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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 22nd Oct 2011, 05:17
  #3221 (permalink)  
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Guys, just let 'em go. I have never seen such spirited defense for a dead end job.

And to Mr. Mad Dog, I am going to be very frank with you. We do get a bit personally offended at this whole "cadet" scheme for a few reasons that I dont expect you to undestand.

The Cathay Pacific we joined was not a place we went because it was the least ugly pig at the trough. Or because, hey, it beats throwing bags on the tarmac. We all worked our butts off to get here, building 1000's of hours as Captains in our own countries. We spent months preparing for what was industry known as the toughest job to get on the planet. Out of the 20 guys I interviewed with only 6 got hired, and they were all the cream.

Yes, we get offended as people are treating with flippancy what we worked so hard to obtain. We are seeing the decline of a once great airline before our eyes, and unfortunatly the icadet is the new face of that decline.

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Old 22nd Oct 2011, 06:02
  #3222 (permalink)  
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Mr. Ash,
I can understand you being offended with this iCadet thing but what I don’t think you, or anyone else who is a seasoned pilot here understands, is, the GOOD TIMES ARE OVER!

It sucks when you work years for a job and then get pissed on. I know! You know why? Because worked hard in school and went to a prestigious college, got a position with a large investment bank in Wall St. in late 1990s, made my first million before age 25, lost some in when the internet bubble burst, made a got few other seven figure compensation package in the mid 2000’s but you know the kicker is, all that bonus etc were in stocks that are worth less than a quarter of their value today!! What is even worse is now I go to work, you get branded the scum of the earth by this stupid “Occupy Wall Street” movement. How would you like it if you went to work every day, work 15+ hour days (averaging close to 100 hours a week), make well less than what you made before, not knowing if today would be your last day since Sept of 2008 and get spit on by a bunch of lazy punks in this baseless movement. Do you think you have it bad now????

I think you have to come to grips with the fact there are hundreds of millions of people from developing countries that are just as smart, if not smarter than us, have harder work ethics coming to this new global economy and they are willing to work for a fraction of what a western is paid. Now you tell me, why do you deserve to be put on a pedestal???

Good day!
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Old 22nd Oct 2011, 06:33
  #3223 (permalink)  
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What is even worse is now I go to work, you get branded the scum of the earth by this stupid “Occupy Wall Street” movement. How would you like it.....
Yes, yes, yes..... Upset when it affects your status and job satisfaction but you are so full of comment about professional airman defending the STANDARDS that promote and keep SAFETY as the HIGHEST priority, and not profit margins which the likes of you (it seems) prioritise as most important.

The good times are over....
What a naive and ignorant comment. "Good times"?? Since when is paying a competitive and well earned / deserved salary, as well as terms and conditions to be deemed "good times". So I suppose in your eyes a person without a job has the right to call those with the job they earned through hard work, a hell of a lot of sacrifice, dedication and education and getting paid accordingly as "spoilt" or existing under "good times" because to the wannabe all should feel as he/she does, ie self deserving? And if it takes lowering of the profession standards as well as remuneration to short-cut a path, that is OK?

But I will agree that in all too many airlines the "GOOD TIMES" (as you put it) of highly trained and experienced pilots is over.

The 'GOOD TIMES" of passenger safety is over as well.

.........And hence the tragedy here of a once great and revered airline that is nothing but "just another airline" racing to the bottom for what? GREED.

@ Dan_Buster....my advice here is not to listen people such as yourself who speak negatively of the cadet program at CX, rather that one should do their own due diligence as everyone’s personal situation is different.
Again, utter dribble and stupidity. So, do your due diligence, just don't listen to anyone with first hand experience, knowledge and information about the very job these kids are seeking. No wonder you are so concerned about your job on "Wall St" if your levels of due diligence is to preclude such sources. You are perfectly suited to the icadet program!!!!!!

