The Philippines' leading carrier, Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB) is sending-off its first batch of Cadet Pilots to an intensive aviation training program at Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) in Australia. The batch is composed of 16 Cadet Pilots who were selected from over 12,500 applicants. The applicants went through screening and a series of tests, as well as medical and physical examination, with 16 candidates attending an aviation foundation course at the Philippine Academy for Aviation Training in Clark Field, Pampanga last month.
The final 16 Cadet-Pilots are Dexie Jay Aljas (Banga, South Cotabato); Janine Alyssa Marie Bautista (Cainta, Rizal); Aaron Jhun Bernabe (Santiago City, Isabela); James Kevin Chua (Sta Cruz, Manila); Paulo Martin Concepcion (Sta Rosa, Laguna); Martha May De Leon (Sta Rosa, Laguna); Darryl Dave Ditucalan (Iligan City); Geronimo Miguel Mantes (Fairview, Quezon City); Lorenzo Miguel Montinola (Malate, Manila); Rydale Pintor (Cebu City); Ardeen Bernabe Reguyal (San Jose, Occidental Mindoro); Kayrwin Kirch Remolona (Mabalacat, Pampanga); Jose Angelo Santos (Cainta, Rizal); twin brothers Ian John and Ivan Kevin Satentes (Noveleta, Cavite); and Juan Carlo Wage (Bamban, Tarlac).
"Ever since I was a child it has always been my lifelong dream to become an airline pilot but my family is not financially capable of supporting my dreams," shares Ian John Satentes.
"My twin brother and I have the same dream of becoming pilots since we were kids. The reason for this is all the airplanes we saw up-close whenever we accompany or fetch dad at the airport. While waiting for dad and looking at those big planes, our mom would always tell us that someday we will be inside the cockpit of whichever airplane she's pointing at," enthused Ivan Kevin.
For Juan Carlo Wage, joining the program meant having the chance to improve the lives of his loved ones, especially his parents who both worked as caretakers and housecleaners in Pampanga. "I joined the program because I knew that it would change my life. Aside from being able to travel, and learn and experience new things, I want to pay my mom and dad back for their hard work, and give them a good life as well."
The aspirants thank Cebu Pacific for opening a program that would enable financially-challenged Filipinos to reach their dreams of becoming pilots. "I joined the program because I wanted to be a Pilot since I was in grade school. After graduating college and getting my first job, I did not think that I would be able to pursue my dream immediately because my salary was not enough to put me to flying school. Luckily, Cebu Pacific created a program for aspiring Pilots," said Martha May De Leon.
The cadet pilots will be spending a total of 52 weeks at the FTA campus in Adelaide. After successfully completing their training there, the Cadet Pilots will return to the Philippines to complete type-rating and licensing requirements to become commercial pilots. After completion of the program, the cadet-pilots become First Officers at CEB, and join the corps of aviators at Cebu Pacific, flying domestic and international routes.
Cebu Pacific will shoulder the cost of the training, type-rating and licensing, with successful cadet-pilots guaranteed employment with CEB. They will then reimburse the cost of the program through salary deduction over a maximum of ten years at zero-interest.
Cebu Pacific will be investing US$25 million for its Cadet Pilot Program. In partnership with FTA, the program selects a total of 240 candidates over a five-year period, or 48 candidates per year divided into three batches, with each batch composed of 16 Cadet-Pilots.
The program is open only to Filipino citizens who are college graduates, proficient in English and hold passports valid for at least two years prior to the start of the program. The screening process for applicants begins with an online screening, followed by an on-site screening for core skills and pilot aptitude tests, among other examinations where a fee of AU$425.00 (PHP17,000.00) will be charged. CEB and FTA will jointly select the final list of candidates.
Candidates for the second batch of CEB Cadet Pilots are currently being screened. Application for the third batch is set to open by mid-May 2018.