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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 28th Feb 2024, 03:12
  #8261 (permalink)  
 
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SO Guide. Part 2. Boarding and Pre-departure

Originally Posted by AKOTA
Boarding

Once on the bus, it’s customary to introduce yourself to the girls if you haven’t already done so. A big wave while stating your name is just fine, and expect a synchronized greeting in return. The girls sit in the back, while you take your seat somewhere in the first two rows. Once the bus gets rolling, expect the Captain to make a “briefing” to the girls, which includes the flight time, the weather at destination, the taxi-time and the procedures to be used for opening the cockpit door. Any query for questions at this stage will be met with silence.

When arriving at the aircraft, enter the aircraft via the L2 staircase; not the L1 leading to first class. An engineer or refueller will approach the captain with a water sample, and the operating FO will hand the refueling record to the same guy with either flight-plan fuel (minus X tons standby depending on your fleet) or some other fuel figure unknown to you on it. Climb the stairs to the door leading into the jet bridge, preferably behind the captain as it’s common courtesy to let him enter the aircraft first.

Making your way to the cockpit, the magazine rack looks very tempting. Try not to let the girls see you grabbing the last copy of The Economist, Newsweek, and Car and Driver, and depending on whom the captain is it might be a good idea to keep them out-of-sight until the first fuel-check is complete and you're sitting in deafening silence over Indonesia with the poor sod who's been nominated RQ.


Pre-Departure

Once arriving on the flight deck, the first thing usually done is a read-through of the aircraft log. Most captains will work their way from the front to the back, highlighting any noting exterior damage to be verified on the walk-around by the RQ. SADDs, PADDs and ADDs are reviewed, with any open items requiring DDG dispatch. As a second officer, you merely observe this process and are seldom asked for any input or comments. Once the log review is complete, the RQ departs the flight-deck for the walk around leaving you with three all-important tasks; making the bunks(744 only), eating the sandwiches and performing the safety-checks in accordance with FCOM 3. Performing the safety checks should take you 2-3 minutes, leaving plenty of time for the sandwiches and bunk-making. Take note, however, that making the bunks is catch 22. Almost all captains, increasing with seniority, expect you to make the bunks. Some captains, however, expect you to be on the jump seat observing every entry made into the FMCs, and will reprimand you for preparing the bunks when there’s “real work to be done” (like watching the back of someone’s hand punching fingers into a keypad you can’t read below a screen that you can’t see for reasons you can’t know because the ATIS and final ZFW are lying face down above the throttles.) Make the best of it.

You’re usually done making the bunks about the same time as the RQ returns from his hike around the aircraft. He’ll often take the middle seat, although FOs waiting to hit the bunk at clean speed might offer you the seat. Once seated, you’ve now got ages of time to enjoy those tasty sandwiches before it’s time to complete your final task; checking the fuel figures.

The engineer will bring the fuel order form to the flight deck once refueling has been completed. This can’t be done before we’ve received the final ZFW, which means checking the final fuel load is one of the last things we do before departure. Your job will be to verify that the expected upload matches the actual upload. Add the sums of all the liters (or US gallons) uploaded from the fuel receipts, multiply it by the specific gravity to arrive at the total upload in tons. Compare this with the expected upload, allowing +2t/-1t of discrepancy, and at the same time compare the actual fuel distribution in the tanks to the pre-calculated fuel distribution tables found in the overhead console. Pass the fuel-records to the skipper and let him know you’ve checked them to be correct.

Once this is complete, you’re all done. Sit back, fasten your belt and try to stay awake. The final visit to the cockpit will be done shortly by the gate-agent, who provides the captain with the final passenger number and load-sheet edition. She’ll close the cockpit door on her way out, and as soon as the L2 door shuts the guys in the window seats will ask for a pushback.
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Old 28th Feb 2024, 03:13
  #8262 (permalink)  
 
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SO Guide. Part 3. Taxi, cruise and landing

Originally Posted by AKOTA
Taxi, Takeoff and Climb

If you’re sitting in the middle seat, it’s expected that you open the Jepps and follow what is going on via a third set of charts. This, of course, would require you to actually know what departure they’re going to fly and what speeds have been briefed. Unfortunately, you were probably tucking in the sheets on the Captains bunk during that part of the briefing. But normally, reclining in the seat behind the captain, just try to keep your eyes open while reminding yourself why you’re even there in the first place.