why do you deserve to be put on a pedestal???
A pedestal? No. A fair, competitive salary, as well as terms and conditions reflective of that required to pilot a sophisticated jet transport..... And not if but WHEN things go wrong the likes of "Mad Dog" will be peeing his pants and screaming from the economy seats for the dear pilot to save his life. Oooops! That kid at the controls has ZERO experience outside of the CX umbrella whose simulator training went from 12 to 10 and now SIX sessions as the iCadet aircraft handling training prior to being released to line training, all to save money. His/her TOTAL experience of "tricky" aircraft situations has been inside an air-conditioned box with the 'PAUSE SIM" or "CRASH INHIBIT" function available to Capt Nigel Black (who sells his time and profession out for free on pretty ads promoting a company who seeks to lower recruitment standards, salaries and training levels all to line their own pockets and "profit", all the while his own salary is untouched and doing just fine!!!!). That kid who you rely to save your sorry tail is paid exactly what his skills are and worth - bugger all.

And you say CX needs to make the "billions" it lost during the GFC? "Billions" Maybe if you're referring to the Zimbabwean dollar. Otherwise, you show how little you really know. CX now offer salaries and packages approximately SIXTY PERCENT lower at a time of RECORD PROFITS. Morals? Integrity? Then again, you're a banker (apparently) so I assume through conductive reasoning that such terms are alien to you.

Bet you wish CX recruited, trained, paid & treated it's pilots better at a time when you or your own are on a CX flight when an iCadet SO is alone in a cockpit while the other pilot with 1000's of hours experience (& paid accordingly) is taking a leak. Then again, you don't care because you just saved $20 on a ticket and prefer to rely on "luck" in lieu of "SAFETY".
(That $20 you think you "saved" actually made the airline probably 10 times that. And that makes the travelling public who believe as you do fools).

The HK legal system? Again, you show your ignorance. Do some reading on the CX - AOA relationship before mouthing off on labour laws that you know nothing of. A little book - best seller - was written not long ago highlighting the past 15+ years of CX's relationship with its employees, mainly pilots. Black & white contracts ignored, court case taken and won, then overturned by the highest courts without any need of precedent or justification..... And that same case is going on today 10+ years on.

And here you are mouthing off about "due diligence" regarding people getting in to conversations or situations without doing it!!! (All be it to ignore those with factual comments, experience and knowledge that may not suit the rose colour all too many seek). If you are a "banker", or any profession for that matter, then it is no difficult brain teaser to discover why you lost so much money and worry for your own job! Hell! Who would invest with you if this is your level of knowledge and comprehension????!!!

Hope those "Wall Street" protesters don't make you spill your laté. Those protester can label scum as they please. Most pilots (or reasonable humans) label scum as those who believe the shear and shameless greedy chase for more, more and more money can be at the expense of safety, standards and morals; especially at a time of record profits and self anointed massive salary bonuses. Where you lie on that issue is your own conscience, but your opinions thus far speak for themselves.

Last edited by ChinaBeached; 22nd Oct 2011 at 11:12.
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Old 22nd Oct 2011, 08:48
  #3224 (permalink)  
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You really need to do more research before you start justifying the actions of the company we work for to us.

Regarding the contract, CX has been keeping up with their end correct? If not, I would suggest that they be sued in court. I have done enough business in HK to know they have one of the best legal system in Asia (probably the world) as they follow the British common law system. Be glad you are not in half the countries in Asia where a contract has no meaning.
This has been done many many time, we have won many many times, it has been overturned many many times. The HKG legal system is a joke when it comes to workers taking on companies. Blatant breaches of contract on multiple occasions to multiple people worth multi million dollar amounts.
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Old 22nd Oct 2011, 09:17
  #3225 (permalink)  
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Can anyone please tell me the oldest person recruited under the CX scheme to date?
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Old 23rd Oct 2011, 11:37
  #3226 (permalink)  
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Hi Guys,

The last few pages have turned into abit of a slaying match, threat is veering alittle off track but for the rest of you, I would really like to hear from anyone in Sydney who has a stage 1 interview in Brisbane on the 4th of November or round that time and who is interested in a study buddy, two heads/minds are better than one.

PLS PM me if you meet the above requirements.

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Old 24th Oct 2011, 20:14
  #3227 (permalink)  
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Pay comparison


I have been doing a bit of research and found this document:


Cathay say $45000 a month for an SO, which looking at this seems okay.

