Middle East supplement: Pilots keen to fly on the wild side

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It may fly to some of the world's hairiest places - Afghanistan and Iraq among them - but Dubai's Silver Air says it has no shortage of seasoned pilots applying for jobs.

Tim Lee, commercial director of the carrier, which operates ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) flights on behalf of mostly Middle Eastern carriers, puts the strong demand down to "a happy working culture" and the fact that Dubai is a "great place to live".

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  © SilverWingPix/AirTeamImages.com

Silver Air, established in 2004, employs 25 pilots and has two leased Boeing 737-300s. All flightcrew tend to join with a minimum of 8,000h under their belt.

Although its regular destinations tend not to be on the tourist map, Lee says few of them are particularly dangerous places to fly to. "We're not looking for heroes. We don't go to places where they shoot at each other."

Most of Silver Air's flights depart from Dubai's "secondary" terminal, T2, which is home to airlines that fly to cities the blue-chip carriers ignore.

The company has a new management team. Commercial director Lee was formerly finance director at Singapore low-cost start-up Tiger Airways, while director of flight operations Capt Peter Larsen and director of training and standards Capt Lars Sondergaard both have backgrounds with European 737 operations.