It's reported that Chinese airlines face 30 percent shortage of pilots. Largest carriers like Air China, China Eastern and China Southern are enforcing lifetime contracts to cope with increasing air travel demand for both home and abroad.
Even government established a regulation in May 2006, requiring pilots pay their employers 700,000 yuan ($102,300) to 2.1 million yuan if they quit.
A former captain at China Eastern, who was initially ordered to pay 12.6 million yuan when he resigned last year, agreed to pay 1.4 million yuan in April after one-year-long arbitration and hearings.
But pilots are fighting back. In protest, the pilots of 21 China Eastern flights from Yunnan province turned their planes around and returned to their departing airports on March 31 and April 1, the carrier said April 7.
Maybe United and American should ship some of their surplus pilots to China.