The Boat.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 00:11
  #3228 (permalink)  
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How many times have we got to tell people this? That is only one side of the equation. You also need to look at a comparison of the cost of living. This seems to be something most wannabes seem to be ignoring unfortunately. For the record I have flown with two iCads in the last month, both of whom are looking at leaving because of the cost of living in Hong Kong.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 00:35
  #3229 (permalink)  
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boat, I applaud you for at least doing a little research.

What is missing from the SCMP table is a significant issue - housing. I guess it depends on what you're used to, but for the vast majority of expats, living with mum and dad doesn't do it, nor is an option here either.

I was in Causeway Bay yesterday (not a flash neighborhood by any measure) and saw several units advertised for sale/rent at $2,000,000 to $2,400,000 range or rental at $10,000 per month.

I suppose it's doable on the CX "allowance" but it's pretty abysmal, by any measure. One room, no stove, pull chain toilet, that sort of thing.

In any other country, the buildings would be in a ghetto, or near condemned status.

I've also flown with a few iCadets these past months, and to a man, they're not optimistic nor inspired for the future - the bleak reality of an existence not a life, is looming.

Think twice.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 01:21
  #3230 (permalink)  
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Cpt. Underpants-

You've hit the nail on the head:

the bleak reality of an existence not a life, is looming.


One of the many disillusioned iCadets.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 06:18
  #3231 (permalink)  
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I just finished reading this whole thread and I must say I am very disappointed
- I can't believe that there are people who are applying for this job not knowing what PPL is. I did a research on it when I was 12 y old knowing already what I wanted to do. FLY. Is it possible you want to do this as a career not knowing basic??? It tells me u never wanted this, and the only thing making you to consider this job was Top Gun or Catch me if you can. So sad!!!
- On the other hand, these senior captains from Cathay. Guys let us bring our own decisions. You are not aware of our current situations. Everybody see this job from their own perspective and ours are not even similar.
I am coming from the flying family and nobody was as negative as you on this thread. We have so many friends in CX and they were very honest about the negative side of this job offer, but at the same time they pointed out good parts of it.
At the moment I am flying to doggiest places in the world in company with not such a good safety record for less money that I will be left after paying accommodation in Hong Kong.
On other side I got an offer to work for a big, stable and safe airline as CX being, how you say, your "bitch" for a few years. big deal!!! Done much worst!!!!
The worst case scenario, I do 5y and bugger off if everything is so bad as you r saying!!!!
I know everything is Financial bullshit!!!! And it's very hard to keep benefits for your senior crew when company is trying to cut money wherever possible, starting with the SO program.
But please let us be and stop being so negative while on your 3 days layovers, by yourself, bored, frustrated and too old to pick up one of the cabin crew members.
Your bitching on this page will not stop SO program and this way you will just get less and less experienced people and get stuck with these I wrote about first!!!

To everybody else, GOOD LUCK!!!!
Hong Kong is fantastic, but check it first, you have to see are you able to live there before you except this job.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 08:11
  #3232 (permalink)  
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404 Titan

This may be only one side of the equation, but when compared to other professional salaries it appears to be a reasonably balanced equation!
Obviously the cost of living is higher than one might like, but that does not negate the fact that the starting salary (and if you look at other professions in the link you will notice that to reach this salary takes some years) is competitive.
I am not arguing for a second that the cadet programme is the deal of the century, but it is better than having no job. That is a fact.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 08:34
  #3233 (permalink)  
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Fact: your take home won't take you home.

The housing portion of your after tax salary is so disproportionately large (if you choose to live in a spot where browbeaten underperforming high school students aren't flinging themselves off rooftops) that you WILL be on subsistence wages.

Factor in a belligerent, uncaring management who cannot understand the value of motivated, happy employees, and it's not worth it.

