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Debate over pilots’ salaries heats up

VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam Airlines has finally decided to raise the salaries for its pilots to VND205-246 million. However, the debate over pilots’ salaries still continues.
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam Airlines has finally decided to raise the salaries for its pilots to VND205-246 million. However, the debate over pilots’ salaries still continues.


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When 60 pilots said they wanted to resign because of low salaries, a Vietnam Airlines’ leader said:  “You guys get VND250-300 million a month. And you still complain about salary.”

He went on to say that new pilot graduates receive VND70-80 million a month, high pay compared with pay for engineers and others with bachelor’s degrees.

“The sharpest increases are always offered to pilots in every salary adjustment campaign,” he said, adding that pilot’s salaries are sky-high already. 

The statement has been rejected by pilots. They said the pay level declared by the airline’s leader is 20-25 percent higher than the actual pre-tax income and 40-45 percent higher than the real value they can pocket.

Some pilots said that they receive VND100-150 million a month.

Zing cited Vietnam Airlines’ 2017 annual finance report as showing that the average income of pilots in the year increased by 5 percent compared with 2016, or VND120.75 million.

The average income of Vietnam Airlines’ pilots was VND121 million, while the figure was VND180 million for Vietjet, though the low-cost air carrier has smaller operation scale and lower revenue.

Meanwhile, Vietjet’s pilots in 2017 received VND180 million a month as shown in the financial report, or 50 percent higher than Vietnam Airlines’ pilots.

Also according to Zing, the income of VND100-150 million pay declared by some pilots is not much lower than that paid to regional pilots.

Aerocadet reported that a pilot in Indonesia has a starting salary of $2,500-4,000 which is not taxed, while the average income of pilots in the country is $6,600, or VND150 million.

In Singapore, according to Phoenix East Aviation, a pilot flying Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 has the starting salary of $6,800. 

Comparing the salaries paid by Vietnam Airlines and other air carriers in Vietnam, finance reports show that pay for Vietnam Airlines’ pilots is lower.

The average income of Vietnam Airlines’ pilots was VND121 million, while the figure was VND180 million for Vietjet, though the low-cost air carrier has smaller operation scale and lower revenue.

At Jetstar Pacific, a captain can receive VND110-160 million and first officer VND100-120 million.

Pham Minh Huan, former Deputy Minister of Labor, War Invalids & Social Affairs, commented that new airlines don’t have to pay to train pilots, so they are willing to pay more to lure pilots from other airlines.

Le Dinh Tho, Deputy Minister of Transport, said the demand for pilots is now higher than supply, which has led to competition in pay to attract pilots. The competition is bringing disadvantages to domestic airlines.


US$1=VND22,000


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