China is the world’s leading country in economic growth, which reflects directly on the transport industry. Airlines in China continue to order hundreds of new aircraft and this situation has created a pilot shortage in the country. This has forced airline in China to look for pilots abroad, especially for Captains. This is expected to continue this way for the next 10 years at least. Airlines set no limits as to how many Captains to hire. The salary has tripled over the past 12 years.
There is a critical shortage of pilots in China and a higher salary is offered to bring pilots to work in China from abroad. Also, Eastern mentality and culture is very different and higher salaries are offered as a motivation to foreign pilots to adapt to the different mentality and culture.
Airlines will cover two return economy class tickets, hotel, transportation within China, simulator and medical costs. Basically everything. In case of failure during one of the stages you have no financial obligations.
The airlines will pay all taxes within China and will provide you with the official report. However, it depends on your home country regulations, whether or not you have to pay extra taxes in your country. China has an agreement about avoiding double taxation with a lot of countries (meaning you must pay taxes only in one country of your choice). Your salary can be paid into a bank account in any country in world at no cost to you.
Because, when you pass the Chinese ATPL test for licence validation with one airline, to be able to use to apply for other airlines you need to get a release letter from the first airline. Due to the investment made in you from the first airline, that airline is unlikely to release you at the beginning of the process to another airline.
One year maximum is 1000 hours, one month maximum is 100 hours. But there are no red-eye flights and 100 hours is reachable only by those who choose a full-time contract.
During the screening you must pass an ATPL exam (computer based) and a simulator check with a government inspector. This will result in a Chinese ATPL being issued. You cannot validate your home country license. You will also have to do the initial medical examination in China.
Ideally from the moment you come to China for screening it takes about 4 months until you get your first pay check. And, of course during this process there is no need to leave your current airline. You will only have to leave your current airline after a contract is offered and signed.
Major steps are: medical examination, ATPL exam, company simulator check (can possibly be done during the airline roadshow in your country) and the government inspector simulator check.
The interview at the airlines itself is just a formality where you meet upper management talk about general things. It is more of a greeting meeting. No one has ever failed this!