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Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Programme

South Asia and Far East Wannabes A forum for those applying to Cathay Pacific, Dragonair or any other Hong Kong-based airline or operator. Use this area for both Direct Entry Pilot and Cadet-scheme queries.

Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Programme

Old 31st Aug 2011, 23:56
  #3101 (permalink)  
 
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i applied somewhere in 2009 and got a call in 2011 may,..
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Old 1st Sep 2011, 10:27
  #3102 (permalink)  
 
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Hi everyone out there..

I recently just had my interview with Cathay Pacific in Melbourne Australia. I had ATPL,CPLA, MECIR,FIR etc 300 so hours total, and was applying for the advanced stage. I thought i did well in the interview and believed they liked me and enjoyed my company, but unfortunately i didn't get an offer. I got a rejection. I tried and i can't tell you why they rejected me but that is life. Feel free to ask any questions about it, just p.m
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Old 3rd Sep 2011, 05:07
  #3103 (permalink)  
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Congratulations on getting rejected. They saved you from living like a peasant in a 3rd world country on 3rd world pay.
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Old 3rd Sep 2011, 12:01
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Don't feel bad about the rejection. I studied long and hard and felt that i did really well in the interview but i didn't get through either. Honestly, i really do feel relieved in a weird way that i didn't get through. It's not a case of sour grapes or anything, i just feel that if i did somehow get through, that deep down i'd know i hadn't really earned my place like the other guys who have really done the hard yards to be there. I won't apply again for Cathay or any cadet scheme for that matter.

To the other hopefuls and wannabe's, think long and hard about what you are getting yourselves into. While i am sure it's not all doom and gloom, i suggest you take another look at the facts you have been presented with. The numbers in the contract aren't exactly a secret and it doesn't take much to see that you are going to be paid far less than your peers, and the forfeited allowances have an opportunity cost that runs into the millions over your career.

The cadetship is good for one thing, and that is airline interview practice. I took notes after mine and thought about what i did wrong or could have done better. This should make things easier when you get around to applying for a proper airline job.
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Old 3rd Sep 2011, 12:26
  #3105 (permalink)  
 
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Bloody hell Hihi, has China Beached finally got to you?!

Unlucky mate, you sound pretty switched on, I'm sure you'll get there one way or another!
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Old 3rd Sep 2011, 20:32
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Haha, no CB hasn't gotten to me. I didn't disagree so much with his message, more just the way he presented it. I did have a good chat with him though and he is actually a damn nice guy.

I think all of the wannabes realise that the cadet contract is rubbish - for many (myself included) it is a case of desperation. If your current situation isn't so great, then the prospect of a job in a wide-body jet and a salary certainly has appeal, and yet despite that i still had serious doubts anyway. Can you do better? Considering the predicted growth of the airline industry over the next 10-20 years, then yes you probably can.



Just make sure you know what you are signing up for.
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Old 3rd Sep 2011, 20:47
  #3107 (permalink)  
VFE
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I personally never thought the deal was too bad for what it is. It is all relative to what you've experienced thus far in life. But, and the crux of the matter moreover from what I see is that if it was anywhere else them it'd be a cushy little number but "chillaxing" certainly isn't a buzz word you see CX using! For that package you'll never be able to fully relax in a comfortable company. Someone, somewhere from within will at some point be working hard against you together with the fact that CX themselves are tighter than a ducks arse (and that's water tight!). So all in all, its who presents an an offer of this kind and not so much the offer itself that defines it. A jolly charter outfit in Europe pushing this scheme would be wonderful but a multi million dollar corporate giant pushing it is another animal entirely.

It takes a hardened cookie indeed to stomach working alongside guys who've forgotten more than you know and won't mind making it clear too when those bunks need making. One things is for sure, nobody can accept an offer on the CEP and claim that they weren't warned!

VFE.
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 06:34
  #3108 (permalink)  
 
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Hi,

Did someone ever try to update his application on the CX website ?
When I am trying to update it I get a "system error" page (after entering my username/psw).

I sent an email to flightcrew_recruitment@CX and I still didn't received any answers.
I would like to know if it is normal.

Many thanks
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Old 4th Sep 2011, 23:18
  #3109 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for your input,
A. B.
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Old 5th Sep 2011, 03:36
  #3110 (permalink)  
 
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With respect

With respect Beemer, you've missed the point of the thread. The "bitter trolls" are serving Cathay pilots who live here in Hong Kong and see the pitfalls of the new contract on offer. To back up a bit, you seem to be looking for the difference between other cadetships and their relative merits. I think the cadet programs are all much of a muchness, so I see no reason to debate the respective courses, and neither are any of the other serving pilots here doing so. The content of the debate, issues, advice, whatever you like to call it is the lack of housing allowance when you arrive here in HK and the effect this will have on your lifestyle, now and in the future. This has a follow on effect on us as it is the "thin edge of the wedge" into our contracts. Do not underestimate the cost of living here, it is wildy expensive and you find yourself constantly getting your wallet out. I read recently inflation is running at 8%, house prices are way out of reach, even a small 500sqft place is 2 million. I am not getting into a big debate on living costs in HK, no doubt there will be someone here shortly to debunk the price of living in HK. I would advise you to do your own research into it.

