It is true that there are a fair number of washouts in training. That said, I know two people who have gone there in the last two years and they both made it throught training. One just finished his OE two months ago. Both of those guys had previous foreign airline experience and knew how to play the game in training. The very high profile Delta washout very obviously had no clue how to play the game and based on his own description of his final check it's easy to see why he failed.
There is certainly animosity from the Korean pilots because Korean management use foreign pilots as a means to keep the Korean pilots in line. The percentage of foreign pilots make any strike threats by the Korean pilots less effective. The foreign pilots presence weakens their position. Obviously foreign pilots also delay the upgrades of Korean First Officers which leads to some degree of animosity.
It appears that the B777 fleet is the worst where this is concerned and that the foreign pilots being hired are caught in the middle of a struggle between management and the Korean pilots. The bad stories all seem to eminate from the B777 fleet.
They'll make you buy your type if you don't already have one too. Shelling out several grand and then spending 6 to 8 months in training without being able to come home seems like quite a sacrafice to me. OTOH pay does look pretty good. I'm about to be furloughed myself and I've been spending quite a bit of time looking into all these contracts and reading everything I can find about it as well as hearing guys like Typhoon talk about it. We're lucky to have guys like him give us the real deal. It may be a good deal for some but not for everyone. To me the whole contract overseas flying seems to be a better deal for a captain rather than an FO. From what I can tell and hear, you may not be able to upgrade at the end of your 5 year contract or ever. Like Typhoon said, to much "playing the game" going on. I've heard things like, micro-manager captains, not letting the fo's fly. There's no way in hell I could work with someone like that for a 9-12 hr flt. Like I said, all this contract stuff seems better fitted for a captain with time on type. But that's just my opinion.
Training is only 3 months from start to finish with Korean. I just talked to my recruiter yesterday. 3 weeks of ground school, then they send you home for 10 days to get your work visa. Then the rest is sim and IOE. Then they send you home for your 13 days off and you are off and running.
I have some friends who worked there (note the past tense) - they (without exception) said that the Korean locals are first class A-Holes...the F/O's hate DEC's and the local IRE/TRE's are looking for scalps...
I emailed GAP Aviation to see if they had anything for unrated pilots, and they told me they had unrated 737 FO positions, but you had to be uder 45. I'm 45 so no dice. That would be a tough row to hoe but it might be an opportunity for somebody.
Are there any other unrated opportunities out there?