The last task which may be assigned to you prior to takeoff will be obtaining a new RTOW if any significant weather changes have occurred since they entered the takeoff data at the gate. Now you’ve got to mobilize yourself from complete apathy to vigorous engagement in a matter of seconds, finding the latest ATIS, remembering how the ACARS actually works, and re-enter the data which you haven’t entered since, well - Never. Because the change was not given until just before takeoff, we don’t have a lot of time and the RQ FO steps in to save the day. New thrust figures are subsequently derived, the V speeds fall out and are rapidly reentered, and seconds later the jet rumbles down the runway. As the centerline lights turn from white to alternating reds the aircraft is rotated and the sandwich tray you’ve heroically been trying to finish launches off the back of the desk and hits the wall in a loud crash, while the padding for the escape hatch (744) falls to the floor resulting in a significant rise in cockpit noise during the critical phase of flight. At this point, shrug your shoulders to the RQ and hope that the skipper didn’t have a(nother) heart-attack.

After the takeoff has been completed, it’s not unusual to hear the DEFO ask for flaps up during a turn while accelerating through the clean speed. As a result, expect either strong buffeting or a strong reprimand. The latter is more enjoyable, rest assured.

Once clean (and out of the buffet), ask for the clipboard and start doing the arithmetic of modern aviation. After you’ve added together all the individual leg segments to the departure time, you should be presented with an expected arrival time. Once complete, you’re once again free to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the modern flight deck.


Cruise

At top of climb, you either hit the bunk or climb into the seat for the next X monotonous hours. Once you’re in the seat, you’ll probably be performing the function of PM as you’re getting the worst rest (SO, remember?), and with the captain taking the good rest the only guy left for you to fly with is the poor guy who’s been nominated as RQ. He can only perform RQ from the right, and since you’re not allowed to “fly” the aircraft from the left the only possible outcome entails you doing all the paperwork, radio work, and staying-awake work. Touching the heading bug or pressing the "level change" button is years beyond your qualification level, even though the guy sitting next to you (who only joined about 6 months ago) is "relief command qualified" and should theoretically be capable of protecting you from your own incapable self.

Once you’ve got the seat and pedals adjusted, it’s time to start the paperwork. But not before missing a radio call because you can’t find the microphone since you’ve never actually been in the seat without a headset on. Even if you did, you still don't have a clue as to what the Chinese controller is saying. But not to worry, most don't. Reply “Roger. Maintain FL[XXX]m, report [next FIR border waypoint], estimating [FIR border waypoint] at [xxxx]. That should safely get you through most of China, Mongolia and Russia.

Now, start the paperwork by doing a fuel check, noting the difference between the totalizer/calculated totals and the expected total on the CFP for a certain waypoint. Note the difference on the CFP, and compare this figure to the takeoff fuel. Once every hour, you’ll do a new one. It might be a good idea to mark these off on the CFP so that you don’t forget amongst all the other important things you’ll be doing, but we're confident you'll figure that out all by yourself.

When you’ve managed to ascertain that we’re not going to run out of fuel just yet, it’s time to “put the steps in.” By itself, the FMC will calculate the optimum FL based on the aircrafts current weight and speed, and subsequently display this figure on the VNAV cruise page. However, the “optimum” flight levels stipulated on the CFP are based on aircraft weight, aircraft speed and forecasted winds along the routes. It may not always be smart to step up into a 50kt headwind to save a few kilograms of fuel due to weight. Therefore, you must manually enter the steps as found in the CFP into the FMC. This should update your arrival time to a more correct figure, which is further improved once you’ve entered the expected STAR and approach into the FMC. When the ISM calls up and asks you for the expected arrival time, you’ll hopefully have finished this and be able to provide her with an accurate ETA. Keep in mind that the service schedule onboard is built backwards from the arrival time; screw this up and you’ll be drinking coffee sweetened with saliva and cyanide.

