07 December, 2023

Cathay Pacific celebrates 35 years of its Cadet Pilot Training Programme

Celebrating the graduation of the first group of cadet pilots from its integrated programme with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Cathay Pacific strives to deepen its contribution to Hong Kong society, focusing on nurturing advancement in the domains of youth, sports, arts and culture. The airline’s long-running Cadet Pilot Training Programme is a testament to its commitment on youth development.

Today marked the 35th anniversary of the Cadet Pilot Training Programme, as the airline continues its commitment to growing the next generation of young aviation professionals.

The ceremony also marked the first group of cadet pilots to graduate from its integrated programme developed and conducted in collaboration with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and its new flying training partner, AeroGuard Flight Training Center. The 21 cadet pilot graduates join the airline as Second Officers, following the completion of their training.

Cathay Group Chief Executive Officer Ronald Lam welcomed Acting Secretary for Transport and Logistics Mr Liu Chun-san as the guest of honour at the graduation ceremony at the airline’s Cathay City headquarters. Civil Aviation Department Chief, Flight Standards Captain Lawrence Wong and PolyU Dean of Faculty of Engineering Ir Professor H. C. Man were also in attendance.

Acting Secretary for Transport and Logistics Mr Liu Chun-san said: “Building on its 35-year legacy of nurturing local cadet pilots, the Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Programme has been continuously enhanced to provide high-quality and professional training for our pilots-to-be.  I would like to thank Cathay Pacific and PolyU for their commendable efforts in exploring new options to attract new blood into the aviation industry and enriching the capacity of aviation professional training in Hong Kong. ” 

Cathay Group Chief Executive Officer Ronald Lam said: “As Hong Kong’s home carrier, Cathay Pacific has a long tradition of developing young aviation talent and cultivating outstanding pilots in Hong Kong.

“This year marks the 35th anniversary of our Cadet Pilot Training Programme, from which more than 1,000 of our pilots are graduates. In 2023 and 2024 combined, we plan to recruit a record number of more than 800 cadet pilots and, for the first time, from the Chinese Mainland as well. By the end of 2024, we expect half of our pilots to have joined us through the cadet programme over the years.

“We are extremely excited to welcome our first group of cadet pilots to graduate from the integrated programme. We are truly glad to be able to provide more opportunities for the younger generation to fulfill their dream of a rewarding career as a professional pilot.

“I would like to thank the Transport and Logistics Bureau, Civil Aviation Department and PolyU for their ongoing support, which has enabled us to achieve this incredible milestone. We firmly believe that there is huge potential for Hong Kong to become an international hub for aviation training, and the integrated programme is an important next step in this exciting journey.”

PolyU Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Ir Professor H.C. Man said: “This pilot training programme is a typical example that at PolyU, we dare to explore innovative initiatives that can contribute to enhance the human capital of our city and country. With this, I would like to thank Cathay Pacific for giving us this opportunity to work together in this training programme, and more importantly and significantly, to give hope to our young men and women in Hong Kong to have a pathway to become a pilot. This programme has very positive societal impact.”

Cathay Pacific developed its integrated course together with PolyU and, more recently, its own in-house Cathay Academy to expand the training opportunities for cadet pilots. The integrated course sees cadets undertake theoretical ground training in Hong Kong, flight training at AeroGuard Flight Training Center in Arizona or Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) in Adelaide, and multi-crew simulator training at Cathay City.

In addition to the partnership with PolyU, Cathay Pacific also operates its original, long-standing cadet programme hosted by FTA in parallel. The airline extended its flying training partnerships to include AeroGuard in order to offer more training courses through its integrated programme. More than 170 cadet pilots are expected to graduate from both programmes in 2023.

Enrolment for the Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Training Programme is open, and the airline greatly encourages aspiring pilots to visit the following link for information on the application criteria and the benefits of a rewarding career: https://careers.cathaypacific.com/jobs/cadet-pilot-program-5519030