Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Program Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Program
Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Program

The Cathay Pacific Second Officer Pilot Cadet Program is one of the most popular Cadet Programs in the aviation community. Cathay Pacific Airways offers pilots, and ‘wannabes’ a fair chance of living the dream.

The airline offers applicants the opportunity to apply using two separate schemes depending on your experience. Upon completion of their 61 week training program (if selected), you will be crowned the Second Officer rank and act as a relief pilot on their long haul routes. Cathay operates the Boeing 747, Boeing 777, Airbus A340, and the Airbus A330. The program is open to applicants from any country.

This cadet program is unique because you can potentially go from 0 hours to flying (more like monitoring) a Boeing 777. According to sources, you will be required to live in Hong Kong while wearing the Second Officer rank which can vary from 4 to 6 years. After that, there are bases worldwide such as Sydney, San Francisco, and New York.

It would be in your best interest to do some serious reading before applying to this program to see the pros and cons. The program, just like many others, is not free. You will get what’s called a ‘forgivable’ loan which will mysteriously disappear after a pre-determined employment time frame.

Their requirements are very basic to be able to apply. they are:

  • Have an excellent command of written and spoken English
  • Be physically fit and qualify for a Class I Medical
  • Meet flight deck reach requirements which is subject to a functional reach test
  • Have completed secondary school and have good passes in mathematics and science, or have a degree or diploma, or have passes in all ATPL subjects
  • Share our passion for aviation

If you have any questions or information, please share with us all.
If you think you’re up for the challenge, why not apply?

  • cadet

    February 6, 2016 #1 Author

    Once again Cathay Pacific has switched it up on us. The site can be found at



    June 16, 2016 #2 Author



  • cadet

    September 19, 2016 #3 Author

    Hi Emmanuel,

    Cathay Pacific does in fact hire from all nationalities. The only requirement is that you meet the minimum flight requirements as foreign nationals are not selected for ab initio training,


  • cadet

    September 19, 2016 #4 Author

    Cathay Pacific has also updated their recruitment website. The link has been updated –


  • David

    April 7, 2017 #6 Author

    It seems you need to have the right of abode in Hong Kong (for foreigners: having lived there for over 7 years). More info here:


    • cadet

      April 15, 2017 #7 Author

      Hi David,

      For the ab initio program, you do need to pretty much be a resident of Hong Kong.


  • Daniel Asante

    October 15, 2017 #8 Author

    Do top performing students get their fees funded by the airlinew?


  • Abhishek Jangir

    November 2, 2018 #9 Author

    i am from india can i apply for this programme.
    thank you


    • cadet

      November 18, 2018 #10 Author

      It depends which one you are interested in. The Advanced program is available o international applicants.


  • fabian

    May 30, 2019 #11 Author

    hey i have a question. Around how many years takes to become a first officer, on the second officer program for international pilots. and if the contract start when you become a fisrt officer or total of 6 or 7 years including second officer?


    • cadet

      June 22, 2019 #12 Author

      Hi Fabien,

      We have heard its between five and seven years to become a First Officer. The contract / training bond includes time as a Second Officer.


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