With the initial fuel check being completed, the steps entered and the expected arrival set up, you’re now looking forward to several hours of complete and utter boredom. You are, as a matter of historical tradition, expected to know where the hell you are, for which the Jeppesen enroute charts do wonders. If you ever actually manage to locate yourself on one, get a highlighter and mark the spot, because the chances of doing that twice are next to none. Your best bet for maintaining situational awareness is to print the maps off the route briefing pages on IntraCX, and keep track of the airports listed in the NOTAM list as you progress. Along with the magnitude of information available to you in the AERADs, this should be plenty to keep yourself oriented as you cross Continents and Oceans.

Apart from updating the CFP, there is really nothing else to do. Your trusty RQ will fly the aircraft single-pilot, get all the weather, and make any decisions which may or may not need deciding. You are truly being groomed for the responsibilities that lie ahead. With nobody expecting anything from you, there is no need to deliver.

About halfway through the flight, wake the guys up and creep into a nice, warm bunk.


Descent and Landing

Expect to be awoken from the bunk either by someone shaking your foot at TOD or by your own eardrums popping as the cabin equalizes during the final descent. Exiting the soothing comfort of the dark bunk, you’ll stumble down the stairs into bright daylight still wearing your pyjamas and earplugs. The guys are all wearing sunglasses and configuring for landing as you notice the toiletries have been removed from the bathroom and you can’t find your toothbrush. So you put on your uniform, run water through your face and pop a piece of gum before taking your seat and strapping yourself in as we descend on the glideslope and drop the landing gear. You’ve probably never been to the airport before at this stage, but what does it matter? After touchdown the airplane makes its way off the runway and taxis among all the other jumbos on its way to the gate. You’re still wondering where we are as the aircraft docks and the PF cuts the engines and turns off the seatbelts. Time to work.

“Pass the Charts, Gentlement” is your statement at this stage. Taking over the charts and the mini-jepp, you meticulously place them back in the binder in numerical order, making the extra effort not to put them back into the departure airport. You then unlock the cockpit door before removing all the garbage, magazines, newspapers and water bottles and placing them outside the cockpit. Retrieving your jacket and hat, you exit the cockpit and comb the upper deck for earplugs, toothbrushes and socks to take home as presents for your girlfriend. Once the real pilots have shut down and secured the aircraft, everyonel exits the aircraft in an orderly fashion, making sure to thank all the girls you can’t remember the names of.

Now, get on the bus, check into the hotel and get some sleep, watch some porno and drink plenty of beer before doing it all over again on the way home.

Do this for 4 years straight and you just might become suitable to move into a window seat.
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Old 28th Feb 2024, 06:16
  #8263 (permalink)  
 
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Have anyone recently did the panel interview? Just had initial interview today and HR have mentioned about the panel interview. Would love to know more what kind of questions is involved for the tech side of things.
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Old 28th Feb 2024, 08:55
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Thank you so much for pulling it out Hardrod. Much appreciated. Also big thanks to AKOTA for going chapter and verse about the job as well. To someone who doesnt know much about the job and the industry, this has been really helpful for sure, at least I have a full picture about what a Second Officer does at Cathay Pacific. No wonder why people keep warning wannabies to think twice and thrice before joinning. This is definitely for the hardcore aviation fan, because only those can survive the initial painstaking and boring work life.

One more thing. I have noticed the interview process is getting much faster and easier, many testings have been eliminated such as JKI testing, Ravening reasoning, Flight Planning, Group Activites and Flight Grading assessment. Also, the ICAO English Proficency no longer administrated In-House. Is it because they cannot find enough people so they have decided to simplified the process to make things easier? Or they just don't have the budget to conduct all sort of testing anymore? I'm really curious to know.

