, which featured about a dozen Chinese airlines, about 70 pilots got provisional job offers, said Scott Snow, a spokesman.
Roger Grant, an American Airlines co-pilot, said in Miami that he may be able to about double his salary by moving to China and becoming a captain. He also said a move may offer better long-term prospects.