Good luck with your endeavors.

Nosey
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Old 7th Sep 2011, 23:43
  #3111 (permalink)  
 
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Hello friends i am have my stage 1 in HK 2 weeks. This flights is booked unfortunate not fly with cathay this time but hotel i have not book yet i am asked you my friends where is cheap hotel near airport?? i am look at novotel citygate but it is too expensive!!! any help is thankful!
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 03:26
  #3112 (permalink)  
 
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You have to make your own way to the stage 1 interview if you choose HKG as your first option, or you can wait for the interview to come to you, which, as we have learnt can take over a year. If you are invited back for stage 2/3 then Cx pay for your flights, hotel and you also receive a per diem.
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 11:37
  #3113 (permalink)  
 
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try Royal View Hotel, tsuen wan.
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 16:57
  #3114 (permalink)  
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Loan

Company says forgivable loan is pro-rated for amount you would owe back.

On another note, perhaps the ~200hr folk getting rejected round 1 has to do with the fact that more experienced pilots are applying again and are on their way to HK for round two this fall, including myself. Out of the 4 that I interviewed with here in Canada that I knew, all 4 made it to round 2 and they all have time in the thousands with airline experience. Another dude from Toronto's Porter is headed there for round 2 as well.

Curious to see who in the end takes it but apparently in CX's words the hiring is "not going well."
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 18:58
  #3115 (permalink)  
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I think it will be difficult to pay a mortgage and feed a family on an SO salary.

What you guys need to remember is that you are not going for a 'job interview' here - it is to obtain a place on their Cadet Pilot Program! Following successful completion of the training you 'may' be offered a 'job' as a Second Officer.

There may be a credible argument to say that for anyone who hasn't an airline background, the whole transition from SO to FO will be extremely challenging to say the least. By the time that moment comes the airline industry will be picking up and guys will surely be hired DEFO in front of you on a higher salary. One might argue that CX is just trying to lock in a few guys to an SO position for 6 years with little hope of shifting up the command ladder? Promotion will prove tricky without the skills and experience of medium/short haul if you ask me.....

If I had airline experience already then a position on a CPP would be furthest from my sights (would sit it out and wait for DEP to open again) but I guess it's all down to personal circumstances.

VFE.
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 19:34
  #3116 (permalink)  
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In the past did as far as DE went was it just for FO or did they do DESO as well? A colleague who just went there for the transition training (another with 4000+ hrs and airline experience) is going to be in Australia for 4 weeks only. Would this not seem to be as close to DE as you can get? I understand the whole "you are hired as a cadet" thing but what would be different if you were hired under the name DESO? I'm not referring to pay I know the details of the new deal.

Also, and this may be dreaming, if a person with those kind of credentials were hired, as an SO, and DEFO were required, would it not make sense to promote from within? He would hold the requirements and have CX experience, even if he had just been an SO for say 6-12 months?
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Old 8th Sep 2011, 23:45
  #3117 (permalink)  
 
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Also, and this may be dreaming, if a person with those kind of credentials were hired, as an SO, and DEFO were required, would it not make sense to promote from within?
DEFOs were hired in the past despite having DESOs with sufficient experience to be upgraded to FO. So, yes, you're most likely dreaming.

Last edited by Fingersmac; 9th Sep 2011 at 16:58. Reason: Spelling
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Old 9th Sep 2011, 08:24
  #3118 (permalink)  
 
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MUST READ FOR CX POTENTIAL NEW JOINERS Ė They Are

As the title of this post suggests, the "opportunities" provided by Cathay Pacific to fly for a premiere airline are fraught with pitfalls, many of which will not become clear to the new joiner until it is too late. At the centre of these issues lies new legislation passed by the HK government, which states, in a nutshell, "same job, same pay". The nett result of this being that Cathay has had to abandon the Direct Entry Pilot (DEP or expat) package in favour of a revamped Cadet Entry Pilot (CEP or local) package which it is offering to all new joiners.

Whilst this is an improvement on the previous, woefully inadequate CEP contract, any prospective new joiner should read the following in order to make the best decision they can based on the facts, not only of the package on offer, but also of life in Cathay and Hong Kong. Many of these facts CX recruiters and management are keen to either keep under wraps or they are simply not aware of them themselves.

