Being a pilot is a job unlike all others. With various unique pros and cons, it is more of a passion than a regular job. If you are interested in flying in the air, you may want to know how this career is different than others before making your choice. Because most airlines now stopped investing in training pilots from scratch, the cost and risk of this investment now fall primarily on the individual. And as pilot training is a substantial financial investment, young aspiring pilots need more information about the career path to make an informed decision. And we are here to help people do just that. Traveling the world Of course, this is the first thing that comes to mind when being a pilot is mentioned, pilots travel around the world. While some other professions require people to travel a lot, no other profession compares to becoming an airline pilot in that regard. Pilots do not travel a lot, they travel for a living, there is a huge difference. In addition to that, many airlines allow pilots to take their families on vacations as a benefit. Nonetheless, you have to take some points into consideration. Not all pilots travel around the world for a career, this is the dream goal of most pilots, yes, but not everyone achieves that. Many pilots work for small regional airlines at the beginning of their careers, and some of them spend a lot of time in that phase. This largely depends on the individual's attitude and capabilities. Time for work and time to relax As much as all people would love to do that, not everyone is able to! A pilot job is one of the few high profile professions that still allow people to really leave work at work, and that is considered a great blessing indeed. When a pilot is not in duty, they can completely relax, no annoying calls or emails or deadlines or anything. Yes, being a pilot is hard work, but you can truly enjoy your time off. Excellent performance is expected Of course, all jobs demand that you do your best, flying is a little different, however. When you are a pilot, you take responsibility for all souls on board. The airline you work for expects you to perform a perfect job. As a result, good performance is not always commended, it is the norm when you are a pilot. Bad performance, on the other hand, has severe negative consequences. You can lose your job for one less than perfect flight. No one takes risks with a mediocre employee when lives are at stake. No routine for you If you hate routine, who doesn’t, then being a pilot is your dream job! Pilots have flexible and changeable schedules, work hours change from day to day and workplace often changes as well. Most importantly, when you get seniority, you can usually amend your schedule to your liking, something that many people only dream of. Take into consideration though that this flexible schedule means that pilots do not nessaccerily take holidays off. In fact, holidays are some of the busiest times for pilots so most pilots work through them. Considerable time off International regulations state that pilots should take days off between flights, this means that pilots often work around 15 days per month. And guess what, they get to take the rest of the month off! Of course, it is not exactly like that, you don’t take a two-week vacation each month. What it’s actually like is that you work for 3 or 4 days then take two or three days off, but that highly depends on your specific schedule. Whatever your schedule may be, it will include significant time off though! Incomparable view No other profession, even being an executive with a skyscraper office featuring large windows, can offer you such a wonderful view as the cockpit. Want a sea view? You will be flying over the sea. Want to see the desert? You will fly over vast deserts. Want to see magical city lights at night? How about seeing all the cities from above! Pilots get to see more of the world than anyone else, they get to see more than anyone in a single workday. A lifelong adventure A pilot career is a lifelong adventure, ask any experienced pilot about his most interesting stories and you are bound to be amazed. This career is different than all others, you work to the max and relax to the max. You fly for 10 long stressful hours, then land in an exotic country that you have never seen before. This versatile lifestyle creates amazing stories and sends you in an endless adventure. Lifelong learning While some jobs require initial training, being a pilot requires lifelong training. A pilot never stops learning new skills, if they want to stop learning they retire! Because technology is developed rapidly, new airplanes require pilots to get more training. But that is only one aspect of the lifelong learning journey a pilot embarks on. Pilots also need to get Type Rated for aircraft as each aircraft requires a certificate. They also need to undergo leadership courses and workshops, as well as teamwork courses to advance in their careers. To learn more about being a pilot see also: Want to be a captain? This is how you become a successful pilot
