(MIAMI) — Over the course of three days, the All-China Job Fair will see more than 800 pilots looking for more lucrative work, from more than half a world away.
Ten Asian airlines are scouring the United States looking for experienced pilots to keep up with the growing demand for air travel in China. It’s estimated that China will need up to 18,000 new pilots within the next 10 years.
The airlines will likely hire at least 200 pilots during the fair, with some pilots interviewing, completing simulator testing and accepting jobs — with better benefits and higher salaries — in one day. Salaries for the pilots in China will range from $14,000 to $16,000 a month.
Doug Lister is a pilot with more than 30 years of experience, who spent most of his career with American Airlines.
“Hopefully, there are other airlines that can appreciate the experienced pilots,” he told ABC News’ Miami affiliate WPLG.
Lister said that with his company currently making massive cuts, there is no choice but to look for work in other countries.
“There is a pilot shortage in China,” Ron Yank of Shenzhen Airlines, told WPLG. “So, it’s a good opportunity in the U.S., since U.S. airlines are cutting jobs and people are looking for jobs. We can get good pilots here.”
The job fair was in Miami on Thursday and Friday. It then moves to Las Vegas, where it concludes on Sunday.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Angela Dewan, CNN
Ralph Ellis and Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN