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Chinese Airlines Are Offering Pilots $318,000 to Fly Their Planes

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    You’ll wonder why you didn’t become a pilot after learning that Chinese airlines are looking to pay people $318,000 a year to fly their planes.

    China needs pilots to captain their planes and they are flashing a lot of money to lure people in. Sichuan Airline, which has routes to Canada and Australia, is offering $302,000 while Qingdao Airlines, a regional carrier, is enticing pilots with a $318,000 salary. Both companies are also offering to take care of China’s income tax bill for those who are willing to relocate.

    According to Bloomberg, Chinese airlines will need to hire approximately 100 pilots a week, every week until 2036 to meet the country’s travel demand. Airbus Group SE reported that air traffic over China is predicted to quadruple over the next 20 years.

    Recruiters are seeking to fill chairs for a handful of mainland carriers that include Chengdu Airlines, Qingdao Airlines and Ruili Airlines. Even obscure startup carriers are offering 50 percent more than what some senior captains make at Delta Air Lines.

    The financial packages are extremely attractive to pilots who are only getting paid a fraction of that amount for well-known companies. According to Aviation Consulting, the average annual salary for senior pilots at major U.S. airlines is $209,000.

    Dave Ross, the president of Las-Vegas based recruiting company Wasinc International, is in charge of recruiting pilots to fill these positions. After seeing the monthly paycheck of one of his recruits, Ross said:

    “I looked at that and thought, ‘Man, I’m in the wrong line of business. They can live like a king.’”

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