Virgin Australia internal applications open today

Hi everyone!

Today, 18th April, Virgin Australia is accepting applications for their Cadet Program. This means that current employees of the company can apply for the program a week before it is open to the general public.

Good luck to those that can apply ahead of the mass applications.

VIrgin Australia adds more long haul flights

Virgin Australia has recently announced plans to operate it’s A330-200 airplanes on 3 new international routes. Perth to Abu Dhabi and two unknown origins to Hong Kong and Beijing.

Their A330 never had a need for augmented crews as it only served domestic routes. With this new development, it is more than likely that Virgin Australia will have a strong recruitment drive in the near future. Will it be for cadets or direct entry second officers? We are unsure at the moment but will be sure to keep you updated.

Virgin Australia cadet program update

Company representative, Ian McCallum, attended the meeting on the second day to provide an update on the Virgin Australia Cadet program. The company is still in the process of selecting its preferred training provider, and is hopeful of making an announcement in the next couple of months.

The first intake of cadets for the ab initio program has been wound back from the earlier projections of 12 to 18 cadets, and the Company is now forecasting an average of 8 cadets each year (originally 25). The company was not in a position to commit to a commencement date other than it had a self-imposed deadline of 31 December 2012.

While the company still maintains there will no upfront costs for cadets, there has been some shift in the employment conditions for cadets since our last briefing in February. Cadets will be employed by Virgin Australia on individual contracts from the start of their cadetship, and will be paid a training salary of just less than $50,000. At the successful completion of the 18 month program, the cadets will be guaranteed employment on the ATR at Skywest on a secondment arrangement from Virgin Australia, but on Skywest terms and conditions, except that they will be paid 15% less than a Skywest First Officer ATR salary for a period of time. Previously the Company had expressed a clear view that once a cadet is in the seat of a Virgin/Skywest aircraft, there should be no differential in pay to other intake pilots. Upon completion of the minimum hours requirement (yet to be determined) at Skywest cadet pilots will then be offered a position in Virgin Australia’s domestic operation.

Whilst we see advantages in a cadet program there are a number of outstanding ‘industrial’ issues to work
through in its current form. We will raise our concerns with the company.

Virgin Australia cadet program FAQs

A lot of the questions that interested candidates have can be answered by Virgin Australia’s FAQ sheet. I copied it for you all…

If I have questions about the Pilot Cadet program, who can I ask prior to submitting my application?

We hope that this website will answer most of your questions, however should you have any questions after reading the Virgin Australia Pilot Cadet program information and FAQs please email

Do you only accept applications for the Pilot Cadet program online?


When will the Pilot Cadet program close for applications?

Applications for this intake of the Pilot Cadet program close at midnight Monday August 13th. Opportunities to apply for future programs will be advertised on the Virgin Australia Vacancies website.

What qualifications do I need in order to apply for the Pilot Cadet program?

Please refer to the “Course Outline” section of this website for details on the entry qualifications for the program.

Do I need to have any flying experience to apply for the Pilot Cadet program?

No. While some flying experience would be valuable up to a PPL, you do not need to have had any experience before you apply to the Pilot Cadet program. If you hold a Commercial Pilot’s Licence or higher you will not be eligible for this program however may be eligible for future programs.

Who will be involved in the selection process?

The selection process will include representatives from the Flight Operations Department, Pilot Cadet program Working Group and the People Team.

How long will the selection process take?

The selection process is expected to take 8- 10 weeks from the close of advertising. You will receive notification if you have been short listed to participate in our assessment process within four to six weeks of the application close date. Due to the high number of applications received it is not possible to provide individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Is the course available as a full-time course only, or could I take all or parts of it on a part time basis?

This is a full-time course only.

Can I complete a shorter course if I already have a PPL?

No. All cadet pilots on the Pilot Cadet program will complete the full course of training. Recognition of prior learning may be recognised.

How long will I spend away from home during the Program?

You will spend approximately 55 weeks with our training partners Flight Training Adelaide, based in Parafield airport, SA.

Will I have the opportunity to go home during the Program?

You will receive adequate opportunity for rest during the Pilot Cadet program. You will take a 2 week break in the middle of the course which is expected to be during the months of June – July or August. Flexibility can be given for rest during the program dependent on progress and circumstances. Unfortunately, breaks/leave cannot be taken during full time ground school.

