Being separated from your family, working and living in an unfamiliar country, having to adapt to a different culture – these are just some of the issues nowadays faced by many pilots around the world. With modern pilot job market becoming more globalised than ever, working far away from home is becoming an increasingly topical issue with regard to who is responsible for the working and living conditions of the migrating pilots.

One of the main obstacles for pilots to move to other countries or even regions is the issue of being separated from their families for the long periods of time. Some airlines are more liberal and offer their pilots extended re-moving packages (which cover temporal re-settlement/accommodation of the entire family) or provide them with the opportunity to enjoy regular and frequent travels back home. However, in some cases, especially with regards to short-term contracts, pilots are deprived of such opportunities.

‘Whilst in pursuit of better job opportunities, many pilots are faced with the dilemma of being separated from their families. In such cases, we act as a mediator between the parties, negotiating more liberal contract conditions for the pilots, including more suitable flight schedule and helping the pilot with family re-settlement issues. However, sometimes pilots require urgent accommodation assistance whilst dealing with totally different accommodation-related issues. For example, one of our pilots working in the hot-weathered African country had to live with no air conditioner in the hotel for some time. We always feel responsible for the pilots even after their successful employment, so we had no option but to directly contact the employer and negotiate for far more pleasant accommodation conditions,’ commented the CEO of Skaiste Knyzaite.

One of the most common types of assistance provided by recruitment agencies is related to documents.  Since pilots ought to hold several different licenses and certificates at the same time, it is vital to make sure that all of them are up to date. Usually, air companies require producing documents valid for at least another 6 months after signing the contract. However, should a perfect candidate match all the requirements but one, both parties are forced to wait until a certificate or a license is prolonged.

‘Depending on the document type, we are sometimes able to negotiate the possibility for the pilot to prolong his soon-to-be expired certificate whilst already working for the company. However, there are some cases where we are absolutely helpless. For instance, we had a perfect candidate from Syria for an ASAP job proposal. Early in the morning we received a pilot’s confirmation and started preparing his transportation from Kuwait to Bosnia when suddenly he called and informed us that the entire Syrian border was closed and there were no legal ways to cross the border, ’ commented Skaiste Knyzaite.

Recruitment agencies also facilitate the communication between aircraft operators and pilots in the course of their cooperation. It is especially important in the business/private aviation sector, where even the pilots’ dress-code issues ought to be confirmed by the pilot leasing agency that is considered to be responsible for the sourced personnel.

‘But we remember our pilots not only when there is a problem. It is vital for us to maintain personal and friendly connections between the agency and the recruited pilots, engineers, attendants, etc. We regularly contact them by e-mail or phone in order to check on their working and living conditions, satisfaction and peculiarities of working in different countries with the representatives of different cultures. This helps us to have a global image of pilots’ working conditions. With such knowledge we are able to offer tailored-made job opportunities, which would meet the pilots’ personal demands, including climate, promotion possibilities, family-friendly employees, the crew, leisure activities and other needs,’ concluded the CEO of Skaiste Knyzaite.

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