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Most people are fascinated by airline pilot salaries, either as a factor to become a pilot or as a topic of conversation as it is a commonly known fact that pilot salaries are among the highest salaries in all known professions. Moreover, pilot salaries, which are already high, are expected to increase further due to the shortage of pilots and larger demand for qualified pilots as a result of the major increase in air traffic taking place around the globe. That is why people are more fascinated than ever before. Where do the truth end and the myth start though? We all know pilots salaries are very high, but how high exactly? That is, in fact, difficult to tell as their salaries largely depend on several factors. Let’s check those factors and find out how can a pilot earn an impressive salary. Knowing the real deal about pilot salaries can help you decide whether this career is the right one for you. What do pilots do? Before discussing pilot salaries, we have to take a look at their job description to gain a better understanding of the job. The duties of a pilot start long before the plane takes off. A pilot makes several important checks before any scheduled flight. Like checking the weather along the route, checking the plane's condition, the total fuel required for the trip and the weight and distribution of passengers and cargo on the plane. A pilot must also file a flight plan before the plane starts moving. During the flight, a pilot must monitor the plane’s instruments and monitor all radio communication to use incoming data for assessing and detecting any issues that might affect the flight. In addition to that, the pilot should communicate with air traffic control to receive and follow directions for taking off and landing safely on the assigned runway. The pilot supervises all the personnel in the aircraft cabin and cockpit as well. How are pilot salaries determined? Unlike most other professions, Pilots and Captain Pilots do not earn a flat monthly salary. They are often paid an hourly wage for each flight hour flown instead, in addition to per diem. To guarantee a minimum amount of monthly income, most major airlines guarantee a minimum number of hours per month when they hire new pilots. Besides this hourly wage, a pilot often receives a fixed salary during the training period. They also receive per diem, which is compensation or allowance the pilots gets when away from home. This allowance is to cover meals and lodging when a pilot has to stay away from home overnight. How much is this hourly wage? Like all other industries, the more experience a pilot gets the more hourly rate he/she earns. As a rule, the top of the pay scale for pilots are captain pilots working for international airlines. Typically, airline pilots start out making $40 – $70 per hour when they first start flying, and the average pilot logs 75 hours per month in the air. When you add per diem, this amounts to almost 7000$ per month for newly appointed co-pilots. This hourly wage however largely depends on the airline, type of aircraft, and the pilot’s level of experience, captain pilots for instance often make $300 per hour. They sometimes also log up to 150 hours per month performing ground duties like simulator training, maintaining records, performing pre-flight inspections and flight planning. All these hours are also paid with the same hourly rate. Where does the difference in salary come from? Pilot salaries differ according to the type of aircraft they’re flying. For example, a salary for the pilot of a large jet is impressively larger than a pilot of a small jet, while salaries of non-jet aircraft pilots are significantly less. Salaries also depend on how long a pilot has been at an airline. The longer a pilot has been flying for an airline the more seniority they have, senior pilots fly larger planes and thus, get paid more. They also depend on the type of airline. Legacy carriers, for instance, the largest and oldest carriers often offer some of the highest pay rates for pilots. And even though low-cost carriers offer a less hourly wage, most pilots start by working for them until they gain the experience required for legacy carriers. What does per diem mean and how much is it? Per diem is the travel allowance airlines pay to pilots, it includes an hourly rate for their time away from the base, which is different than their flying hourly rate of course, but still comes to a sizeable amount per trip. In addition to that, per diem also includes lodging, meals and incidentals expense. Sometimes though, the airline provides lodging for pilots, this often means booking them rooms in luxurious hotels. In which cases, only meals and incidental expenses are paid along with the hourly rate. This allowance or compensation is paid by the hour, even if the trip takes several days. That is why it is usually a considerable amount of money. Even if the airline pays only 2$ per hour for new pilots, this comes up to 100$ extra cash for a 2-day trip. However, per diem is much more than that for experienced pilots and captain pilots. How do salaries increase? All hourly wages witness an annual increase. The largest increase in salary usually occurs after the probationary period which is typically one year for pilots. In general, the biggest salary increase happens in the first five years, then there’s usually a percentage increase every year after that. This increase is often due to the major shift pilots go through from first officers to captains, this often happens after several years of experience. What