Hong Kong Airlines recruits cadet pilots

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Hong Kong Airlines

Hong Kong Airlines recruits cadet pilots, giving them the chance to reach for the skies

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 January, 2018, 12:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 January, 2018, 12:21pm

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For those seeking a career in the skies, there is now a great opportunity for them to pursue their dreams. Hong Kong Airlines started its second recruitment drive, which will last until February 15, to recruit a new batch of highly motivated locals to join the Cadet Pilot Programme.

The recruitment is driven partly in response to the airline’s high growth rate. Hong Kong Airlines served a record seven million passengers in 2017, which represents a 10 per cent rise year on year, exceeding the industry average of 7.5 per cent. As such, the airline has been investing heavily in new products, services and infrastructure to help cater for growing demand.

“Hong Kong Airlines is currently undergoing a period of unprecedented growth and we are constantly seeking new talents,” says Tang King-shing, vice-chairman of Hong Kong Airlines. “Our recruitment for new pilots has seen a double-digit jump over the past two years and we are committed in our pursuit to help spur growth in the industry.”

Last year, the company invested HK$16 million into rolling out its first ever Cadet Pilot Programme, targeting young people with Hong Kong permanent residency status in its pursuit to develop home-grown talent.

Hong Kong Airlines’ Cadet Pilot Programme attracted over 4,000 applications for its 10 cadets and they started their training last November. As part of the programme, cadets undergo 70 weeks of flight training, including ground school training and multi-crew co-operation training using a medium jet stimulator. Upon completion, the cadets return to Hong Kong for another three months of training, and the successful cadets will then receive an official appointment as Second Officers in Hong Kong Airlines.

“This is such a rare opportunity in Hong Kong, because the chance of getting onto any pilot training programme here in the city is small,” says Wong Kai Hung, who was chosen to join the cadet programme last year. The 25-year-old, who was working in banking industry, decided to apply because he had always dreamed of becoming a pilot.

“I thought that the cadet programme would only take people with aviation background knowledge, but that wasn’t so. The most important thing is having passion and a genuine interest,” he says.

Applicants must be Hong Kong permanent residents, at least 18 years old, and have completed a secondary education with good passes in maths and sciences or a diploma or degree in any discipline. They should also have obtained the IELTS 5.5 or above, or equivalent and be physically fit for the HKCAD class-one medical certificate.

Candidates come from all walks of life, and last year’s intake had applicants with background in banking, construction, and from within the aviation industry itself.

Yuen Yan Chi had been a flight stewardess for six years and felt ready to further her career in aviation. The 28-year-old applied for the programme because of her love and passion for all things to do with aeroplanes. She was thrilled when she was one of 10 cadets chosen for the programme.

“I am so excited to be going from the back of the plane to the cockpit,” she says. Yuen was one of the oldest cadets on the programme, but she says it worked to her advantage as she was a bit more mature and knew what she wanted to get out of a career in aviation.

Tang says the airline is especially keen to provide this opportunity to locals as the proportion of local pilots is small compared to those from overseas. “With the third runway expected to be completed in the coming years, we will be growing from thirty-odd planes to a fleet of more than fifty in the next two years. Of the 550 pilots that we have, only 45 of them are locals, that is only about 8 per cent, so we hope we can provide an opportunity for locals to build a career in aviation,” he says.

Join us in an exciting career as a cadet pilot!



• Hong Kong Permanent Resident
• At Least 18 years old
• Have completed secondary education with good passes in maths and science; or a degree/diploma in any discipline
• Obtained the IELTS 5.5 or above, or equivalent
• Physically fit and quality for HKCAD class one medical certificate


​How to Apply

Interested candidates can apply through:
[email protected]


Application deadline:15 February 2018