A new crown pneumonia interrupted Zhou Shuohui's dream of being a pilot. At the end of 2018, he was admitted to Cathay Dragonair as a Trainee Pilot and had already received more than half of his training, but he was forced to suspend his training due to the pandemic.


Cathay Pacific's inaugural 21 cadets held a graduation ceremony today (5 October) and were presented with wings to symbolise becoming pilots, one of whom was Chow Cheok-fai, who was awarded the Best Cadet trophy. When Cathay Pacific restarted its pilot training last year and Chow was given another chance to train, he was hesitant to give up his stable job to get back into his student status, but then he thought, "If I gave up the last chance to fly, I would definitely regret it." In the end, after five years of twists and turns, the dream of a mechanic was finally realized.


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Go to a foreign country for flight training for about a year

Cathay Pacific relaunched the Cadet Pilot Training Programme last year and collaborated with PolyU to launch a new integrated programme that replaces theoretical courses from overseas to Hong Kong, followed by flight training in a foreign country for 55 to 60 weeks.

The inaugural class of 24 students commenced in March 2022 and 3 graduated at Cathay Pacific City today. As for the three students who failed to graduate, Cathay did not disclose why.

Zhou Shuohui went around for 5 years and finally graduated with the best student grades and could become a pilot. (Photo by Zheng Zifeng)

The second time he applied for the Ganglong Trainee Pilot Recruitment, the company completed halfway through the training

One by one, the graduates took the stage to receive certificates and winged pins, which symbolized their becoming pilots. Among them, Zhou Shuohui became the best student and won the trophy, and the audience applauded warmly.

It is no accident that he became the best student, Zhou Shuohui's dream of aviation has always been during his college years, and he became interested after participating in aviation activity courses. After applying for the Cathay Dragons Cadet Pilot Programme for the second time, he was accepted in December 2018 to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot.

I thought it was the beginning of my dream, but before I graduated, I encountered a sudden new crown epidemic, and the world was closed one after another, and the training was helplessly suspended. Unfortunately, in October 2020, Dragonair closed its course, and the overseas school where the training was originally received also closed, and the dream of a pilot could only come to an end.

"Landing" as a fashion buyer gave up a stable life because he didn't want to regret it

Trainee pilots are not qualified to fly civil aircraft because they have not completed all their training. Chow worked as a fashion buyer at a retailer and gradually settled down and enjoyed his work. However, one day, Cathay Pacific suddenly gave him the opportunity to rejoin the training program.

Zhou Shuohui said frankly that his life was stable at that time, and he was hesitant to continue to pursue his dreams, during which a friend asked, "If someone asks you ten years later, you will regret that you have to go back (training) but not return, and follow other friends to spend time with other friends; Will you regret that you have something to do and stop again, and follow you back to do (the original job)? Wouldn't you be happy?"

"If I gave up my last chance to fly, I would have regretted it." As a result, he returned to the runway and graduated with the best student grades, saying with a smile, "I am worthy of myself and my family for many years of support".

Female midshipman Chen Ziying said that the training school is close to the US Air Force base, and dialogue with the Air Force has become a daily routine. (Photo by Zheng Zifeng)

The female midshipman became interested in flying in GFS helicopters

Another graduate, Chan Tsz-ying, one of the few women in the class, was also admitted to Dragonair's Cadet Pilot Programme, but the programme ended before the programme began.

In an interview last year, she mentioned that when she was young, she became interested in aviation when she boarded the Super Puma helicopter of the Government Flying Service. This flight training was also an eye-opener for her. She said with a smile that the training site is close to the US Air Force base, and dialogue with the Air Force has become a daily routine, and sometimes US fighter planes fly next to each other during the training.

Cathay Pacific Deputy Chief Captain (Boeing Fleet) Chan Pui Lung said Cathay Pacific will recruit a total of 800 cadet pilots this year and next, and more than 400 have been recruited so far. (Photo by Zheng Zifeng)

Cathay Pacific's recruitment of 800 midshippers this year and next is no longer limited to Hong Kong residents

Cathay Pacific Deputy Chief Captain (Boeing Fleet) Chan Pui Lung said that Cathay Pacific will recruit a total of 800 cadet pilots this year and next, and more than 400 have been recruited so far, and the progress is in line with expectations.

Chan Pui-lung believes that it will not affect the opportunities of Hong Kong people, stressing that as long as the conditions are suitable, they will be hired, emphasizing that the employment standards in Hong Kong and the mainland are the same.

Chan Pui-lung also mentioned that the application for the Cadet Pilot does not necessarily require a background in aeronautical engineering, in fact, there are also music graduates to become pilots. Chow graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from HKU. He reiterated that context was not an issue as long as the conditions were right.

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