Cathay Pacific is celebrating the graduation of its first group of cadet pilots since the pandemic. Having completed the 55-week Cadet Pilot Training Programme, these 19 graduates will join the airline as Second Officers from July. Currently, there are more than 400 cadet pilots in training.

Cathay Pacific currently operates two parallel courses for training its cadets. Today’s group of 19 graduates completed their cadet-training activities as part of the airline’s original, long-standing programme hosted by Flight Training Adelaide (FTA).

Cathay Pacific developed its new integrated course to expand the training opportunities for cadet pilots. The first batch of cadets on this integrated programme, developed with Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and more recently its own in-house Cathay Academy, are expected to graduate in August this year. The integrated course sees cadets undertake theoretical ground training in Hong Kong, flight training at AeroGuard Flight Training Center in Arizona or FTA in Adelaide, and multi-crew simulator training at Cathay City.

A total of 177 cadet pilots are expected to graduate from both programmes in 2023. Enrolment for the Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot programme is open, and the airline greatly encourages aspiring pilots to apply.

Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau welcomed Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung as the guest of honour at the graduation ceremony at the airline’s Cathay City headquarters. Assistant Director-General of Civil Aviation (Flight Standards) Clara Wong, from the Civil Aviation Department (CAD), was also in attendance.

Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung said: “It has all along been the Government’s policy to promote localisation by encouraging local airlines to invest resources in training local cadet pilots. We firmly believe that in the long run, only by enlarging the pool of local aviation talent can we sustain the development of Hong Kong’s aviation industry. In this regard, we very much appreciate Cathay Pacific’s continuous efforts in promoting manpower training, especially in nurturing local aviation talent.”

Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Lavinia Lau said: “Developing aviation talent has always been at the heart of who we are as Hong Kong’s home carrier. This programme has given us numerous success stories, has helped us cultivate outstanding pilots within the industry, and is a testament to our commitment to develop our future aviation professionals.

“Today is made even more special as the month of June coincides with the 35th anniversary of our Cadet Pilot Training Programme. To all our graduating cadet pilots who spent long hours of studying and training to get where they are today – congratulations to all of you and I want to acknowledge all the hard work and determination you have shown in your training, despite the pandemic.”

As of this month, more than 1,000 of Cathay Pacific’s pilots are graduates of the Cadet Pilot Training Programme. These include 185 Captains, of which more than 40 are Training Captains. The airline also has seven management pilots who originated from this programme.

Cathay Pacific targets to recruit more than 800 cadet pilots in 2023 and 2024 combined, in addition to the approximately 250 cadet pilots recruited in 2022.