Greetings from Malaysia.
I was hired by AirAsia as a Direct Entry Captain in June of this year and am still in their training program but have completed the A320 Type Rating Training portion. AirAsia is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has bases in Kutching, Kota Kinabalu and Penang. They also operate Thai AA, Indonesia AA, Singapore AA, Phillipines AA and soon Japan AA. Presently they are hiring for Malaysia AA (only).
I have been flying since I was 19 spending the first 6 years flying various float planes throughout Canada's North and West coast. I then spent 10 years flying the Dash-8 with companies like Air Atlantic (gone), City Express (gone) and overseas in the Caribbean, Colombia, Taiwan and the Maldives. I returned to Canada to accept a job with First Air (RIP Flt 6560) as a B727 First Officer upgrading to Captain after a year and a half. I spent several years with 7F (First Air) then accepted a job with Cargojet in Hamilton on the B727F and then the B757F/B767F. I was with Cargojet for several years and decided, last year, to go back overseas to complete my career in a tax free environment.
AirAsia is presently hiring DEC for the A320 fleet accepting CV's from Jet Captains AND high time Jet First Officers as well as high time Turboprop Captains for A320 DEC positions. They're hiring/interview process entails applying on-line via their website (on initial page click that you 'are qualified' to reach the actual application, fool the silly system).
You could get email'd for an interview within weeks of applying. You will have to get yourself to KL although they do offer flights on their system. I flew from Toronto to London (Transat CDN $500 then AirAsia X from there to KL).
Get up to speed on ATP/Jet Topics for the interview. The sim eval is in the A320. Because you "probably" don't have 320 experience they're not looking for specific 320 procedures but more your "thought process" as a Captain. However, I bought a couple hrs in a 320 at CAE Toronto to get the hang of it as I've been a Boeing driver my whole career.
Once/if your offered a position again you have to get yourself to KL with the same AA offered flights. They will put you through their training process which includes the A320 Type Rating course done by CAE located onsite and several weeks of groundschool covering various topics as well as writing the Malaysian DCA Regulations Exam for license conversion. All in all your looking at 4 or 5 months of training before your online. Presently all new hires are being based in Kutching for minimum 6 months and then you can bid where you like based on seniority.
The compensation package is pretty good. Pay is base plus flight pay and with a standard 80hr month your looking at about $10,000 US/CDN. They offer base pay (about $3,500 US/CDN) plus housing and transportation while training. Once online you could plan to save about $5000/month with relative ease while enjoying life.
Malaysia is a relatively inexpensive place to live. Most everyone speaks English although some not so well. There's great food, night life, good schools, very good road/highway system and all the amenities for a single or family lifestyle. AA also offers ID90 travel on AA and AAx so getting around SE Asia and/or London/Paris is very cheap. The weather is summertime year round - and tropical. Very humid.
The company has huge expansion plans -- recently ordering 200 A320's with options for another 100 -- look up Air Asia on PCC.
The company genuinely makes a great effort to ensure your entry is smooth and your experience with the company is positive. I'm looking forward to my career here and wish you all good luck with yours.
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