Cathay Pacific axes Dragon brand and 6,000 jobs

Cathay Pacific plans to slash 6,000 jobs and the Cathay Dragon brand. These cuts include a large number of cadets.

Cathay acknowledges that the road ahead is uncertain and these cuts will make them competitive in the future. The cadet program will be on hold for the foreseeable future and could be quite sometime before it returns.

Cathay Dragon’s routes will be merged into mainline.

We will try to get a statement from Cathay about future cadet projections and current layoff numbers.

Cathay Pacific cadet program moving ahead

Cathay Pacific’s recent move to continue training new cadet pilots show that the company sees the need to keep a fresh flow of pilots in the system.

They have recently started reinstating training dates for those that were hired prior to the COVID-19 outbreak which crippled the aviation industry.

More details to come…

Cathay Pacific slows down hiring, for now

A few months ago we reported that Cathay Pacific removes ATPL theory requirements. This allowed a large number of applicants to be interviewed and hired. With the recent intake amount, they have been sending the standard “we have reviewed our requirements” emails to new applicants which signifies a slowdown for now. We will keep you updated when they fully open the gates again.

The ab initio program is always open to Hong Kong residents.

Cathay Pacific removes ATPL theory requirements

For anyone that was considering Cathay Pacific’s “Advanced Cadet Program” but was limited by not having the required ICAO ATPL theory credits, that barrier has been broken and you can now apply and be accepted without it! Get in there!

Learn more:


Here are the new requirements:

Apply now to become a Hong Kong-based Second Officer if you meet the following requirements:

  • Commercial Pilots Licence
  • Multi-Engine Instrument Rating (MEIR)
  • Minimum 250* hours of flying experience
  • Valid Class 1 medical certificate
  • ICAO English language proficiency level 4 or above
  • Aged 18 years or above

* If you are a Hong Kong Permanent resident you may be eligible to apply with less than 250 hours provided you have an ICAO CPL and MEIR and meet all other Second Officer requirements.

You will receive world-class training. Second Officers attend either a 6 or 8-weeks training in Adelaide, which comprises of Simulator Training, Flight Training and Theory Hours.

Cathay Pacific suspends cadet program?

Those international applicants hoping to get into Cathay Pacific will have to start seeking another program elsewhere. Currently the airline offers three programs for entry. The ab initio program has seamlessly transitioned into a resident only program and now the Advanced Entry has stopped. We are not certain of Cathay’s future cadet program plan but it may have something to do with Dragonair (Cathay Dragon). Has anyone recently received an invitation from Cathay or Cathay Dragon?

Cathay Pacific cadet program on hold?

It seems that Cathay Pacific silently put their cadet program on hold until at least the middle of 2017. This only affects advanced entry and transitional candidates. This is apparently the result of the ongoing training ban. Cathay Pacific has also recently advertised direct entry first officer positions. The imposed training ban does not affect ab initio applicants as training will be conducted by Cathay Dragon (Dragonair).

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?