does on reserve mean? When a pilot is on reserve status for a period of time, this means the pilot is required to be on call for a while, either at the airport grounds or within a certain range of the airport. During this reserve period, a pilot is usually paid differently. Keeping some pilots on reserve is some sort of insurance for the airline. It means that they have someone covering sick calls and schedule interruptions. For pilots, it means that they get some sort of pay just for staying near the airport for a few days. If they do fly during this time, they get their usual hourly rate. Why are salaries rapidly increasing? The world has undergone a global economic recession in the early 2000s, this has resulted in several years of instability in almost all sectors which meant a lot of mergers and downsizing. In the last decade, however, airlines did not only recover from this recession, but the air travel industry is also healthy and growing at a fast pace. Following slow times, this speedy growth means a need to hire more employees and more pilots. Airlines around the world are undergoing significant growth over this decade, especially in Asia and the Middle East. This means that airlines are hiring more pilots than ever, and this peak in hiring is only expected to grow as air traffic increases. This means that airlines need to be competitive with their pilot salaries to keep their pilots from moving to other airlines. According to Boeing, the demand for commercial airline pilots is going to reach an anticipated demand for 617,000 new pilots globally over the next 20 years. References: https://www.pea.com/airline-pilot-salary/ https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/airline-pilot-salary-SRCH_KO0,13.htm https://www.thebalancecareers.com/airline-pilot-salaries-4126309 https://flyinganarchy.com/pilot-salaries/ https://work.chron.com/average-commercial-airline-pilots-salary-11855.html https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Airline_Pilot%2C_Copilot%2C_or_Flight_Engineer/Salary
A common occurrence during air travel, turbulence may be scary or nauseating for passengers but most of the time it is just a normal non-dangerous event. But what is the meaning of turbulence? Why does it happen? And when is it considered dangerous? Turbulence is mainly caused by weather changes; wind and pressure are the major reasons behind it. Most of us already know that. But how and why does it occur? We will try to answer these questions here and learn the true meaning of turbulence and the reasons behind it. Is turbulence dangerous? The first thing you should be aware of is that turbulence is a normal occurrence in air travel. Just like you meet some bumps on the road while you drive, a plane meets some air bumps while it flies in the air. So even though turbulence is the number one concern for many travelers, it almost never puts the aircraft in jeopardy. We have to admit that it makes passengers uncomfortable many times though. So the number one fact is that turbulence is more of a convenience issue than a safety one. Turbulence meaning Simply put, turbulence is a coverall term for instability in the air in which the plane is flying that can be caused by many reasons. Types of turbulence Clear Air Turbulence Air moves in river like formations called jet streams. They are very strong air corridors found at high altitudes. They form between the boundaries of warm and cold air. Flight planners try to either use or avoid these streams to save fuel, but sometimes running through one is unavoidable. This kind of turbulence may be annoying to passengers but it is normal. There is nothing to worry about. Thermal turbulence When cold air meets a warm surface it forms vertical currents of air. And when an aircraft passes through these vertical currents it experiences some turbulence. As clear air turbulence, this kind is also normal and possesses no danger to the aircraft, just some mild discomfort to the passengers and crew. Mechanical turbulence This type of turbulence is caused by the interference of tall structures on the horizontal flow of air. This includes mountains, skyscrapers, tall forest trees and anything of considerable height and mass. The amount of turbulence depends the size and shape of the obstructions as well as the speed of wind and other atmospheric conditions. Nevertheless, mountain terrains cause the most considerable turbulence of all of the above. This type of turbulence causes more discomfort to passengers than the previous two; however, it is still normal and not dangerous in any way. Wake turbulence It can be said that this type of turbulence is a little bit more dangerous than the ones we have mentioned before, but it can also be foreseen and controlled. As an aircraft flies, its wings generate an air vortex to create lift. This lift is what helps the airplane fly. As the plane passes however, its wake consists of two counter-rotating cylindrical vortexes. They can stay in the air for a few minutes after the plane has passed. Wake turbulence or Wake Vortex Turbulence is generated when another aircraft passes through the vortex created by another one. Air traffic controllers invest a lot of time and effort to prevent this from happening, especially in the vicinity of airports where airplanes come and go at the same time.