What type of qualifications will I receive from successfully completing the Pilot Cadet program?

  • CASA Private Pilot License (PPL),
  • CASA Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  • CASA Multi engine Command Instrument Rating (ME CIR)
  • CASA Theory credits for an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)
  • Virgin Australia/ Skywest specific Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) program.
  • Diploma in Aviation
  • 24 Credits towards a Commerce Degree with the University of Adelaide

Will I be guaranteed a role with Virgin Australia at the end of the Pilot Cadet program?

Yes, subject to successfully completing the program to Virgin Australia’s standards (Technical and behavioural), you will be offered permanent employment as a First Officer on an ATR in partnership with SkyWest.

Where will I be based at the end of the Program?

Following completion of the Pilot Cadet program you will have the opportunity to submit preferences regarding base. While we cannot guarantee you will be offered your first preference, these will be taken into account if you are offered a role. Bases are expected to be in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra.

What career progression can I expect in Virgin Australia?

Once you have gained the necessary experience in your first role as a First officer on the ATR you will be able to apply for a variety of pilot roles within the Virgin Australia Group.

Am I bonded for a period of time?

Following an offer of a permanent role post training you will work for Virgin Australia in partnership with SkyWest and will be bonded for three years. Should you be successful in gaining a role on the Jet operation with Virgin Australia after this time you will be bonded for an additional three years. Cadets who resign within this period will be required to repay the outstanding amount (pro rata) of their training.

What if I fail a component of the program?

Flight Training Adelaide Pty Ltd. is an experienced training provider who will endeavour to ensure you receive the appropriate development to meet the required standard. If you require additional training to meet these standards this will be discussed at the time, and a tailored development program may be produced. If following additional training, you are still unable to meet the required standard; we will discuss the ability for you to continue training.

What if I chose to withdraw from the program?

Cadets who withdraw during the program will be required to repay the training costs that have been incurred at the point of resignation

Will I receive feedback if I am unsuccessful during the process?

You will be advised if you are unsuccessful with your application. Unfortunately, due to the extremely high number of applications received for the Pilot Cadet program it is not possible to provide individual feedback to all applicants on the outcome of their application. Individual Feedback will be provided to all applicants who attend an assessment day.

If I am successful in being invited to attend an assessment centre what will I need to bring?

You will be given full details of what you need to bring with you prior to your attendance at an assessment day.

What if I am unable to attend my assessment?

If you meet the minimum requirements but are unable to attend the assessment you are encouraged to apply for the next cadet program intake.

Are there expenses involved in participating in the selection process?

There is no fee associated with submitting an application, however you may be asked to pay for the costs associated with obtaining a CASA Class 1 Medical. This will be discussed with you when this is required.

Will Virgin Australia assist with travel and expenses during the assessment process?

If you are invited to attend an assessment centre away from your home you will be provided with travel. You may be required to contribute to other costs associated with the recruitment process.

If I am progressed past the application stage, how do I contact Virgin Australia if I have questions or need to supply further information?

Full contact details will be provided to you if you progress past the application stage.

What should I wear for the selection process?

We are looking for people who will role model Virgin Australia brand and uniform standards. Therefore, we expect candidates to attend wearing appropriate business attire.

How do I obtain CASA Class 1 Medical and when should I do this?

While you are not required to hold a CASA Class 1 Medical prior to being selected on to the Pilot Cadet program it would assist in preventing delays in processing your application, should you be successful. To commence the Virgin Australia Pilot Cadet program you will be required to hold a valid CASA Class 1 medical. The CASA Class 1 medical process take approx. 3 hours and involves; the application for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN), a medical examination, an audiogram, a blood test, an ECG and an ophthalmic report. These tests are conducted by Designated Aviation Medical Examiners (DAME and a DAO or DAEE). To find more information please got to To find your nearest DAME please go to where a search can be made within your particular

I have a medical condition and am concerned I may not be eligible for a Class 1 medical, how do I find out more?

To enter training, a cadet must hold a valid Class 1 medical certificate. If you are unsure whether your medical condition may affect your ability to hold a Class 1 medical certificate, contact a DAME for professional advice. Information about medical certification can be obtained from:

Can I still qualify if I wear glasses and/or contact lenses?