For me, I am a local, born and bred here, but I am not a big fan of Cathay, I actually don't have a thing with Cathay at all, I always fly on Emirates or Singapore Airlines or Qatar, they have much better services, better quality in terms of In-flight experiences, and I find that their pilot skills are so much better than CX.

But sadly I am not a Singaporean, nor UAE citizen. Friend of mine told me a little bit about British Airways Cadet Pilot Program, since we now can move to the UK and apply for BNO visa, I will keep researching on it as well.
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Old 28th Feb 2024, 12:54
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I've received panel interview invite today for next week, anyone recently gone through it? any info and insight can share across?
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Old 29th Feb 2024, 06:15
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Originally Posted by wywkwok
Have you heard back from cx?
I got invited for medical exam next month.
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Old 29th Feb 2024, 10:15
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Originally Posted by flipthebird
Thank you so much for pulling it out Hardrod. Much appreciated. Also big thanks to AKOTA for going chapter and verse about the job as well. To someone who doesnt know much about the job and the industry, this has been really helpful for sure, at least I have a full picture about what a Second Officer does at Cathay Pacific. No wonder why people keep warning wannabies to think twice and thrice before joinning. This is definitely for the hardcore aviation fan, because only those can survive the initial painstaking and boring work life.

One more thing. I have noticed the interview process is getting much faster and easier, many testings have been eliminated such as JKI testing, Ravening reasoning, Flight Planning, Group Activites and Flight Grading assessment. Also, the ICAO English Proficency no longer administrated In-House. Is it because they cannot find enough people so they have decided to simplified the process to make things easier? Or they just don't have the budget to conduct all sort of testing anymore? I'm really curious to know.

For me, I am a local, born and bred here, but I am not a big fan of Cathay, I actually don't have a thing with Cathay at all, I always fly on Emirates or Singapore Airlines or Qatar, they have much better services, better quality in terms of In-flight experiences, and I find that their pilot skills are so much better than CX.

But sadly I am not a Singaporean, nor UAE citizen. Friend of mine told me a little bit about British Airways Cadet Pilot Program, since we now can move to the UK and apply for BNO visa, I will keep researching on it as well.

No offense but if you did read the whole damn thing you would have found the article yourself. Problem with newbies these days is, they don't read, they just don't want to do the hard work, similar to the hook up culture.

No money. Low budget. No qualified applicants. ****ty pay. If they don't lower the standard, how could they meet their time-to-fill target (KPIs)? 40 cadets from the Mainland? You can forget about that.

Running an In House ICAO test costs money. Easiest solution is to outsource it. You pay the vendor, IAE for instance. They run the test for you. And the company can just sit here and collect the report. Save time. Save money.

Try getting a job in a Chinese based company, then you will understand how CX operates these days.

Isn't Air China considering to buy more stakes from CX?!

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Old 1st Mar 2024, 03:29
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Hi everyone
Has anyone here re-applied recently after the frozen period? How long did it take for you to receive contact from HR?
Heard that people re-applying these days waited over a month and still got no contact. Planning to re-apply again soon.

Thankss for the help
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Old 1st Mar 2024, 17:12
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Originally Posted by lasi
I got invited for medical exam next month.
Hi Lasi, can I kindly ask you if you had any flying experience before? Many thanks.
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Old 2nd Mar 2024, 09:24
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Originally Posted by Hardrod
No offense but if you did read the whole damn thing you would have found the article yourself. Problem with newbies these days is, they don't read, they just don't want to do the hard work, similar to the hook up culture.

No money. Low budget. No qualified applicants. ****ty pay. If they don't lower the standard, how could they meet their time-to-fill target (KPIs)? 40 cadets from the Mainland? You can forget about that.

Running an In House ICAO test costs money. Easiest solution is to outsource it. You pay the vendor, IAE for instance. They run the test for you. And the company can just sit here and collect the report. Save time. Save money.

