Qatar Cadet Pilot billed for training costs after being fired

Though this is not breaking news, you might not have heard about a Qatari cadet pilot that was recently laid off due to COVID-19. The young cadet received a letter from Qatar Airways stating that their “services are no longer required”, and that they are contractually required to pay back the training costs. In this case it was roughly $165,000.

Here is the letter:

What are your thoughts on this? Would this stop you from pursuing the cadet career path? Don’t forget to check out the new cadet pilot community forums!

Etihad currently accepting applications

Abu Dhabi based Etihad is currently accepting applications for its cadet program. The program is available to UAE nationals only.

Minimum requirements:

  • UAE National
  • Maximum age is 29
  • Bachelor degree
  • IELTS band 5.5 or more in all sections
  • Medically fit

If you are a UAE National and would like to apply, please apply here –

Air Arabia cadet program

Air Arabia is a lost cost carrier that operates a fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft. Below are details of their Cadet Program.

Air Arabia has partnered with Alpha Aviation Academy UAE as an exclusive source for cadet pilots.

The MPL Cadet Pilot Program provides all the necessary training required to enable young men and women to become the Airline Pilots qualified on the A320 aircraft type.

Cadets meeting the standards of the airline will have the opportunity to continue with the company as a First Officer on completing their training contract of the future with Air Arabia.

Desired Profile
Candidates must be aged between 17 and 33 years and must have attained a minimum education level of High School (10+2) or Equivalent.

Selection Procedure
All candidates initially have to pass several stages of selection process designed to ensure that only the most suitable candidates progress to flying training. Selection consists of a mixture of interviews, medical examinations, computer aptitude tests and tests of spoken and written English.

Apply here if interested:

Qatar Airways cadet program for all nationalities

Qatar Airways has opened up its cadet program to all nationalities!

Minimum eligibility requirements: 


    • Must be aged between 18 and 28 years at the time of commencing the MPL course.

    • Must have a Secondary School Education Certificate corresponding to Qatar Ministry of Education & Higher Education grading scale with an average of 80% or higher, or its equivalent.

    • Minimum IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 overall and no less than 6.0 in each component.

    • Must be able to pass all the entry exams and placement tests. 

    • Must be able to pass the Qatar Airways interview. 

    • Must be able to obtain a QCAA class 1 medical certificate. 

    • Must be able to obtain official police clearance from home country. 

To apply, click here:

Qatar Airways cadet program

Rated as the top airline for year after year is Doha based Qatar Airways. They fly one of the youngest fleets and most advanced airplanes in the world.

Qatar’s cadet program is open to Qatari Nationals.

Here are the requirements:


  • Must be Qatari National or have a Qatari Mother.
  • Must be aged between 18 and 26 years at the time of commencing the MPL course.
  • Secondary School Education Certificate corresponding to Ministry of Education & Higher Education grading scale with an average of 70% or higher.
  • Minimum IELTS (Academic) score of 4.5 overall and no less than 4 in each component to be eligible to join the Foundation Programme.
  • Graduated High school students must have completed mandatory National Service and must obtain official clearance letter issued by Qatar National Service Authority.
  • Must pass all the entry exams and placement tests.
  • Must pass the Qatar Airways interview.
  • Must obtain a QCAA class 1 medical certificate.
  • Must obtain CID clearance.

To learn more and apply, please visit


Etihad Cadet Pilot Program

Etihad Airways is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates. Their Cadet Pilot Programme is a successful one that very clear cut and professional.

Here are the requirements:

  • UAE national with family book
  • Age: 18 – 30 years old
  • Height: 157 – 195cm
  • Holding a High School Diploma or Bachelor’s Degree
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English
  • Medically fit

MEA Cadet Pilot Program

Their website is VERY detailed and has way too much information to list here but be sure to give it a good read.

Here are some general requirements. We will keep you posted…

1. General Requirements
A. Lebanese Nationality.
B. Recent and clean judicial record.
C. Medically fit.
D. Prepared to undergo rigorous medical testing, theoretical, and flight training.

2. Age
Born between 01/01/1988 and 31/12/1994 (both dates inclusive) .
Born between 01/01/1983 and 31/12/1994 (both dates inclusive) if holding CPL/IR .

3. Education
A. Lebanese Baccalaureate or official equivalence .
B. Successfully completed during the year 2013, (1) one year of university or Sophomore (about 33 credits; Freshman is not acceptable) if not holding CPL/IR.
C. Candidates who do not comply with “B” above, and are expected to complete their first year university during the year 2013 may apply and shall be considered, but will not be accepted for training until they complete (1) one year of university.

4. Physical Requirements
A. Acceptable physical appearance.
B. Height: minimum 170 cm (males) and 168 cm (females).
C. Weight: appropriate to height.
D. Adequate Body Mass Index (BMI).

5. Medical Requirements
A. In good health.
B. MEA’s Cadet Pilot Medical screening form to be Completed , Approved and Signed by your physician, (download form 3).
C. Non smoker; if you are a smoker you must stop smoking (proof is required).

6. Languages speaking reading and writing
A. English
B. Arabic

7. Competences
A. Math
B. Physics
C. Mechanical comprehension
D. General aptitude
E. Computer skills / Pilot aptitude

Emirates Cadet Pilot Program

The Emirates Airlines National Cadet Programme is open to to United Arab Emirates Nationals only and provides a very attractive benefits package. It is no secret that money is not a problem to some Middle Eastern countries so imagine the benefits that comes with this program.

Emirates uses this program to mould the perfect Professional Pilot with a training program spanning over four years! The program is an ‘ab initio’ program which allows applicants to apply with little to no flying experience. Emirates, just like Cathay Pacific Airways, operate a fleet of wide body aircraft and is the airline with the largest Boeing 777 fleet.

The minimum requirements to be eligible for this program:

  • A valid UAE passport and Khulasat Al Qaid (Family book)
  • 17-29 years
  • Minimum: Grade 12 secondary school certificate
  • Good command of written and spoken English
  • Medically fit

This program is highly recommended to UAE Nationals wanting to become pilots! Apply here!