Do Air China pilots speak English?

On Shanghaiist I came across a 6-month old YouTube video of a recorded conversation between the control tower at JFK in New York and an Air China pilot. The Air China pilot seems to have no knowledge of the English language, and the few words he says are incomprehensible to me. Quite scary considering that English is the standard language of air traffic control. I don’t want to imagine that this is something that occurs daily, and what fatal consequences this potentially may have…

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  1. It was in the newspapers a couple of weeks ago, even in China Daily, that 90% of the Chinese pilots do not speak enough English.

    One more reason to not take any Chinese Airline for an international flight.

  2. The other day I was at SinoSwiss Hotel in Beijing and I saw a crew of what looked like China Southern. All the pilots where westerners, but they didn’t look like they already had reached the legal drinking age. My friend and I were looking at each other and not entirely sure whether we wanted to be transported by them either…
    But this video is indeed pretty damn scary!