Come for the SNJ factor if you must, but there ARE many better options out there.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 09:02
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There may be better jobs out there, but that does not make this a bad job!!! Also, for a low houred inexperienced pilot I actually doubt there are many better jobs. Take BA Citiflyer's Trainee Entry Pilot scheme which is currently open. £22000 a year and you have to live within 90 minutes of London City airport. Oh, and you need a fATPL just to apply.
I can't comment on belligerent uncaring management as I have never worked at Cathay, but this appears to be becoming pretty common across the industry. The two main recruiters in the UK of low hour pilots? Ryanair and Easyjet. At least at Cathay you work for Cathay....

Last edited by theboat; 25th Oct 2011 at 09:57.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 10:19
  #3235 (permalink)  
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...so you're happy to be on a par with a (locally born and raised) bank manager, who earns about $43000 a month?

A local manager who whiles away the hours in the Tai Kok Tsui branch of DBS, takes lunch breaks from 12:30 till 2, and goes home to his 500 sq ft flat to eat (local) fish or chicken and a bowl of rice...night after interminable night?

Can't afford anything but local TV (TVA and TVB), and buses to and from work, cheek to jowl with the other 90 percentile here?

You truly believe it's "reasonable" to be paid like him?

The fact that a mistake YOU make may cost millions of dollars and possibly many lives, isn't a factor in your reckoning? Your licence (and livelihood) being on the line semi-annually isn't a factor? The endless hours staring into the dark in the wee hours on your third trans polar flight that month, doesn't reckon with you? The shite hotels and sub standard "food" on board doesn't bother you a bit? The little bump on your forehead that itches after a few years here, isn't an issue?

I believe your reasoning is seriously flawed.

Cathay (mis) management will LOVE you. Come on down. In fact, you can pay US to fly. The jets are BIG, SHINY and NEW...

One more thing:
At least at Cathay you work for Cathay....
WRONG. VETA or USAB, or VETA Canada, or VETA Australia, NZ, UK...
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 10:57
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So let's get this straight. A 20 year old Cadet programme graduate can earn the same as a bank manager (local or not)? That seems pretty reasonable to me seeing as the 20 year old has absolutely zero experience in the industry!!! Is this the same 20 year old who on promotion to FO will have his pay almost double?
I believe your reasoning to be seriously flawed. Continually on this thread it is highlighted how little responsibility an SO has, yet when it suits the argument the SO can make mistakes that cost millions of dollars? Seems like flawed logic to me.
For the record I will not be coming on down to pay you to fly, as I am quite happy where I am. I am simply fed up with aspiring Cathay cadets being fed tired old rhetoric when all they are asking for is advice.
The fact is that the Cathay cadet programme is a good option for some people. Maybe not for you, and maybe not for me. However there are those out there who want to be pilots and this is one of the better ways to become one at present. It's not perfect, but can you tell me where is? What is the option for these young "wannabes"? Retain the moral high ground by not "paying to fly" or accepting lower terms and conditions than you are used to? Well if they do I hope that McDonalds have a branch on said high ground.
Also, for the record, I think it's quite arrogant to assume that a Cathay SO is worth more per month than a local bank manager.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 13:44
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I am interested in applying for the SO program. However, I would come under the Transition training (I have 1650TT and about to finish my ATPLs). I believe the time required to train would be shorter. But I have also been told that I would not receive any pay during the training. Can someone confirm this? How long does the training go for? And does Cathay provide accommodation in Adelaide during the course?

Now, I have looked at accommodation prices in HK on various property websites and on expatforum.com. I have a friend who's in HK as a Cathay SO who is paying about 20k HKD per month for a room in a flat. Factor in other living expenses which would cost another $15-20k (Cost of Living). On a salary of 45k, this seems affordable. Now, is the 45k the base salary and the SOs get flying allowance on top?

So far, how accurate am I with my estimates? The reason I am asking these questions is that I am interested in the Cathay cadet program, but I am reading a lot of negative stories about it (My SO friend is very happy, he has just started his training).

I have been offered another job which would pay for accommodation and food expenses but I would end up flying SE turbo-props for another two years whereas with Cathay, I am flying for Cathay!

It is a hard decision as I have always dreamt working for Cathay. I do not wish to give up on Cathay just because times are tough and Cathay are taking measures of cost cutting. If they are doing this for sake of making more profit and I decide not to apply, who then misses out? I end up flying turbo-props while I watch others fly for Cathay. Grass is always greener on the other side?
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 14:38
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So many holes in those arguments kids.....

