ATR72 Captain Nicholas Guindy has been on assignment with Rishworth Aviation since March 2014 and has recently been invited to undergo the transition to A320/1 Captain.
As Vietnam Airlines continues to grow its A320/1 Fleet (10 x new A321 aircraft being delivered in 2018, with more to follow in future years) there will be many opportunities for ATR72 Captains to make the move to the A320/1 Fleet at Vietnam Airlines. Take a look at what Captain Guindy has to say about his decision to move to Vietnam and fly for Vietnam Airlines!
What attracted you to work for Vietnam Airlines?
The first company I flew for was wet leased to an airline in Asia (Thailand) and so I stayed there for 3 months. This was my first time in Asia and I immediately fell in love with the culture and decided I wanted to work there. When the opportunity arose to apply for my dream job in Vietnam with VNA, I leapt at the chance to finally fly with a full-service flag carrier.
How long have you been flying with VNA?
I started flying with VNA in March 2014 and I’m currently based in Hanoi. In November 2016, I was invited for upgrade interview for a direct-entry Captain on the A320. The A320 course will begin soon, ready for the arrival of the new Airbuses in 2018. I'm very excited to take the next big step in my aviation career: to be a Captain on the A321 in a flag carrier.
What is it like, working at VNA?
It is fairly easy; all runways have at least VOR approaches and are 1500m+ long. During winter in Hanoi we have low clouds and mist for a few months and in the summer, it's the usual thunderstorms with tropical downpours and closed runways. But in 3 years I have only diverted twice due to weather.
Where did you choose to live and why?
Most expats in Hanoi live in the area called Tay Ho District or West lake. It's a quiet area with lots of places to go on a day off, such as restaurants, cafes and parks. Hanoi offers a wide range of delicious local food as well as foreign cuisine, the most popular is the Pho Bo (Beef Noodle) or Pho Ga (Chicken Noodle) which is a Vietnamese Noodle soup with Chicken or Beef, and some herbs. And of course, there's also the famous Bun Cha - a delicious BBQ'd pork dish with rice noodles, fresh herbs and sweet and sour broth.
What is your work pattern like?
VNA offer different roster patterns (e.g. 6x2, 8x2, 10x2, 6x3 and 4x2) but I’m currently on the 9x3 roster which is perfect as it allows me enough time to go home to be with my family, travel to other countries, and is also long enough to miss the bustle of Hanoi life.
What do you like most about living in Vietnam?
I like how central it is to everything. Most Capital cities are within 2-3 hours flight and are serviced by VNA. It is both easy and cheap to get there either on ID90 or the rotation tickets. Hanoi specifically, is the culture capital of Vietnam – there are a lot of old shops and cafes that gives the city its charm, has a wide range of delicious local food, and of course, the best “ca phe sua da” Vietnam’s famous iced milk coffee!
How have you found being on assignment with Rishworth Aviation?
From the beginning, Rishworth Aviation has always been my number 1 choice. Throughout the application and screening process I was in daily contact with them, and they always provided me with full information and updates on my application. Though the time difference was quite large, I always had an answer to my question within 24 hours. Whilst on contract, Rishworth are always on hand if I need to ask a question or have a concern and are quick to resolve the issue. They also host dinner parties in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City 3-4 times a year which gives us pilots a chance to meet with them or simply to chat to other expat pilots.