The wearing of glasses and/or contact lenses does not automatically prevent you from obtaining a Class 1 medical certificate. Full details of the eyesight requirements are also available on at

I have a criminal record. Am I eligible for the Cadet Training Program?

If you have been convicted, found guilty or subject to proceedings for criminal or motor vehicle offences, this may affect your eligibility to be issued with an ASIC. Employment with Virgin Australia will be conditional on being eligible to hold an ASIC and if you fail to be issued with an ASIC or authority to hold an ASIC is withdrawn, withdrawal from the program or termination of your employment may result. If you have been cautioned, warned or convicted of a criminal offence (this could include traffic or parking offences) we suggest you check whether you will be able to obtain an ASIC by visiting

If I am unsuccessful for this program can I apply to future programs?

If you are unsuccessful for this program and meet all of the selection criteria, you are encouraged to reapply for future programs. Opportunities to apply for future programs will be advertised on the Virgin Australia Vacancies website.

If I am successful, when will my program start?

You will be advised of the exact start date during the process however expect to commence the first course by the end of the 2012

I am a current employee of the Virgin Australia group. If successful for this program will I be seconded to the training provider for the duration of my flight training and be employed under the terms and conditions of the Cadet Pilot program?


If I am successful, where is the training conducted?

All training is conducted by our training partners Flight Training Adelaide, based in Parafield airport, SA

What is the syllabus content?

The 55 week course is designed to meet CASA’s requirements to achieve a Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL) Multi engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) as well as the ground theory subjects for an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and a Virgin Australia/ Skywest specific Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) program.

What aircraft will I be flying during my training?

During the Single Engine phase of your training you will be operating either the Socata TB10 aircraft or the Diamond DA40 aircraft. During the Twin Engine phase of your training you will be flying the Diamond DA42 Twinstar aircraft.

Are FTA’s instructors well qualified?

Yes. Ground theory instructors have a variety of backgrounds that are perfectly suited to the subjects they teach. Instructors come from either an airline and/or military background providing an unparalleled depth of experience. Flight training is delivered using grade 2 and grade 1 flight instructors with a ratio of 3 students per instructor All Jet Simulator instructors have extensive airline commercial operational experience and have held a training role within their respective airlines.

Do I need to find my own accommodation?

All cadets will be accommodated at FTA’s facilities. Accommodation facilities are located within safe campus grounds with no need for transportation from the room to program classrooms, simulators or aircraft parking apron. FTA’s cleaning team will change linen once a week with rooms cleaned twice a week. Additionally, there are free of charge laundry facilities on campus. Cadets are accommodated in blocks of 4 or 6 cadets per block. Each cadet will have a private room and shared toilet and shower facilities as well as a lounge area with Internet wireless coverage. 3 meals a day are provided with the accommodation.

Do I need to bring a uniform?

No. FTA will supply a full uniform. Additionally there are free of charge laundry facilities on

Paying for the program

We received a few questions about how the financial portion of this cadet program works so here it is… Virgin Australia will pay for your training up to your Private Pilot Certificate then you can fund the rest which is $74k using FEE-HELP. Virgin holds you to a 3 year commitment on the ATR’s while you repay their portion of the loan at 15% reduction in pay which is not too bad.

The only thing is that $74k. Just like any other loan, it is on you to pay it back. Be sure to check out to learn more about FEE-HELP.

Virgin Australia Cadet Pilot Program

Virgin Australia is the newest brand to fall under the Virgin empire. Virgin Australia is a combination of Virgin Blue, V Australia and possibly Pacific Blue.

Virgin Australia operates a fleet of advanced 737s, 777s and other smaller regional airplanes. Their upcoming cadet pilot program shows very small similarities to the Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Program since you will be employed as a cruise first officer on the 777 fleet. Cathay Pacific employs you as a lower rated second officer. Our sources also mentioned that there is also an option to fly for the regional carrier before being upgraded to a regular first officer on their long haul fleet.

We were informed that April 2012 was the month applications would be taken but we still have not received the official word. We will keep you updated when more information becomes available.

Here is the link to the program: