Another long overdue update. Been here now for three years, how time flies when you're in a coma
So, firstly, command upgrade has not materialized yet, latest requirements is 4,000 hours jet time in an airline environment. As usual, I suspect that will change again soon since after the announcement, a few f/o's resigned the next day.
In general though, things have been improving overall so still happy to sit right on the plastic magic and do my Africa flights. Have not seen the Indian subcontinent for two years. It's amazing how Tanzania has been booming in the past two years, looks like the new terminal will be up and running end of October. I can see that world aviation is recovering, lots more opportunities starting to materialize world wide.
First company to feel this pinch is deffinately Emirates, having recently reduced their requirements. Unfortunately I believe more than just lowered requirements are going to be needed to get people back to the UAE. With the latest deregulated fuel price hike, introduction of VAT and I foresee personal tax soon, the middle east no longer looks like the rosy opportunity. I see more and more guys starting to learn Mandarin, seems contracts that side is very lucrative. Word of warning, apparently the Chinese are just as "honest" as the Arabs. So contracts mean as much there as here.
Right run-down of "our" latest fleet:
A319-100 = 2 (both been configured to full business class and rumoured to eventually be allocated to the corporate side).
A320-214 = 6 (all in the green AL MAHA colour scheme and high density seats, not sure what's happening with this low cost carrier).
A320-200 = 31.
A321-200 = 8.
Since these are all common type rating, I'm qualified on all with the A320-NEO still to come
A330-200/300 = 29
A330F = 6
A340-600 = 4 (rumours going around that this fleet will be made obsolute soon)
A350-900 = 4
A380-800 = 5
B777-200/300 = 38
B777F = 8
B787 = 23
So total count is 164 aircraft, another interesting stat: We have now 2817 pilots and 9157 cabin staff.
On a personal note, after 15 years I became a bachelor again. The middle east is definitely not a place suited for family life I'm afraid. But kids are back home adjusting to their new lives. Overall a better choice for now. As far as I'm concerned, I am working on a two year plan here right now. In the near future I might have a grey bird in it
Cheers for now.