Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot Program: From dreams of flight to command of an aircraft

(Manila Philippines) For more than two decades, Cebu Pacific has been enabling Filipinos to reach various destinations in and out of the Philippines. With its year-round low fares and seat sales, Cebu Pacific has changed the travel habits and preferences of many Filipinos by making air travel more accessible, readily available, and more affordable to many people from different walks of life.

Capt Pol Salvador, Vice President, Flight Operations, Cebgo
Capt Pol Salvador, Vice President, Flight Operations, Cebgo

But more than just allowing every Juan to tick off a box in their travel bucket list, the country’s leading carrier also made dreams of flying come true for corps of pilots of Cebu Pacific.


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Turning the Impossible Dream Into a Reality

One of the longest serving pilots, Captain Pol Salvador, never thought he could obtain a college degree, especially in a flying school.

He lived in a military airbase when he was a child, leading to his fascination with fighter jets and planes. “Seeing fighter jets made me feel elated. I was thinking that I would like to be in that plane someday,” he shares.

To support himself in going to school, Captain Salvador took on multiple jobs growing up. “I realized if I study hard, it could help me achieve my goal. When I entered high school, I concentrated on subjects that would contribute in preparing me to become a pilot. I told myself that if I kept on pushing myself then someone would recognize that.”

All his hard work paid off. Right after graduating in high school, he passed the rigorous entrance exam of the Philippine Military Academy. After graduating from PMA, Captain Salvador joined the ranks of the Philippine Air Forces as a Second Lieutenant.

After several years of serving the military, Captain Salvador traded his flying suit for a commercial pilot’s uniform.

Flying Made Possible

Captain Salvador has been with Cebu Pacific for ten solid years, working his way up. He started as a management pilot and is now the Vice President for Flight Operations for Cebgo, Cebu Pacific’s inter-island subsidiary.

As Cebu Pacific continues to expand internationally, there will be an increased demand for qualified pilots. But the demand for qualified and certified aviators is also on the rise around the world.

Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot Program
Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot Program

To support its need for getting more pilots, Cebu Pacific has launched a Cadet Pilot Program. This program allows any Juan with dreams of flight to take command of an aircraft one day. The Cadet Pilot Program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for aspiring pilots to train in Australia’s Flight Training Adelaide, one of the best flying schools in the world. This also comes with a guaranteed employment with Cebu Pacific after a successful graduation.

Although entering flying schools as well as earning certifications and licenses to become a commercial pilot cost millions of pesos, the Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot program has a study-now-pay-later scheme. The airline will shoulder all the expenses related to flying school and certifications first and the cadet-pilot can amortize payment for the education via a monthly salary deduction for a maximum of ten years.

Just like Captain Salvador, who was able to reach his dreams, young Filipinos from different walks of life can now have a chance to fly their own plane with the Cebu Pacific Pilot Cadet Program.

“There are so many ways to achieve your goals. For me, I turned negative things into positive things. Just go for your dreams, no matter what. Keep moving forward,” advised Captain Salvador for aspiring pilots.

The first batch of the Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilots is set to depart for FTA in Adelaide by the middle of April. Meanwhile, the second batch of applicants is already in the screening process. There will be thirteen more batches of Cadet-Pilots who will be recruited by Cebu Pacific over the next five years, with the goal of adding 480 new pilots to its corps of pilots by the year 2022.

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