For over two decades, Cebu Pacific has been enabling Filipinos to fly to various destinations in and out of the country. With its seat sales and year-round low fares, Cebu Pacific has changed travel habits and preferences of Filipinos by making air travel available, accessible and affordable for more people from all walks of life.
But more than just allowing every Juan fulfill their travel goals, the Philippines’ leading carrier is also making dreams of flying come true for aviators the corps of pilots of Cebu Pacific.
The impossible dream
Captain Pol Salvador, one of the airline’s longest serving pilots, thought he would never even obtain a college degree, much less get to flying school.
Living in a military airbase when he was a child, Captain Salvador grew fascinated with planes and fighter jets. “Seeing fighter jets made me feel elated. I was thinking that I would like to be in that plane someday,” he shares.
Growing up, he took on multiple jobs to support himself through school. “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.”
His hard work paid off. Right after graduating High School, Captain Salvador passed the rigorous entrance exam to enter the Philippine Military Academy. After graduation, Captain Salvador joined the ranks of the Philippine Air Force as a Second Lieutenant.
After many years, Captain Salvador retired from military service, trading-in his flying suit for a commercial pilot’s uniform.
Flying made possible
Captain Salvador has been flying with Cebu Pacific for a solid decade, working his way up to becoming a management pilot and now, Vice President for Flight Operations for Cebgo, the inter-island subsidiary of Cebu Pacific.
As Cebu Pacific continues to expand, there will be an increase in demand for qualified pilots. However, the demand for certified and qualified aviators is on the rise globally.
To support its need for more pilots, Cebu Pacific has launched a Cadet Pilot program—one that will allow anyJuan with dreams of flight to take command of an aircraft one day. The program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for aspiring pilots to train at Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) in Australia, one of the best flying schools in the world, plus guaranteed employment as with Cebu Pacific upon successful graduation.
While flying school and earning certifications and licenses to become a commercial pilot can run into the millions of pesos, the Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot program employs a study-now-pay-later scheme. Cebu Pacific will shoulder all expenses related to flying school and certifications first, then the cadet-pilots can amortize payment for the education via monthly salary deduction for a maximum of ten years.
Just like how Captain Salvador was able to reach for his dreams, young Filipinos from all walks of life now have the chance to fly their own plane with Cebu Pacific’s 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 Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilots is set to depart for FTA in Adelaide, Australia by mid-April. A second batch of applicants is in the screening process. Thirteen more batches of Cadet-Pilots will be recruited by Cebu Pacific over the next five years with the goal of adding a total of 480 new pilots to its corps of pilots by year 2022.