Try getting a job in a Chinese based company, then you will understand how CX operates these days.

Isn't Air China considering to buy more stakes from CX?!

Ah I see. Yes. I applied a week ago, then received an aptitude test after few days, so fast. I did not even take the cover letter section seriously, just wrote some stuff and "blow water" that's it. Think they just "Open this eye, close the other eye" Going to mess with them a bit. I mean if I made it to the end and they offered me the job, I just say, oh, I'm not interested anymore, bye bye. Afterall I have nothing to lose. loll
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Old 2nd Mar 2024, 09:38
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Originally Posted by trigonometry
On the surface: It's a fully sponsored program, that means you don't have to make any down payments upfront.


The catch is:
A) You will given a training loan which amounts for 1 million hkd, and you will need to pay back by providing services for a minimum period of 6 years. By then, the loan will just go away.
B) You ARE NOT entitled to pilot allowance for the first three years of your employment which total of 504,000hkd, that accounts for half of the training fees.
C) No salary will be paid to you during a year long training. However, you will be given some allowance while you are trained in overseas. Again. this is not a full salary!
C) Based on the current pay system, after you are offered a position as SO1, your monthly salary is dependent on the hours you flown, the more hours you fly, the more money you make, similar to the pay system as Flight Attendants. (That's why they have pilots who deliberately taxing at a slow speed in order to bill more hours)
D) P2X is the flights hours created for cruise relief pilots. It is not internationally recognizable. If there are 2 SOs on the flight, your hours will be slashed by half. Refer to CAD54 if you wanted to know more.
E) No housing allowance will be given to you. You need to figure out how to make a living on a 33k ish salary in Hong Kong. (Hence many SOs or even FOs have a second or third job)
So clear. I wish CX HR would be so transparent with information as well. Sadly they were not. Look at CX cadet pilot page and BA future pilot page. Big difference. And CX called itself Premium Airlines? lol Thank you trigonometry.

Few questions. How many flight hours required to promote to FO1? Also, they now hiring Direct Entry Second Officer, Direct Entry First Officer, maybe Direct Captain too? With so many new experienced pilots joining, will they take away the flying hours, then delay the whole promotion time?
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Old 2nd Mar 2024, 20:55
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Originally Posted by flipthebird
So clear. I wish CX HR would be so transparent with information as well. Sadly they were not. Look at CX cadet pilot page and BA future pilot page. Big difference. And CX called itself Premium Airlines? lol Thank you trigonometry.

Few questions. How many flight hours required to promote to FO1? Also, they now hiring Direct Entry Second Officer, Direct Entry First Officer, maybe Direct Captain too? With so many new experienced pilots joining, will they take away the flying hours, then delay the whole promotion time?
I don't know where people keep getting the idea that the promotion to FO1 is based on hours accumulated, as it is not. Promotion between SO and FO is based solely on how many people are in front of you, how much training resources CX has, and whether CX actually wants to upgrade. You can accumulate 1,000 hours as an SO, or even 5,000, but none of that matters.

As to the other question, yes to DESO, yes to DEFO, maybe to DECN. If they hire DEFOs and DECNs, it will delay total promotion time. Available positions will be limited, as are the amount of trainers to train you. New "experienced pilots" aside, the amount of cadets going through the system has created a bottleneck in training, which is the real reason why freshly graduated cadets have to serve as a ground staff at the airport before receiving training for their P2X ratings.
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Old 3rd Mar 2024, 13:36
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Originally Posted by lasi
I got invited for medical exam next month.
Hey Lasi, do you mind sharing when you did your final interview and how long it took for you to receive the invitation?
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Old 3rd Mar 2024, 13:44
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Originally Posted by bb628
Hi Lasi, can I kindly ask you if you had any flying experience before? Many thanks.
0, just few hours of trail flight.
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Old 3rd Mar 2024, 15:13
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Originally Posted by Hardrod
No offense but if you did read the whole damn thing you would have found the article yourself. Problem with newbies these days is, they don't read, they just don't want to do the hard work, similar to the hook up culture.