Make no mistake about it, the managers and directors that set the bar for contract remuneration and benefits are not toughing it out at the Second Officer end of the salary scale in what is, a highly inflationary economic environment. The facts outlined in this post are provided by people with full knowledge and experience of living in Hong Kong at that level. Oh by the way, about the highly inflationary environment we just mentioned, as a CEP none of your salary or allowances are reviewed or index linked to counter that so essentially, if you sign the contract today, it will be worth less tomorrow. Doesnít make for a great start does it?

Rank, Promotion Protection and Logging Hours
Cathay will have you join as a Second Officer (SO). Current time to Junior First Officer (J/FO) promotion is running at about 4 years. All this time will be spent at SO salary levels with no increases in allowances, no protection against inflation and no security measures in place should Cathay choose to hire direct entry FO's (DEFO) in the future. A recent court ruling has set precedent on that last point in a case brought to bear by SO's whose upgrades were delayed when Cathay hired a bunch of DEFO's when they desperately needed more pilots. They are fast reaching that point with a growing pilot shortage, so don't think it won't happen again.

Bear in mind that during all of your time as an SO, you will never be in a control seat below 20,000ft, you'll never do a take off or landing other than under assessment in the simulator, you'll never even do a walk around and importantly, you will not be able to log any meaningful hours as you will only be logging P2X time. The P2X rating is a HKCAD invention and allows SOís to act as cruise pilots only. Hours under this rating are relevant only to the HKCAD, and even then only at a rate of 50% of your in-seat time. Typically you only sit in a control seat for half of a long haul flight, therefore you can only log half of half of your total flight duty time! Translation - you'll need to be on duty for more than 1600 long haul hours to log a pitiful 400. To add insult to injury, when you apply to your next airline, they won't be interested in any of these hours. Does that sound like a productive way to spend 4 years?

Remuneration
Cathay makes a big hoopla about the fact that they have just implemented a "Hong Kong Pilots Allowance". This is essentially a CEP Housing Allowance and weíll look more into that later. They have also just gone through a series of pay increases in an attempt to appease growing levels of animosity within a pilot community whose pay had essentially been significantly reduced through inflation and zero pay increases over a near 10 year period. So it sounds like ďwin-winĒ doesn't it? Sadly not. With pay levels where they stand now, Cathay has managed to close the book on any further discussions about salary until 2014. They also got away with a salary increase of less than half of what the pilot community was seeking. All this from a company that posted record profits of over 1.5 billion US dollars that same financial year. Perhaps that says a bit about the negotiating prowess of the pilot Union, but that's a separate matter. All you need to know is, whatever pomp and fanfare they make about the recent salary increases, they're not enough.

Education
This is actually a semi-positive point. First, the good part. Last year, faced with a very upset group of CEP's who had had enough of their conditions of service but had little bargaining power, Cathay extended the Children's Education Allowance (CEA) to all pilots whereas before it was only available to DEP's. Coincidentally, this happened the day after more than 90 CEP's joined the pilot Union in a show of force and unity against the completely inequitable conditions of service for CEP's when compared with their DEP counterparts. But letís not be assumptive about the motives behind this very sudden yet welcomed improvement to CEP allowances. So thank you for this Cathay, it's about time.

Now for the other side of the coin and this is particularly important for any new joiners who have children already. There is a variation to the scheme for CEP's. In order to make use of the allowance, your children must be educated in Hong Kong. "Big deal" you say? It is. School slots in Hong Kong are extremely limited, especially at the better schools. Parents are required to sign their children up years before they plan to start school and are also often asked to pay large sums of money (in some cases over HK$1M) to secure a school space - Cathay won't pay this. So you might think an easy option would be to send your children to boarding school. As a CEP, your CEA will not cover this and whilst all of your money is going on rent or savings for your house deposit, youíll suddenly find yourself in a very difficult position. This little detail is a no cost item for Cathay as the allowance is capped at a maximum, yet they still refuse to grant the same benefit as the DEP's to CEP's. There's a word for this, discrimination. So thanks again Cathay, for reminding us how valued we are as CEP's.

Housing
Housing in Hong Kong is amongst the most expensive in the world. As a brand new SO, you'll receive a cash allowance (called the HKPA) of HK$10,000 which is taxed so it's really about HK$8,400. Cathay is adamant that this is not housing allowance, it is merely an amount to assist CEPís with living expenses in Hong Kong. Spend it on what you please, itís a cash allowance after all, but youíll be spending it on rent so letís get real and call it what it is.