Oh, and you need a fATPL just to apply.
Yeah - that way the "experienced" and "qualified" pilots were pre-screened. That's how it used to be but as been said so often if you pay bananas you will attract monkeys.

I am not arguing for a second that the cadet programme is the deal of the century, but it is better than having no job. That is a fact.
No. Having the slightest fibre of INTEGRITY is better than selling out yourself, your industry and your (hopeful) colleagues.

I am simply fed up with aspiring Cathay cadets being fed tired old rhetoric when all they are asking for is advice.
No again, kid. What you are sick of is reading or asking advice and just not liking what you are told. If you seek advice then be prepared for the good and the bad. In your case - and like many before you - you choose to only want the rose coloured version. 95% of those doing the job you & other seek, for the airline you and others want to work for give you the cold FACTS, but your naivety and ignorance chooses to disregard or discredit that same advice that was asked for.

I think it's quite arrogant to assume that a Cathay SO is worth more per month than a local bank manager.
You would. Before the iCadet program pilots had "skills", "experience" and "credentials". Most even had "integrity". With those attributes came "responsibility" that the travelling public entrusted them with to, when the proverbial does hit the fan, save their life. And at the very least get them from A to B in an extremely demanding environment safely. For this suitably qualified pilots were paid accordingly. Now such pilots are just not wanted by CX because they refuse the insult that is the present package (refer the many pilots who turned down the offer from the DESO hold pool). Bankers wager ON risk for different calculated levels for profit. Pilots and airlines (used to) do all they can to remove risk wherever possible. Bankers get paid when their GAMBLE comes off. 300+ people die when an airline's GAMBLE at placing an inexperienced kid in a seat and the LUCK of the AP and systems fails: the risk did not come off.

...."bitch" for a few years. big deal!!! Done much worst!!!!
I believe the name is "Gimp". Whoring yourself is nothing to be proud of, then again you seem to defend it. Again, welcome to the new breed of CX applicant when the bar is lowered so pathetically low.

So, just call a spade a spade. Most iCadets are their not for their skills, knowledge, credentials and definitely not their experience, but because they are the CHEAPEST OPTION. Plain and simple. Sorry if that opinion (call it advice if you want) does not agree with your ego that needs a cheap and nasty short cut into a job that is detrimental to the aviation industry as a hole.

Flyboy is your perfect example. Whilst he'll get all offended, he's asked the same damn questions that have been posted a few hundred times on this and the other threads:- to which very in depth answers have been given. There lies your professionalism standards and true determination to research facts.....

I can't log into update my application!!! What do I do?? (To do what? Inform CX you just finished "Biggles Goes to the Zoo"?)

How much does it cost to rent a flat in HK??

How long will I be an SO and till I'm a / FO / Capt????

Is Cathay hiring now??

Can anyone tell me about the Cathay cadet program?

hey ewes i dust red dis stuff n wanna be like...whatever n stuff coz its reel cool n stuff dont be hat'in on me n stuff coz i wanna fly n stuff wheres hongkong n do they speek good inglish coz im gonna be a pilot like da tv shows...

Fly_boy....take the turbo prop job. OWN your hours. OWN your future. You'll be a better pilot and a better person for it. You'll earn less money in the short term but in the long term and bigger picture you will
a) maintain your integrity
b) be a better pilot
c) earn more money (long term) and retire better than an iCadet because your first 4-6 years of flying accrues HOURS. An iCadet accrues NONE. The SO P2X rating is not recognised outside of the HK CAD / CX umbrella. You don't like CX after 4-6 years as SO? Where are you going to go with what hours? You haven't even the hours or experience for light twin job meat-bombing somewhere, let alone a C210 charter job: because you have NO HOURS.
d) be in the left seat of a jet sooner
e) your colleagues will respect you.
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 15:12
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You're entitled to your opinion ChinaBeached, even if it's totally wrong!
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Old 25th Oct 2011, 15:28
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(To do what? Inform CX you just finished "Biggles Goes to the Zoo"?)

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