No money. Low budget. No qualified applicants. ****ty pay. If they don't lower the standard, how could they meet their time-to-fill target (KPIs)? 40 cadets from the Mainland? You can forget about that.

Running an In House ICAO test costs money. Easiest solution is to outsource it. You pay the vendor, IAE for instance. They run the test for you. And the company can just sit here and collect the report. Save time. Save money.

Try getting a job in a Chinese based company, then you will understand how CX operates these days.

Isn't Air China considering to buy more stakes from CX?!
complaining about hook-up culture omegaLUL
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Old 3rd Mar 2024, 23:53
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Originally Posted by Boulanger
I don't know where people keep getting the idea that the promotion to FO1 is based on hours accumulated, as it is not. Promotion between SO and FO is based solely on how many people are in front of you, how much training resources CX has, and whether CX actually wants to upgrade. You can accumulate 1,000 hours as an SO, or even 5,000, but none of that matters.

As to the other question, yes to DESO, yes to DEFO, maybe to DECN. If they hire DEFOs and DECNs, it will delay total promotion time. Available positions will be limited, as are the amount of trainers to train you. New "experienced pilots" aside, the amount of cadets going through the system has created a bottleneck in training, which is the real reason why freshly graduated cadets have to serve as a ground staff at the airport before receiving training for their P2X ratings.
I'm surprised!! I thought there was a clear road map to promotion given the large number of SOs existed in the system!!

If that's the case, how will they decide who's eligible to move up the rank? By appointment? See who has better relationship with / who is loyal to the Manager? Like how Beijing hand picked the Chief Executive? That would be so messy, so chaotic and so unfair.

Thank you, Boulanger. This has been really helpful!!
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Old 4th Mar 2024, 01:59
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Originally Posted by wootapple
Hey Lasi, do you mind sharing when you did your final interview and how long it took for you to receive the invitation?
It was earlier last month. Got invited in around a week. Not too long.
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Old 4th Mar 2024, 11:29
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Looking for Study group to join for upcoming technical interview, Please PM
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Old 5th Mar 2024, 02:35
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Originally Posted by flipthebird
I'm surprised!! I thought there was a clear road map to promotion given the large number of SOs existed in the system!!

If that's the case, how will they decide who's eligible to move up the rank? By appointment? See who has better relationship with / who is loyal to the Manager? Like how Beijing hand picked the Chief Executive? That would be so messy, so chaotic and so unfair.

Thank you, Boulanger. This has been really helpful!!
Yeah, you'd figure an organization as large as Cathay with 77 years of history would actually have a road map. You'd also figure that given their job ad on their own website, which goes from Cadet -> SO -> FO -> Captain that your career would be in straight line. It isn't a straight line. The cause? Probably corporatism and a lot of corner cutting.

Prior to COVID and the large contractual cuts the cockpit crew endured, moving up the ranks was reasonably assured. There was a thing called "bypass pay" where every time the company hires an external FO in front of you, you would still get FO pay. The CAD also had it written down that pilots should not be expected to hold the P2X rating for more than 5 years. There was also a seniority system that spanned across all the fleets, where being the most senior SO generally ensured that you are next in line for a promotion. Post-covid, all of that is gone. There is no bypass pay, the written rule from the CAD mysteriously disappeared, and the seniority system became a fleet-based seniority where your career prospects depended on which fleet you were lucky enough to get on. Plus you have to serve as a ground staff for two months because of a self-induced training bottleneck as a result of the company chasing away half their cockpit crews. Oh, and they also try to lure you to Hong Kong Express because of their self-induced training bottleneck.

How they decide people move up the ranks these days does seem a bit arbitrary. To be fair, they can't deviate from their engineered fleet seniority too much, but if you join as a cadet and subsequently an SO, this is all you have to hold on to.

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Old 8th Mar 2024, 02:01
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I've just finished panel interview, anyone recently did it know how long to wait for the medical email? Thanks.
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