The first group of Taiwan pilots to be enrolled by a mainland carrier began work yesterday.
Sichuan Airlines, which is employing eight, is the first to do so, Gu Bing, deputy chief of the company’s Publicity Department, told China Daily.
Five of them have earned temporary flying licenses, valid for four months, from the Southwest Branch of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and are applying for formal licenses from the CAAC, which normally takes about two weeks. The other three are applying for their temporary licenses.
The five with temporary licenses are all about 40 years old, each with more than 15 years experience, notching up flight hours ranging from 5,000 to 10,000.
The mainland, which has the world's fastest growing aviation market, has a strong pull for pilots in Taiwan, according to Yan Jun, former chief of the Taiwan Civil Aviation Pilots Association.
A survey conducted by them found nearly all of those questioned expressed a willingness to work on the mainland, he said.
The new pilots have signed contracts of three to six years.
(China Daily December 21, 2005)