YUFENG FAMILY: CAPT. JORGE LUIS CELAYA
Capt. Jorge Luis Celaya, one of the few foreigner flight instructors in China
I have just completed 3 years in China flying Airbus 320 for Chengdu Airlines and I have renewed my second contract in the company.
How was your professional experience in China?
After 2 years at Chengdu Airlines they offered me the opportunity to be an instructor with an increase of 13% of my total wage.
My first contract started in June 2016 and I had 45 days of vacation per year. Now with this salary increase, the termination of contract bonus and the renewal of a new contract bonus, I found myself in a really favorable economic situation, which has allowed me to change to a contract of 92 days of vacation per year.
I earn practically the same as in the first contract and I have more vacation days. My intention is to terminate this contract and maybe 2 more, a total of 12 years.
I have no complaints from Chengdu Airlines, pilots, co-pilots, crews, bosses, all of them have treated me exceptionally. The good thing is that this is a stable company with a long history.
The only notable difference is the contrast of how one flies in America and how one flies in China; but once you learn and adapt to the Asian way there is no problem, it is part of the new work scheme.
Why did you make the decision to live on the other side of the world?
What encouraged me to go to China was the salary, they have the highest salaries and the most attractive market conditions. In comparison with salaries in Mexico, it is 5 times higher, so it is a very high amount.
It is reassuring to save your retirement fund in less than 10 years, something that in Mexico, or even in the United States, would be impossible.
It is also attractive to know new cultures, traditions, food … traveling to places as close as Thailand, Japan, Singapore … an enriching experience that caught my attention. And the good thing is that the salary allows you to do all this kind of trips.
What is it like to live in China for a foreigner?
The language is the most difficult part, only 1% of the population speaks fluent English, and nobody speaks Spanish. This is complicated, but there are many tools that allow you to communicate, for example with smartphone translators. The technology infrastructure and tools that exist here are amazing, so you can always find a way.
Regarding my family, I am very happy to give my children an international opportunity, where they interact with children from all over the world and give them another world vision. Also with all my vacations I can spend a lot of time with them, I think that in no other country contracts of this quality can be found; You have many other contract options in the airline, my 92 days of vacations do not include the days off between my flights.
What difficulties did you encounter in the selection process?
The greatest difficulty for many of my colleagues is the ATP. Another drawback is the papers, certificates and all necessary information, plus the days you must reserve to do the tests in China, as well as the medical examination that must be prepared thoroughly. But if you are really interested in it and you feel like it, then it is not difficult, just organize and concentrate on it.
How did Yufeng Consulting help you in the personal and professional process?
I have always had the support of the agency. I applied first on West Air and didn’t pass, so the agency helped me to find another opportunity, and position myself in another airline that fitted my personal and professional expectations and needs. Whenever I have asked for help to accompany me to my medical exams or procedures they have done so; even when I needed to talk to some airline boss.
They have supported me in everything, and I would definitely recommend it.