My employment with Singapore Airlines began in November 2001 as a B777 Captain based in Singapore. Singapore Airlines, aka SQ, operates out of Changi Airport which has won numerous awards over the last ten years for being an excellent, modern, and comfortable airport for passengers and operators. We have a fleet consisting of B747-400 MegaTops, A340-300s, B777s, and A310s. On the Boeing fleet we fly both the Boeing 777-200 and B777-300.
My career began in Toronto operating the SW4 Metroliner and Jetstream BAe-31,32 aircraft for an Air Canada Commuter operating scheduled flights to several US cities out of Pearson Airport. I later moved on to Calgary to operate a Falcon 20 Jet for a night cargo operation to several Canadian cities via the US. After this company went into receivership I obtained employment at a regional west coast airline operating Convair 580 aircraft; both in passenger and cargo configuration. Again after another receivership I moved back to Toronto and landed a great job with Royal Airlines - here I flew the Boeing 727-200 and Airbus 310-300 aircraft as a Captain for a number of years before interviewing and accepting the job with Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines regularly advertises for experienced Captains in Flight International magazine. The company requirements are generally an ICAO recognized ATPL (Canadian in my case), a fair amount of wide-body modern airliner time, and a willingness to sign a 5 year contract as a minimum. The interview process while very thorough was also very relaxed. Ground school for the B777 aircraft was completed with the help of CBT (computer based training ). Simulator was completed in house using one of two B777 sims at the SQ Training Facility. Line training consisted of six trips and then a final Line Check.
My contract at Singapore is under generous ex-pat terms and is of 5 years duration; renewable for 3 years at a time. A typical month for me consists of approximately 20 working days with an occasional standby period when I have to be available to fly within 1 1/2 hours notice. Unfortunately the schedule is allocated by the co. to the pilots with no kind of bidding system, so you take what you get in terms of schedule and routes. The B777 is slowly taking over our existing A310 and A340 routes and will soon become the prominent aircraft in the fleet. To give you an idea, one of our orders from Boeing was for 77 Boeing 777s! Existing routes range from the U.S, Europe, West Asia, East Asia, Australia, North Asia including Japan, China, Korea, and beginning in May?.Vancouver, Canada. Hopefully I will be able to fly some of these pairings to YVR. The company has many local and expat Captains while most of the First Officers are locals to the area. I have been pleasantly surprised by the crews I have flown with; all very professional and courteous.
Singapore is a very beautiful city and despite various stringent rules is quite tolerable. Year round it is warm here - +30 or so, but in the summer it is very hot and humid. The Singaporeans take pride in keeping their city extremely clean and green. As an avid golfer I have discovered numerous courses within a 30 minute ferry ride to Malaysia and Indonesia where green fees are quite reasonable for a great day of golf.
Adjusting from life in Canada to life in Singapore will take time but this is a very professional and well organized airline with daily growth in both employee and customer areas - which is always a good sign for the industry.
Good luck with your flying career!
Would you like to add your own "Pilot's Story"? We hope so!
Simply email us your story.
Remember to include your age, total time flying, gender, company, base of operations,
and title/aircraft type.
We accept postings from all regions and experience levels, and we hope to hear from corporate
pilots, European and US airline/regional airline pilots, and female pilots. If you have a
photo or two, simply attach them to the email.