The allowance is fixed regardless of how the property market behaves and at the moment, the rental market is going up. The allowance is not linked to any index, unlike the DEP housing allowance, which means that as the property market moves, so does the relative value of your HK$8,500. Using HK Government data, the rental indices increased by over 17% in 2010. In the first half of this year the rental indices have increased by over 7% and the trend is set to continue. The result of this is that the effective buying power of the HKPA will reduce by the same amount, so using the first half results, your HK$10,000 is now about HK$7,800 after tax. Consider at this point that to rent a poorly designed 500sq/ft, 1 bedroom apartment in the centre of town starts conservatively at about HK$17,500 and your options become very limited. So how about buying a house instead? Interest rates in Hong Kong are low, so borrowing money is cheap which could make this option appealing. Well, that same 500 sq/ft apartment will cost somewhere in the region of HK$6M. The bank will only loan you 60% of that so you'll need to stump up somewhere in the region of HK$2.7M including costs. On a 20 year mortgage, your monthly repayments would be about HK$19,000. Remember, interest rates are low, so as that increases, so do your repayments. Oh, did we mention that the house was poorly designed? Add another 500k to renovate it.

Forgivable Loans and Bonding
Now, in an attempt to mitigate some of these astronomical costs Cathay is offering what it calls a "Forgivable Loan" to those CEP new joiners who have some previous experience. The largest loan available is in the region of HK$800k with repayment terms decaying to zero over a 6 year period. If you choose to leave before then, the repayment is pro-rata depending on your time served. This is nothing other than a thinly veiled training bond, something that is technically illegal by Hong Kong law, but Cathay has somehow repackaged it to circumvent this. There is still some question as to itís legality. In order to be eligible for the maximum 800k, a new joiner will have to have over 500 hours experience and will therefore only require a 6 week training course in Adelaide. As a result, Cathay will recoup the cost of training this SO in less than 9 months, yet they bond for 6 years. Take into account the costs of living highlighted above and you can see how that 800k will disappear very quickly and with little beneficial effect to your life. Good thing you donít have to pay it back then, provided you donít leave.

In short, in 2 years time when you realize that you canít make ends meet, your kids arenít going to get into the school you want, you are living in a shoebox and youíre still in debt, things will come to a head.
ē You will not be very employable as you have no meaningful hours thanks to the P2X rating
ē Any job you do get will start you at the bottom again
ē When you decide to leave, Cathay will hand you a bill for your training bond
ē The Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department will hand you a bill for your tax
ē You will come to the conclusion that you just spent a fortune in time and money on a job that netted you nothing and Cathay everything.

Doesnít sound like a very nice way to go through what should be the start of a very rewarding and fulfilling career does it?

Justification
Now we can hear you saying, ďso why are you there if itís so bad?Ē Good question. The difference is that in the years past when CEPs joined the company Hong Kong was not as expensive as it is now. We had a chance to secure a bolt hole in Hong Kong when it was still affordable. Many CEPs who were fortunate enough to purchase a house a few years ago would not be able to afford to rent that same house now, let alone buy it. CEPís have been fighting tooth and nail for 20 years for any improvements to their package and it is only in the last 12 months that they have managed to win any ground. Many of the CEPs in Cathay have a family support network in Hong Kong so many still live at home. Time to JFO was shorter, time to command was shorter, DEFOís were not part of the equation. Things were just simpler and easier. This article is not meant as a comparative between the DEP package and the CEP package, but life as a DEP is considerably more comfortable and palatable than as a CEP which is why Cathay had many people wanting to join under the DEP umbrella. Where are those people now that the offer is different? Nowhere to be seen.

In conclusion, bringing yourself to Cathay on the current CEP scale is setting yourself up for a very big shock and it is not until the CEP package is vastly improved that this will change. Logging hours and extended SO time is not such a great problem so long as you can expect some quality of life through that period where you are not being productive to your career or bank balance. But that is not a reasonable expectation in Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific at this point. The global aviation industry is in a massive pilot shortage at the moment with many competitive jobs out there. Cathay is resting on itís laurels as a premium carrier to attract star struck candidates to positions it knows it is paying peanuts for and despite being totally aware of this, it cares not. Will you sign a contract with a company that has not hired you in good faith and with the best intentions for your well-being? If so, be very careful as to the path for your future, you may find it is not as rosy a picture as you were led to believe.
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Old 9th Sep 2011, 11:30
  #3119 (permalink)  
 
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thanks you sonsal and dan buster for this heads up. I am booked the royal view hotel now. Friends in my study prep for this stage 1 i am come across possibility questions i am asked in the interview. What is it that i can say to this questions?? "what makes you think you will enjoy long haul flights?"

Ok my questions is what do CX pilot do for fun during long haul flight? ok and are the "layover" long enough to explore the destinations city?? I am think i will say i get chance to explore different cities in the world! What do you think friends?

One last thing me and my wife are not plan to have kids soon, she is just finish nurse school is it easy for her to get this nurse jobs there? and if she is get nurse jobs is it possibility for us to own a apartment??
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Old 9th Sep 2011, 13:09
  #3120 (permalink)  
 
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anyone for second stage at HKG frm 20oct???
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