To decide which are the best low cost airlines in the world, we must first define what a low cost airline is. A low-cost airline or a low-cost carrier is a budget airline that cuts down some of the traditional services provided in the fare, providing customers with lower fares. However, these lower fares result in fewer comforts. So the airline usually provides these comforts at an increased price for those who want it. The airline often charges for extras such as food, premium seats and baggage. This also helps the airline make up for some of the revenue lost in reduced ticket prices. Now that we know what a budget carrier is, let’s take a look at the best low cost airlines in the world according to Skytrax. World's Best Low-Cost Airline 2018: Air Asia Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia is the largest Malaysian airline by fleet size and destinations. It operates scheduled domestic and international flights to more than 165 destinations across 25 countries. For the tenth successive year, Air Asia has managed to claim the number one position as the best low cost airline in the world. Air Asia also won the prize for best low cost in Asia. And AirAsia X was presented World’s Best Low-Cost Airline Premium Cabin for the sixth consecutive year. Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe 2018: Norwegian Air Shuttle Norwegian Air Shuttle is a Norwegian low-cost airline. It is the largest low-cost airline in Scandinavia, offering a full schedule of domestic, international and long-haul flights. In addition to best low cost airline in Europe, Norwegian also won the award for World's Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline. Best Low-Cost Airline in the Middle East 2018: Flynas Formerly known as Nas Air, Flynas was the first budget airline in Saudi Arabia. It offers domestic and international flights. This is the second year in a row that Flynas wins the Skytrax award for the best low-cost airline in the Middle East. It is noteworthy to mention that Flynas has also won the Middle East’s Leading Low-Cost Airline award from World Travel Awards for the fourth consecutive year. Best Low-Cost Airline in Africa 2018: Mango Airlines A subsidiary of South African Airways, Mango Airlines is a state-owned South African low-cost airline. Mango is a Connecting Partner with Star Alliance. The airline has also won Skytrax awards in 2014 and 2015. Best Low-Cost Airline in North America 2018: WestJet Airlines WestJet Airlines is a low-cost Canadian airline that provides scheduled and charter air service to 107 domestic and international destinations. Not only did WestJet get the award for best low-cost airline in North America, it also ranked number 6 globally in the Best Low Cost Airlines category. Best Low-Cost Airline in South America 2018: Sky Airline Sky Airline is a low cost airline based in Santiago, Chile. It offers domestic and international flights to numerous destinations. Sky Airline has also won the award for Best Regional Airline in South America in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Skytrax. Best Low-Cost Airline in Australia / Pacific 2018: Jetstar Airways Jetstar Airways is an Australian low-cost airline. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qantas Airways. Jetstar Airways also ranked as number 4 globally in the Best Low Cost Airlines category.
A Cabin crew member is a qualified crew member who is assigned by the airline to perform duties related to the safety of passengers and flight during operations. This is the definition you can find in dictionaries for cabin crew members. But what does this really mean? How many members are in the crew? What are their qualifications? What do they really do for the duration of the flight? We are here to tell you all about it, meet the cabin crew members. How many members are in the crew? The team consists of a Chief Purser (an In-flight Service Manager or Cabin Services Director), who is responsible for the crew as the team leader, in addition to a number of flight attendants. The number of flight attendants depends on the type of aircraft and the duration of the flight. International safety regulations command that the number of flight attendants required is at least one flight attendant per 50 passenger seats. However, in small planes with up to 19 passenger seats, no flight attendant is needed. What are their duties? 1- Safety and security The main role of Cabin Crew members is to ensure the safety and security of everyone on the plane, including passengers and other crew members. The Crew usually follows very strict procedures and set of rules to maintain the safety of the aircraft and everybody on the flight. Cabin Crew are excellently trained to deal with any given emergency, including passengers who need first aid, troublesome passengers, on-board fires, flight turbulence and, if needed, emergency evacuations. They undergo a security training course that ranges from 4 weeks to 6 months. Flight attendants attend a safety briefing with the pilots and lead flight attendant before each flight. During which they go over safety and emergency checklists, as well as any specific conditions or specific instructions regarding this flight. 2- Customer service duties Flight attendants are responsible for serving food and drinks to passengers once the plane is up in the air. They also must conduct regular cabin checks to ensure the smoke detector has not been disabled or destroyed and to restock supplies as needed, as well as systematic cockpit checks to check on the health and safety of the pilot(s). They also have to respond to any passengers with special needs or requests and try to assist them as possible. Attendants must ensure the cabin is secure during turbulence and all passengers are safely seated. They also assist any special needs passengers and small children off the airplane and escort unaccompanied minors to the designated person picking them up. What are their qualifications? Cabin crew members undergo thorough training by the airline, so usually no specific degree is required. However, they must have excellent communication skills, and be fluent in at least one more language in addition to their mother tongue. More languages are always a plus! They should also be team players; the crew should be able to act as one in case of emergency. However, they should as well be able to take the initiative and make instant decisions when needed. In addition to all that, the crew should be presentable and have excellent people skills. After all, they are ambassadors to their airline. And IATA studies show that passenger satisfaction with an airline highly depends on the friendliness and helpfulness of the cabin crew. For more about aviation careers see also: Captain pilot: A glimpse into the life of pilots
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